Colonoscopies are never fun. But they are necessary to help catch colon cancer.
Now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug that could make preparation for the screening easier.
Called Plenvu, this liquid drug is designed to replace the traditional, poor-tasting bowel cleaning liquid that patients drink to prep their systems for a colonoscopy. The drug will allow patients take less liquid and still prepare for the screening.
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"Physicians can now offer their patients a new preparation option for colonoscopies that features a lower-volume, one-liter ... bowel preparation," said Mark McKenna, senior vice president and general manager, Salix Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the drug. "Studies have shown that high-volume bowel preparations can often be a deterrent to patients fully completing their preparation regimen."
According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third-most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States. It estimates over 97,000 cases of colon cancer and over 43,000 cases of rectal cancer will emerge in the U.S. this year, with over 50,000 deaths expected as a result of colorectal cancer.
Salix says that the new drug will be available in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2018.