FDA approves new batch of drugs, devices

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a variety of new drugs, including one for patients with metastatic melanoma.

As Dr. Art Mollen explained to Scott Pasmore, Yervoy can extend a patient’s life by four to five months.

According to the FDA, melanoma is the leading cause of death from skin disease.

Numbers from the National Cancer Institute showed that 68,100 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed last year. About 8,700 people died from the disease.

"Yervoy is the first therapy approved by the FDA to clearly demonstrate that patients with metastatic melanoma live longer by taking this treatment,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Oncology Drug Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a news release.

Other newly approved drugs include Toviaz, which is used to treat overactive bladder in adults, and Epiduo, which is an acne gel.

The FDA also recently approved Natroba, a single-application head lice treatment for children 4 and older; Natazia, a four-phase birth-control pill; Viibryd, an anti-depressant that stimulates the release of serotonin; and Cycloset, which treats type 2 diabetes by resetting the metabolism and allowing the body to burn excess sugar.

In addition, the FDA approved a new adjustable lap band for people who are significantly overweight. The band generally allows patients to lose up to one-third of their body weight in a year.