Sources of advice for healthcare professionals and the public on coronavirus

General advice for the public on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is available from the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/. This advice is being constantly updated.
The NHS 111 online service includes a questionnaire to assess whether it is necessary to call NHS 111; this can be accessed at: https://111.nhs.uk/service/covid-19. …

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NICE recommends peginterferon beta-1a for relapsing-remitting MS

NICE has published new technology appraisal guidance (TA624), recommending peginterferon beta-1a (Plegridy) as an option of the treatment of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) in adults.
Peginterferon beta-1a is interferon beta-1a conjugated to a methoxy polyethylene glycol (PEG) molecule at the alpha-amino group of the N-terminal amino acid …

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Two new antimicrobial prescribing guidelines published

NICE has published two new antimicrobial prescribing guidelines – one for the management of impetigo in adults and children (NG153), and the other for the management of leg ulcer infection (NG152). NICE’s series of antimicrobial prescribing guidelines are written in collaboration with Public Health England …

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EMA recommends a marketing authorisation for new antibiotic cefiderocol

The EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended the granting of a marketing authorisation for cefiderocol (Fetcroja), a new antibiotic for the treatment of infections due to aerobic Gram-negative bacteria in adults with limited treatment options.
Cefiderocol is a systemic siderophore cephalosporin …

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NICE recommends sotagliflozin with insulin for type 1 diabetes

In final technology appraisal guidance, NICE has recommended sotagliflozin (Zynquista) for use in combination with insulin, as an option for the treatment of adults with uncontrolled type 1 diabetes (TA622).
Sotagliflozin is a dual inhibitor of sodium-glucose co-transporter (SGLT) subtypes 1 and 2. It was licensed …

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Drug treatments for chronic plaque psoriasis compared

A Cochrane systematic review has been published, comparing the efficacy of systemic pharmacological treatments for chronic plaque psoriasis (Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2020;1:CD011535).
The paper updates a previous Cochrane review published in 2017, and paves the way for this topic being covered as a ‘living’ systematic …

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Licence recommended for first oral GLP-1 agonist

The EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended the granting of a marketing authorisation for oral semaglutide (Rybelsus), for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Semaglutide is a glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. It works like endogenous GLP-1 (an incretin hormone) …

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New lipid-lowering drug bempedoic acid for primary hypercholesterolaemia

The CHMP has recommended a marketing authorisation for bempedoic acid (Nilemdo), a novel lipid-lowering therapy for the treatment of primary hypercholesterolaemia or mixed dyslipidaemia.
Bempedoic acid is an orally available pro-drug that is activated in the liver. It works by inhibiting adenosine triphosphate citrate lyase, an …

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CHMP recommends topical crisaborole for atopic dermatitis

A marketing authorisation has also been recommended by the CHMP for Staquis, a new non-steroidal topical treatment for atopic dermatitis (eczema).
Staquis is an ointment containing the active ingredient crisaborole (2%), a small-molecule phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor that suppresses the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as …

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NICE rejects esketamine nasal spray in draft guidance

In recently published draft guidance for consultation, NICE has not recommended esketamine nasal spray (Spravato) within its marketing authorisation for the treatment of adults with treatment-resistant depression.
Esketamine, a psychoanaleptic drug, is the S enantiomer of ketamine, and about twice as potent as standard ketamine and …

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