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medicine 19 articles

Kentucky chemotherapy center guilty of buying, selling counterfeit drugs, violating False Claims Act

The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern district of Kentucky has brought criminal charges against the Hematology and Oncology Center (HOC) PLLC in Somerset, Ky., for buying and selling unapproved and mislabeled chemotherapy medicines. Natarajan Murugesa, the former office manager, also pleaded guilty to the charges, which are in violation of the Federal Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The FDA’s department of Criminal Investigations and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General were the ones that lead this investigation. Philip Walsky, current director of the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, said, “The FDA commends the U.S. ... Read More

FDA warns consumers to keep eye drops, nasal sprays out of reach of children

Small bottles that deliver drops of medicine to take redness out of eyes or nasal sprays to relieve congestion can be attractive nuisances for young children who are apt to put them in their mouths. However, doing so could cause serious health problems, warns the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Eye drops and nose sprays, including those sold over the counter, contain the active ingredients tetahydrozoline, oxymetazoline, or naphazoline – known as imidazoline derivatives. These include the brand names Visine, Dristan and Mucinex, as well as generic and store brands. One teaspoonful of eye drops or nasal sprays containing imidazoline ... Read More

Prescription drug cocktails could be killing our combat veterans

Imagine dutifully serving and surviving your combat tours in the Middle East, only to return home and be killed by a prescription drug. That is apparently what is happening to hundreds of young military veterans coming back to the U.S. from Afghanistan and Iraq with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who are being treated with a cocktail of anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, sleeping pills, and other prescription drugs. Stan and Shirley White of Charleston, West Virginia, were coping with the grief of losing their son Bob, a Fort Bragg paratrooper, in Afghanistan, when their other son Andrew, who had returned home from combat ... Read More

Counterfeit cancer drug traced back to distributors in Egypt

Counterfeit vials of the cancer drug Avastin that were found circulating in Europe and the United States earlier this month contain salt, starch and a variety of chemicals, but none of the active ingredient bevacizumab that fights cancer. Avastin is an injectable medicine made by Swiss drug maker Roche. It is administered to patients at clinics, hospitals and doctors’ offices. It is used to treat various forms of cancer including colon, kidney, brain and lung cancers. Avastin made headlines recently when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pulled the drug’s breast cancer indication because it was not proven safe or ... Read More

Unsafe needle practices infect thousands of U.S. patients annually

In a nation with highly advanced medical technology and high safety standards such as the United States, you might not expect that a simple threat like unsafe needle use and injection practices would be a problem within the healthcare industry, yet it is. The Premier Safety Institute and the Safe Practices Coalition, an alliance of health care organizations, sponsored an all-day conference Tuesday on the problem of unsafe injection practices for medical professionals and others in an effort to raise awareness about the problem. Failure to deliver intravenous medications and injections in accordance with safety rules has resulted in more ... Read More

New study shows vytorin and zetia less effective than niacin

Vytorin has struck out again, this time in a clinical trial that compared the drug’s safety and efficacy to a prescription form of the B vitamin niacin. The results of the trial, which the New England Journal of Medicine featured in an article and two editorials, were presented Sunday at an American Heart Association meeting and showed that in a direct comparison, niacin worked significantly better than Vytorin and Zetia in reducing arterial blockages. According to a report in NPR, “This study is the third to question whether ezetimibe drugs do what they’re supposed to.” If lowering LDL or “bad” ... Read More

More lawsuits filed against maker of shoulder pain pumps

Four complaints have been filed in federal court in Philadelphia against Stryker Corp., maker of medical devices including postoperative pain pumps, for causing serious arthritis. The Kalamazoo, Michigan-based company is accused of actively concealing or misrepresenting information about the safety and efficacy of its pain pumps. One of the complainants, Glen Gore, says a Stryker pain pump was implanted in his shoulder after repair surgery in December 2002. After using the pain pump, he was had lost almost all of the cartilage in his shoulder joint, is unable to raise his arm above shoulder level, and now needs replacement surgery. ... Read More

Recovery more likely after shoulder surgery than in years past

Many athletes who rely on their throwing motion for their livelihood consider the torn shoulder labrum one of the most fearsome injuries. In many cases, it can ruin a career or at the very least, leave them benched for weeks if not months. The labrum is a cartilage found in the shoulder’s ball-and-socket joint where the arm meets the body. It serves to deepen the socket so that the ball stays in place and helps stabilize the arm. When the labrum is torn due to injury, the ball may slide part or all of the way out of the socket. ... Read More

Pain pump manufacturer enjoys gains despite mounting lawsuits

Postoperative pain delivery system developer and marketer I-Flow Corporation may be facing lawsuits for needlessly injuring patients by instructing physicians to use their products incorrectly, but the company doesn’t seem to be suffering. The company recently announced that total revenue for the first quarter of 2009 has skyrocketed by 9 percent over the first quarter of 2008 – an increase of about $2.5 million, according to OC Metro. The company’s Regional Anesthesia sales, which includes the company’s flagship On-Q product lines, also increased 9 percent during the same quarter, according to the report. There are approximately 140 lawsuits against manufacturers ... Read More

Athlete’s hopes of playing pro ball dashed by shoulder pain pump

Mathew McKeown, 23, of Blue Ash, Ohio, dreamed of playing pro ball. He was an all-city football player in high school and earned a scholarship to play for Miami. Making it to the NFL was just a matter of time. But during a game in October 2006, McKeown’s left shoulder was injured while trying to recover a fumble. Doctors implanted the catheter of a On-Q PainBuster pain pump manufactured by I-Flow into his shoulder joint. For up to 72 hours, medication gradually dripped into his shoulder and slowly began eating away at the cartilage. But McKeown was tough. He rehabbed ... Read More