Ottawa needs to reset its relationship with drug developers

Politicians have to stop creating impediments to access

Ottawa needs to reset its relationship with drug developersBy Nigel Rawson and John Adams Macdonald-Laurier Institute On April 14, 2022, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced the federal government’s decision to cancel most of its plan for the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) to regulate significantly lower prices for new medicines in Canada – a mess created five years ago by then Health…

Metabolic ‘fingerprint’ predicts impairment from medical cannabis

Research points the way to better tests and potential new treatments for pain management

Metabolic ‘fingerprint’ predicts impairment from medical cannabisResearchers have uncovered signature metabolites – much like fingerprints in the blood – linked to the cognitive dysfunction and impaired motor skills associated with medical cannabis treatment. The work could lead to better roadside blood tests for impairment, and could also point the way toward supplements or strains of medical cannabis that reduce impairment while…

New treatment could benefit patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Treatment acts like a Band-Aid for mutations, allowing the body to rebuild muscle tissue

New treatment could benefit patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophyUp to 45 per cent of patients with the most common inherited neuromuscular disease could benefit from a new “cocktail” drug being developed at the University of Alberta, according to research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The drug could provide an effective and economical treatment to lessen symptoms for the six of…

Canada must explore use of psychedelics in mental-health treatment

Mushrooms show long-term benefits in those who suffer from treatment-resistant depression

Canada must explore use of psychedelics in mental-health treatmentRegardless of where one stands on legalizing psychedelics for mental-health treatment, Canada is late to the party when it comes to relaxing federal regulations. And given the disturbing rise (and costs of treating) trauma, depression and other mental health disorders worldwide, we better speed up. University researchers, consumers, investors and private-sector companies aren’t waiting for…

Why remdesivir works against SARS-CoV-2 but not on other viruses

Understanding drugs and viruses key to being ready for the next pandemic

Why remdesivir works against SARS-CoV-2 but not on other virusesUnderstanding exactly how antiviral drugs interact with viruses at a molecular level will be key to developing the broad-spectrum therapies needed to battle against the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and get ready to fight the next one, according to a newly published paper in the The Journal of Biological Chemistry. The paper reveals the inner workings of the…

We must address the growing crisis of opioid-related deaths

Drug users are going to keep using, so a better route to saving lives is to ensure drugs are clean and safe

We must address the growing crisis of opioid-related deathsWe’re supposed to be merry and bright as we approach the holidays and the new year. This year, there are many reasons to be less cheerful and festive. We’ve managed to make it through floods, fires and heat domes, but the pandemic persists with the Omicron mutation, inflation threatens our economy and the big, ugly…

Does prescribed opioid use in children lead to later drug misuse?

Calls for rigorous research to determine if short-term medical use in children is safe

Does prescribed opioid use in children lead to later drug misuse?Pediatric researchers are calling for more rigorous research into the possible link between short-term opioid use for pain management in childhood and opioid use disorder later in life. The University of Alberta team reviewed the results of 21 previous studies but found no definitive answer to the question, according to a new study published this week in…

Made-in-Alberta vaccine and drug development pipeline gets funding

Alberta invests $55.1M to taking vaccines, antiviral drugs from discovery to manufacturing

Made-in-Alberta vaccine and drug development pipeline gets fundingAlberta is building a better pipeline, but this one’s not for oil and gas products – it’s for vaccines and therapeutic drugs to fight viral diseases. The province announced a $55.1-million grant on Wednesday for University of Alberta research on ways to prevent and treat COVID-19, including $15 million for vaccine projects and $10 million for studies…

The new drug-price reform not what the doctor ordered

The well-being of patients is at risk

The new drug-price reform not what the doctor orderedBy Krystle Wittevrongel and Maria Lily Shaw Montreal Economic Institute A highly-contested drug-price reform is set to come into effect in Canada in January 2022. Critics of the major overhaul, including patient groups, doctors, and academics, are hopeful that the new federal cabinet will take their concerns to heart and rather than stifle pharmaceutical innovation,…

Promising chemotherapy treatment for bladder cancer enters human trials

A rejected patent application nearly derailed years of research, but support from experts saved the day

Promising chemotherapy treatment for bladder cancer enters human trialsIn 2015, University of Alberta cancer researcher Jack Tuszynski learned that his patent application for a promising chemotherapy treatment for people suffering from metastatic bladder cancer had been rejected by the U.S. Patent Office. “That was it. I thought, ‘We can’t proceed, we’re done, we spent almost a decade working on this and it’s a no go,’”…
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