Friday November 22, 2019
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Toxicity reduces if drugs are delivered as liquid salt through skin

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New York: Researchers say that formulating drugs as liquid salts may provide a safe and efficient strategy for topical delivery of drugs that cause skin toxicity. The researchers who brought out the findings also included one of Indian-origin.

A novel formulation of the drug propranolol as a liquid salt enables delivery through the skin with reduced toxicity, the findings showed.

“Propranolol is positively charged which is a likely source of its toxicity. Shielding of this charge by association with a counter species in the liquid salt reduces its toxicity. These findings are broadly applicable to many charged drugs” said study senior author Samir Mitragotri, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the US.

Skin toxicity remains a major challenge in the design and use of new topical drug formulations. Many drugs must be dissolved in organic solvents which are typically toxic to the skin.

Many drugs such as propranolol itself show dose-dependent skin toxicity. Formulating drugs as liquid salt mitigates both sources of toxicity.

Given their fluid nature, liquid salts eliminate the necessity of organic solvents. In addition, counter ions used to form the liquid salts shield the drug charge, which further reduces drug-induced toxicity.

The researchers said that this is the first study that reports the design of liquid salts to minimise skin toxicity. Such formulations can increase the spectrum of drugs that can be safely delivered via a transdermal patch.

“This technology presents an exciting new, patient compliant solution for treating diseases,” study co-author Michael Zakrewsky from University of California, Santa Barbara. (IANS), (image courtesy: irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com)

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Researchers Find That Discount on Medical Drugs Can Make you Purchase Them More

The study used Canadian national pharmacy data from 2.82 million prescriptions for 89 different medications where brand-name drug discount cards were used and compared

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While Discount cards decreased some patients' out-of-pocket costs by 7 per cent on an average, the study surprisingly found that many patients who filled prescriptions using a card were worse-off financially as a result. Pixabay

Researchers have found that brand-name Drug Discount cards are leading to higher healthcare spending in Canada.

Brand-name drug discount cards — also known as co-pay cards — are coupons offered by drug manufacturers to encourage patients to use brand-name drugs even after much cheaper generics became available.

Despite often boosting savings for customers, the study’s findings published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal show that drug discount cards actually increased private insurer costs by 46 per cent and public insurer costs by 1.3 per cent, compared to patients purchasing generics instead.

“We know that generic drugs are equally effective for the vast majority of patients. Given that, I believe these cards are leading to unjustifiable increases in health care costs,” said the study’s lead author Michael Law from the University of British Columbia in Canada.

While discount cards decreased some patients’ out-of-pocket costs by 7 per cent on an average, the study surprisingly found that many patients who filled prescriptions using a card were worse-off financially as a result.

This wasn’t the case for all drugs, but in some cases patients could pay up to $10 more out-of-pocket when using a discount card.

The study used Canadian national pharmacy data from 2.82 million prescriptions for 89 different medications where brand-name drug discount cards were used and compared the costs of these prescriptions to matched generic equivalents.

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Researchers have found that brand-name Drug Discount cards are leading to higher healthcare spending in Canada. Pixabay

The researchers said that patients, their clinicians and employers should be aware of the impact that brand-name discount cards have on the healthcare system.

For example, the increased costs to private insurers will likely be passed on to the patients and their employers in the form of increased insurance premiums.

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“Regardless of whether they hold insurance, patients should check the relative price between brand-name drugs with a discount card and the equivalent generics at their pharmacy,” said Law. (IANS)