Biggest Medical Advancements in 2023

A lot of things happened in this year 2023 but here are some Biggest Medical Advancements in 2023 which might attract your sight at once:

Green light for CRISPR gene editing

On December 8, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the world’s first CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing therapy (SN: 12/8/23). The treatment, called CasGevi, targets sickle cell disease by helping patients produce healthy hemoglobin. In people with this disease, hemoglobin levels are abnormal, causing red blood cells to become hard and lumpy, which can block blood flow. By March 2024, the FDA will decide whether the same therapy can be used to treat beta-thalassemia, a disorder that reduces hemoglobin production.

Slowing down Alzheimer’s disease

The Alzheimer’s disease drug lecanumab (brand name Lecambi) received full FDA approval in July. Like aducanumab, a drug approved in 2021, lekanumab removes amyloid plaques that build up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. The drug does not stop the disease, but in a clinical trial, Lecnumab slowed cognitive decline by about 30 percent over 18 months compared to placebo (SN: 8/12/23, p. 9).

Gene therapy for muscular dystrophy

In June, the FDA approved the first gene therapy for children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Due to a defective gene, people with this muscle-wasting disease do not produce the protein dystrophin, which helps maintain muscle cells. The therapy helps the body produce a version of the missing protein (SN: 6/22/23).

RSV prevention

This year, several ways to prevent respiratory syncytial virus have emerged. In May, the FDA approved the first U.S. RSV vaccine, Arexvi, for adults 60 and older (SN: 6/17/23, p. 8), and again for pregnant people in August. called Abrisvo. (SN: 8/25/23). The monoclonal antibody – a laboratory-produced antibody that imitates an immune system protein – was approved in July to protect children up to 2 years old from the virus, which sends 80,000 young children to U.S. hospitals each year. (SN: 4/27/23) . But in October, limited supply of the therapy led the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend reserving it for children at highest risk of complications from RSV.

Pill for postpartum depression

As of August, the only drug targeting postpartum depression in the United States required a 60-hour intravenous infusion in a hospital (SN: 03/22/19). Thanks to the FDA approval of zuranolone (brand name Zurzuve), people suffering from postpartum depression can take oral medications at home and see improvement in as little as three days.

Contraception, no prescription required

In July, the FDA ruled that the oral contraceptive norgestrel, which was first approved in 1973, would be available over the counter. It is the first daily OTC contraceptive pill in the United States. Some public health experts say reducing contraceptive barriers is especially important for reproductive autonomy because access to abortion is limited due to state restrictions (SN: 5/19/23).

Shot against chikungunya

Chikungunya virus can cause fever and severe joint pain and can be fatal to newborns. In November, the FDA approved the first vaccine against the mosquito-borne virus. The virus is most common in tropical regions, but the FDA warns it is spreading to new parts of the world.

Narcan without a prescription

Narcan nasal spray, or naloxone, can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose in minutes. In March, the FDA ruled that this life-saving drug could be sold over the counter. Officials hope easier access to Narcan will help fight the opioid epidemic, which has killed nearly 645,000 people from overdoses between 1999 and 2021.

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