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Category Archives: Public Health

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Beginning of the End for Monsanto?

Posted in Lawsuits, Politics, Public Health

A former farm worker named Enrique Rubio may just be the right “David” to take down “Goliath” chemical company Monsanto. Rubio filed suit against the manufacturer of Roundup® early last week, claiming that the company’s infamous herbicide is the cause of his bone cancer and inability to work. Roundup’s® safety has been hotly debated for… Continue Reading

Drugs Disapproved by the FDA Deserve Attention

Posted in Drug Studies, FDA Regulation, Public Health

Recently, Reuters reported that “Drug companies generally don’t disclose all the reasons new medicines fail to win U.S. marketing approval, even though regulators often reject treatments over concerns about safety or effectiveness”. Reporter Lisa Rapaport quotes Dr. Peter Lurie, FDA associate commissioner for public health strategy and analysis, saying “‘Only a minority of the press… Continue Reading

2014 – FDA Recalls DePuy Craniomaxillofacial Distraction System, Cites Fatal Risk

Posted in Devices, FDA Regulation, Recalls

Recently, a craniofacial distraction implant by DePuy Orthopaedics was recalled.  This device, called the Craniomaxillofacial (CMF) Distraction System, “is a modular family of internal distraction devices that are used to gradually lengthen the mandible body and ramus” and indicated as “a bone stabilizer and lengthening (and/or transport) device for correction of congenital deficiencies or posttraumatic… Continue Reading

Proposed Class-Action Lawsuit Filed Against Manufacturer & Distributor of OxyElite Pro

Posted in FDA Regulation, Lawsuits, Safety Alerts

A man by the name of Sandeep Barot has filed a proposed consumer protection class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer and distributor of dietary supplements that allegedly cause liver damage. See Barot v. USPLabs LLC et al., No. 1:14-cv-00562, complaint filed (D.N.J. Feb. 3, 2014). The defendant companies are USPLabs, LLC (“USPLabs”) and General Nutrition Center… Continue Reading

FDA Exerts New Authority over Compounding Pharmacies with Drug Quality and Security Act

Posted in FDA Regulation, Politics, Public Health

In the wake of the recent fungal meningitis outbreak that left 64 dead and infected some 751 Americans, traced back contaminated steroid injections from the New England Compounding Center (Framingham, MA), the United States Food and Drug Administration has sought greater oversight over the pharmacy compounding industry. To that end, Congress passed the Drug Quality… Continue Reading

FDA: Xarelto not to be approved for acute coronary syndrome

Posted in Drug Studies, FDA Regulation, Public Health

Yesterday (1/16/2014) Reuters reported that an FDA advisory panel rejected a call by Johnson and Johnson to approve their anticoagulant Xarelto (rivaroxaban) for acute coronary syndrome by a vote of 10-0 with one abstention. While Xarelto “is already used to treat and prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms and to reduce the risk of… Continue Reading

Largest Monthly Drop in Prescription Drug Cost Seen in Decades

Posted in Public Health

Recent reports from MarketWatch and Bloomberg Businessweek cite that the US drug prices fell by about 1% last month, representing the largest such dip in prices in decades. Interestingly, MarketWatch reported that the cost of drugs fell by 0.9%, and that this was the biggest monthly drop since 1969, and Bloomberg reported the cost fell… Continue Reading

HHS Press Release Touts Improved Community Living Options

Posted in Public Health

A press release today from the US Department of Health and Human Services touts a new regulation “strengthens community living options for for older Americans and people with disabilities”. This comes as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) “issued a final rule today to ensure that Medicaid’s home and community-based services programs provide… Continue Reading

New Gene Therapy May Help Parkinson’s Patients

Posted in Drug Studies, Public Health

On Thursday, January 9th 2014, MedlinePlus reported that gene therapy may be helpful to patients suffering from advanced-stage Parkinson’s disease, as demonstrated by new research. According to the researchers, this therapy, “called ProSavin, works by reprogramming brain cells to produce dopamine, the chemical essential for controlling movement”. (MedlinePlus) This research comes from an English company,… Continue Reading

New Cancer Drug (Bavituximab – Peregrine Pharmaceuticals) Gains FDA Fast Track Designation

Posted in Drug Studies, Public Health

In recent pharmaceutical news, a new cancer drug from Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. called Bavituximab has earned Fast Track designation by the US Food and Drug Administration, The Wall Street Journal reports. “The FDA Fast Track Development Program is a designation of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that accelerates the approval of investigational… Continue Reading

2013 – New Bill Would Allow for Personal Importation of Drugs, Driving Down Prescription Costs

Posted in Politics, Public Health

It is no secret that Americans pay some of the highest prices for pharmaceutical drugs in the world.  And, while the Affordable Care Act will help maybe 50 million uninsured Americans secure health insurance, that law will have no effect on the overall price of medication. Soaring drug prices are likely the result of a… Continue Reading

