Academic Health Center
Stay Connected
in-the-news

In the News: U of M research confirms benefits of early HIV treatment

In a study conducted by the U of M, research found those with HIV should be put on antiretroviral drugs as soon as they learn they are infected, as announced by NIH officials.

The findings came in combination with a statement ending the study because the benefits of starting treatment right away were so definitive.

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Inhaler ban increases costs for asthma patients

Over 25 million people in the U.S. rely on respiratory inhalers to relieve wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and additional asthma-related symptoms. In an attempt to reduce their environmental footprint, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed a ban on the production of ozone-depleting inhalers.

This 2008 ban changed the type of albuterol inhalers available to asthma patients, and eliminated the use of inhalers with chlorofluorocarbon (CFC). These generic medications were replaced by the more expensive alternative that uses hydrofluoroalkane (HFA), a more environmentally friendly inhaler.

A recent JAMA Internal Medicine study found that this inhaler ban has been more costly, as the average asthma patient is paying twice as much for their medication. Health Talk turned to co-author of the study, Pinar Karaca-Mandic, Ph.D., from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota to help explain the ban and its costly impacts on asthma patients.

Read more
in-the-news

In the News: Generic drug prices soar

High-priced prescription drugs are not unfamiliar to the American consumer.

But generic drugs – widely accepted as the cheaper alternative to big brand names – are making their own name in high pricing as of late.

Generic drug prices on some commonly prescribed medications have risen by as much as 500 percent over the past year.

University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy pharmaceutical economist Stephen Schondelmeyer, Pharm.D., Ph.D., spoke with WCCO Radio’s Chad Hartmann about the rising cost trend and what it could mean for consumers.

Read more
expert-perspectives

The Expert Is In: Liver damage from dietary supplements

Liver damage is a well-established risk of many prescription drugs. However, recent research out of the Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia reveals herbal and dietary supplements may be causing liver damage in some U.S. regions as well. Bodybuilding and non-bodybuilding herbal supplements alike were implicated in the find, which spotlighted a small slice of one of the world’s fastest growing industries.

The findings came as no surprise to Chengguo Xing, Ph.D., professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and member of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.

Xing is investigating how to reduce liver damage associated with a kava dietary supplement, which was found earlier this year to prevent tobacco-smoke induced lung cancer in a mouse model.

Here’s what Xing had to say:

Read more
research-and-clinical-trials

New compound shows promise in treating chronic pain

A new compound in development at the University of Minnesota shows promise as a breakthrough drug for treating chronic pain.

The new compound, developed by Philip Portoghese, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy, appears to be the first of its kind. A patent has been applied for, and the University’s Center for Translational Medicine has been conducting proof-of-concept studies. As a potential medication, the compound offers benefits lacked by current medications: It does not induce the body to develop tolerance or dependence, as opioid painkillers do. It is more potent than other opioid pain medications. It reduces and inhibits neuropathic pain, post-operative pain, burn pain, spinal injury pain and inflammation.

Read more
education

50 years out: Will your genes define your Rx?

Tylenol should relieve pain, cough suppressants should ease cough and serious ailments should reliably respond to vital medication. But when a prescribed medicine doesn’t do its intended job, it can be difficult to decide who or what is to blame.

It doesn’t help that sometimes the problem doesn’t lie within the medicine or the doctor; it can lie within your genes.

Read more