Recalled, drug-tainted supplements still available for purchase

Reuters, 22 October 2014
Author: Kathryn Doyle
“Long after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued recalls for dietary supplements tainted with banned drugs, more than half of the tainted supplements were still available for purchase, a new study found.”
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‘Saatchi’ law for use of untested medicines on dying patients ‘wins Hunt’s backing’

The Guardian, 20 October 2014
Author: Press Association
“A new law allowing dying patients to be treated with untested medicines has reportedly moved a step closer after the government gave its backing to the plan. Conservative peer Lord Saatchi’s medical innovation bill aims to give legal protection to doctors who try out different procedures or treatments when they have exhausted other options.”
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Evening the score on sex drugs: feminist movement or marketing masquerade?

BMJ 2014;349:g6246
Author: Ray Moynihan
“A thrice failed antidepressant is at the centre of a new marketing campaign to win approval for what could become the world’s first blockbuster sex pill for women. Frustrated by the drug’s repeated rejection, proponents have orchestrated a fierce attack, accusing the regulator of unfairness, and enlisting support from several well connected women’s organisations in the US. Critics counter that the campaign is exceedingly misleading, that it targets a desire disorder that does not exist, and that approval could see widespread overprescribing of a drug with marginal benefits and real safety concerns.”
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Doctors disapprove of pharmacy skin cancer checks

SMH, 19 October 2014
Author: Vanessa Desloires
“Skin cancer checks performed in pharmacies are “irresponsible and inappropriate”, according to the country’s peak doctors’ organisation. It was a misconception that melanoma was typically black or brown, and could even be pink or other colours depending on the person, and therefore easily overlooked. Some of the deadliest types of melanoma were difficult to diagnose.”
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Indian generic drugs debate heats up

The Lancet 384(9951) p1334, 11 October 2014
Author: Sanjeet Bagcchi
“Findings from a new investigation have raised questions over the quality of generic drugs manufactured in India and distributed for selling in Africa. According to the study, generic drugs sold in Africa by some Indian drug manufacturers are of substandard quality compared with the same drugs that the companies distribute for selling in India and non-African countries. The paper hasn’t specified the name of any pharmaceutical company. The Indian Government, however, has strongly objected to the findings, calling the paper an “irresponsible report”.”
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Rebel doctor group calls for ban on drug reps

SMH, 10 October 2014
Author: Harriet Alexander
“Concerned about the level of influence that pharmaceutical companies have over doctors’ prescribing habits, a group of doctors is challenging doctors to pledge not to entertain “educational” visits by marketing representatives for a full year.”
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Pharmacare national prescription drug program gains support

CBC News, 5 October 2014
Author: Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press
“It’s a buzzword in the medical community, although one that hasn’t quite caught fire yet with Canadians at large: pharmacare, a national program that would see prescription drugs covered through a publicly funded system rather than out of pocket.”
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Drug and device firms paid $3.5B to care providers

The Seattle Times, 1 October 2014
Author: Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar & Jack Gillum
“From research grants to travel junkets, drug and medical device companies paid doctors and leading hospitals billions of dollars last year, the government disclosed Tuesday in a new effort to spotlight potential ethical conflicts in medicine.”
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