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Right-to-Die Group: We Have Cheaper Way to Die

End of Life Washington offers own drug concoction

(Newser) - Right-to-die advocates in Washington state have created a cheaper alternative mixture of medications to help terminally ill patients legally end their lives after a drug company abruptly hiked the price of a drug commonly used for the purpose, the AP reports. Doctors with the End of Life Washington advocacy group... More »

Pharma Company Still Hasn't Reversed 5,000% Price Hike

Even though Martin Shkreli said they would backtrack

(Newser) - Two weeks ago, Martin Shkreli, the controversial CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, said that, following much public pressure, he would dial back his company's 5,000% price hike on a toxoplasmosis drug. But Daraprim, which jumped from $13.50 to $750 per pill, still costs the same amount, Business Insider... More »

Canada Tries to Cut Cost of Lifesaving Drug, Gets Sued

Canada wants to lower dizzying price of Soliris; Alexion says no way

(Newser) - Soliris is one of the world's most expensive drugs, running about $500,000 a year in the US. In Canada, a year's supply of the drug, used to treat two rare blood diseases—paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome (AHUS)—is even pricier at about $525,... More »

Drug's Price Changed From $13.50 a Tablet to $750

Daraprim move doesn't go over well

(Newser) - "This isn't the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients, it is us trying to stay in business. It really doesn't make sense to get any criticism for this." The "this" Martin Shkreli is referring to is the price hike his company instituted after it... More »

Microbes May Be Doing Something Wild in Our Sewage

Levels of certain pharmaceuticals go up after wastewater is treated

(Newser) - Drugs in our sewage are an issue of continuing concern: A few years back, researchers found that treatment plants were only getting rid of about half of them. Now, a new study suggests that the problem goes beyond a failure to eradicate the drugs: Researchers found that levels of two... More »

Oxy Maker Won't Share List of Suspicious Doctors

Purdue Pharma has IDed 1,800 suspect doctors, but only told authorities about 154

(Newser) - The maker of OxyContin has a database of doctors it suspects may be prescribing its pills to addicts and dealers—but it isn't sharing that info with cops, reports the LA Times . Purdue Pharma says it has alerted authorities to 154 suspicious prescribers, but that's only about 8%... More »

New Drug May Combat Penis Curvature

Xiaflex passes two late-stage clinical trials

(Newser) - Men suffering from penis curvature may be able to straighten things out—at least somewhat, the New York Times reports. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals says its drug, Xiaflex, passed two clinical trials and reduced curvature from 48 degrees to 31 degrees after a year of treatment in one of them. The results... More »

Global Patent Pool Scores 4 New AIDS Drugs

It's a major step to benefit poor nations battling disease

(Newser) - Gilead Sciences announced today that it will license four AIDS and hepatitis B drugs to an international patent pool, allowing cheap, generic versions to be produced for sale in low-income countries. The AIDS drugs, which include tenofovir and emtricitabine, represent a major upgrade on the treatments currently available in those... More »

Disgraced Doctors Land at Big Pharma

Hundreds of pitchmen found to have blemished records

(Newser) - Pharmaceutical companies say they hire highly respected doctors as their white-coat sales force, peddling their drugs to other physicians. But a Pro Publica investigation has discovered that hundreds of these pitchmen have been accused of professional misconduct, been disciplined by state boards, or lacked credentials. Medical board records in the... More »

After 20 Years, Scientists Crack HIV Puzzle

Enzyme integrase made visible for first time

(Newser) - After 40,000 failed trials and "painstakingly slow progress," scientists have solved a puzzle that stumped AIDS researchers for more than 20 years—and their findings could help develop more effective HIV drugs. The researchers at Harvard and Imperial College London grew a crystal that for the first... More »

Blue Dog Gets Real Estate Windfall From Drug Company

USA Drug overpaid for Ross' wife's pharmacy

(Newser) - Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross, a Blue Dog Democrat who’s taken a leading role in the health care debate, sold a piece of commercial real estate to a pharmaceutical company for an eye-popping sum in 2007, Pro Publica reports. USA Drug paid $420,000 for the property in Prescott, Ark.... More »

HIV Genome Decoded, Raising Hopes for Treatment

(Newser) - The entire structure of the virus that causes AIDS has been decoded for the first time, a breakthrough that may eventually lead to effective treatments for the disease and others like it, Reuters reports. University of North Carolina researchers, using a new method they liken to zooming out on a... More »

Longer-Lasting Botox Rival Nears US Approval

Reloxin's makers claim it lasts longer

(Newser) - After a 7-year run as the only show in town, Botox could soon face some competition. Awaiting FDA approval, Reloxin—the US version of a French product called Dysport—is being marketed as a quicker and longer-lasting treatment for botulinum toxin fans. But doctors themselves are confused about what differences,... More »

DNA Tests Can Improve Health—and Ruin Privacy

Testing labs can sell genomes to Big Pharma

(Newser) - Genetic testing is quickly becoming cheaper and widely available, prompting questions of whether the privacy of this most personal data can be ensured, writes Peter Dizikes for Salon. Companies such as 23andMe and Navigenics can study your genes for $399 or so to determine if you're at risk for a... More »

FDA Approves Drug Made From Gene-Tweaked Goats

Landmark decision could signal start of large-scale 'pharming' for drugs

(Newser) - An FDA decision to approve a drug made from genetically engineered goats is being called a milestone decision likely to lead to many more "pharm animals," the Boston Globe reports. Biotech firm GTC says the milk from a single genetically modified goat can produce as much of the... More »

Lung Drugs Linked to Heart Risks: Study

Treatments for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease targeted

(Newser) - Two medications widely prescribed to emphysema and chronic bronchitis sufferers significantly increase the risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease, USA Today reports. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed a 53% increased risk of heart attacks and an 80% increased risk of cardiovascular death... More »

How Congress Can Help Ted Kennedy

New bill would give terminally ill access to unproven drugs

(Newser) - Ted Kennedy has, at best, about two years to live. A drug exists that might extend his life, but Kennedy, and legions of other cancer sufferers, won’t get it because it hasn’t been through Phase III FDA trials. But congress could yet come to the rescue; a bill... More »

Quit-Smoking Drug Linked to Heart Trouble, Dizziness

FAA bans pilots and air controllers from using Chantix after report

(Newser) - Pfizer smoking-cessation drug Chantix has been linked to nearly a thousand serious incidents in the last quarter of 2007, the Wall Street Journal reports. A report from a drug safety group found that some users of the drug—already linked to depression and suicide—suffered heart trouble, diabetes, or accidents... More »

For Infections, Try Gator-cillin

Scientists probe reptile's impressive immune system

(Newser) - Scientists are trying to harness the power of alligator blood to fight disease, bacterial infections, and even HIV, Cox News reports. Proteins in the reptiles' blood have antibiotic properties thanks to the animals' long evolution and frequent exposure to bacteria; their exceptionally effective immune systems can fight off invaders without... More »

New Aspirin Spares Users Stomachaches

Italian scientists alter key molecule in painkiller

(Newser) - Aspirin is one of the world’s top painkillers, but it has a nasty way of attacking the stomach lining. That could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a team of Italian researchers who have molecularly altered the drug. The new aspirin “has no side effects,... More »

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