Drug Companies Say They Won’t Sell Antibiotics For Non-Medical Use In Animals, But Are They Telling The Truth?

Drug Companies Say They Won’t Sell Antibiotics For Non-Medical Use In Animals, But Are They Telling The Truth?

The FDA had “Look at effect of medically unnecessary antibiotics in farm animals and maybe do something about it” on its to-do list for three decades, and then last December it finally issued a pretty-please to the pharmaceuticals industry, asking drug companies to voluntarily stop selling antibiotics for non-therapeutic use on farm animals. Almost all of them have since agreed in writing to follow the FDA’s guidance, but are those promises worth the paper they’re written on? [More]

Anti-Anxiety Pill Contains Metal Shard, Makes Patient Anxious

Anti-Anxiety Pill Contains Metal Shard, Makes Patient Anxious

People routinely cut or snap pills in half to change their dose or save money by taking half of a larger dose. Generally, they don’t expect to find anything inside when they do so. One woman in Denver was dividing her medicine, a generic version of the antianxiety drug Buspar, and noticed a metal shard. Just what anyone needs: more things to be anxious about. [More]

Outraged Strangers Beg Drug Company To Save 7-Year-Old’s Life

Outraged Strangers Beg Drug Company To Save 7-Year-Old’s Life

Most people would be appalled to hear that a pharmaceutical company is withholding a potentially life-saving drug from a dying 7-year-old child. The drug isn’t on the market yet, but could be administered under a “compassionate use” exception from the Food and Drug Administration. The situation is a lot more complex than “big mean company keeps drug away from little kid.” Update: Chimerix and the FDA found a way to let Josh Hardy access the drug. [More]

Report: FDA Lets Farmers Use Antibiotics That Pose “High Risk” To Humans

Report: FDA Lets Farmers Use Antibiotics That Pose “High Risk” To Humans

Before it recently issued a “pretty please” to drug companies, asking them to voluntarily stop making billions of dollars off of unnecessary antibiotics sales to farmers, the Food and Drug Administration spent decades appearing to avoiding the topic. But a new report claims that the FDA actually spent 10 years internally reviewing the safety of dozens of antibiotics used in animal feed, drugs that the FDA’s own scientists said pose a high risk to human beings. [More]

FDA Warns Doctors, Pharmacists Against Prescribing High Doses Of Acetaminophen

FDA Warns Doctors, Pharmacists Against Prescribing High Doses Of Acetaminophen

Even though many people pop Tylenols or slug NyQuil without thinking about the consequences, too much acetaminophen can wreak havoc on one’s liver. Today, the Food and Drug Administration has asked health care professionals to please stop prescribing and dispensing dosages of medicine that contain more than 325 mg of acetaminophen, saying the risk to a patient’s liver is higher than any additional benefit of the drug. [More]

(frankieleon)

Valve on Kids’ Medicine Bottles Could Prevent Overdose Deaths, But Costs Money To Install So Never Mind

Acetaminophen, best known under the brand name Tylenol, is an incredibly common medication for children.  While it’s safe at the recommended dose, it can be fatally harmful when taken in excess and the overdose threshold is surprisingly low. [More]

(Jason Gooljar)

GSK Theoretically Not Going To Pay Off Docs Anymore

Giant drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline announced today that it intends to stop paying doctors to prescribe more of the company’s drugs, a move that could possibly entice other large pharma companies to do the same. [More]

FDA Looking To Close Loophole That Slowed Safety Warnings On Generics

FDA Looking To Close Loophole That Slowed Safety Warnings On Generics

Imagine for a moment the tale of two friends, Jim and Joe. Jim takes Gleemonex, which makes it feel like it’s 72 degrees in your head all the time. Joe takes a generic form of the drug, which we’ll call walmonex. If the folks who make Gleemonex realize there’s a problem with the drug, they can immediately slap a warning on the product before getting FDA approval, but if the makers of the walmonex discover that same problem, they currently have to wait for the FDA and the brand-name drug makers to review the issue. This loophole is, quite obviously, a bad thing for consumers. So it’s good news that the FDA is now looking to close it. [More]

