Friday, October 31, 2014


Acne vulgaris is a highly prevalent inflammatory skin condition associated with substantial morbidity that affects people of all ages, but is most prevalent among teenagers. According to some estimates, 95% to 100% of teenage boys and up to 82% of teenage girls suffer some degree of acne. In total, acne may affect as many as 50 million people in the United States.

The pathophysiology of acne is multifactorial and involves a combination of increased sebum production, follicular hyperkeratinization, inflammation, and follicle colonization by Propionibacterium acnes. Treatment strategies and options are based on targeting different aspects of these pathophysiologic mechanisms. However, pathophysiologic mechanisms alone are an insufficient basis for selecting treatments. Encouraging patient acceptance of treatment—which may vary by patient age—is also an important consideration. The goals of treatment are to control the acne and to achieve a clear or almost clear status, especially on the patient's face.

Given these considerations, topical combination products that target multiple disease mechanisms (while minimizing the number of products and frequency of application) are of great appeal to clinicians and patients. A variety of products that combine topical antibiotics, such as clindamycin with benzoyl peroxide, are available and have demonstrated efficacy superior to that obtainable with either product alone. Acanya® (clindamycin phosphate and benzoyl peroxide) Gel 1.2%/2.5%, offers effective once daily treatment of acne with a favorable cutaneous profile.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


CDC says deaths due to heroin overdoses doubled over two-year period.

Bloomberg News (10/3, Cortez) reports that the number of Americans “dying from heroin overdoses doubled across 28 states in 2012 from 2010,” citing the CDC. The shift has mainly been due to ready access “and rising rates of opioid addiction,” the piece adds. Bloomberg notes that the “unusual analysis” unveiled today by the CDC’s weekly bulletin came in the wake of the agency’s effort to find out “if reports from some states about spikes in heroin use and related deaths since 2010 were part of a larger nationwide trend.” In sheer numbers, there were 3,635 heroin deaths in 2012, compared with 1,779 two years earlier, the piece adds.
        The Washington Times (10/3, Pace) highlights that death rates from heroin rose “in every age cohort, ethnic group (except American Indians/Alaskan Natives) and region of the country.” According to the paper, “men were nearly four times as likely to overdose from heroin as women, and 25- to 34-year-olds had the highest heroin-overdose death rate.” The piece notes that from 2010 to 2012, “the death rate from heroin overdose increased from 1.0 to 2.1 people per 100,000 in the population.”
        According to the AP (10/3, Stobbe), officials have been most concerned about “powerful prescription ‘opioid’ painkillers” such as Vicodin (hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen) and OxyContin (oxycodone). The piece notes that “deaths involving such painkillers continue to be much more common than heroin-related deaths.” However, “while those deaths are leveling off or declining in many parts of the country, heroin-related deaths” jumped between 2010 and 2012 in the 28 states, the AP adds.
        Reuters (10/3) highlights that the shift in the drug use pattern, from prescription painkillers to heroin, raises potentially new problems for public health officials because it suggests more people are resorting to intravenous drug use, which raises the risk of spread of diseases.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


The San Francisco Chronicle (10/1, Colliver) reports organ transplant patients have higher risks of skin cancer because of the anti-rejection drugs they take. Dr. Sarah Arron, director of UCSF’s High Risk Skin Cancer Clinic, said, “It’s really devastating for transplant patients, given a new lease on life from their transplant, to discover they’re struggling with skin cancer.” The Chronicle adds UCSF researchers “are also involved in a National Cancer Institute study on melanoma in organ transplant patients, which includes examining how safe it would be for a patient already diagnosed with melanoma to have a transplant.” The Chronicle notes, “UCSF will serve as the lead among 20 centers in an American Academy of Dermatology study looking at the incidence and death rates of skin cancer in transplant patients.”