June 23, 2011 In a 6-3 decision, the court lowered the boom on a Vermont law that requires doctors to agree ahead of time for data on prescriptions they write to be used for marketing by drugmakers. Another decision by the justices protects generic drugmakers from lawsuits.
Does your health insurance cover birth control pills?
June 9, 2011 Three-quarters of Americans favor insurance coverage of birth control pills, including under those policies bought with government assistance, an NPR-Thomson Reuters poll finds. Support is strongest among the young and those with at least a college degree.
Yasmin birth control pills are among those that contain drospirenone, a synthetic hormone that appears to carry an elevated risk for blood clots.
June 2, 2011 A synthetic hormone that was thought to be safer than older ones in the pill is looking riskier. The Food and Drug Administration is looking into data that show an increased risk of blood clots from birth control pills that contain drospirenone.
May 27, 2011 The value of a moratorium on consumer ads for new drugs would hinge on whether a reduction in unexpected side effects outweighed lost health benefits from reduced use of effective medicines, a Congressional Budget Office report says.
May 26, 2011 A federal study testing prescription-strength niacin as an add-on to cholesterol-lowering statins to prevent heart disease was stopped early because the niacin did not work. There was also a slight increase in stroke risk for people taking the prescription-strength niacin.
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May 26, 2011 Findings from a recent study suggest that if all the HIV-infected people in the world got antiviral drugs, the 30-year-old pandemic could be brought to heel. Now the administration's chief AIDS strategist is leading a what-if discussion about that tack.
Mixing antidepressant Paxil and the cholesterol-fighter Pravachol may lead to an unexpected increase in blood sugar, researchers say.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
May 25, 2011 Researchers mining reports of adverse drug reaction found a combination of the antidepressant Paxil and cholesterol-fighter Pravachol was associated with a big increase in blood sugar. The unexpected finding suggests that data mining techniques could help detect drug interactions.
May 19, 2011 Patents are expiring on medicines launched during the 1990s, triggering a wave of new generic drugs. These days most prescriptions are filled with generics, which can save consumers on copays or the amount those without insurance have to pay out of their own pocket.
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May 13, 2011 Securities filings by Google and Johnson & Johnson earlier this week revealed details about government probes related to the marketing of prescription drugs. Settlements of the allegations are said to be near.
May 10, 2011 The federal government alleged that Lauren Stevens, once an in-house lawyer, had obstructed an Food and Drug Administration investigation into Glaxo's marketing of the antidepressant Wellbutrin as a weight-loss aid. A federal judge acquitted her before the defense called a witness.
May 6, 2011 Parents can give kids too much acetaminophen by using infant-strength drops in large quantities. Now, makers of the medicines say they'll produce the medicines in one concentration to minimize the risk of overdoses.
May 6, 2011 Last year, almost half of the $16 million collected by the Heart Rhythm Society came from makers of drugs and devices, ProPublica reports. More than $5 million in industry largesse came in the form of sponsorships and support of the group's big annual meeting.
Researchers say that anti-inflammatory drugs in pill form are reasonable alternatives to inhalers.
May 5, 2011 Researchers say that anti-inflammatory asthma drugs that come in pills can be good alternatives to inhalers, especially for children. But the study comes with some heavy caveats.
Less than third of consumers in a recent study knew that Tylenol contains acetaminophen.
May 3, 2011 To prevent inadvertent acetaminophen overdoses, researchers also looked at changes to drug labels that would do a better job of informing consumers.
California anesthesiologist Michael Port fills a syringe with the anesthetic propofol in 2009.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
May 2, 2011 A record number of medicines are in short supply these days. Some of the drugs that are hard to come by include medicines to treat cancer, life-threatening infections and severe pain.
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