|Class||Name/Company||Approval Dates and Comments|
Approved by the US FDA September, 1998 for the treatment of HIV-1 in both adult and pediatric patients. Efavirenz is a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor which has the advantage of once daily dosing.
Approved by the US FDA September, 1998 for use in combination therapy with other antiretroviral agents for treatment of HIV-1 infection.
Approved by the US FDA July, 1998 for the suppression of genital herpes in immunocompetent adults.
Approved by the US FDA June, 1998 for the treatment of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis and chronic idiopathic urticaria in children aged 2–5 years; it was previously approved for patients six years of age and above.
Approved by the US FDA June, 1998 for use in combination therapy of TB. Rifapentine will be given twice weekly for two months and then once weekly for the final six months.
An FDA committee has recommended approval of denileukin diftitox for treating cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, it has been designated an orphan drug by the FDA.
Canadian approval has been granted to this liposome encapsulated doxorubicin for the treatment of Kaposi’s sarcoma.
Approved by the US FDA in July 1998 for the treatment of venous leg ulcers; in Canada, it was approved for this same indication in April, 1997. Apligraf® was the subject of a two part review in issues 2:5 and 2:6 of this Letter.
Dangers of alternative medicine
A New Engl J Med 1998; 339: 839–841 editorial states that there is only medicine that has been adequately tested and medicine that has not, rather than two kinds of medicine—conventional and alternative. At present, the only requirement on herbal products is that they cannot claim to prevent or treat disease.
Protease inhibitors during pregnancy
The National Institutes of Health have temporarily suspended enrollment of pregnant women into clinical trials of protease inhibitors, citing an unexpected number of premature births; of 10 babies studied, three were premature and one died in utero.