MDNN: HIV Generics, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, FDA Calls Kratom an Opioid, and ADHD Raises Substance Abuse Risk

FEBRUARY 09, 2018
MD Magazine Staff

Hi, I’m Kevin Kunzmann, and I’m Jenna Payesko, and this is MD Magazine News Network - it’s clinical news for connected physicians.

With the Olympics starting we’re breaking out our best Edwin Moses impressions, but when it comes to HIV therapy, there are some hurdles that still need to be cleared. A recent perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine examined cost barriers that could impact patients with HIV if they were to switch to a generic form of one or more of the drugs in their regimen. As many of these patients are covered by some combination of state, federal, and private insurance, they often do not see the end result of the savings. Researchers also noted that it could increase the number of drugs in the regimen, which has been shown to decrease adherence.

On Wednesday, the United States acknowledged its 18th annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. In an exclusive interview with MD Magazine, Bridgette M. Brawner, PhD, an assistant professor of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, said the issue surrounding HIV/AIDS infection rates in the black community is as much a societal issue as it is a health issue. With 45% of new infections in 2015 occurring in the African American community, Brawner said that in order to combat the growing rate, communities need to be educated on the resources available to do a better job of integrating better behavioral health into everyday activities.

The FDA made an announcement this week regarding its concerns surrounding a naturally occurring plant-based substance—but don’t worry Colorado, it’s not that. In a public statement released this week, commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that the administration has classified kratom, an unapproved but popular treatment for pain relief, as an opioid. Gottlieb noted that the FDA has associated 44 deaths with the plant, although he also admitted that there remains much to learn about how the substance interacts with human biology.

OK Colorado, time to pay attention. New research published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry has shown that children diagnosed with ADHD are at a higher risk of substance abuse in early adulthood, specifically with marijuana and cigarettes. By age 25, those with ADHD were found to be roughly 18% more likely to be cigarette smokers and used marijuana at a rate of 22%, double those without the diagnosis. Whether or not these trends continue further into adulthood remains to be seen, and researchers say that better understanding of interventions for risky behavior is needed.

For these stories and more, visit us at I’m Jenna Payesko, and I’m Kevin Kunzmann. Thank you for watching.

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