Vermont Gets Tough On Doctor/Pharma Relationships The new law “bans drug companies-and manufacturers of medical devices and biological products, such as vaccines-from paying for gifts, including meals and travel, to physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacists, and health plan administrators. Any allowable payments drug companies make to doctors, such as those for legitimate educational purposes, will be posted in a database on a public website maintained by the Vermont Attorney General.” [Consumer Reports Health]
We’ve heard about quite a few recent class-action settlements that you just might be eligible for, as well as cute little baby suits still looking for claimants. Products included: energy drinks, name-brand prescription drugs, and zombie microwaves.
We knew Ambien could cause sleep driving and sleep eating, but this man blames it for causing him to hook up with a woman he barely knows. Now he says the woman has called his home and refers to him as her f*** buddy, and yet he can’t even remember the act. Oh also, he’s married.
Who knew botulism could be so awesome? Botox is Allergan’s cash cow, earning the pharmaceutical company $1.3 billion last year alone. The funny thing about the toxin—originally developed as a biological weapon—is it works for a lot of “off-label” uses as well (like treating anal fissures and preventing hair loss), and Allergan says that non-cosmetic applications could be an even bigger market because health insurers will help pay for the treatments. Likely upcoming FDA-approved treatments: stroke-induced muscle spasms, chronic migraines, and enlarged prostates.
The FDA has suspended all new drug applications from one of Ranbaxy’s plants in India—the Paonta Sahib plant—after “determining the facility was falsifying scientific data.” You may recall that last September the FDA banned the import of 30 popular generic meds made by Ranbaxy due in part to quality control issues from this very same plant. What do they think they are, a peanut butter factory?
Beginning tomorrow morning, drug companies will stop peppering doctors’ offices with branded pens, bandages, tongue depressors, stethoscopes, calipers, mugs, prescription pads, soap dispensers, and t-shirts.
Starting January 1, drug companies will implement a voluntary moratorium on branded goodies from drug companies.
If there’s one group of Americans who don’t carry their weight and need to pay more money to the healthcare industry, it’s those layabout senior citizens! That’s why their Medicare drug premiums are increasing by an average of 31% for the 10 most popular plans beginning in 2009. If you were with Humana, formerly the cheapest Medicare drug plan you could get (its premium was $9.51 in 2006), you can expect to pay $40.83 per month in 2009, an increase of 60% over this year’s rate. As you would expect, Humana is no longer the cheapest option—so it may be time to shop around for a new plan.
If you weren’t one of the 41 million Americans drinking water contaminated with sex hormones and pharmaceutical waste, welcome to the club! Testing prompted by the AP’s damning investigation has revealed that another five million people, including residents of Reno, Colorado Springs, and Chicago, now sip the potentially dangerous pharmaceutical soup.
Sometimes gentleness is required of your toddler. Sometimes ill-tempered old folks get too agitated and threaten you with canes. That’s why sometimes the best solution is a good old fashioned thorazine pill, or a barbiturate elixir. Weirdomatic has a collection of bizarre ads like these from the past. Our favorite, aside from the drug ads, is the one showing Olympian speed skater Jack Shea taking a break from his skating to enjoy the rejuvenating effects of a Camel cigarette. So that’s how Phelps did it.
Don’t freak out or anything, but the FDA is going to publish a list of medicines that could kill you. Or not. They’re not really sure. Still, there is going to be a list, and if it shows a medicine that you’re taking, then, um, yeah, sorry to hear that…
GlaxoSmithKline is buying a U.S. biotechnology company that is researching resveratrol, the chemical compound found in red wine that may retard the aging process. The CEO of the company says that “drugs that mimic resveratrol, by activating enzymes called sirtuins, could ‘treat in a safe, natural new way, many of the major killers of western society.’” We can’t wait to see the commercials that GSK puts out for this one.
Pre-Emption Doctrine Would Make FDA Responsible For All Drug Problems, Shield Big Pharma From Lawsuits
Johnson & Johnson is waiting to hear whether or not a judge in Ohio will allow any lawsuits over its Ortho birth control patch to move forward, and the New York Times says lawyers on both sides think there’s a good chance he may find in the company’s favor based on the doctrine of pre-emption. The argument goes that it’s the FDA’s responsibility to monitor the safety and labeling of drugs that go to market, and therefore if something goes wrong, it’s the agency’s fault and not the pharmaceutical company’s.
Tina claims that last December she had her prescription filled at a Dallas Walgreens store, and was surprised to see that the pills had changed.
The Prescription Access Litigation (PAL) coalition filed suit against 11 drug companies in 2002 for artificially inflating the average wholesale price, or AWP, of certain drugs, including ones used to treat serious illnesses such as cancer and HIV. This week, PAL announced that the companies have agreed to pay $125 million to settle—82.5% of the amount will be used to compensate third-party payor’s claims, and the remaining 17.5% will be used for consumer claims. Here’s a list of the drugs involved, and after the jump is a quick guide to see whether you’ll qualify for a claim, pending the judge’s approval of the settlement.
The U.S. Institute of Medicine called on Congress today to “establish a single national resource of health information.” The resource would collect all available data on every drug in the marketplace, and be available to consumers to educate themselves about any and all possible treatments in order to make better-informed decisions with their doctors.