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test 24 articles

Direct-to-consumer advertising likely inflating demand for testosterone drugs, new study finds

Testosterone replacement therapy for men increased in the U.S. and the U.K. between 2000 and 2011, but whereas supplementation rates quadrupled in the U.S. during that time, they rose just 30 percent in the U.K., according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. One likely explanation for the drastically different rates of low-testosterone treatment in the U.S. compared to the U.K. is the prevalence of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising in the U.S. DTC advertising has been legal in the U.S. since 1982, but few drug makers took that marketing approach due to requirements about disclosing ... Read More

Fraudulent mislabeling of seafood products rampant, DNA testing finds

Genetic testing of hundreds of seafood samples found that one-third of the products were mislabeled as being something other than what the packaging said, according to the ocean conservation group Oceana. The group’s study, conducted to determine whether seafood packaging is “honestly labeled,” examined 1,215 seafood samples collected from nearly 674 retail stores in 21 states. DNA testing on the samples found that 33 percent of the products were mislabeled according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. According to Oceana, “Of the most commonly collected fish types, samples sold as snapper and tuna had the highest mislabeling rates … ... Read More

Patients who received contaminated shots for pain rush to emergency room for testing

Jim McGuire didn’t waste time going to the emergency room after his doctor called to tell him he had received a steroid shot from a contaminated batch that – to date – has killed 12 people and infected 137 others with a rare fungal meningitis. Jim wasn’t experiencing symptoms, but it can take a month or more for symptoms of the infection to appear. Investigators have learned that as many as 13,000 people in 23 states may have been exposed to the fungus. The only way for people to find out if they are at risk is to have a ... Read More

Most luxury cars flunk partial collision tests, new study finds

Consumers paying top dollar for luxury automobiles might expect nothing but the best in vehicle performance, but most would be sadly mistaken if they believed the quality of their vehicles extended to matters of safety, according to the results of a new study. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested the performance of 11 midsize model-year 2012 luxury and “near luxury” cars in what it called “small overlap frontal crashes,” a type of crash that affects the vehicle’s vulnerable edges, such as when a car strikes a tree, pole, or clips the backside of another vehicle. Frontal overlap crashes ... Read More

FDA approves first at-home HIV test kit

People can now test themselves for HIV in the privacy of their own homes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, a home-use HIV test kit that does not require sending a sample to a laboratory for analysis. The kit, which tests a sample of fluid from your mouth, is approved for sale in stores and online to anyone age 17 or older. The results come in about 20 to 40 minutes. The results, whether positive or negative for HIV, are considered preliminary. Positive results should be confirmed by follow-up laboratory-based testing. Also, falsely ... Read More

Pentagon kills traumatic brain injury tests for combat vets

Tests that would have more accurately measured the rate of traumatic brain injury in troops returning to the U.S. from combat in the Middle East have been barred from completion, according to a USA Today report. Traumatic brain injury, often referred to as TBI, has been christened the “signature injury” of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Thirty percent of soldiers taken to Walter Reed Army Medical Center since 2003 suffered traumatic brain injuries, according to the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. The injuries are most commonly caused by shockwaves emitted from bomb blasts. In January 2008, Congress ordered the ... Read More

Support group says Chantix ads conceal important information

WhyQuit, an organization that advocates quitting smoking using the cold turkey method, recently published an article that takes Pfizer to task over its latest Chantix ads. The group claims that the pharmaceutical company’s new television commercials hide information from the viewer – information that, if known, would likely dissuade most smokers from using the drug as a smoking cessation aid. WhyQuit reports that in surveys and scientific studies, more people were found to have successfully quit smoking long term using the cold turkey method than nicotine replacement therapies (NRT). NRT delivers smokeless nicotine to the user through chewing gum, lozenges, ... Read More

FDA monitoring Chantix for serious risks, new safety concerns

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration released a list of about 20 pharmaceutical drugs that the agency’s researchers are closely monitoring for potential safety concerns. Not surprisingly, Chantix (Varenicline) claimed a spot on the list. According to the FDA, the drug is being watched to determine whether it causes or contributes to angiodema (rapid and potentially life-threatening swelling of skin and tissue), other serious skin reactions, visual impairment, and accidental injury. Data pulled from the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) between October and December of 2008 suggested that Chantix may be linked to the side effects. The FDA ... Read More

Pfizer might fund study of Chantix and reduced risk of heart attack

CNN reports that Pfizer is thinking about launching a clinical test to determine if Chantix can help prevent smokers from having heart attacks. Considering all the negative publicity that has surrounded the drug over the last one and a half years, it’s understandable that Pfizer would want to invest a good deal of time and money in finding some benefit … even if they locate just one slightly dubious side effect, such as a reduced risk of heart attack in people who have quit smoking. Such a finding would steer attention away from the host of negative side effects that Chantix ... Read More

Pfizer and other drug companies fund medical courses

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently published a comprehensive report that exposes a very questionable relationship between the University of Wisconsin-Madison college of medicine and the drug industry. Using the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an example, the report describes how pharmaceutical companies have infiltrated the nation’s universities by funding physician education courses. Critics argue that the arrangement is unethical; when a college accepts hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in funds for such classes, the patrons expect something back. So what might appear superficially as a philanthropic gesture is actually an arrangement with lots of strings attached — an ... Read More