MorningRX: August 11, 2023


HHS awards money to fight the nursing shortage, the FDA approves Johnson & Johnson's talquetamab-tgvs (TALVEY), and the CDC says suicides reached an all-time high in 2022.

HHS Awards Over $100 Million to Address Registered Nurse Shortage

The US Department of Health and Human Services has awarded over $100 million to train more nurses in an effort to meet the growing demand for health care workers, the agency announced in a release. The award focuses on 3 key issues: helping licensed practical nurses become registered nurses, training nurses for primary, maternal and mental health care, and supporting nurse faculty education. The nursing field has experienced a high rate of turnover over the past 2 years, with over 40% of inpatient registered nurses saying they intend to leave the field in 2023.

“Nurses are an essential part of our nation’s health care system,” Xavier Becerra, secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, said in a release. “Now more than ever, we need to double down on our investments in nurses who care for communities across the country.”

FDA Approves Treatment for Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma

The FDA has granted accelerated approval to Johnson & Johnson’s talquetamab-tgvs (TALVEY) for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma in adult patients who have received at least four prior lines of therapy, the pharmaceutical company announced in a release. Talquetamab-tgvs is a T-cell engaging antibody and is approved as a weekly or biweekly subcutaneous injection after an initial step-up phase.

“The clinically meaningful efficacy and safety profile observed with talquetamab in heavily pretreated patients in this clinical trial, which included patients treated with prior BCMA-targeted bispecific or CAR-T cell therapy, has been notable,” Ajai Chari, MD, Director of Multiple Myeloma Program, Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, said in a release. “Patients at this stage of disease have a poor prognosis. Talquetamab as a first-in-class therapy is a new option for patients with this difficult-to-treat blood cancer.”

US Suicides Reached All-Time High in 2022

Data from the CDC has found that suicides in the United States reached an all-time high in 2022, the Associated Press reported. More than 49,000 people took their own life last year, a roughly 3% increase from the previous year, according to the data. The largest increase in suicides was seen in people ages 45 to 64, and those 65 and older, with a 7% and 8% increase, respectively. In adults ages 25 to 44, suicides grew by about 1%. Suicide represented the second leading cause of death in that age group in 2022.

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