Monthly News Round-Up: June/July
To help discover the most promising COVID-19 therapies, University of Liverpool has joined forces with Southampton Clinical Trials Unit and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to launch AGILE, an innovative COVID-19 drug testing platform.
This is a clinical trial platform developed by:
- Clinical trials specialists and statisticians
- Infectious diseases clinicians
- Clinical and preclinical pharmacologists
Together, they aim for identifying which compounds have the potential to turn the tide of battle against the novel coronavirus.
The innovative AGILE platform bridges the gap between large-scale testing and preclinical drug discovery.
At the Royal Liverpool University Hospital Clinical Research Unit, trials are already underway in which COVID-19 patients are treated with promising drugs.
An independent committee makes sure that the treatment is safe to continue.
In case there is evidence of it being effective, fast-tracking it into large-scale trials can commence.
Gabapentinoids show no after-surgery pain relief
As an alternative to opioid pain medication, some patients are prescribed Lyrica (pregabalin) or Neurotonin (gabapentin).
Although this appears to be a rising trend, Canadian researchers warn there is little evidence to support their supposed link to post-operative pain management.
Worse yet, they are associated with numerous health-related risks.
In their study, they did not observe any clinically significant analgesic effects.
Additionally, they were not able to see a link between perioperative use of gabapentinoids and prevention of post-operative chronic pain in adult patients.
To come to their conclusions, Michael Verret, MD and lead author of the study, and his colleagues analysed 281 clinical trials involving in excess of 25,000 patients undergoing surgeries of various types, including:
To summarise their findings, gabapentin and pregabalin offer negligible analgesic benefits regardless of the type of operation or the dosage taken.
Furthermore, they proved to be ineffective in preventing chronic pain after surgery.
Worse yet, they are associated with several risks, including:
- Visual disturbance
- Addiction (underreported)
- Respiratory depression (underreported)
This goes against the guidelines APS published in 2016 that advocate the use of these drugs.
Dutch criminals convicted of alcohol-related crimes required to wear alcohol monitoring ankle bracelet
In an effort to monitor their drinking habits, they will be forced to wear an electronic tag referred to as an alcoholmeter.
The device works on the basis of analysing the sweat of the individual wearing it.
Once a day, data is being transmitted from the device to a central server, thus allowing the probation officers to obtain a glimpse into the individual’s behaviour.
According to Tony Rubino, a probation officer, knowing they are constantly monitored, helps clients keep their alcohol consumption in check.
Although individual participants had access to alcohol during the test, 71% of them opted against consuming it, Dutch justice ministry studies revealed.
Supposedly, around half of them did not have a drink even after three months of parting ways with their monitoring anklets.