FDA

23 Jun: Q&A: Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2009

We’ve received a lot of questions from the eDrugSearch.com community about the Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act of 2009, the proposed legislation that would enable Americans, once and for all, to legally purchase prescription drugs from Canada. Here some common questions about the bill, along with answers provided by the bill’s sponsors: Q: Why is this bill necessary? A: American consumers are charged the highest prices in the world for the same medicines that are available in other major, industrialized nations at a fraction of the cost. The Congressional Budget Office estimates this legislation will save U.S. consumers more than $50 billion over the next decade. The legislation will allow American consumers to import FDA-approved prescription drugs at…

18 Jun: Prescription for pharma: More research, less promotion

Anne Dunev at The Huffington Post recently called attention to a thought-provoking article published at the peer-reviewed journal of the Public Library of Science. Titled “The Cost of Pushing Pills: A New Estimate of Pharmaceutical Promotion Expenditures in the United States,” the 2008 article by Canadian academics Marc-André Gagnon and Joel Lexchin concludes: From this new estimate, it appears that pharmaceutical companies spend almost twice as much on promotion as they do on R&D. These numbers clearly show how promotion predominates over R&D in the pharmaceutical industry, contrary to the industry’s claim … (I)t confirms the public image of a marketing-driven industry and provides an important argument to petition in favor of transforming the workings of the industry in the direction…

01 Jun: FDA’s silly edicts prove that DTC advertising was a bad idea all along

Sometime back, Effect Measure posed a question many of us have pondered about direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical commercials: What’s with the side-by-side bath tubs in the Cialis ads? Here are some of the answers given in comments — “Cialis really gets your pipes flowing or plumbing flowing…” “Bathtubs — because you can’t show naked, mutually aroused adults on the sandy beach on TV, but you can imply they are naked and mutually aroused whilst lounging in soapy tubs on a sandy beach on TV.” “I think it is to convey the impression that Cialis is ripe for a slow, romantic build-up to sex and not as much about rushing to the goal. Take your time, relax, have a wonderful evening just…

20 May: FDA has to become more transparent on prescription drug recalls

I read the following disturbing Q&A in Joe and Teresa Graedon’s People’s Pharmacy column this morning: Q: I once worked for a pharmaceutical company that ordered a raw ingredient, diphen-hydramine, from China. I was a quality-assurance inspector and had to inspect incoming material. That ingredient was trashy, with what looked like a lot of floor sweepings and black blobs of something I could not identify. I placed all of that shipment on reject. I came in to work the next day and was told by the boss that he had authorized the release of that ingredient to be used in production! When I left work later that day, I called the Food and Drug Administration and reported the whole thing….

06 May: Feds must make it easier to start prescription drug take-back programs

We’ve written previously about FDA guidelines for proper disposal of prescription drugs. But with so many discarded medications winding up in landfills and, worse, the water supply, the best solution is no longer flushing drugs or throwing them away. It’s turning them in to prescription drug take-back programs in your community. The problem, as the Washington Post reports, is that these programs are difficult to set up and maintain — thanks to government restrictions, among other factors. According to the Post: In much of the country … drug take-back sites … are almost impossible to find … “We are farther ahead with recycling our garbage than we are with recycling drugs,” said Babs Buchheister, the nursing director of Calvert County….

29 Apr: Healthcare, prescription drugs, and the plight of the self-employed

I recently came across a remarkable blog rant by a man named Jim Thornton, a competitive swimmer at age 56. Under a list of his latest swimming times, he shared the story of some of the struggles he’d recently been having with healthcare and prescription drug costs. An excerpt: Our health insurance went up to $1711.50 a month for a plan that requires each member of the family to spend $1400 a year before complete coverage kicks in. For a variety of complicated reasons, we cannot alter any of the terms of the policy. It is a take it or leave it situation. If we leave it, my wife and I have been taking statin drugs and antidepressants and will…

13 Apr: Who’s abusing Google ads? It’s not online pharmacies — it’s Big Pharma

Big Pharma abusing Google ads?Big Pharma abusing Google ads? When the topic of Americans buying drugs from Canadian pharmacies comes up, one company whose name is rarely mentioned is Google. That’s odd to me, since (1) Google is such a news magnet, and (2) without Google, far fewer Americans would be buying their prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies. Big Pharma despises Google for explicitly permitting licensed Canadian pharmacies to advertise to U.S. consumers through its AdWords network — a tacit endorsement of cross-border medication sales. For some time now, Big Pharma and its proxies have been waging a secret campaign to force Google to stop allowing Canadian pharmacies to advertise through AdWords. Google’s AdWords program (working in partnership with PharmacyChecker.com)…

