Weekly Roundup 5/20/11

I woke up this morning and thought it was Saturday.  I went back to sleep.  Then I woke up and thought it was Monday.  I went back to sleep.  Then I woke up and realized it was Friday.  Yay.  Not just a Friday, but a Friday in May in Washington.  It is a special time. Congress is not in session.  Georgetown students have graduated and gone home or wherever…. The combination means that my regular 45 minute commute evaporates to just 12 minutes or so.  Lovely.

And speaking of a quieter season, it was kind of a quiet week I thought.  But still, interesting things happened and here are a few that caught my eye:

  • Zombie Apocolypse – CDC Shows How to Be Clever and Send a Public Health Message – The CDC once again demonstrates its creative and relevant approach to public health communications with a blog posting on emergency preparedness entitled “Preparedness 101:  Zombie Apocolypse” that lays an emergency preparedness guide on how to prepare, and what CDC would do in an emergency using a fun and light hearted approach.  It was a gutsy, risk-taking thing to do, but ended up presenting a good public health message in an entertaining, relevant and current way.  FDA, which is just now getting down to “studying” the Internet and social media – take notes please.
  • FDA Approves New HIV Drug – Today the agency announced the approval of Edurant (rilpivirine) in combination with other antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults who have never taken HIV therapy (treatment-naïve).  Edurant belongs to a class of HIV drugs called non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI). The drug works by blocking HIV viral replication. Edurant is to be used as part of a highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimen that is designed to suppress the amount of HIV (viral load) in the blood. Edurant is a pill taken once a day with food and is manufactured by Tibotec.
  • More on the Saga of Facebook, Pharma and Comments - Jonathan Richman, author of the famous Dose of Digital blog, put in a really long entry on a topic that has been much talked about in the social media and pharma world.  If you are outside that world, or living under a rock, you may not know that there has been some concern expressed about the rumor floating around that Facebook is going to make some changes to the policies around commenting on Facebook pages that would no longer allow the creator of a page from restricting Wall entries or comments.  Jonathan investigates and reveals what intelligence he uncovered in his blog posting “Pharma Facebook Commenting Changes – The Final Story“.  A great update, but I am always worried when people say “the final story” because it almost never is…
  • Upcoming AdComms – The Federal Register on Monday will publish notice of two advisory committee meetings coming up.  The first is an Arthritis Drugs Advisory Committee meeting set for June 21 to consider a BLA for ILARIS (canakinumab), Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., for the proposed for the treatment of gouty arthritis attacks.  The second is the Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee that will meet June 23 to consider an NDA for icatibant solution for injection (proposed trade name Firazyr), Shire Human Genetic Therapies, for the proposed indication of treatment of acute attacks of hereditary angioedema.  Note that neither of these meetings will be held at the FDA facility, but will be in hotels.

That’s it for me this week.  Have a good weekend everyone.

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