Martin Shkreli Pleads The Fifth To Everything, Even When Asked About Wu-Tang Clan

Martin Shkreli Pleads The Fifth To Everything, Even When Asked About Wu-Tang Clan

Like a small child who refuses to eat his dinner but remains steadfast at his seat until his parents finally relent and let him go to his room, controversial pharmaceuticals investor Martin Shkreli — best known for jacking up the price of an important HIV treatment by 5,400% in a single day — sat before a Congressional panel this morning and repeatedly cited his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, even when it involved his expensive taste in hip-hop. [More]

What Does It Take To Get On The FDA’s “Most Wanted” List?

What Does It Take To Get On The FDA’s “Most Wanted” List?

We all know that law enforcement agencies like the FBI and Interpol publish lists of fugitives wanted for things like murder, armed robbery, terrorism, and kidnappings. But did you know that the Food and Drug Administration also maintains a list of “Most Wanted” fugitives? [More]

American Medical Association Calls To Ban Ads For Prescription Drugs, Medical Devices

American Medical Association Calls To Ban Ads For Prescription Drugs, Medical Devices

In the future when you tune in to watch the big game or your favorite primetime show there might be something missing during the commercial break: ads for prescription drugs and medical devices. The American Medical Association proposed a ban on such advertisements Tuesday, claiming the marketing may be driving consumer demand for unnecessary and expensive treatments.  [More]

Senate Investigating Drug Companies Behind Huge Overnight Price Hikes

Senate Investigating Drug Companies Behind Huge Overnight Price Hikes

A handful of pharmaceutical investors have been snapping up the rights to previously affordable prescription drugs, only to immediately raise prices to the point where patients now pay hundreds of dollars for a single pill — resulting in huge additional costs for consumers, insurers, and healthcare providers. Not only has this practice drawn the ire of the medical community, it’s also resulted in a Senate committee investigation. [More]

The makers of Doryx are currently being sued by a company that claims last-minute tweaks to the acne medication have delayed the availability of a generic equivalent.

How Drug Companies Use “Product Hopping” To Fight Off Affordable Generic Drugs

You’re probably used to the idea of your doctor prescribing you a brand-name drug and your pharmacist automatically substituting a lower-cost generic equivalent that saves you, the drugstore, and your insurer money. But there’s practice known in the industry as “product hopping” that brand-name drug makers can use to repeatedly delay generic versions from reaching consumers. [More]

(Felix E. Guerrero)

CVS/Caremark Dropping Viagra From Drug Formulary

Patients who use the erectile dysfunction pill Viagra and whose health insurance drug coverage is through CVS/Caremark will have to pay cash or switch to Cialis: the pharmacy benefits administrator has removed the drug from its formulary, which is a fancy word for “list of drugs that we’ll pay for.” [More]

FDA Warns About Mixups Between Drugs With Similar Names

FDA Warns About Mixups Between Drugs With Similar Names

Here’s a scary thought: dangerous medication mixups could begin at your doctor’s office. The FDA put out a warning today that they’ve received reports of mixups between similarly-named drugs that do very different things. The FDA urges patients and caregivers to know what the drug they’re supposed to be taking looks like, and alert medical providers if the drug that they receive looks different. [More]

(D O'Quinn)

FDA Approves First “Biosimilar” Drug. Could Drive Down Cost Of Most Expensive Medications

Biotech drugs — which are generally derived from a living organism, as opposed to traditional purely chemical medications — are currently among the most expensive medicines available. But today, the Food and Drug Administration issued its first approval of a drug that is “biosimilar” to an existing biotech medication; a development that could possibly result in billions of dollars in savings. [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]

FDA May Trim Some Of Those Lengthy Warnings In Prescription Drug Ads

FDA May Trim Some Of Those Lengthy Warnings In Prescription Drug Ads

We’re all familiar with prescription drug commercials that are basically 5 seconds about how there’s some awesome drug for your “moderate-to-severe” fill-in-the-blank condition, followed by 25 seconds of happy families playing in parks accompanied by the sound of speed-red disclosures about a vast array of warnings and possible side effects. The FDA is now looking for you opinion about whether it should look into trimming down all that fine print. [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]

(CBS Denver)

Colorado Dad Goes Out For Ice Cream, Thwarts Robbery

Staying with her dad for the weekend, a Colorado girl wondered why it took so long for her dad to run to Safeway for some ice cream. When he got back, she asked him what the delay was all about. “I had to break up a robbery,” he said. Yeah, right. But unlike when your dad kids about being a superhero, it was true! [More]

(Charles Williams)

Drugs Approved Due To Fraudulent Research Still On Market, FDA Shrugs

The lower prices that come from competition when drug patents expire and generic versions hit the market is great for consumers, but do you know what’s terrible for consumers? Drugs that don’t work. Yet there may be drugs on your shelf at home right now that haven’t been proven safe, effective, and––in the case of generics–– equivalent to the original brand-name drug. The alleged poor practices by six chemists at one research company in Texas affected more than one hundred drugs on the market in the United States and Europe. [More]

(zipsonic)

CVS Under Investigation For Automatic Prescription Refill Allegations

After leaked e-mails seemed to indicate that at least some people at CVS have been pressuring pharmacists to refill customers’ prescriptions — without the patient’s consent — in order to meet sales quotas, federal and state regulators have begun investigating the drugstore chain. [More]

More Uninsured Americans Not Filling Prescriptions, Delaying Doctor's Visits, Skipping Medical Procedures

More Uninsured Americans Not Filling Prescriptions, Delaying Doctor's Visits, Skipping Medical Procedures

While the U.S. economy is arguably inching toward improvement, costs for health insurance continue to climb. Combined with still-high unemployment and a growing number of employers requiring employees to pay a larger share of their insurance premiums, and there are a lot of uninsured and under-insured Americans out there. And according to the Consumer Reports annual prescription drug poll, a growing number of these people are going without needed care or medication. [More]

GlaxoSmithKline Pleads Guilty & Will Pay U.S. $3 Billion To Resolve Fraud Allegations

GlaxoSmithKline Pleads Guilty & Will Pay U.S. $3 Billion To Resolve Fraud Allegations

In the largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history, prescription drug giant GlaxoSmithKline is set to plead guilty and pay $3 billion to the U.S. government. The settlement will resolve federal criminal and civil inquiries about things ranging from the company’s illegal promotion of some of its products to its failure to report safety data and alleged false price reporting. [More]

Many Insurers Changing Prescription Categories So Customers Pay More For Already Expensive Meds

Many Insurers Changing Prescription Categories So Customers Pay More For Already Expensive Meds

Patients across the country who rely on drugs that are already expensive to treat complicated conditions like cancer and rheumatoid arthritis are in for an unwelcome uptick in costs for those meds, as many insurers are changing things up in order to charge customers more. [More]

We May Be Entering The Oxycontin Baby Era

We May Be Entering The Oxycontin Baby Era

Pregnant mothers who are addicted to prescription drugs, particularly pain medications, can pass those addictions on to their babies. Health officials are afraid that drug-abusing moms could spawn a widespread class of crack baby-like “oxycontin babies.” [More]