Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: there’s a drug out there that does a very specific thing, and has no generic alternative. For years, it sold for a predictable three-figure price point. Then one day, if gets acquired by a new company and in just a few months, the price increases by more than 4000%. It is, unfortunately, such a common tale of late that we all know the general outline by heart. And now it seems to be happening again.
Most of us have used Google to find out more about existing medications, but the tech giant also has a life sciences division, which has now entered into a $715 million partnership with big pharma biggie GlaxoSmithKline to form a new company focused on fighting disease through technological innovations. [More]
Once the Food and Drug Administration approved Addyi, a failed antidepressant repackaged as a libido pill for women, drug-maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals bought the company selling Addyi for $1 billion. If they were expecting to cash in on a blockbuster drug, early sales aren’t very promising: in the first month, only 227 prescriptions for the drug have been written. [More]
Citing what they call repeated “disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine,” a group of physicians has written a letter to Columbia University asking it to remove TV’s Dr. Mehmet Oz from his faculty position there.
While some parents pull out actual measuring spoons when pouring out a teaspoon or tablespoon of their kids’ medications, many just resort to employing the same utensils they use for family meals. But while you might use a spoon for tea, that doesn’t mean it holds only a teaspoon of liquid, and a larger spoon may or may not actually hold a tablespoon. In an effort to cut down on thousands of annual overdose cases, the American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for medications to be measured in milliliters. [More]
Cold and flu season is here, which means that you might be stumbling into the “cold and allergy” aisle of the nearest store, trying to sort out which remedy is the best choice between sneezes. What does “non-drowsy” mean on a medicine bottle? Terms like “AM,” “PM,” and “maximum strength” aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which can lead to bleary-eyed confusion when you’re sick. [More]
Many of us have probably popped a pill or two that we knew had passed its expiration date. But when you get medical care from professionals, there is usually the expectation that you’re getting the freshest stuff available. But a conspiracy of conditions has led to some emergency responders stocking their ambulances with out-of-date drugs.
A typo on the Vicks website makes it look as if Vicks is saying it’s been around for 1,000+ years. Yes, indeed, perhaps what really ended the Dark Ages was the discovery of Vaporub. With it, William the Conqueror’s congestion and coughing from hanging out in musty castles could be relieved and he could get on with the business of invading England and establishing a more unified and stable feudal system of governance.
Researchers have found the daily dose of an insulin nasal spray may hinder the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in patients. A four-month study in Seattle found that the treatment improved memory and protected cognition and functional abilities of patients.
When you picture costly, long-term ailments that kids suffer, cancer, intellectual disabilities and asthma spring to mind. But far more U.S. healthcare dollars are spent on lead poisoning than any of those maladies, according to a study by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine published in Health Affairs.
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.
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.
The FTC wants to see some proof that the pomegranate ingredients in POM Wonderful’s products can actually treat heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction, which is what the company says in marketing and packaging materials.
Here’s yet another reason to go for generic drugs when you can: drug makers keep raising prices on brand name products. If you group generics and brand names together, drug prices rose by 3.4% in 2009, according to an industry report. However, if you look at just brand name drugs as the AARP did in a new report, the average price hike was 8.3%. An earlier AARP report from May points out that if you look at specialty drugs “widely used by people in Medicare” then the hike jumps to 9.2%.
New research is looking to answer this question by studying what happens when patients have access to their doctor’s notes.
Where can nurses go after they’ve been sanctioned elsewhere for misconduct? To California, it seems. The state’s Board of Registered Nursing launched a review, spurred on by a Los Angeles Times/Pro-Publica investigation last year, and discovered 3,500 nurses who have licenses in California even though they’ve lost their licenses in other states; 1,700 of these nurses currently have active licenses. In more than half of all cases, the sanctions were for serious violations such as “sexual abuse, neglect, rampant drug use and criminality.”
Should Tylenol have been recalled sooner? FDA inspection reports going back to 2003 paint a queasy picture.