14 Stories

A Third of Antibiotic Prescriptions Are 'Inappropriate': CDC

And potentially dangerous, as they create drug-resistant bacteria

(Newser) - Scientists have been concerned for some time about "Phantom Menace"-type superbugs that aren't fazed by meds. The latest CDC data finds that 2 million people a year in the US are infected with bacteria resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 die directly from those infections.... More »

Pharmacists Will Prescribe Birth Control in 2 States

Women in California and Oregon just have to undergo a quick screening

(Newser) - More than half of the 6.6 million pregnancies in the US each year are unplanned, according to the Guttmacher Institute . Oregon and California policymakers are trying to buck that trend with what the New York Times calls "groundbreaking" new laws that would allow birth control to be doled... More »

'Tattletale Pill' Reports When Patients Eat It

Tiny microchip helps keep tabs on medication

(Newser) - Researchers have invented a pill that goes far beyond the usual call of duty—it helps patients and loved ones keep track of when it's taken. The pill has a tiny microchip and antenna (both nontoxic and digestible) that sends a signal when consumed to a receiver worn by the... More »

Anna Nicole Had Lesbian Affair With Drug-Happy Shrink

Pharmacists refused to fill drug cocktail order for Smith doc Khristine Eroshevich

(Newser) - Newly unsealed documents in the Anna Nicole Smith investigation reveal the Playmate had a lesbian tryst with her psychiatrist, Khristine Eroshevich—the same psychiatrist who ordered a drug cocktail so dangerous that one pharmacist who refused to fill the order called it “pharmaceutical suicide,” the Los Angeles Times... More »

Drug Companies Hide Data From Docs

Edited info could mislead those prescribing meds

(Newser) - Pharmaceutical companies aren't as upfront with doctors as they are with the government about their new products, a study finds. Though drug companies must provide the FDA with all of the data from clinical trials, related papers published in medical journals were found to omit info from 20% of the... More »

New Databases Share Test Results, Prescriptions

Info used to assemble health 'credit reports'

(Newser) - The prescriptions and medical test results of more than 200 million Americans are being assembled into commercial databases, the Washington Post reports, which then sell health "credit reports" to insurance companies trying to evaluate whether to accept an individual for coverage. The companies not only disclose drug and test... More »

More Kids Take Grown-up Drugs in Obesity Fight

Critics say it's a poor substitute for good diet and exercise

(Newser) - Doctors are prescribing drugs to more and more children to treat conditions related to obesity, the New York Times reports. Data released by pharmacy plans show that medication for Type 2 diabetes has seen the biggest increase—151% from 2001 to last year. And this month, a pediatricians group recommended... More »

Risky Errors on Rise With Sound-Alike Drugs

Study finds prescription mix-ups more than doubled since 2004

(Newser) - The problem of drug-name mix-ups is growing in the US, with harmful and sometimes even fatal consequences for patients, USA Today reports. A study undertaken by the group that regulates generic drug names found that the rate of mix-ups has more than doubled since 2004. In one case, a 7-year-old... More »

Big Pharma Goes East to Test Drugs

Low costs lure R&D, but critics doubt product safety

(Newser) - Big Pharma is testing more drugs in China, where studies cost less and a big, aging population has more chronic ailments, Time reports. But critics question the country's product safety and ponder the fate of tested patients. Even Big Pharma is concerned—about intellectual property rights—but the lure of... More »

FDA Promises More Generics

Commits to reviewing applications faster

(Newser) - The FDA approved about a third more generic drugs in fiscal 2007 than the year prior, and pledged yesterday to speed its review process to accommodate yet more. Sales of generics, which average about one-third the cost of their brand-name counterparts, are up 22%—and one advocacy group says the... More »

FDA May Ease Rx Drug Sales

Agency considers 'behind-the-counter' drug sales by pharmacists

(Newser) - The federal Food and Drug Administration may allow more drugs to be sold by pharmacists without a prescription if they are kept behind the counter off display shelves. The FDA  announced a hearing next month to explore the "public health benefit of drugs being available without a prescription but... More »

Skipping Meds Can Be Deadly

Half of patients undermine health by skipping doses, quitting medication

(Newser) - Half of all patients with chronic illnesses don't take their medication as prescribed, says a new report, undermining their health and hastening their death. Patients with illnesses like heart disease and asthma often skip doses, misunderstand prescriptions or drop medication as soon as they feel better. The result is  more... More »

Depression Causes Preemies

Depression is more dangerous before the baby is born, researchers say

(Newser) - Most new mothers with post-partum depression are ill long before their babies are born, the first study of clinical depression during pregnancy has found. The research, conducted at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, shows that depression, triggered by a natural increase in stress hormones during pregnancy, is a "... More »

Alzheimer's Patients Dying In Prescription Scandal

Sedatives shown to double death rates

(Newser) - Sedatives commonly prescribed to Alzheimer's and dementia patients are leading to their premature death, new research reported in the Guardian concludes.  The drugs, called neuroleptics, combat the diseases' more alarming symptoms, including agitation and hallucinations. Their widespread off-label use in the U.K.—where they're licensed only for... More »

14 Stories