Month: April 2017

Hot Topics: FDA Approves First Drug For Severe Multiple Sclerosis

FDA approves new drug to treat multiple sclerosis

Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2017). FDA approves new drug to treat multiple sclerosis. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm549325.htm.

On March 28, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) to treat adult patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). This is the first drug approved by the FDA for PPMS. Ocrevus is an intravenous infusion given by a health care professional.

“Multiple sclerosis can have a profound impact on a person’s life,” said Billy Dunn, M.D., director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “This therapy not only provides another treatment option for those with relapsing MS, but for the first time provides an approved therapy for those with primary progressive MS.”

Posted in Central Nervous System Disorders, Front Page, Hot Topics in Research

Hot Topics: Training Medical Students to Organize Needle Exchange Programs

Students as effective harm reductionists and needle exchange organizers

Barbour K, McQuade M, Brown B. Students as effective harm reductionists and needle exchange organizers. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy. 2017;12(15). http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13011-017-0099-0.

Background
Needle exchange programs are safe, highly effective programs for promoting health among people who inject drugs. However, they remain poorly funded, and often illegal, in many places worldwide due to fear and stigma surrounding drug use. Continued advocacy, education, and implementation of new needle exchanges are thus essential to improve public health and reduce structural inequality.

Commentary
We argue that students, and especially professional and graduate students, have the potential to play an important role in advancing harm reduction. Students benefit from the respect given to the professions they are training to enter, which gives them leverage to navigate the political hurdles often faced by needle exchange organizers, especially in areas that presently lack services. In addition, due to their relative simplicity, needle exchanges do not require much of the licensing, clinical knowledge, and infrastructure associated with more traditional student programs, such as student-run free medical clinics. Students are capable of learning harm reduction cultural approaches and techniques if they remain humble, open-minded, and seek the help of the harm reduction community. Consequently, students can generate tremendous benefits to their community without performing beyond their appropriate clinical limitations.

Students benefit from organizing needle exchanges by gaining applied experience in advocacy, organization-building, and political finesse. Working in a needle exchange significantly helps erode stigma against multiple marginalized populations. Students in health-related professions additionally learn clinically-relevant knowledge that is often lacking from their formal training, such as an understanding of structural violence and inequality, root causes of substance use, client-centered approaches to health services, and interacting with clients as peers, rather than through the standard hierarchical medical interaction.

Conclusion
We therefore encourage students to learn about and consider organizing needle exchanges during their training. Our experience is that students can be successful in developing sustainable programs which benefit their clients, the broader harm reduction movement, and themselves alike.

 

Posted in Front Page, Hot Topics in Research, Substance Use Disorders

New York Times Group Pass

The New Yorks Times have updated their registration process.

To register for your free access to the New York Times, go to https://myaccount.nytimes.com/grouppass/access. Click “Create Account” and follow the instructions to create an account using your pcom.edu email.

Students will now need to provide thier anticipated graduation date. Student access will be valid up to their anticipated graduation date.

Faculty and Staff passes are good for one year.

Once activated, your Pass will provide access to NYTimes.com from any location.

For all users, upon expiration of your pass, you can extend your access by signing in with your New York Times account at the New York Times Group Pass activation page.

You may also download the NYT smartphone app and log in. The NYT app is available for Android and Apple devices.

To view a short how-to video on how to activate a Group Pass, please visit http://bit.ly/1qJzB4g

Posted in Front Page, Library News

Hot Topics: Cardiologists Weigh In On Nutrition Facts and Fads

Trending Cardiovascular Nutrition Controversies

Freeman AM, Morris PB, Barnard N, et al. Trending cardiovascular nutrition controversies. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017;69(9):1172-1187. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2016.10.086.

The potential cardiovascular benefits of several trending foods and dietary patterns are still incompletely understood, and nutritional science continues to evolve. However, in the meantime, a number of controversial dietary patterns, foods, and nutrients have received significant media exposure and are mired by hype. This review addresses some of the more popular foods and dietary patterns that are promoted for cardiovascular health to provide clinicians with accurate information for patient discussions in the clinical setting.

Posted in Cardiology, Hot Topics in Research, Nutrition

Hot Topics: NIH Encourages Preprint Inclusion in Grant Proposals

Reporting Preprints and Other Interim Research Products

Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration, National Institutes of Health. (2017). Reporting Preprints and Other Interim Research Products (Notice Number: NOT-OD-17-050). Retrieved from https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-17-050.html

Purpose
The NIH encourages investigators to use interim research products, such as preprints, to speed the dissemination and enhance the rigor of their work. This notice clarifies reporting instructions to allow investigators to cite their interim research products and claim them as products of NIH funding.

Definitions
Interim Research Products are complete, public research products that are not final.

A common form is the preprint, which is a complete and public draft of a scientific document. Preprints are typically unreviewed manuscripts written in the style of a peer-reviewed journal article. Scientists issue preprints to speed dissemination, establish priority, obtain feedback, and offset publication bias.

Another common type of interim product is a preregistered protocol, where a scientist publicly declares key elements of their research protocol in advance. Preregistration can help scientists enhance the rigor of their work.

Notes:

  • Awardees are not required to create interim research products through their NIH award.
  • Applicants are not required to cite interim research products as part of their grant applications.
  • Since preprints are not published in peer-reviewed journals, they do not fall under the NIH public access policy.
  • This guide notice does not apply to clinical trial registration. See ClinicalTrials.gov about registration of clinical trial protocols.

 

Posted in Hot Topics in Research, Research Commentary