Even though injectable vials of insulin have been around for nearly a century, and synthetic insulin for almost 40 years, there is no generic form of the vital diabetes medication. In recent years, the price of insulin has risen sharply, leaving healthcare providers with concerns about patients who can’t afford insulin skipping doses and risking lost limbs and eyesight. Pharma giant Eli Lilly — maker of popular insulin brands Humalog, Humulin, and Basaglar — is now proposing a solution that it believes could make the medication more affordable — but only for some people. [More]
Pharma giant Pfizer has agreed to pay $486 million to close the books on a decade-long class-action securities lawsuit related to two of the company’s pain relievers, Celebrex and Bextra. [More]
How long should a drug company be allowed to be the exclusive manufacturer and seller of their product? Crestor, a best-selling statin (cholesterol-lowering drug) that has enjoyed exclusivity for the last 12 years, is due to lose that protection today. AstraZeneca, the maker of Crestor, is fighting that decision, hoping to squeeze a little more time as the drug’s exclusive manufacturer before generics hit the market. [More]
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.
There’s less off the attention-deficit disorder drug Adderall available to the public than there used to be: some even call it a shortage. The company blames the FDA, which has limited the total amount of the drug manufactured: it is, after all, an amphetamine and a controlled substance. Manufacturer Shire has responded to these limits by… hiking the price and making fewer discounts available to consumers.
The fifth recall of a Tylenol product this year is “Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom Nighttime Rapid Release Gelcaps.” McNeil, a division of Johnson & Johnson, a family company, said the caps had “slightly higher than expected” levels of chlorpheniramine ammonio acetate (CPAA). The recall encompasses roughly 2.5 million packages.
The nation is facing a shortage of critical pharmaceuticals. Enter the price gouger. He stockpiles hard to find medications, then turns around and offers to help hospitals solve their prescription drug shortage problems, at 4,533% markup.
A pill is just so much easier. Drug ’em up and shut ’em up. Rather than deal with all the individual needs of elderly persons with dementia in their care, some nursing homes are dosing them with powerful antipsychotics. Not only have the folk not received a diagnosis that the medicine was designed to treat, not only does the drug turn them into zombies their families don’t recognize, but the FDA has warned that using antipsychotics on older patients with dementia nearly doubles their risk of death.
As we all learned from watching Love and Other Drugs, there’s plenty of good reasons to keep drug sales reps out of doctor’s offices. They use persuasion and charisma, and sometimes less savory methods, to get doctors to prescribe the drugs they’re pushing, privileging profits over patients. But rather than just be worried about what they’re putting on the doctor’s shelves, doctors should be also worried about what the salespeople might be taking off. That’s the case with a man who was arrested in Northport, New York, for posing as a drug sales rep and then stealing meds from the sample cabinet.
An investigative report found that New Orleans juvenile detention centers are giving the kids potent antipsychotics four times as often as the conditions for which they were designed to treat, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, actually show up in the inmate population. People inside the system say the jails are dosing the kids because it’s easier to deal with them when they’re “little zombies.”
Had David’s wife not probed closely, she could have ended up paying $228 for generic Fosamax that could have been easily gotten for $24. He’s sharing the story as a cautionary tale so that other people who are getting their maintenance prescriptions covered by their employer’s insurance don’t end up overpaying for generics.
She was hit with incredible pain and muscle spasms in her chest so bad that Arizona woman thought she was going to die. The strike was so severe she would turn red and purple. Sometimes she would have a hundred of these attacks each day, each time thinking that this would be the one that would kill her. Now Walgreens tells ABC15 that they’re “sorry” for refilling her prescription with 50mcg pills. She was only supposed to get 5mcg ones.
A jury has awarded the family of a child $10 million after she developed skin burns on 85% of her body after taking Children’s Motrin.
Considering how insistent and persistent the emails are, you would think there was big bucks in pushing pills that increase the flow of blood to one’s penis for an extended period of time. That may be true, but only because the costs of spam advertising are so low, as revealed by this nugget in a New York Times article that reveals it takes 12.5 million spam emails just to sell $100 worth of Viagra.
Charlie Sheen is a prolific, and apparently, very informed consumer of substances. In a recent Inside Edition interview, his former girlfriend Ginger Lynn brought out a copy of publishing pal Consumer Reports book The Complete Drug Reference that he inscribed and gave to her when they were dating back in the early 90’s. It reads, “To Ging, From one Druggie To Another. Love, C.” The book is going for $1,000 but that’s silly, you can get all the prescription drug information you need at Consumer Reports Health, and you don’t even need to be an extra-dimensional warlock to use it.
There are tons of diet pill pages on the internet prosthelytizing the wonders of the miracle diet drug HCG, or “human chorionic gonadotropin.” You have the usual “before” and “after” pictures where you get to play that fun game of trying to figure out if they’re actually two different people, and the promises of losing 30 pounds in 4 weeks. Only problem is that HCG doesn’t work for weight loss, and an FDA exec says they may even be illegal and fraudulent. Quelle surprise!
Instead of issuing a recall, after Johnson and Johnson discovered its Motrin caplets were defective, they hired a contractor to go around the country buy up all the drugs. It was a “secret recall” that left the bad medicine on shelves for months for consumers to buy. Now the Oregon AG is suing J&J. The story broke when one of the guys hired to do the buying faxed regulators the instructions J&J gave him.
Twelve doctors at Stanford University Medical School are under investigation by the school’s disciplinary board after their names cropped up in a database of docs getting paid big bucks by pharmaceutical companies for speaking gigs, a violation of school policy.