Lowering “Bad” Cholesterol Levels May Reduce Alzheimer’s Risk

Posted in Public Health

According to a recent study, the results of which were summarized by HealthDay on MedlinePlus – a service of the US National Library of Medicine, keeping “bad” cholesterol levels under control may not only benefit the heart, but also the brain. There are two kinds of cholesterol: HDL – “high density lipids” and LDL “low… Continue Reading

Medicaid Expansion May Boost ER Visits

Posted in Politics, Public Health

A recent article published by HealthDay News on MedlinePlus, a service of the US National Library of Medicine, purports that “the expansion of Medicaid … could lead to more use of emergency departments instead of less”. This article cites new research that found Oregon users of Medicaid, “the publicly funded health insurance program for the… Continue Reading

ProPublica: Lack of Government Oversight, Coordination Puts Medicare Patients at Risk

Posted in Politics, Public Health

One recent article by ProPublica, a prominent investigative journalism outlet, chronicles a lack of proper government oversight and coordination that “can expose Medicare recipients to potentially unsafe medical treatment and keeps tax dollars flowing to unworthy providers”. The problem is this: some doctors who are terminated from Medicaid practice due to “inappropriate drug choices [that]… Continue Reading

Research Finds Flu Vaccines More Effective in Women

Posted in Public Health

According to a recent study, flu vaccines may be more effective in women than in men. MedlinePlus, an online medical encyclopedia curated by the US National Institutes of Health and the National Library of Medicine made the following report: “Researchers measured immune responses in 53 women and 34 men after they received their seasonal flu… Continue Reading

FDA Recall Safety Alert: Siemens MicroScan Synergies plus® and MicroScan® rapID/S plus Negative Panels

Posted in Recalls

On August 21st, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a Class-1 recall for Siemens MicroScan Synergies plus® and MicroScan® rapID/S plus Negative Panels, affecting “78,020 panels distributed in the US between 07/11/2011 and 08/02/2013.” (FDA) These panels come as part of kits used by medical professionals to test a patient’s saliva or tissue for… Continue Reading

NIH: “Gene-silencing study finds new targets for Parkinson’s disease”

Posted in Drug Studies, Public Health

Recently, National Institutes of Health reports that it has possibly discovered certain genes that can be targeted for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.  Parkinson’s is a disorder of the central nervous system (which includes the brain and brain stem).  Early signs of the disease are shaking and impaired movement, while later signs may include problems… Continue Reading

2013 – “California Firm Recalls Bolognese Sauce Products Due To Undeclared Allergen And Misbranding”

Posted in Public Health, Recalls

An article titled “California Firm Recalls Bolognese Sauce Products Due To Undeclared Allergen And Misbranding”, written by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, reports that the agency has forced the recall of 5,616 pounds of Armanino brand Bolognese sauce products.  The company did not properly label all of their products… Continue Reading

2013 – “FDA lifts constraints on Glaxo diabetes drug Avandia”

Posted in Drug Studies, FDA Regulation

A recent article by Bill Berkrot and Ransdell Pierson (published in Reuters) reports on restrictions being lifted from the use of the drug Avandia.  Avandia is a diabetes drug made by the company GlaxoSmithKline that was thought to increase the risk for heart attacks for people using the drug.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration… Continue Reading

New Law Requires Country-of-Origin Included on Meat Packaging

Posted in Public Health

News Desk at FoodSafetyNews.com recently published an article titled “Mandatory Country-of-Origin Meat Labeling Now In Effect”, that explains that some meat being sold in grocery stores must be accurately labled from where it is from.  The law will require retailers to clearly state on packaging where the animal was born, how it was raised, and… Continue Reading

2013 – New Avenues in Malaria Research Explored

Posted in Drug Studies

Malaria is an infectious disease that affects millions of people throughout the world every year.  Most reported cases come from the Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.  Thousands of people die each year from this disease, and people living in poor countries are at the highest risk.  Parasites from the genus Plasmodium use the biting of mosquitoes… Continue Reading

2013 – NIH: “Gut Microbes Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis”

Posted in Public Health

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a condition characterized by systemic inflammation.  People suffering from RA experience pain, swelling, stiffness, and loss of function in their fingers, wrists, and/or other joints in the body.  RA is an autoimmune disease, meaning that it is a result of the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacking its own tissues.  In… Continue Reading

New Cholesterol Research Focused on MicroRNA

Posted in Drug Studies

Recently, a report published on the Director’s Blog at the National Institutes of Health website discussed new microRNA research on cholesterol.  Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common medical issues today, and cardiovascular health is heavily influenced by cholesterol levels.  There are two types of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) also known as “good” cholesterol,… Continue Reading