January 7, 2013 Doctors' apparent willingness to prescribe brand-name drugs instead of generics in response to patients' requests is associated with their acceptance of free food from drugmakers, a study finds.
December 26, 2012 The year saw some disappointments in the development of drugs to treat Alzheimer's. But the setbacks were offset by progress in other areas. The upshot from this year's mixed results, some scientists say, is that treatment for Alzheimer's needs to start long before forgetfulness and muddled thinking are apparent.
December 20, 2012 A large niacin-plus-simvistatin study by the drug maker Merck may have far-reaching implications, since millions of people take niacin every day to prevent heart attacks and strokes. One doctor says "phones will ring off the hook in cardiology practices throughout America" because of the news.
December 17, 2012 Secretions from a brown frog's skin contain chemicals that might be useful in fighting bacteria. Russian researchers are cataloging compounds in the slimy goo. Although the odds against them are long, the researchers hope their work will aid the search for new drugs.
November 30, 2012 Sometimes the real trick for improving health is getting people, including doctors, to hear the right message and then do something about it. So what's the best way to get the word out about a decades-old generic drug that could save the lives of critically injured patients? You make a comic book.
November 27, 2012 Some consumers of the bitter citrus fruit may need to rethink their morning routine. Chemicals in grapefruit can interfere with the body's ability to to clear certain drugs. The number of affected medicines has jumped in recent years. Pharmacists are calling for greater grapefruit awareness among physicians and patients alike.
November 26, 2012 A policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics urges doctors to write prescriptions in advance to let teens have fast access to emergency contraception. The pills are currently available over the counter only to those 17 and older.
November 21, 2012 Easier access to oral contraceptives could reduce unintended pregnancies, doctors say. But the Food and Drug Administration would have to allow purchases of the pill without a prescription, and that's not going to happen anytime soon.
November 16, 2012 After months of debate, the Global Fund announced plans to wind down a controversial pilot project that subsidizes malaria drugs in Africa. Some health workers in the U.S. fault the decision, saying it doesn't address the major challenges of treating malaria in poor countries.
November 7, 2012 Xeljanz, a new rheumatoid arthritis drug, is the first one that works by blocking enzymes called janus kinases. They play a communication role inside the body and are involved in inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
November 1, 2012 This month the Global Fund board will decides whether to continue or scrap a $225 million program that subsidizes malaria drugs in Africa. A new analysis bolsters a major criticism of the project. In some places, most of the subsidized drugs have been going to people without malaria.
October 31, 2012 A test of subsidies in Africa for the most effective malaria drug treatment is drawing fire. Supporters say the subsidies helped improve access and drive out less effective drugs. But critics say the approach is risky and a distraction from other efforts to fight the disease.
October 18, 2012 Adding a 12-year-old antibiotic to the regimen of patients with highly drug-resistant tuberculosis cured nearly 90 percent of patients in a study involving about 40 people in South Korea. The study, though small, suggests that the battle against the ancient scourge is far from lost.
October 17, 2012 New research suggests that by the time an Alzheimer's patient is diagnosed, many key neurons are already dead. Neuroscientists say it's possible that several recent trials of drugs for Alzheimer's have failed because the drugs were given after symptoms had already started to appear.