NCHR’s Comments on USPSTF Draft Research Plan: Interventions for Tobacco Cessation in Adults, Including Pregnant Women

USPSTF, April 11, 2018, We strongly support the efforts of the USPSTF to draft a research plan to identify benefits and harms of tobacco cessation interventions in broad populations, including pregnant women. We encourage the USPSTF to consider: 1. the necessary evidence to establish the short-term and long-term benefits of tobacco cessation on an individual and population level 2. potential fetal outcomes, including developmental and birth-related outcomes. 3. the harms associated with electronic nicotine delivery systems, as these products have been touted as safer alternatives that may also serve as quit aids.

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NCHR Testimony at the FDA about a Drug for Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms, Lofexidine

March 27, 2018. Patients undergoing opioid withdrawal need non-opioid effective treatment alternatives. In order to ensure the we are doing more good than harm, the FDA must ensure that treatments show substantial evidence of effectiveness. Current data indicate that lofexidine can successfully provide short-term relief of patients’ opioid withdrawal symptoms following abrupt discontinuation. However, due to cardiac safety risks, this drug should not be indicated for individuals with existing cardiac conditions, and if approved, there should be a clear warning on the drug’s label. Finally, the sponsor has not provided sufficient evidence that lofexidine increases the likelihood that individuals will complete withdrawal treatment and, ultimately, move toward ending their physical dependence on opioids. We believe they must do so in order to receive this indication.

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NCHR Testimony at the FDA on an Oral Drug for Ulcerative Colitis

March 8, 2018. We are concerned that the clinical trial data do not adequately represent the real-world population of patients who will be likely to consider this drug. We strongly recommend more persuasive data including a more diverse group of patients before making a decision about supplemental approval of the two proposed dosing regimens for induction non-responders and those with prior TNF blocker failure.

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