Articles Posted April 2013

  • U.S. Sues Novartis Again, Accusing It of Kickbacks

    The United States government  announced its second civil fraud lawsuit against the Swiss drug maker Novartis in four days, accusing a unit of the company of paying multimillion-dollar kickbacks to doctors in exchange for prescribing its drugs. The authorities said that for a decade, the company lavished healthy speaking fees and “opulent” meals, including a […]

  • Air Pollution Linked To Heart Disease Through Increased Hardening Of The Arteries

    Long term exposure to air pollution may be linked to heart attacks and strokes by speeding up atherosclerosis, or “hardening of the arteries”, according to a study by U.S. researchers published in  PLOS Medicine. The researchers, led by Sara Adar, John Searle Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Joel […]

  • 40% Of Parents Give Young Children Drugs They Shouldn’t

    Forty percent of parents give children under the age of 4 cough medications they should not receive.Despite doctors’ advice, many parents still turn to OTC (over-the-counter) cough medicines for their very young kids. It is not surprising that parents get medications for their young children, especially as most of them catch colds from five to […]

  • Common Osteoporosis Drug Slows Formation of New Bone

    Osteoporosis weakens bones and increases the risk that patients will suffer fractures. Although the drug zoledronic acid slows bone loss in osteoporosis patients, it also boosts levels of a biomarker that stops bone formation, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM). “The key […]

  • Amgen Paid $25M To End Kickback Case

    The U.S. Department of Justice said that biotech drugmaker Amgen Inc. paid $24.9 million to resolve claims it paid kickbacks to increase sales of its anemia drug Aranesp. The Justice Department said Amgen paid kickbacks to Omnicare Inc. and PharMerica Corp., which sell drugs to long-term care providers like nursing homes and hospitals, and Kindred […]

  • Merck kept mum on Fosamax’s fracture risks

    A plaintiff’s lawyer in the latest lawsuit claims Merck ($MRK) was warned about the potential for spontaneous fractures 5 years before Fosamax made its debut. Merck faces 3,300 lawsuits alleging that the bone drug caused serious femur fractures. Pennock represents Fosamax user Bernadette Glynn, who used the drug for 7 years. She claims that Fosamax […]

  • Twenty-Two Years Late: FDA Announces that the Antibiotic Zithromax Can Cause Fatal Cardiac Arrhythmias.

    On March 12, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the public that the commonly prescribed antibiotic azithromycin (Zithromax, Z-Max) has been found to cause serious cardiac arrhythmias. The side effect does not occur frequently, but it does occur enough to raise considerable concern, especially because the arrhythmia can be lethal. The FDA […]

  • TAP Pharmaceuticals paid $875 million

    TAP Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TAP) paid the United States government $559.5 million and state governments $25.5 million to settle one of the largest civil Medicare and Medicaid fraud cases in history. It  also paid a $290 million criminal fine. Initiated by whistleblowers and joined by the United States Department of Justice, two civil False Claims Act […]

  • Energy Drink Consumption leads to Increased Blood Pressure

    Energy drinks can drastically increase blood pressure and disturb the heart’s natural rhythm, say researchers who presented their findings at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions. Energy drinks have very high levels of caffeine and taurine, both these ingredients can greatly elevate blood pressure and contribute to […]

  • Reducing Salt and Increasing Potassium Will Have Major Global Health Benefits

     Cutting down on salt and, at the same time, increasing levels of potassium in our diet will have major health and cost benefits across the world, according to several new studies. Such a strategy will save millions of lives every year from heart disease and stroke, say experts. Evidence shows that reducing salt intake lowers […]