19 Mar: Why brand-name drugs are cheaper in Canada, but generic drugs aren’t

We are sometimes asked why we include a number of U.S.-based pharmacies in the eDrugSearch.com pharmacy directory, since prescription drugs are so much cheaper at Canadian pharmacies. One of the main reasons is that U.S. pharmacies often sell generic drugs at lower prices than their Canadian counterparts. A new study by the Fraser Institute, “Canada’s Drug Price Paradox,” compares Canadian and American drug prices for the 100 most commonly prescribed brand-name drugs, as well as the 100 most commonly prescribed generic drugs. The study found that while brand-name drugs are much more expensive in the United States, generic drugs cost more in Canada. After currency adjustments, Canadian retail drug prices for brand-name drugs in 2007 averaged 53 percent lower than…

16 Mar: Obama selects FDA commish — Peter Rost wuz robbed!

Despite celebrity endorsements courtesy of Photoshop (above), and a real endorsement by eDrugSearch.com and others, Pfizer whistleblower Dr. Peter Rost came up short in his bid to become the next FDA commissioner. President Obama on Saturday announced the selection of Dr. Margaret Hamburg for the top food and drug post. We knew Peter was a longshot for the post, but what the heck — it was worth a shot. The good news is that Dr. Hamburg will bring a passion for and history of reform to an agency that needs it desperately. For Americans under 30, it might surprise you to know that the FDA has not always been a public laughingstock. In fact, in the 1970s, it earned a…

06 Mar: Bills to legalize Canadian drug introduced in the U.S. House, Senate.

As anticipated, bills to finally legalize the purchase of Canadian drugs by U.S. consumers were introduced in both houses of Congress this week. Here’s a news release excerpt on the Senate bill: U.S. Senators Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced critical drug importation legislation today that will reduce the cost of prescription drugs in the United States. The Senators said their legislation, the “Pharmaceutical Market Access and Drug Safety Act,” will bring consumers immediate relief and will ultimately force the pharmaceutical industry to lower drug prices in the United States. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would save American consumers $50 billion over the next decade, including more than $10 billion…

05 Mar: Wyeth v Levine Ruling Signals The Tide is Turning Against Big Pharma

For nearly three decades, it’s seemed like everything — at least when it comes to government decision-making — has gone Big Pharma’s way. For example: The U.S. government permitted Big Pharma to begin advertising directly to consumers, despite the fact that this practice is prohibited worldwide (except in New Zealand). The billions of dollars spent on advertising has led to a dramatic increase in prescription drug consumption — including by teens who steal drugs like Viagra out of the family medicine cabinet after hearing how cool they are, ad nauseum, in TV ads. The government slashed the FDA’s staff by a third during the Bush administration (after significant cuts in the Reagan administration) and allowed Big Pharma lobbyists to wield…

02 Mar: Personal Drug Importation and Obama’s healthcare plan

For the first time in memory, Big Pharma actually appears to be shaking in its boots with the announcement of healthcare provisions in President Obama’s budget — including allowing U.S. consumers to purchase drugs from Canada. The AP reported it this way: Stock prices for major drugmakers fell sharply Thursday as investors were apparently worried about provisions of President Obama’s budget proposal that could significantly reduce profits across the pharmaceutical sector… One item in the budget that spooked shareholders was support for “new efforts” by the Food and Drug Administration to allow Americans to “buy safe and effective drugs from other countries.” During the Bush administration, the FDA opposed the idea and frequently stated that such “reimported” drugs might be…

18 Feb: FDA seizing legit meds again? Seniors advocates up in arms

Despite the best of efforts of Big Pharma and its paid lackeys to spread disinformation about the safety of Canadian pharmacies, it looks like Americans soon may finally be able to legally purchase drugs from Canada. At least, that will be the case if the Dorgan-Snowe Drug Importation Bill, scheduled to be reintroduced later this month, passes Congress and is signed by President Obama, as many expect. Seniors advocates, however, are upset that the bill doesn’t also allow consumers to purchase drugs from other Tier One countries, such as Australia and New Zealand. In fact, the FDA recently seized a number of shipments of drugs from these countries at LAX, which has advocates up in arms. Publishers of some of…

16 Feb: It’s time to end corporate welfare for prescription drug companies

I found this wonderful letter by Carrol L. Fry in the Kansas City Star and wanted to share it with all of you. It’s in response to a syndicated column by a typically out-of-touch Washington pundit. I read George Will’s hand-wringing column about the imminent demise of Medicare (2/7, Opinion, “Obama willing, Congress weak on entitlements”). Maybe if our government were willing to curb corporate welfare for the prescription drug companies, we could save a few billion. I was shocked to find that my Medicare Plan D cost for one of my prescriptions, for both my co-pay and Medicare, was $392 for a 90-day supply, and another was $265 for 90 days. I checked prices at a Canadian pharmacy and…

