prescription drugs

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Surgeon General: More People Use Opioids Than Tobacco

And other surprising news from surgeon general's first report on substance addiction

(Newser) - The latest (and first) surgeon general's report on substance addiction was released Thursday, and it offers up a surprising slew of factoids. Per NPR , Dr. Vivek Murthy says more people are hooked on prescription opioids than tobacco, 50% more people (20.8 million, per recent estimates) have substance abuse... More »

Husband of Jim Carrey's Ex Is Suing Over Her Suicide

He accuses actor of illegally obtaining drugs

(Newser) - Jim Carrey's on-and-off girlfriend Cathriona White was married to somebody else when she killed herself last year —and he is now suing the actor. Oregon man Mark Burton accuses Carrey of illegally obtaining the prescription drugs that killed the 30-year-old Irishwoman, USA Today reports. Burton, who filed a... More »

Canada Approves Prescription Heroin

It's given to users when other treatments fail

(Newser) - Canadian doctors dealing with patients who have proved unable to stop taking heroin can now go ahead and prescribe them heroin. Justin Trudeau's government has reinstated a policy that allows doctors to prescribe diacetylmorphine—pharmaceutical-grade heroin—to severely addicted patients if other methods of treatment fail, ABC News reports.... More »

Jail Finds Drugs Stashed in Kids' Drawings

NJ inmate's girlfriend arrested

(Newser) - A woman is accused of using children's drawings to smuggle prescription drugs to her boyfriend in a New Jersey jail. Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano says staff noticed something strange about mail addressed to inmate Michael Gill on June 15, the AP reports. A K-9 unit was called and... More »

Doc Who Blamed Cough Syrup Gets 49 Years for Murders

It's the maximum sentence within state guidelines

(Newser) - Dr. Louis Chen, convicted of fatally stabbing his lover 177 times before slashing their toddler son's throat from ear to ear in a gruesome 2011 double homicide he blamed on a buildup of the active ingredient in cough syrup, will spend 49 years in prison for his crime. "... More »

Citing Prince's Death, Chaka Khan Goes to Rehab

Says she's addicted to same drug that killed the icon

(Newser) - Chaka Khan and her sister have both entered a drug rehabilitation program to battle their addictions to prescription drugs, and Kahn says the death of her good friend Prince helped hasten her decision to get help. In a statement released to the AP on Sunday, the 63-year-old Grammy-winning singer said... More »

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 »

Americans Name Drug They Fear Most—and It's Legal

Alcohol causes 88K deaths a year

(Newser) - The second deadliest drug in the US after tobacco is similarly legal, and claims more lives than all illicit drugs combined with 88,000 deaths a year. Alcohol is also the drug that has Americans most concerned, reports the AP and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the... More »

Report: Doctors Getting Pharma Money Prescribe More Brand-Name Drugs

New analysis finally proves the 'prevailing wisdom'

(Newser) - It certainly seems like doctors who take money from pharmaceutical companies would prescribe more brand-name drugs, but there's never been proof of that. That is until an extensive analysis by ProPublica , which found that the more pharmaceutical money a doctor accepts, the more brand-name medicines they prescribe to patients.... More »

Fatal Overdoses of Common Anxiety Meds Are Spiking

'Benzos' such as Xanax and Valium overprescribed, say study authors

(Newser) - Opioids aren't the only drugs we should be concerned about when it comes to overdoses. ODs involving common anxiety drugs like Xanax and Valium are at an all-time high, and scientists fear plenty of lives will be lost before they fully understand why. In a new study , researchers found... More »

It's Not Just Shkreli Who's Been Hiking Drug Prices

Lots of drugmakers did it around Jan. 1—some up to 20%, per analyst reports

(Newser) - Martin Shkreli attracted no small amount of scorn for jacking drug costs, but he's far from alone. Plenty of other drugmakers have been guilty of hikes, many just since late December, claiming they need to do so to fund "risky" research, the Wall Street Journal reports. Analysts... More »

Doctor May Blame Double Murder on Cough Syrup

Louis Chen accused of stabbing partner, 2-year-old son to death

(Newser) - A doctor accused of murdering his partner and their 2-year-old son in 2011 will go on trial in April next year—and he may blame cough syrup for the grisly killings. Louis Chen's defense team in October filed papers signaling that they will argue that the 43-year-old was suffering... More »

20K Crib-Age Kids Given Antipsychotic Medication

Experts baffled by high numbers

(Newser) - Your child under the age of 2 is behaving oddly—is antipsychotic medication the answer? Many apparently think so: Nearly 20,000 prescriptions for anti-psychotics were given to US children that age in 2014 for withdrawn or violent behavior, up from 13,000 the year before, despite zero published research... More »

If Doctors Have Their Way, You Won't See This Again

AMA says prescription drug ads are driving up the cost of drugs

(Newser) - The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for a ban on direct-to-consumer ads for prescription drugs and implantable medical devices, saying they contribute to rising costs and patients' demands for inappropriate treatment. Delegates in Atlanta voted to adopt that as official policy as part of an AMA effort to make... More »

Prescription-Drug Use Just Hit a Crazy New Peak

Obesity, better diagnoses, overprescribing could explain the jump

(Newser) - Americans are taking more prescription drugs than ever before, according to a new study that finds almost three in five take at least one medication. Researchers surveyed 38,000 adults aged 20 and older, then estimated that 59% of Americans took prescription drugs as of 2012, compared to 51% in... More »

Did Our Justice System Fail a Sick Psychiatrist?

CSM digs into case of convicted drug dealer Joel Dreyer

(Newser) - Back in the 1980s, Joel Dreyer was a devoted family man and a respected psychiatrist who testified as an expert witness in criminal trials. Today, he's serving 10 years for his stint as one of the biggest prescription drug dealers in California's Riverside County. How did it all... More »

Something Weird Is Happening With Placebos in America

They seem be growing more 'effective'

(Newser) - Figure this one out: The fake drugs we know as placebos seem to be getting more and more effective in the US. That strange finding comes out of a new analysis in the journal Pain, which looked at medical studies going back to 1990. It turns out that people who... More »

Drug CEO Caves, Will Drop Price of $750 Pill

Martin Shkreli says people misunderstand the issue

(Newser) - The drug company CEO called the "most hated man in America right now" by the BBC says he's misunderstood—but that he'll lower the price of Daraprim in response to the firestorm of criticism . "There were mistakes made with respect to helping people understand why we... More »

Here's How Price-Gouging Drug CEO Says He Sleeps at Night

'You know, Ambien' suggests Martin Shkreli is A-OK with exorbitant price hike

(Newser) - Price gouging for a tuberculosis drug may have been walked back , but the CEO of another pharmaceutical company is standing firm with his decision to drastically raise the price of a drug that treats the potentially deadly parasitic infection toxoplasmosis. Turing Pharmaceutical's Martin Shkreli—an ex-hedge fund manager who... More »

Drug's Price Hike From $16 to $360 Doesn't Last

But CEO behind another huge price hike stands firm

(Newser) - A huge hike in the price of a tuberculosis drug has been rolled back amid an outcry over the 5,000% leap in the price of another drug. A nonprofit group affiliated with Purdue University sold the rights to cycloserine to Rodelis Therapeutics on Aug. 19 , but it demanded them... More »

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