Painkiller Crackdown Sparks Industry Blowback

Healthcare industry groups are launching a preemptive strike against soon-to-drop federal guidelines meant to tamp down on the prescription of powerful painkillers. The forthcoming guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are meant to combat the abuse of drugs like Hyrdocodone, Oxycontin and Percocet, which many medical experts believe are dangerously overprescribed. Prescriptions […]

Medicare: 50 Years of Socialized Medicine

Fifty years ago today — July 30, 1965 — the United States took a major step down the road to socialized medicine when President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law, making millions of senior citizens dependent on the federal government for their healthcare. Medicare was sold to the public as a way to protect seniors […]

FDA Strengthens Heart Safety Warnings on Popular Pain Relievers

Federal health regulators are bolstering warning labels on popular pain relievers to reflect new information about their risks of heart attack and stroke. The changes announced Thursday apply to prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, including arthritis treatments like Celebrex. The agency said it plans to make similar changes to over-the-counter drugs in the same […]

Common Heartburn Medications Linked to Greater Risk of Heart Attack

A novel data-mining project reveals evidence that a common group of heartburn medications taken by millions of people is associated with a greater risk of heart attacks, Stanford University researchers reported Wednesday. After combing through 16 million electronic records of 2.9 million patients in two separate databases, the researchers found that people who take the […]

Top Dem: Trade Deal Could Restrict Access to Cheaper Medicines

Rep. Sandy Levin (Mich.), the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, says a new trade deal could be a “major step backwards” on access to affordable medicines. In an op-ed Thursday, Levin raised concerns that the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, which the U.S. is negotiating, will curtail access to generic drugs. […]

Terminally Ill Patients in Two States May Bypass FDA to Access Experimental Drugs

Two states may soon join 13 others in passing so-called right-to-try bills, which would give terminally ill patients access to experimental drugs not yet approved for the market by the Food and Drug Administration. The governors of Oklahoma and North Dakota will decide soon on the legislation. House Bill 1074 was headed to Gov. Mary […]

CDC Chief Defends Antiviral Flu Drugs

Influenza is widespread across the United States and this flu season is shaping up to be especially harsh, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday. Antiviral drugs such as Roche’s Tamiflu were underutilized, the CDC’s Dr. Thomas Frieden said, urging doctors to prescribe the drugs to patients with […]

Scientists Discover Powerful New Antibiotic

Scientists have discovered a new antibiotic, teixobactin, that can kill serious infections in mice without encountering any detectable resistance, offering a potential new way to get ahead of dangerous evolving superbugs. Researchers said the antibiotic, which has yet to be tested in human trials, could one day be used to treat drug-resistant infections caused by […]

Governments Scramble to Develop Ebola Drugs

Governments and drugmakers are scrambling to develop new treatments for the Ebola virus now that the World Health Organization (WHO) has eased restrictions on untested vaccines. The United States government is putting cash into experimental treatments, and on Tuesday, gave $4.1 million to the drugmaker BioCryst to advance its Ebola drug BCX4430, the company announced […]

FDA Warns of Daily Aspirin Dangers

Aspirin shouldn’t generally be used to prevent heart attacks or stroke for patients with no history of the disease, U.S. regulators said today. The use of the aspirin could raise the risk of bleeding in the stomach and brain, the Food and Drug Administration said in a statement. The drug can be used for patients […]