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Pharmaceutical 7432 articles

As drug companies recall heart drug valsartan, other companies hike prices

Beginning in July, Teva Pharmaceuticals and Prinston Pharmaceuticals rolled out a series of recalls on the high blood pressure and heart failure medicine valsartan after a probable carcinogen was found in the drug. Another company, unaffected by the issue, saw a rare opportunity. Alembic Pharmaceuticals rushed to hike the prices of its similar drugs anywhere from 329 percent to 469 percent. And when the same potentially cancer-causing impurity was found in another high blood pressure medication, irbesartan, Alembic hiked the price of its irbesartan, too. The tactic proved an overwhelming success for the company, which reported “massive growth” in U.S. ... Read More

Infants’ ibuprofen drops recalled due to higher concentrations

Six lots of generic Ibuprofen Oral Suspension Drops for infants manufactured by Tris Pharma Inc., and sold at CVS Pharmacy, Wal-Mart Stores, and Family Dollar are being recalled because some units may contain a higher levels of ibuprofen concentration. Some bottles of the ibuprofen concentrate were found to contain as much as 10 percent above the limit specified on the packaging. Infants who are already susceptible to ibuprofen side effects may be at a slightly higher risk if they are given a higher concentration of the medication from an affected bottle. For example, these babies may be more vulnerable to ... Read More

Ethicon hit with $41 million verdict over defective transvaginal mesh claims

A woman who endured nine surgeries and nearly a dozen chemical cauterizations after her transvaginal mesh device eroded inside her body was awarded $41 million by a Philadelphia jury. Jurors found Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Ethicon Inc., had negligently designed the mesh implant and never warned that the device could erode though the body’s soft tissue in the pelvis and cause permanent scarring, debilitating pain, and other problems, Law360 reported. Transvaginal mesh was designed to treat conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP) or stress urinary incontinence. The mesh was implanted through the vagina. It was billed as a minimally ... Read More

Life-threatening birth defect linked to opioid use

A potentially deadly birth defect in which a baby’s abdomen doesn’t develop properly and his intestines poke outside the body may be tied to the mother’s opioid use during pregnancy, according to an analysis published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The defect, called gastroschisis, occurs early in pregnancy. Researchers don’t know what it is about opioids that may cause this defect, just that there is “a higher prevalence (of the defect) in areas where opioid prescription rates were high,” the report said. Gastroschisis is more often seen in teen mothers and mothers who drink and smoke. ... Read More

FDA takes unprecedented step to support OTC naloxone

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking unprecedented steps to support the development of over-the-counter naloxone to reverse the effects of opioids in an effort to reduce opioid overdose deaths. “With the number of overdose deaths involving prescription and illicit opioids more than doubling over the last seven years to nearly 48,000 in 2017, it’s critical that we continue to address this tragedy from all fronts,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., said in a statement. When someone overdoses on opioids, they can lose consciousness and their breathing may become shallow or stop altogether, which can quickly lead to ... Read More

J&J argues talc litigation should be tried one plaintiff at a time

It’s been six months since Johnson & Johnson was hit with a staggering $4.69 billion verdict in a case brought by 22 women who alleged the company’s talcum powder products contained cancer-causing asbestos that contributed to their ovarian cancer diagnosis, but the sting has yet to fade. Earlier this month, the consumer health care giant urged the Missouri Supreme Court to force St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Rex Burlison to unbundle a similar trial involving 13 women with ovarian cancer, saying it was unfair not to try the cases one plaintiff at a time. The state’s high court agreed to ... Read More

Perdue’s Sackler family blamed addicts for opioid epidemic

In 1996, Purdue Pharma held a launch party to introduce its new, potent opioid called OxyContin. Then-senior vice president Richard Sackler made a prediction that the party “will be followed by a blizzard of prescriptions that will bury the competition.” Not only was Sackler right, OxyContin became “one of the deadliest drugs of all time,” according to Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in an amended lawsuit filed against the company. Over the next 20 years since the drug’s launch, Richard Sackler became CEO of Purdue. With family members Beverly, David, Ilene, Lefcourt, Jonathan, Kathe, Mortimer, and Theresa sitting on the ... Read More

Mass opioid overdose leaves 1 dead, 12 hospitalized

One person died and a dozen were hospitalized after a mass opioid overdose at a home in Chino, California. Two officers at the scene also required medical treatment because of accidental exposure to the dangerous drug. Police say the likely culprit was fentanyl and another substance that has not yet been identified. Chino Fire Department Division Chief Jesse Alexander said at one point he saw CPR being performed on six people at the same time during the mass casualty incident. Six doses of the opioid reversal agent Naloxone were also administered, Chino Police Chief Michael O’Brien said. Chino police officers ... Read More

Increase in opioid prescriptions to pets raise red flags amid national epidemic

The number of opioid prescriptions written by veterinarians for pets has increased 41 percent in the past 10 years, according to a new study by Penn Medicine and Penn Vet, raising concerns that some of the highly addictive drugs may not be going to the pets, but to their owners instead. “As we are seeing the opioid epidemic press on, we are identifying other avenues of possible human consumption and misuse,” senior study author Jeanmarie Perrone, director of medical toxicology at Penn Medicine, told The Inquirer. “Even where the increase in prescribed veterinary opioids is well intended by the veterinarian, ... Read More

Experimental smart phone app detects opioid overdose

University of Washington (UW) researchers have developed a cellphone app designed to detect when a person is overdosing from opioids and contact someone with naloxone to intervene. The app is intended to save people from opioid overdose, an epidemic that kills about 115 people each day. “We’re experiencing an unprecedented epidemic of deaths from opioid use, and it’s unfortunate because these overdoses are completely reversible phenomena if they’re detected in time,” said Dr. Jacob Sunshine, an assistant professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine at UW School of Medicine. The Second Chance app uses an algorithm that allows smart phones to ... Read More