December 20, 2013 ProPublicaCredit card companies routinely flag or block suspicious charges as they happen. Yet under Medicare, a convoluted and poorly managed system for catching fraud allows costly scams for prescription drugs to slide by. The federal government has done little to stop the fraud, an investigation by ProPublica found.
December 17, 2013 Drugmakers learned long ago that deputized doctors are effective pitchmen. A doctor's dinner speech or chat over lunch with colleagues can go a long way toward changing his or her colleagues' prescribing habits. But increasing scrutiny has led to a reconsideration of the practice.
December 12, 2013 The world needs new antibiotics because so many of the existing drugs are losing their punch. Some people are already talking about a "post-antibiotic era," when bacteria can defeat all the drugs doctors have at their disposal. Two scientists are crowdfunding a campaign to get everyone digging for new antibiotics.
December 5, 2013 The first in a new class of drugs that can cure the viral infection that is the leading cause of liver failure and liver cancer is poised for a marketing green light from the Food and Drug Administration. More than 3 million Americans have hepatitis C, but most don't know it.
November 6, 2013 Valproic acid has been a mainstay of epilepsy treatment for decades. But how the drug works has been a mystery. Researchers have now figured out the drug boosts a particular chemical in the brain. The finding may help scientists develop better treatments someday.
November 4, 2013 A company subsidiary pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge stemming from the promotion of antipsychotic Risperdal for the treatment of dementia in elderly patients. The Food and Drug Administration never approved the drug for that use.
October 30, 2013 Health problems linger from a fungal meningitis outbreak that sickened hundreds across the country a year ago. Some people are still receiving treatment. And some who got better relapsed for reasons that aren't entirely clear.
October 28, 2013 A hot-selling drug for multiple sclerosis was derived from an old chemical that is used industrially to make foods sour. The twice-a-day pill called Tecfidera comes at a lofty price, despite its humble origins.
October 18, 2013 Accidental drug overdoses have long been seen as problems more common in neighborhoods that are poor and troubled. But prescription opioids have brought overdose deaths to the middle class, a study in New York City finds. Opioid overdoses were more common in higher-income neighborhoods than heroin overdoses.
September 26, 2013 In some countries, it's easier to get HIV drugs than an old-fashioned form of penicillin that prevents heart damage from rheumatic fever, scientists say. The world's supply of this type of penicillin has dwindled over the past few decades, but rheumatic fever hasn't.
September 10, 2013 In the latest attempt to stem an epidemic of opioid painkiller overdoses, the FDA tightened prescribing guidelines. The drugs should only be used for patients with severe pain when other treatments have failed, the agency says, not for moderate pain.
August 30, 2013 About 9 million American adults have taken sleeping pills in the past month. Their popularity generally increases with age and is highest among people 80 and older.
August 27, 2013 Many stroke patients are getting treatment with a drug that dissolves blood clots. The approach was once controversial. But giving the drug to eligible patients within a few hours of a stroke's first symptoms can prevent disability.
August 21, 2013 An experimental drug rescued three out of seven monkeys from lethal doses of Ebola. The study marks the first time researchers have shown that a drug can successfully treat Ebola in animals even after the infection is well underway.
August 20, 2013 People who had taken LSD, psilocybin or mescaline at any time in their lives were no more likely than those who hadn't to wind up in mental health treatment or to have symptoms of mental illness, a Norwegian study finds.