Pharmacy News

FDA approves first cell-based gene therapy for adult patients with multiple myeloma

FDA has approved idecabtagene vicleuce (Abecma—Celgene), a cell-based gene therapy to treat adult patients with multiple myeloma who have not responded to, or whose disease has returned after, at least four prior lines (different types) of therapy. It is the first cell-based gene therapy approved by FDA for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

Pandemic seems to have affected telehealth use disproportionately

Telehealth has been a welcomed service for both patients and health care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic, but a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that these services were mostly accessed by those living in affluent and metropolitan areas.

FDA authorizes first AI-powered armband for COVID-19 screening

FDA granted an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the first machine learning–based COVID-19 nondiagnostic screening device. The Tiger Tech COVID Plus Monitor identifies certain biomarkers that may be indicative of SARS-CoV-2 infection. It can also detect hypercoagulable conditions, such as sepsis or cancer, or hyper-inflammatory states in asymptomatic individuals over the age of 5 years.

FDA panel rejects Pfizer's arthritis drug as too risky

An FDA advisory panel recommended Thursday, in a vote of 19-1, against approving Pfizer's experimental drug for the treatment of mild to moderate knee and hip pain.

Medicaid programs in five states make moves to pay pharmacists for COVID-19 services

Good news from Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, and New Mexico: CMS has approved their proposed state Medicaid plan amendments (SPAs) to recognize pharmacists and some pharmacy professionals as “other licensed practitioners,” or OLPs, who are eligible to be paid for COVID-19 services. There’s a catch—the changes are temporary and will disappear when the federal government retracts its declaration of a public health emergency (PHE). They do, however, present opportunities to make pharmacists’ OLP designations permanent.