Johnson & Johnson To Pay $2.2 Billion To Settle Deceptive Marketing Claims

Johnson & Johnson To Pay $2.2 Billion To Settle Deceptive Marketing Claims

For nearly a decade, various state and federal agencies have been looking into Johnson & Johnson’s marketing of the drugs Risperdal, Invega, Natrecor, and others, claiming the company was putting consumers at risk by paying kickbacks to doctors and pharmacists to suggest these drugs to patients and for pushing unapproved uses for these medications. Today, the Justice Dept. announced that J&J will pay out more than $2.2 billion to settle these claims. [More]

(blue_j)

FDA Suggests Tightening Access To Painkillers Like Vicodin

Yesterday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended that the rules regarding drugs with hydrocodone, which is often in painkillers like vicodin, be a lot tighter. It suggests that the drug be reclassified along the level of other opioid painkillers like oxycodone and morphine. [More]

"Tiger face" is not currently listed on the known side-effects of Perjeta.

FDA Approves First Pre-Surgical Breast Cancer Drug

While many of the hundreds of thousands of people who are diagnosed each year with breast cancer go through radiation or chemotherapy before surgery, until now drugs aimed at treating breast cancer were not FDA-approved for use in the pre-surgery stage. [More]

(Mike Rollerson)

Great, Now There’s An Actual Zombie Drug Eating Its Way Through Human Flesh

Now that that whole bath salts craze has died down, we’d expect the zombification of our population to sputter out as well. But kids these days, well they keep finding new ways to freak everyone out. Namely a new designer drug that’s eating its way through human flesh and turning people into stumbling, incoherent zombies. Sigh. [More]

Children Died Because Johnson & Johnson Insisted On Selling Two Types Of Kids’ Tylenol

Children Died Because Johnson & Johnson Insisted On Selling Two Types Of Kids’ Tylenol

At the intersection of bad marketing, inept regulation, and unwitting consumers, you’ll find the graves of young children, just some of the infants who, according to a new report from ProPublica, have become ill over the decades because Johnson & Johnson and other makers of acetaminophen-based painkillers insisted on selling two youth-targeted varieties of the drug while the FDA did what it does best — nothing. [More]

CDC: 2 Million Americans Get Sick From Antibiotic-Resistant Infections Every Year

CDC: 2 Million Americans Get Sick From Antibiotic-Resistant Infections Every Year

While livestock farmers around the country continue to feed medically unnecessary antibiotics to their animals for the sole purpose of encouraging growth, millions of Americans are falling ill — and thousands dying — every year from bacterial and fungal infections that are resistant to current medication, claims a new report from the Centers for Disease Control. [More]

(funky_abstract)

It’s A Good Idea To Find Out Whether Or Not A Drug Is Illegal Before Flying With 85 Pounds Of It

Just because your entire family likes chewing on a bit of leaf overseas doesn’t mean it’s going to be an A-OK substance to fly with. A Minnesota man might’ve wanted to do a bit of Googling before deciding to pack up 85 pounds of a drug called Khat and fly with it. Officials at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport stopped him and he was all, “Shrug! I saw people doing it this one time so…” [More]

(TMQ.st.louis)

Do Prescription Drug Coupons Lead To Higher Insurance Rates For Everyone?

If you’ve been to a website for a brand-name prescription drug in the past few years, you’re probably familiar with coupons offering huge discounts or copayment assistance to patients. For the drug maker, it’s a way to hopefully steer customers away from lower-cost alternatives, and it may seem like a good deal to the consumer. But a new report says that in the long run, these coupons could ding the bank accounts of both those who use the coupons and the rest of us who are just trying to keep up with our insurance premiums. [More]

Diethylstilbestrol is not something you want in your lunch.

Do Food Regulators Care If Foreign Farmers Use Veterinary Drugs Banned In The U.S.?

Later this week, the United Nations food standards agency will be meeting in Minneapolis to discuss, among other things, standards for ten veterinary drugs that are banned for use in the U.S. but not globally. Fearing that continued use of these drugs by farmers in other countries could result in these banned chemicals still reaching the American market, a group of consumer advocates have called on federal regulators to not only take a tougher stance, but to stop encouraging the use of these drugs elsewhere. [More]

Maybe The Most Depressing Amazon Listing Ever (Unless You’re In The Market For A Crack Pipe)

Maybe The Most Depressing Amazon Listing Ever (Unless You’re In The Market For A Crack Pipe)

People employ all manner of odd devices in the smoking of illegal drugs like crack and crystal meth, but there’s something particularly heartbreaking about realizing that people are using these novelty “love roses” as an affordable way to ruin their lives. [More]