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Update on Drugs and Drug News




Approval Dates and Comments

Antipsoriatic Agent

Biogen Idec

TPP Canada approved this biologic therapy in October 2004, for the treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe chronic plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy.

Anti-arthritic Agent


The European Medicines Agency (EMEA) granted approval in October 2004, for this product to be used in combination with methotrexate for the treatment of active and progressive psoriatic arthritis in patients who have responded inadequately to diseasemodifying antirheumatic drugs.

Dermal Fillers

Hylan-B Gel
Hylaform® Plus

The US FDA granted marketing approval in October 2004, for this dermal filler for the correction of moderate-to-severe facial wrinkles and folds.

Anti-acne Agent

Clindamycin 1% +
Tretinoin .025% Gel


The US FDA accepted a New Drug Application in October 2004, for this investigational new drug as a potential new topical treatment for acne.

Drug News

Drug Warning

Important new information on side-effects associated with the use of Bextra, a COX-2 selective nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is indicated for the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and dysmenorrhea was reported in December 2004 by the US FDA. A “boxed” warning will be added to
the label, stating that patients taking Bextra have reported serious, potentially fatal skin reactions, including Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and toxic epiderma necrolysis. These skin reactions are most likely to occur in the first 2 weeks of treatment, but can occur at any time during therapy. In a few cases, these reactions have resulted in death. The labeling advises doctors that Bextra should be discontinued at the first appearance of a skin rash, mucosal lesions, or any other sign of allergic reactions. The warning also states that Bextra contains sulfa, and patients with a history of allergic reactions to sulfa may be at a greater risk of skin reactions.

Risk Minimization
Actions Plan for
Anti-acne Agent

The US FDA announced in November 2004, that the risk minimization actions plan (RiskMAP) for Accutane® (isotretinoin) and its generic equivalents is being enhanced in order to reduce the risk of birth defects associated with fetal exposure to isotretinoin. Under the new program, sponsors will obtain
registration of not only prescribers, but also pharmacies that dispense and patients who use isotretinoin. The program also includes documentation of a negative preganancy test before giving isotretinoin to women who are capable of becoming pregnant. The registration system will be built to incorporate physician and patient identification codes that will also protect the privacy of the patients. The innovator and generic sponsors of isotretinoin have jointly contracted with Covance, Inc. to design, build, implement and operate a single
strengthened isotretinoin RiskMAP incorporating these elements.

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Imiquimod 5% Cream for the Treatment of Actinic Keratoses
  3. The Surgical Correction of Protuberant Ears
  4. Update on Drugs and Drug Warnings