prescription drugs

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The Letter From 37 Years Ago That Spurred the Opioid Crisis

Doctor's note claimed addiction was 'rare,' and other doctors eagerly spread the news

(Newser) - Nearly 40 years ago, a respected doctor wrote a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine with good news: Out of nearly 40,000 patients given powerful pain drugs, only four addictions were documented. Doctors had been wary of opioids, but reassured by the letter, which called addiction "... More »

Opioid Theft Still Rampant at VA Centers: Report

New AP investigation shows that rate more than double private sector despite crackdown

(Newser) - Feds have launched dozens of new criminal investigations into possible opioid and other drug theft by workers at Veterans Affairs hospitals, a sign the problem isn't going away despite new efforts. Data obtained by the AP show 36 cases opened by the VA inspector general's office from Oct.... More »

Chris Cornell's Wife Points to Prescription Drug

Says he took higher than usual dose of Ativan before 'suicide'

(Newser) - Despite a preliminary autopsy report claiming " suicide by hanging ," Chris Cornell's wife says the rocker's death may have been accidental. Vicky Cornell says the Soundgarden frontman had a prescription for anti-anxiety medication Ativan, and told her "he may have taken an extra Ativan or two"... More »

Groundbreaking Multiple Sclerosis Drug Cleared by FDA

Ocrevus will be the first drug available to treat the more severe form of MS

(Newser) - A new drug that treats both the severe and the more common forms of multiple sclerosis in adult patients was approved by the FDA on Tuesday. Reuters and the AP report that after a three-month delay due to manufacturing concerns, Ocrevus will become accessible in the United States in two... More »

New Treatment for Severe Eczema Making Some Cringe

It actually works, and it's got no real competition

(Newser) - The FDA just greenlighted a drug that keeps severe eczema at bay, but it comes with a price tag so steep it's eliciting its own sort of inflammatory response from critics. Dupixent could finally provide relief to people suffering from severe eczema—which goes beyond mere patches of itchy,... More »

After Hair-Loss Drug Came Years of Erectile Dysfunction

It's the first study to arrive at the finding

(Newser) - Two drugs—one to treat hair loss, the other to shrink enlarged prostates—could wreak havoc on men's sexual health. Researchers at Northwestern University reported Thursday in the journal PeerJ that among the men they studied who are between the ages of 16 and 89 and who took either... More »

This Drug Just Got the FDA's OK—and an $89K Price Tag

Marathon Pharmaceuticals to sell deflazacort for $89K

(Newser) - A drug sold for years overseas to treat a rare form of muscular dystrophy was OKed Thursday by the FDA to be sold in the US, but it comes at a high price. The Wall Street Journal reports the now-FDA-approved deflazacort will be offered by Marathon Pharmaceuticals for $89,000... More »

Even Kindergartners Get Lessons on Dangers of Opioids

Schools are going beyond 'Just Say No'

(Newser) - Schools are going beyond "Just Say No" as they teach students as young as kindergartners about the dangers of opioids in the hope that they don't later become part of the growing crisis, the AP reports. Some states have begun requiring instruction about prescription drugs and heroin, and... More »

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 »

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