Steven Depolo

Pharma Biggie Hit With $125M Penalty For Illegal Kickbacks To Doctors, Falsified Insurance Forms

A subsidiary of multibillion-dollar international pharmaceuticals company Allergan has agreed to plead guilty to a felony charge of healthcare fraud and pay $125 million to close the books on criminal and civil liability claims tied to the subsidiary’s illegal marketing activities for seven different name-brand prescription drugs. [More]

Just a few of the Floyd products that failed to mention they included a prescription weight-loss med that was pulled from the market in 2010, or an ingredient in laxatives that hasn't been used since the FDA declared it unsafe in 1999.

Supplement Company Owner Gets 30 Months In Prison For Selling Diet Pills Containing Unsafe Ingredients

One slogan used by the folks at now-defunct Floyd Nutrition on weight-loss “supplements” like ZXT Bee Pollen and ZXT Gold Infinity was “Offering the gift of health,” but a more accurate statement might have been “Offering the secret gift of drugs that were pulled from the market years ago for potential health risks,” or rather, “Offering products that will land this company’s founder in federal prison for two-and-a-half years.” [More]

(U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Traveler Accused Of Smuggling 11 Pounds Of Liquid Cocaine In Olive Oil, Vinegar Bottles

Perhaps you have a secret ingredient for adding a little kick to your salad dressing, but if it’s cocaine, law enforcement officials aren’t going to let you keep it: U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport say a passenger arrived with 11 pounds of liquid cocaine packed inside oil and vinegar bottles in his luggage. [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]

Doctors Not Happy After Drug Goes From $13.50/Tablet To $750 Overnight

Doctors Not Happy After Drug Goes From $13.50/Tablet To $750 Overnight

Gripe as we might, consumers understand that price increases do happen. What’s not as easily understood is how the price for something can go from $13.50 one day to $750 the next — especially when it’s a generic drug used to save lives. [More]

Kim Kardashian issued a corrected endorsement for morning sickness pill after the FDA took issue with a first post's lack of acknowledgement of associated safety risks.

After FDA Warning, Kim Kardashian Posts Corrected Endorsement Of Morning Sickness Pill

Weeks after federal regulators took issue with drug company Duchesnay for allowing mom-to-be Kim Kardashian to tout the benefits of its morning sickness pill on social media without properly disclosing the drug’s associated risk and limitations, the reality star posted updated endorsements, complete with acknowledgement of the pill’s side effects. [More]

(Renee Rendler-Kaplan)

Customs Officials In Miami Keep Finding Cocaine, Heroin Hidden In Flower Shipments

Stopping to smell the roses takes on a whole new meaning down in Miami, where federal officials say they’ve found several shipments of flowers going through the airport with cocaine and heroin hidden in them. [More]

FDA To Hold Public Meeting, Seek Comments On Antibiotic Overuse In Farm Animals

FDA To Hold Public Meeting, Seek Comments On Antibiotic Overuse In Farm Animals

For decades, livestock farmers inadvertently encouraged the development of drug-resistant bacteria by providing a continuous stream of medically unnecessary antibiotics to their cows, pigs, and chickens — primarily to end up with bigger animals — while the Food and Drug Administration kept the issue on the back-burner. Meanwhile, antibiotic-resistant pathogens sicken more than two million people in the U.S. each year, resulting in at least 23,000 deaths. Now that everyone from consumers to lawmakers to public health advocates to McDonald’s and even Walmart are starting to care about the topic, the FDA is starting to listen. [More]

(Curtis Perry)

FDA Approves Addyi, Which Is Absolutely Not Viagra For Women

Late yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug flibanserin, which will hit the market under the brand name Addyi. You’ll see a lot of headlines and smirking news anchors using the phrase “Viagra for women” when talking about the drug, but that’s only correct in one sense. This drug wouldn’t be for sale to patients at all if it weren’t for the success of Viagra as a drug marketed directly to consumers. [More]

Until May 2015, Par's generic form of Kapvay (clonidine hydrochloride) was the only generic version available in the U.S., even though Concordia also had the rights to market a competing generic.

Drug Companies Agreed To Not Compete, Resulting In High Price For Generic Medication

Imagine that Bob and Mary are the only two kids in town allowed to sell lemonade. They could try to compete against each other, potentially resulting in lower prices, improved juice, or better service… or Mary could say to Bob, “How’s about you pay me some money so I don’t exercise my option to sell lemonade?” That means the price for lemonade is whatever Bob says it is, and he’s encouraged to keep it high because he’s paying some of that money out to Mary. Now imagine this isn’t about lemonade, but about prescription drugs. [More]

Court Shuts Down Iowa Supplement Company Distribution Over Misbranding, Unfounded Safety Promises

Court Shuts Down Iowa Supplement Company Distribution Over Misbranding, Unfounded Safety Promises

There are about 200 fewer adulterated dietary supplements on the market today after a district court ordered an Iowa company and its owners to stop production of products over allegations the company sold potentially unsafe dietary supplements and falsely advertised them as treatments for diseases ranging from colds to cancer. [More]

(Adam Gerard)

Prescription Price Sticker Shock Is Now A Common Consumer Ailment

Maybe this has happened to you: you’re at the pharmacy, picking up a refill of a prescription that you or a family member have been taking for a long time. It’s a routine errand until you get sticker shock: the copay has suddenly shot up. You didn’t change insurance, it’s still the same year, and the drug is the same: how can a price change so dramatically so quickly? [More]

Colorado’s Pot Edibles Might Come Stamped With A Red THC Stop Sign

Colorado’s Pot Edibles Might Come Stamped With A Red THC Stop Sign

Stop, in the name of not accidentally getting stoned and losing your mind a la Maureen Dowd: In order to keep Colorado residents from mistaking marijuana edibles for non-drug-laced food, the state might slap stickers with red stop signs with the letters THC on them to warn folks before they ingest. The stop signs would also be stamped on the food itself. [More]

FDA: Lack Of Info In Kim Kardashian’s Endorsement Of Morning Sickness Pill Puts Consumers At Risk

FDA: Lack Of Info In Kim Kardashian’s Endorsement Of Morning Sickness Pill Puts Consumers At Risk

While celebrities get special treatment most places they go, there is no VIP pass that allows them to endorse a prescription drug without disclosing its associated risks and limitations. So when mom-to-be Kim Kardashian used social media to sing the praises of a morning sickness pill, it raised a red flag for federal regulators. [More]

CVS Must Pay $450K To Settle Claims That Pharmacies Filled Bogus Prescriptions

CVS Must Pay $450K To Settle Claims That Pharmacies Filled Bogus Prescriptions

CVS Health agreed to pay $450,000 to settle a years-long investigation by Rhode Island and the Drug Enforcement Administration that several of its locations filled forged and invalid painkiller prescriptions in violation of federal laws. [More]

Iowa Taco Bell Closed For Decontamination Due To Meth Components In Utility Room

Iowa Taco Bell Closed For Decontamination Due To Meth Components In Utility Room

At least one Taco Bell employee may have been planning to cook more than Quesaritos inside the building, according to local police in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Police say that two men were responsible for the “active meth-making ingredients” found in a utility room at the restaurant, but don’t know for sure whether the men actually cooked any methamphetamine in their makeshift lab. [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]