A year after public health advocates called out drug maker Novartis for continuing to actively market a particular antibiotic as a product farmers could use to fatten up their pigs, the FDA has finally gotten around to issuing a warning. [More]
In recent years, many of the country’s biggest contact lens manufacturers moved to set minimum sale prices for their products, meaning any retailer wishing to discount these lenses couldn’t go below that price floor. The practice — which would have been illegal until a 2007 Supreme Court ruling — has come under scrutiny from federal lawmakers, and Utah state legislators passed a bill earlier this year that would outlaw this form of price-fixing in the state. However, a federal appeals court has temporarily sided with the lens makers and blocked that law from being enforced. [More]
Imagine you’re one of only a handful of businesses in the U.S. making a very profitable and lucrative product. Then come new rules that should have the effect of slashing your business drastically and probably weeding out what little competition there is in the market. You’d fight back, especially if you’re part of an industry that is known for tossing money around to get what you want. So why is the drug industry not up in arms about the FDA policy aimed at curbing the use of antibiotics in farm animals? Because it’s not doing anything. [More]
While the beef, pork and drug industry likes to claim there isn’t enough science to merit a ban on the medically unnecessary use of antibiotics in farm animal feed, the nation’s largest group of physicians doesn’t quite see it that way. [More]
Last week, we told you how pharma biggie Novartis was still openly marketing at least one of its antibiotics as a growth-promoter for livestock, even though the FDA had politely asked drug companies to pretty please stop selling antibiotics for non-medical uses. Given the voluntary nature of this guidance, not to mention its numerous loopholes, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that both the FDA and Novartis shrugged off critics’ concerns. [More]
Last December, after decades of ignoring the issue of the non-medical use antibiotics in farm animals, the FDA finally released industry-friendly guidance on the topic, politely asking drug companies to stop selling their antibiotics to farmers for anything other than disease treatment and prevention. And yet the folks at Swiss drug giant Novartis continue to push one of their antibiotics as a way for pig farmers to make bigger pigs. [More]
Imatinib, a cancer drug sold under the name Gleevec by Novartis, is a life-saving and life-prolonging medication. The question for many patients, however, is: how much are they willing to pay to prolong their lives, and how much profit a company can make from one medication before it becomes immoral. [More]
Poor Novartis: things just keep going wrong at their plants. Last year, they had multiple recalls, including many of their over-the-counter drugs and a line of birth control pills. Now, the company has recalled liquid Triaminic and TheraFlu products because the products’ caps aren’t childproof. The Consumer Products Safety Commission has heard about twelve kids who have opened the bottle themselves, four of whom had a taste. One needed medical attention. [More]
Cheryl takes iron supplements. She has iron deficiency anemia, and the vast majority of iron supplements on the market make her ill. She’s come to rely on Slow-Fe, made by Novartis, to keep her iron levels up and her digestive system functioning. Then Slow-Fe disappeared. Her regular pharmacist can’t find any to order, and the only sources online are re-sellers with expired products. Remembering our past coverage of catastrophic OB tampon, Eggo waffle, and Morningstar veggie dog shortages, Cheryl wrote to us, asking for help. Could we help her figure out where her precious iron had gone?
Six months ago, production problems at a Novartis plant manufacturing over-the-counter, generic, and veterinary drugs prompted FDA action and a recall of common over-the-counter drugs such as Excedrin, No-Doz, and Gas-X. While generic versions of all of these drugs are commonly available, some Excedrin users don’t find them effective and have been clamoring for the original. Novartis isn’t producing any new Excedrin, and prices on eBay are now nearing $1 per tablet.
The makers of Excedrin, NoDoz, Bufferin and Gas-X Prevention have issued a voluntary recall of select bottle packaging configurations of those products, because they might include stray tablets from other products or broken or chipped tablets.
We stray into politics often at our peril but I had to share this clip of Sen. Franken kneecapping a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute conservative think tank. In what was supposed to be a hearing on the Medical Bankruptcy Fairness Act, Diana Furchtgott-Roth instead used her testimony to pillory against health care reform proposals not even being discussed. After Sen. Whitehouse asks her if she even read the bill at hand, Sen. Franken goes: “You said the way we’re going will increase bankruptcies…How many bankruptcies because of medical crises were there last year in Switzerland?”