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Lawmaker to Diabetic Girl's Mom: Pay for Your Own Meds

Miss. woman 'flabbergasted' by response

(Newser) - A mother of a diabetic girl in Mississippi asked a state lawmaker for help getting through Medicaid red tape and was stunned by his insulting response. "I am sorry for your problem. Have you thought about buying the supplies with money that you earn?" wrote Rep. Jeffrey Guice. Nicole... More »

Selma Blair 'Very Sorry' for Plane Outburst

She says she mixed alcohol, medication

(Newser) - Mixing booze and medication on a flight was an enormous mistake, Selma Blair says in an apology for her bizarre behavior on a flight from Cancun, Mexico, to Los Angeles on Monday. "After a lovely trip with my son and his dad, I mixed alcohol with medication, and that... More »

Selma Blair Has Disturbing Outburst on Plane

Gets taken off on a stretcher

(Newser) - Selma Blair had a scary outburst on a plane Monday that ended with her being taken off the flight by stretcher and rushed to the hospital, People reports. Based on photos posted on Instagram , the actress had apparently flown to Cancun, Mexico, for Father's Day weekend with her 4-year-old... More »

Unable to Afford Meds, Man Kills Sick Wife: Cops

She was in 'excruciating' pain, says neighbor

(Newser) - William Hager watched his 78-year-old wife, Carolyn, suffer from medical problems, including arthritis, for 15 years. But when the couple could no longer afford her medication, an ominous idea popped into his head, per CNN . Authorities say Hager, 86, called police around 1pm Monday, allegedly telling responding deputies, "I... More »

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 »

Errors With Meds Happen in Half of All Surgeries

And the longer your procedure, the greater the risk

(Newser) - In past studies, doctors rarely self-reported medication errors during surgery. But a new study out of Massachusetts General Hospital, based on researcher observations during 277 procedures in the anesthesiology department, arrived at a far different conclusion: that about half of all surgeries involve a medication error or "adverse" drug... More »

FDA OKs 1st 3D-Printed Pill

Technology makes medicine much easier to swallow, maker says

(Newser) - It might seem like something out of Star Trek, but pills that are produced by a printer are now a reality and the FDA has approved the first one. In what the BBC says is a world first, Aprecia Pharmaceuticals has won approval to produce epilepsy medication Spritam on a... More »

Pharma Firms Buy Drugs, Immediately Hike Prices

One health care expert calls it 'highway robbery'

(Newser) - If you've noticed the cost of your prescription meds creeping up, it might be because their original manufacturer sold them to another company, which then went ahead and hiked up the price. It's a pharmaceutical industry tactic being used more often to increase sales and bring more money... More »

Number of Seniors on Pain Pills Surges, Alarmingly

'USA Today' analysis reveals jump over 5 years

(Newser) - More seniors are getting powerful pain meds for longer periods through Medicare, USA Today reports—and the increases are drastic. One in five seniors now gets prescribed pain drugs like Vicodin and Percocet. The number getting opioid pain medication prescriptions jumped 30% between 2007 and 2012, passing 8.5 million... More »

Audra Didn't Need Meds? Well, My Kid Does

Belinda Luscombe on how helpful ADHD meds have been for her son

(Newser) - As she accepted her record sixth Tony , Audra McDonald thanked her parents "for disobeying the doctors’ orders and not medicating the hyperactive girl." Which didn't sit well with Belinda Luscombe. Luscombe has kids and she hopes they someday thank her, too. "Here’s the thing though.... More »

Anti-Alcoholism Drugs Exist, but We're Not Using Them

Many doctors don't know about them: experts

(Newser) - Two medications could offer an effective weapon against alcoholism, and they've been approved for years. But many doctors aren't familiar with naltrexone and acamprosate, which could benefit tens of thousands of alcoholics, a study finds. The drugs are "not blockbuster. They’re not going to work for... More »

After-Sex Gel Could Block HIV

Researchers test treatment in monkeys

(Newser) - A study on monkeys may offer hope for women in the fight against HIV—especially in cases of rape. The study involved a gel that appears effective in blocking HIV in monkeys up to three hours after sex, the New York Times reports. That could mean protection for rape victims... More »

For Heart Patients, Exercise as Good as Drugs

But don't chuck the pills just yet, researchers say

(Newser) - A lot of heart patients would be just as well off—and some potential stroke victims even better off—if their doctors prescribed physical activity instead of drugs, according to a new study. Researchers say they crunched the numbers from hundreds of studies involving 340,000 patients to pit medication... More »

'Cartels' Are Fueling Generic Drug Shortage

We must ensure a free market: experts

(Newser) - The US generic drugs business is effectively skirting the free market, prompting dangerous shortages that can make the difference between life and death, a group of pharmaceutical experts and activists argue in the New York Times . The US is currently facing shortages of 302 drugs, and a new law last... More »

Tylenol Caps Get New Warning

Acetaminophen overdose is top cause of liver failure in US

(Newser) - Acetaminophen overdose is the top cause of liver failure in the US—and concerns about the widespread pain-relief ingredient have been growing. Starting in October, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary McNeil will stick a new warning on the caps of Extra Strength Tylenol, reading: "Contains acetaminophen. Always read the label,... More »

Anti-Cholesterol Eye Drops Could Fight Blindness

Fatty buildup linked to macular degeneration: study

(Newser) - Cholesterol-lowering eye drops may soon have another use: fighting blindness associated with macular degeneration. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine found that immune cells known as macrophages can become "bloated" with fatty deposits. The resulting inflammation can cause new blood vessels to form; these vessels are linked to... More »

Iran May Have Enough Uranium for Nuke in 2014

Plus: Sanctions cause drug shortages

(Newser) - By the middle of next year, Iran may have stockpiled enough weapons-grade uranium to build a nuclear weapon, US experts say, calling for heightened sanctions on the country. In a new report, five nonproliferation experts argue that it's time for President Obama to make it "crystal clear" that... More »

Lack of Cancer Drug Caused 'Shocking' Teen Relapses

Cancer expert slaps 'ridiculous situation'

(Newser) - The dangerous effects of US drug shortages have been made all too clear in a new study. In 2010, sufferers of Hodgkin's lymphoma—who tend to be teenagers—suffered relapses that were likely due to limited supply of mechlorethamine, a generic medication used to treat the cancer. When substitutes... More »

Doctors Warn of Mixing Pills, Grapefruit

It can have lethal consequences, they say

(Newser) - Taking medication? You may want to think twice before digging into a grapefruit. A substance in the fruit can prevent the drugs from breaking down in the body, leading to dangerous—even deadly—consequences. Chemicals in grapefruit deactivate enzymes in the body that are supposed to break down the drugs;... More »

Less-Regulated Pharmacies Take Heat in Meningitis Crisis

'Compounding pharmacies' make drugs with weaker oversight

(Newser) - The death toll in an ongoing meningitis outbreak has hit five, with 35 sick in six states, the AP reports. What's more, hundreds or thousands could be at risk across 23 states after receiving potentially tainted steroid injections, and health providers are rushing to warn them of the danger.... More »

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