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Pharmaceutical 7071 articles

Las Vegas doctor arrested for illegally prescribing fentanyl spray

After “Patient A” died from an overdose of the highly potent fentanyl spray Subsys, “hundreds of Subsys canister sprays were found in and around Patient A’s bedroom, bathroom, work place and vehicle,” and the Las Vegas doctor who prescribed him the drug is now facing charges of health care fraud and unlawful distribution of fentanyl, according to a federal jury indictment. Steven Wolper, M.D., allegedly illegally prescribed Subsys to 22 patients and lied that they had cancer to insurance companies and Medicare. Subsys is a highly addictive opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is only approved ... Read More

RA treatment Xeljanz linked to increased risk of pulmonary embolism, death

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with 10mg twice daily doses of Xeljanz or Xeljanz XR (tofacitinib), were at an increased risk of blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism) and death, according to a safety clinical trial. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved this dosage of Xeljanz RA for patients with RA; only for patients with ulcerative colitis. This issue was discovered during a clinical trial Pfizer was required to conduct when the drug was first approved by the FDA in 2016. The trial was designed to evaluate the risk of heart-related events, cancer and infection ... Read More

Increased risk of death with gout drug Uloric

People treated with the gout drug febuxostat, known by the brand name Uloric, are at an increased risk of death compared to those taking the gout medicine allopurinol, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautioned in a safety communication. The agency is requiring a boxed warning – its most serious warning – be added to the safety label of febuxostat based on a review of a large, post-market safety study. “This conclusion is based on our in-depth review of results from a safety clinical trial that found an increased risk of heart-related death and death from all causes with Uloric,” ... Read More

DOJ takes action against Tennessee pharmacies for illegally dispensing opioids

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a first-of-its-kind action to stop two pharmacies, their owner, and three pharmacists from dispensing controlled substances including highly addictive opioids that have been linked to the deaths of at least two people and have driven several others to hospitals for opioid overdose shortly after obtaining drugs from the pharmacies. “The pharmacists have a legal obligation to dispense controlled substances properly, so as not to put patients’ health at risk,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt for the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will use every available tool to stop ... Read More

Organ recipients benefiting from opioid epidemic

The opioid epidemic is killing tens of thousands of people in the United States each year. It is also giving organ transplant recipients a new chance at life, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. With an increasing death rate from opioid overdoses, Dr. Muthiah Vaduganathan with Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, and colleagues, set out to explore the trends and statewide variation in the number of donor organs recovered from people who died from drug overdose. Using data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network from 1999 to 2017, researchers examined state-specific patterns in the ... Read More

Overdoses of OTC diarrhea drug increase in wake of opioid epidemic

Overdoses of an inexpensive, readily available, over-the-counter diarrhea drug have multiplied in recent years, in many cases by people addicted to opioids. They are using the drug seeking to prevent or self-treat withdrawal symptoms or to mimic the high of opioids like heroin, fentanyl or oxycodone, according to a study published in the journal Clinical Toxicology. Loperamide, also known by the brand-name Imodium, is a safe and effective drug for diarrhea when taken at its recommended dosage. But at higher doses, loperamide can cause opioid-like euphoria, and has even been dubbed “the poor man’s methadone” by clinicians. The misuse of ... Read More

FDA investigating allegations of asbestos in talc

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking into the possibility that cosmetics containing talc may be contaminated with asbestos and will “take appropriate actions to protect consumers,” the agency told SELF magazine. SELF posed the question, “How Worried Do You Need to Be About Asbestos in Baby Powder and Other Talc Products?” in a recent issue of its online magazine. The story follows a Reuters investigation in December that revealed that Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that its talcum powder products may have been contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos, but the company never informed federal regulators nor did it warn ... Read More

Study focuses on most effective treatment for peritoneal mesothelioma

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) awarded a research grant to detect gene mutations in specific subtypes of peritoneal mesothelioma in hopes of identifying already available therapies for these patients as well as developing new screening tools. The study, led by Waqas Amin, M.D., with the University of Pittsburgh, will analyze three histological subtypes (epithelioid, biphasic and sarcomatoid) in peritoneal mesothelioma to find the most significant gene mutations for better characterization and identification of genetic variants. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common type of the disease, affecting ... Read More

Imerys files for bankruptcy amid mounting talc litigation

Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to protect itself against more than 14,600 lawsuits in the U.S. that claim its talc causes cancer. Imerys Talc Vermont and Imerys Talc Canada Inc., also filed for bankruptcy. All three are subsidiaries of Paris-based Imerys SA. The filing will enable the companies to establish a trust to fund current and future claims. All lawsuits against the company involving cancer claims will also be centralized under one judge. “After carefully evaluating all possible options, we determined pursuing Chapter 11 protection is the best ... Read More

Meso Foundation grantee to study why some patients don’t respond to treatment

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) has awarded a research grant to designed to identify biomarkers that will help pinpoint which pleural mesothelioma patients would respond better to combined chemotherapy and immunotherapy before they undergo therapy in order to prevent unnecessary toxicities and waste of precious treatment time. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma, a rare but deadly cancer associated with asbestos exposure. Pleural mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs and can take up to 50 years to develop. Once diagnosed, the prognosis is generally poor with most patients dying within 12 to 24 ... Read More