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Pharmaceutical 7071 articles

Contaminated stem cell injections sicken at least a dozen people

At least a dozen people in three states have developed bacterial infections after getting injections derived from stem cells from umbilical cord blood for ailments like joint and back pain, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. All 12 patients who became sick were hospitalized – three of whom were admitted for a month or more. To date, none of the patients have died. Seven patients were from Texas, four from Florida, and one in Arizona. The patients were sickened by five different types of bacteria, including E. coli. “These are not the organisms you want in your ... Read More

Times chronicles opioid addicts’ journey to recovery

Addiction was once something that happened to other people. But opioids have changed that. Drugs once prescribed to treat pain have turned patients into addicts, forcing them to the extremes to feed their habit. Hundreds of thousands of people from all demographics have become caught up in the grip of the nation’s opioid epidemic. Last year, more than 49,000 people died from opioid overdose. Last month, The New York Times published a moving overview of the opioid crisis called “A Visual Journey Through Addiction,” that chronicles how these drugs can “hijack the brain” and make the average person an addict. ... Read More

Anti-opioid campaign videos aim to scare teens away from using

Arizona Department of Health Services has launched a graphic video campaign aimed at scaring kids away from highly addictive opioids in an effort to curb the nation’s opioid epidemic. The 30-second ad features a teenager visibly distraught. The scene then changes to a closeup of a white pill. A person’s face and hands slowly push out from the inside of the pill. “Getting in is easier than getting out,” the screen then reads. The $400,6000 anti-opioid educational campaign was funded by the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act. It specifically targets Arizona teens ages 12 to 17 in an effort to dissuade ... Read More

Jurors’ multi-billion verdict against J&J was punishment for violating public trust

“If trusted corporations deceive the American people, they need to be punished – not because their products cause cancer – but because they must be held accountable if people believe they have violated the public trust,” said Milton Packer, M.D., in an editorial in MedPage Today. Dr. Packer posed the question, “Why did a jury deliver a $4.69 billion verdict against Johnson & Johnson,” and side with 22 women who sued the company alleging its Johnson’s Baby Powder contained cancer-causing asbestos that contributed to their ovarian cancer diagnosis? Dr. Packer’s theory? “The verdict had little to do with whether talc ... Read More

Pediatric Opioid Deaths Tripled Over Last Two Decades

When it comes to the lives of children, prescription opioids have a lot in common with loaded guns. Both opioids and guns in the home pose a serious risk of injury and death to children and teens, and both are responsible for hundreds of accidental deaths every year. But unlike weapons, prescription opioid drugs in the home are a relatively new threat, and a new Yale analysis of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows how big the problem has grown. The study’s authors, from the Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics, found that opioid overdose ... Read More

Opioid epidemic killing a growing number of youth in America

The death rate among children and adolescents due to opioid overdoses nearly tripled from 1999 to 2016, according to a report published in the journal JAMA Network Open, an indication that the opioid epidemic is also affecting youth in America. “What began more than two decades ago as a public health problem primarily among young and middle-aged white males is now an epidemic of prescription and illicit opioid abuse that is taking a toll on all segments of U.S. society,” the researchers wrote. “Millions of children and adolescents are now routinely exposed in their homes, schools and communities to these ... Read More

Wearable device alerts when opioid overdose is imminent

The nation’s opioid epidemic is killing tens of thousands of Americans each year. A group of students from Michigan’s Carnegie Mellon University hopes to curb that trend with a wearable device that alerts the wearer when overdose is imminent, allowing enough time to administer the life-saving opioid reversal agent, naloxone. There’s no question the opioid crisis is crippling the nation. More than 115 people die from opioid overdoses every day, and that number continues to creep higher as more people become dependent on the highly addictive painkillers. Measures have been made to tackle the prescribing and misuse of opioids, and ... Read More

FDA chief tweets agency’s status amid ongoing government shutdown

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb has taken to Twitter to offer updates on how the agency is managing to do its job during the partial government shutdown and showing that some employees are showing up for work despite not knowing whether they will be paid for their time. “Many asked if #FDA can accept new medical product applications during the shutdown. The #FDA can’t collect FY 2019 user fee payments during the shutdown, which means we can’t accept new applications for products under user fee programs,” Gottlieb tweeted Dec. 29, early into the shutdown, which has ... Read More

India tests talc samples to check for cancer-causing asbestos

There is more fallout from a recent Reuters investigation that found internal documents showed Johnson & Johnson was aware for decades that its talcum powder products contain cancer-causing asbestos but did not warn consumers of this risk. First, a U.S. senator on the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee pressed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate the claims. Now drug regulators in India announced they are collecting new samples of talcum powder to determine if it is contaminated with asbestos. In recent years, Johnson & Johnson has been trying to shield itself from a growing number of lawsuits ... Read More

HHS recommends opioid antidote be prescribed to at-risk patients

In order to reduce the risk of overdose death, health care providers should strongly consider prescribing the opioid antidote naloxone to patients at high risk of opioid overdose, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommended in new guidance released this week. “Because this ongoing crisis and the continued deaths from opioids (prescription opioids, heroin, and illicit synthetic opioids like fentanyl), we must continue an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to prevent opioid misuse and treat those with opioid use disorder, to decrease the deadly effects of addition until sustained recovery is achieved,” HHS said in a statement. “One ... Read More