In Wake Of Superbug Scare, Lawmakers Renew Push For New Antibiotics

In Wake Of Superbug Scare, Lawmakers Renew Push For New Antibiotics

Last week, military scientists confirmed the discovery of a patient in Pennsylvania infected with a bacteria that was not only resistant to many traditional antibiotics, but also contained a gene (MCR-1) making it resistant to colistin, an antibiotic of last resort used when all others are ineffective. In response, Senators are making a renewed push on bipartisan legislation intended to speed up the approval of new antibiotics. [More]

frankieleon

Drug Companies Subpoenaed Over Questionable Charity Connections

Whenever there is a report of a drug company jacking up the price of a prescription medication, the pharma industry is often quick to point out that there are non-profit charities ready and willing to help patients get these drugs at a more affordable rate. However, those charities may have very close ties to the drug maker that could not only help the company turn a profit, but avoid some tax obligations. In recent months, several large pharmaceutical companies have been subpoenaed as part of an ongoing federal investigation into these connections. [More]

CDC Director: Drug-Resistant Superbug Means “Medicine Cabinet Is Empty”

frankieleon

You know that scene in action movies where the hero has fired every bullet, thrown every piece of throwable furniture, set off every explosive, but still the bad guy lurches forward? At that point, there’s nothing left for the hero to do but run and pray. After the recent discovery in the U.S. of a bacteria that is resistant to a vital last-resort antibiotic, some scientists believe we’re inching dangerously close to that run-and-pray moment in the world of medicine. [More]

In Denial About America’s Opioid Painkiller Problem? This Map Might Change Your Mind

In Denial About America’s Opioid Painkiller Problem? This Map Might Change Your Mind

If you think the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is being alarmist by urging primary care physicians to stop prescribing so many opioid painkillers, or that the fact that 10% of doctors are writing more than 50% of the prescriptions for opioids is not a concrete indicator of a problem, then perhaps this map of overdose deaths in the U.S. will help to drive the point home. [More]

CannaKorp

Of Course There’s A Keurig-Like Machine For Marijuana

As with any new consumer industry, now that more people have access to marijuana, there are businesses who want to offer them tools and gadgets to go along with their legal medical or recreational pot. And because consumers love things in pods, there’s a weed vaporizer that’s being called the Keurig machine for marijuana in development right now. [More]

Michael G. Chan

Health Insurers Looking To Pay Less When Drugs Don’t Work As Advertised

If a drug maker says their new prescription medication will reduce cholesterol by a certain percentage, or that it will counter symptoms of some chronic illness, but it doesn’t quite live up to its marketing, should the insurance companies still pay the price they originally agreed to? A growing number of insurers are making deals that tie the price of a drug to its real-world performance. [More]

Report: Makers Of OxyContin Knew For Decades That Pain Pills Could Wear Off Early

Report: Makers Of OxyContin Knew For Decades That Pain Pills Could Wear Off Early

When OxyContin hit pharmacies 20 years ago, its primary selling point was that a single dose of the opioid pain medication lasted 12 hours, “providing smooth and sustained pain control all day and all night,” per the press release. But a new report claims Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, have long known that the drug doesn’t always live up to this promise, resulting in an increased likelihood for abuse and addiction. [More]

At Least 52 People Hospitalized, 13 Dead In California After Overdosing On Counterfeit Painkiller

At Least 52 People Hospitalized, 13 Dead In California After Overdosing On Counterfeit Painkiller

Norco is a brand name for a prescription opioid painkiller that combines acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Unscrupulous jerks are also selling fake Norco that contains the powerful opioid fentanyl, resulting in dozens of hospitalizations and and least 13 deaths from overdoses in California, and that’s only in the last few weeks. [More]

Analysis: Sudden Hearing Loss Could Be Rare Side Effect Of Viagra And Cialis

Analysis: Sudden Hearing Loss Could Be Rare Side Effect Of Viagra And Cialis

Suddenly losing your hearing with no warning is a terrifying prospect, and that’s been a known side effect of erectile dysfunction drugs Viagra and Levitra for almpst a decade, with the Food and Drug Administration publishing a warning about a possible link back in 2007. A new analysis by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices shows that while hearing loss is a very rare side effect, it is much more likely to happen when taking either of these medications. [More]

Feds Say Drug Company Illegally Blocked Lower-Cost Generics From Entering Market

Feds Say Drug Company Illegally Blocked Lower-Cost Generics From Entering Market

When a drug patent nears its end, drug companies sometimes do really stupid, potentially illegal things to delay or prevent their bottom line being dinged by a lower-cost generic version. One drug company is accused of not just paying off a generic drug maker to delay the release of its version of two medications, but further hurting consumers by agreeing to not compete with the generic. [More]

U.S. Customs and border protection

U.S. Customs Officials Find 755 Pounds Of Marijuana In Shipment Of Fresh Broccoli

Perhaps one might figure that one kind of green plant matter could easily pass as another kind, say, marijuana masquerading as a shipment of fresh broccoli. They’re the same color! But U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers weren’t born yesterday, and they can tell the difference between nutritious vegetables and weed. [More]

CharlesWilliams

New Warning Labels Coming To Opioid Painkillers

A week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called on physicians to stop prescribing opioid painkillers when less-problematic therapeutic treatments will do the trick, another federal agency is joining in the effort to alert consumers to the potential risks of using these frequently prescribed medications. [More]

JessicaKRoach

Authorities Searching For Flight Attendant Accused Of Leaving Bag Full Of Cocaine At LAX

Although airline personnel and airport employees may not have to take off their shoes or undergo the same security procedures as travelers, there are still checks in place to keep workers from carrying whatever they want onto planes — like, say, a bag full of cocaine.

[More]

Florida Man Barred From Selling Unapproved “Natural Herpes Medicine”

Florida Man Barred From Selling Unapproved “Natural Herpes Medicine”

Five years ago, the Food and Drug Administration first warned a Florida man to stop peddling a supposed cure for herpes until he proved it worked and was safe. He subsequently tweaked the marketing to make it less cure-like, but federal prosecutors say he still went too far in promising his supplement could treat the sexually transmitted disease. [More]

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]

Report: Marijuana Industry Worth $5.4 Billion In 2015, Will Keep On Growing

Report: Marijuana Industry Worth $5.4 Billion In 2015, Will Keep On Growing

What a difference a few years makes: although marijuana is illegal under federal law, the recreational and legal cannabis industry raked in billions of dollars last year, and it’s only expected to keep on growing (pun totally intended). [More]

(PepOmint)

If you’re having trouble falling or staying asleep, you may first turn to melatonin, a synthetic version of the hormone that regulates our sleep/wake cycles. It might seem like a mild and natural alternative to sleeping pills, but there are potential problems. The hormone can interact with other medications and have side effects like next-day grogginess, and since it’s regulated as a supplement, its potency may vary. You also may need a much lower dose than what’s in the bottle: as little as .1 mg works for some people. [Consumer Reports]

(poopoorama)

What You Need To Know Before You Take A Sleeping Pill

When you’re having a hard time getting a good night’s sleep, you might reach for the pill bottle for a simple, chemical solution. And you’re not alone — according to a new survey from our colleagues at Consumer Reports, more than one-third of adults who complained of sleep problems at least once per week said they had used an over-the-counter or prescription sleep drug in the previous year. [More]