In news that really isn’t at all surprising — despite repeated denials from medical professionals — a new report found that doctors’ prescription habits are often influenced by the payments they receive from pharmaceutical and device makers.
The Chinese poison train makes plenty of stops outside of the United States. When those stops are in developing countries, bad things can happen. Even worse things happen when dangerous products from China are intentionally mislabeled as being from another country. Say, India.
Back in April, reader B. e-mailed the Consumerist tipline about a change to his health insurance plan’s prescription drug schedule. It raised a drug that he’s taken for years, the generic version of Prozac, to a different schedule—more than tripling B.’s co-pay, from $8 to $25.
A U.S. federal appeals court today invalidated the patent on Altace, a widely prescribed drug to treat high blood pressure. This clears the way for low-cost generic versions of the drug to hit the market immediately. King Pharmaceuticals, the company that makes Altace, is asking for a rehearing, but in the meantime it may lose its window of opportunity to “upgrade” Altace patients to a reformulated (and newly patented) version it was it planning on introducing in 2008. [Reuters]
Americans spent more than $9 billion on the cholesterol drug Lipitor in 2004—more than any other drug, according to government estimates released today. “Cholesterol drugs in general raked in the most money for their makers,” followed by stomach acid drugs. [Reuters]
And now, an article for the men. Dang!—it turns out Viagra has a sneaky side effect of making you feel love and not just arousal whenever you take it. In lab studies, it increases the amount of oxytocin in rats, which is a hormone associated with “feelings of love,” including nursing and childbirth as well as sexual pleasure. (This should not be confused with the drug OxyContin, which does something else entirely, and which tends to be widely abused by lab rats in the midwest.)