India coronavirus: Life-saving Covid-19 drugs sold on Delhi black market (BBC)

BBC: India coronavirus: Life-saving Covid-19 drugs sold on Delhi black market. “A BBC investigation has found that two life-saving drugs used to treat Covid-19 patients in India – remdesivir and tocilizumab – are in short supply and being sold for excessive rates on a thriving black market. Vikas Pandey reports from the capital Delhi.”

New York Times: Prescriptions Surged as Trump Praised Drugs in Coronavirus Fight

New York Times: Prescriptions Surged as Trump Praised Drugs in Coronavirus Fight. “It was at a midday briefing last month that President Trump first used the White House telecast to promote two antimalarial drugs in the fight against the coronavirus. ‘I think it could be something really incredible,’ Mr. Trump said on March 19, noting that while more study was needed, the two drugs had shown ‘very, very encouraging results’ in treating the virus. By that evening, first-time prescriptions of the drugs — chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine — poured into retail pharmacies at more than 46 times the rate of the average weekday, according to an analysis of prescription data by The New York Times.”

Associated Press: More deaths, no benefit from malaria drug in VA virus study

Associated Press: More deaths, no benefit from malaria drug in VA virus study. “A malaria drug widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the new coronavirus showed no benefit in a large analysis of its use in U.S. veterans hospitals. There were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care, researchers reported. The nationwide study was not a rigorous experiment. But with 368 patients, it’s the largest look so far of hydroxychloroquine with or without the antibiotic azithromycin for COVID-19, which has killed more than 171,000 people as of Tuesday.”

Washington Post: Dozens of coronavirus antibody tests on the market were never vetted by the FDA, leading to accuracy concerns

Washington Post: Dozens of coronavirus antibody tests on the market were never vetted by the FDA, leading to accuracy concerns. “The Food and Drug Administration, criticized for slowness in authorizing tests to detect coronavirus infections, has taken a strikingly different approach to antibody tests, allowing more than 90 on the market without prior review, including some that are being marketed fraudulently and are of dubious quality, according to testing experts and the agency itself.”

Business Insider: People are sharing hormones on Google Docs and turning to ‘grey market’ pharmacies to get gender-affirming care during the pandemic

Business Insider: People are sharing hormones on Google Docs and turning to ‘grey market’ pharmacies to get gender-affirming care during the pandemic. “Since the lockdowns came into effect across the US, mutual-aid networks for queer and transgender people have popped up, including grocery delivery and resources for people with lost incomes. Among them are efforts geared toward redistributing hormones and needles to those in need, including hormone-sharing Google Docs, and grey-market pharmacies, which buy and sell unregulated hormones.”

New York Times: Small Chloroquine Study Halted Over Risk of Fatal Heart Complications

New York Times: Small Chloroquine Study Halted Over Risk of Fatal Heart Complications. “A research trial of coronavirus patients in Brazil ended after patients taking a higher dose of chloroquine, one of the drugs President Trump has promoted, developed irregular heart rates.”

PR Newswire: Excelra Releases COVID-19 Drug Repurposing Database to Support Global Drug Development Efforts Against Novel Coronavirus

PR Newswire: Excelra Releases COVID-19 Drug Repurposing Database to Support Global Drug Development Efforts Against Novel Coronavirus (PRESS RELEASE). “Excelra, a leading global data and analytics company, today announced the release of the COVID-19 Drug Repurposing Database (https://www.excelra.com/covid-19-drug-repurposing-database/). The ‘open-access’ database presents a compilation of ‘previously approved’ small molecules and biologics with known preclinical, pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and toxicity profiles that can rapidly enter either Phase 2 or 3 clinical trials on fast track basis for COVID-19. In addition, the database also includes information on promising drug candidates that are in various ‘clinical, pre-clinical and experimental’ stages of drug discovery and development for COVID-19.”

Northeast Ohio Medical University: Pharmacy Facebook Group Advocates On Covid-19 Prescriptions

Northeast Ohio Medical University: Pharmacy Facebook Group Advocates On Covid-19 Prescriptions. “A Facebook group with more than 30,000 members is helping pharmacists, pharmacy techs, managers and students pull together to find solutions to the new challenges of operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jaclyn Boyle, Pharm.D. (’12), associate professor of pharmacy practice in the Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Pharmacy, and Carl Palladino, a second-year pharmacy student, manage the group, called ‘Pharmacy Staff for COVID-19 Support.'”

France24: Medicine shortage looms over coronavirus-hit Europe

France24: Medicine shortage looms over coronavirus-hit Europe. “While the world waits for a coronavirus vaccine, medicines used to deal with the symptoms of the disease are increasingly in critically short supply in Europe, the worst-hit continent. From sedatives needed to intubate patients struggling to breathe to anti-malarial drugs heavily backed by US President Donald Trump, the COVID-19 pandemic is eating up stocks.”

Exclusive: Pressed by Trump, U.S. pushed unproven coronavirus treatment guidance (Reuters)

Reuters: Exclusive: Pressed by Trump, U.S. pushed unproven coronavirus treatment guidance. “In mid-March, President Donald Trump personally pressed federal health officials to make malaria drugs available to treat the novel coronavirus, though they had been untested for COVID-19, two sources told Reuters. Shortly afterward, the federal government published highly unusual guidance informing doctors they had the option to prescribe the drugs, with key dosing information based on unattributed anecdotes rather than peer-reviewed science.”

Treatments for COVID-19: Drugs being tested against the coronavirus (LiveScience)

LiveScience: Treatments for COVID-19: Drugs being tested against the coronavirus. ” As of Friday (March 20), 86 clinical trials of COVID-19 treatments or vaccines that are either ongoing or recruiting patients. New ones are being added every day, as the case count in the U.S. (and globally) skyrockets. The drugs being tested range from repurposed flu treatments to failed ebola drugs, to malaria treatments that were first developed decades ago. Here, we take a look at several of the treatments that doctors hope will help fight COVID-19.”

Facebook has a prescription: More pharmaceutical ads (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Facebook has a prescription: More pharmaceutical ads. “Jordan Lemasters keeps seeing ads in his Facebook app for an attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder drug called Vyvanse. When the Chicago-based audio branding consultant recently clicked on the ad’s drop-down menu and selected ‘Why Am I Seeing This Ad,’ a pop-up said it was because of his age range, because he lives in the United States and because he may have visited Vyvanse.com. But Lemasters felt spooked. The 29-year-old had used another ADHD drug, Adderall, but never publicized it.”

Phys .org: Why drug sellers see the internet as a lucrative safe haven

Phys .org: Why drug sellers see the internet as a lucrative safe haven. “More than six years after the demise of Silk Road, the world’s first major drug cryptomarket, the dark web is still home to a thriving trade in illicit drugs. These markets host hundreds, or in some cases thousands, of people who sell drugs, commonly referred to as ‘vendors.’ The dark web offers vital anonymity for vendors and buyers, who use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to process transactions.”

Becker’s Hospital Review: Amazon, First Databank partner to let Alexa answer drug-related questions

Becker’s Hospital Review: Amazon, First Databank partner to let Alexa answer drug-related questions. “Amazon has partnered with First Databank — a database of drug and medical device information — to allow Amazon Alexa users to ask questions about drug information, such as drug interactions and side effects.”

FDA: FDA launches mobile-friendly database with information on life-saving HIV drugs as part of ongoing mission to empower the public through increased access to information and data

FDA: FDA launches mobile-friendly database with information on life-saving HIV drugs as part of ongoing mission to empower the public through increased access to information and data. “Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the launch of an interactive database that will offer a wealth of critical information about antiretrovirals (ARVs) eligible for purchase under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program.”