(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]

Supreme Court: Data Mining Of Prescription Drug Records Is Free Speech

Supreme Court: Data Mining Of Prescription Drug Records Is Free Speech

In 2007, the state of Vermont passed a law forbidding the data mining of prescription drug records (i.e., which drugs are being prescribed and how frequently) for marketing purposes. But earlier today, the Supreme Court ruled that the Vermont law interferes with drug makers’ right to free speech. [More]

DEA Will Be Happy To Take Your Old Drugs Off Your Hands This Saturday

DEA Will Be Happy To Take Your Old Drugs Off Your Hands This Saturday

Last September’s first-ever National Take-Back Day, in which the DEA and other law enforcement agencies operate stations for people with old prescription drugs to dispose of them safely, was apparently enough of a success that the agency decided to not even wait a full year to try it again. That’s right, it’s time to bust out your National Take-Back Day decorations, along with your old Vicodin, Oxycontin and Cipro! [More]

Vicodin: The Most Popular Prescription Pill In America's Medicine Cabinet

Vicodin: The Most Popular Prescription Pill In America's Medicine Cabinet

With the White House and the FDA dreaming up ways to curb the pain-pill problem in the U.S., we got to wondering just what are the most popular (legal) drugs in the country? Thankfully, the folks at Time.com were thinking about the same thing, because they put together a handy/dandy list of the 10 most-prescribed meds, none of which is Viagra. [More]

Safeway Pharmacist Accidentally Gives Abortion-Inducing Drug
To Pregnant Woman

Safeway Pharmacist Accidentally Gives Abortion-Inducing Drug To Pregnant Woman

If you never thought to double check that bottle you pick up from the prescription counter, here’s a story that will probably stick in your head the next time you’re getting a ‘scrip filled. [More]

How To Avoid Scammy Online Pet Drug Merchants

How To Avoid Scammy Online Pet Drug Merchants

It’s tempting to skip an expensive visit to the vet’s office when you can just order the same drugs online. Sites offer the exact medications that the vet’s office sells–at much lower prices, without a prescription. It’s not such a good idea, though. Much like buying human drugs online from shady sources (no prescription needed) you may not get exactly what you ordered. The medications that show up on your doorstep could be ineffective, or may even harm your pet. [More]