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Wyeth to stop making HRT, focus on cancer research

Wyeth, the pharmaceutical company that makes hormone replacement therapies Prempro and Premarin, announced today that it is ending its research in its signature areas of contraceptives and menopause treatments to focus on other female problems such as ovarian and breast cancers, according to the Associated Press/Washington Post. The changes, which go into effect immediately, are part of “Project Impact,” a restructuring plan announced by Wyeth in January that cuts 10 percent – or about 5,000 – of its workforce. As part of Project Impact, the company will narrow its focus to find more successful new drugs especially those for which ... Read More

FDA warns Bayer about two OTC aspirin products

The Food and Drug Administration sent Bayer Health Care official warnings, stating that the company is marketing and selling two over-the-counter medications that are “illegal,” according to FDA spokeswoman Rita Chappelle. The two aspirin products, Bayer Women’s Low Dose Aspirin + Calcium and Bayer Aspirin with Heart Advantage, are misbranded, mislabelled, and confusing to consumers, according to the FDA. According to Bayer, its Women’s Low Dose Aspirin fights heart disease and osteoporosis with a combination of 81 mg of aspirin and the equivalent of an 8-oz glass of milk in calcium for possible “lifesaving benefits.” Bayer Heart Advantage combines the same ... Read More

Police arrest brother of disabled woman found dead in car trunk

The man who checked his disabled sister out of a Georgetown, Kentucky, nursing home in 2006 and whose car her mummified body was found in the truck of last week, has been arrested, according to Lexington Herald-Leader. Timothy Allen Brown was arrested Tuesday evening in St. Louis on charges of abuse or neglect of an adult and interstate flight to avoid prosecution. Police say Timothy will likely face more charges. As we reported Oct. 29, Timothy checked his sister Penny Brown out of Georgetown Healthcare Center in 2006 and moved her into his home with his 8-year-old son. Penny suffered ... Read More

Nursing home administrator cited for verbal, emotional abuse

Pleasant Manor Nursing Home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was anything but pleasant for some residents there, according to the Tulsa World. For one resident and her family, it was downright stressful. Last June, a resident in the facility to receive physical therapy after having surgery on both knees, needed to get to her regular orthopedic doctor appointment. She was not ambulatory, needing a mechanical lift to be moved from the bed to the bathroom, and wheelchair to get around. She had to get to her doctor’s appointment in her hometown 32 miles away. The nursing home said its van was unavailable ... Read More

Advocacy group wants more control over caregiver training

A Washington state advocacy group is hoping to raise awareness of the problem of abuse and neglect by caregivers of the elderly and disabled before voters approve Initiative 1029 on November 4, according to I-1029 requires all new caregivers beginning in 2010 to be certified by the state, undergo an FBI background check and get at least 75 hours of training. The initiative is sponsored by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). PAS-Port for Change, an eight-member statewide steering committee, argues that the initiative fails to address the core issues of abuse and neglect against the elderly and disabled. ... Read More

Body of former nursing home patient found in brother’s trunk

When Penny Brown’s brother, Timothy Allen Brown, discharged the 31-year-old wheelchair-bound woman from her Kentucky nursing home, Georgetown Healthcare Center, in 2006, he told the nursing home staff that he would take good care of his dependent sister. It was the last time anyone saw her alive. Last week, police investigators discovered Penny’s severely decomposed remains, wrapped in blankets and industrial plastic, in the truck of Timothy’s car. The coroner suspects she had been dead for two years, according to the Associated Press. Police in Georgetown believe that Timothy moved Penny into his apartment with his 8-year-old son. Last month, ... Read More

Hernia patch recall long awaited

With the constant advancements in medical practices and technology, it is sometimes easy for medical professionals to become too confident in their abilities and overlook the underlying facts that are in front of them. This degree of confidence may have been the case for the recall on the Kugel hernia patch made by Davol, a subsidiary of C.R. Bard Inc., which now is paying for its apparent lack of concern over product safety. In a 2007 New York Times article, stories and accounts were told about problems and recalls on the Kugel hernia patch. However, these 2007 reports involving the ... Read More

Drug reactions bring awareness to Stevens Johnson Syndrome

New reports from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and cancer patients have put Revlimid, an oral medicine given to patients with multiple myeloma, on a list of medications that could possibly cause Stevens Johnson Syndrome when used by itself or mixed with other drugs. Stevens Johnson syndrome is a serious, potentially life-threatening skin disease that can start with flu-like symptoms and eventually cause a rash that spreads and blisters. According to, other medications have been linked to Stevens Johnson syndrome including Bextra, Celebrex and Daypro, as well as over-the-counter pain relievers such as Motion, Ibuprofen, Children’s Motrin and ... Read More

Strong bones in menopause may increase risk of breast cancer

Strong bones may make older, post-menopausal women at greater risk for breast cancer, according to a study conducted by University of Arizona, reported by KABC-TV in Los Angeles. Bone scans are used to check for osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. Women are typically four times more likely than men to suffer from osteoporosis. Because there is a direct relationship between the lack of estrogen after menopause and the development of osteoporosis, most doctors advise older women to have bone density tests every year along with a mammogram. The University of Arizona’s eight-year ... Read More

New method found to detect early stage ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all gynecologic cancers, expected to kill about 15,000 women in 2008, according to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. Risk factors remain a mystery; however, researchers believe a woman is at increased risk if she has a family history of cancer, personal history of cancer, is older than 55, has never been pregnant, and has used menopausal hormone therapy. To further complicate matters, ovarian cancer is hard to diagnose in its early stage. Only about 20 percent of ovarian cancer is found at the early stage. When found early, the survival rate is 95 percent ... Read More