06 Dec: eDrugSearch.com’s Rost interview cited in Connecticut’s The Day

The Day of New London, Conn., has a nice article on Dr. Peter Rost’s bid for FDA commissioner. Here’s an excerpt referencing our interview with Peter: If Pfizer Inc. were to describe its worst nightmare, it might very well be seeing former company whistleblower Peter Rost become commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. So guess who is actively seeking the FDA’s top post?… Rost said he is looking for a shakeup of the FDA, including a reorienting of the agency’s priorities from serving the drug industry to helping American citizens. “That means the agency would focus not only on the fastest and most efficient processing of new drug applications, but would also ensure that unsafe drugs are taken…

03 Dec: Q&A with Dr. Peter Rost, eDrugSearch.com’s choice for FDA commissioner

It should come as no surprise to readers of this blog that we are delighted about the prospect of a new FDA commissioner in 2009 — one who we hope will put the interests of the people above those of large pharmaceutical companies. We have also been pleasantly surprised to see the groundswell of public support for Pfizer whistleblower Dr. Peter Rost for the FDA’s top job. A clear industry outsider like Dr. Rost might seem a longshot to ultimately win the job — but then again, Obama was a longshot to win the presidency. And there are these three hopeful signs: 1. Dr. Rost is blowing away the competition in the voting at John Mack’s influential Pharma Marketing Blog….

01 Dec: 72 million U.S. prescriptions per year are not FDA-Approved.

An Associated Press analysis last week concluded that millions of Americans are being prescribed drugs — including those covered under Medicaid — that have never been reviewed by the FDA for safety and effectiveness. The FDA admits there may be thousands of such drugs on the market. Reports the AP: “At a time when families, businesses and government are struggling with health care costs and 46 million people are uninsured, payments for questionable medications amount to an unplugged leak in the system … But the FDA estimates they account for 2 percent of all prescriptions filled by U.S. pharmacies, about 72 million scripts a year.” This isn’t a new problem — most of the drugs in question have been on…

13 Nov: Who should Obama nominate for FDA commissioner?

  John Mack of Pharma Marketing News is asking who should be the next FDA commish. His survey walks you through some of the top contenders, including: Robert Califf, vice chancellor for clinical research and professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Duke. Dora Hughes, Health Policy Advisor to Senator Barack Obama. David Kessler, former FDA Commissioner. Steve Nissen, cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic. Mary Pendergast, industry consultant who was a former associate FDA Commissioner under David Kessler. Peter Rost, former Pfizer VP of Marketing, now a blogger. Joshua Sharfstein, commissioner of the Baltimore City Health Department. Mike Taylor, former Deputy FDA Commissioner under Clinton Susan Wood, the former head of women’s health at FDA, who resigned in protest…

06 Nov: Was Tom Cruise right about antidepressants?

A couple of years ago, actor Tom Cruise was dismissed as a kook for ranting against antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs. But in light of what we’re now learning about SSRIs, is it possible that we collectively owe Cruise an apology? First, let me say that I still think Cruise is an odd guy. And I know that his bashing of SSRIs is not rooted in scientific research, but in the strange tenets of Scientology — including an irrational hatred of the field of psychiatry. Second, I strongly believe that antidepressants can help people. I’ve seen their positive effects on people personally. But I also believe the FDA should take further steps to ensure the safety of these medications, and…

04 Nov: Wyeth v. Levine update

  From the Wall Street Journal Law Blog: After the arguments wrapped up in Wyeth v. Levine…we called around and spoke to a couple lawyers who were present at the scene. Based on those convos, and an AP report, we were able to cobble together an overview of the back-and-forthing… …the Justices took issue with Wyeth’s argument that it couldn’t update its label to add stronger warnings without first getting FDA approval. “Wyeth could have gone back to the FDA anytime” to update the label, said Justice Souter. “And it simply didn’t do it.” But Seth Waxman, who argued the case for Wyeth, argued … that, when the FDA has specifically considered the risk involved and rejected the sort of…

03 Nov: Wyeth v. Levine ruling could be major blow to healthcare consumers

People’s Pharmacy is an excellent syndicated column that you should definitely check out if you aren’t already reading it. If it’s not in your hometown paper, you can find them online here. The writers, Joe and Terry Graedon, have been impassioned advocates for healthcare consumers for more than 30 years. (Here’s what the Graedons have to say about Canadian pharmacies, by the way: “The FDA won’t admit it, but buying drugs from legitimate Canadian pharmacies may be safer than buying from the drugstore down the block.”} I bring up the Graedons because their column recently reminded me about a very important issue that had fallen off my radar screen. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to begin hearing arguments…

01 Oct: A hero to all of us — except Big Pharma

I think the best story I read on Monday’s $425 million Cephalon settlement was the law firm Phillips & Cohen’s press release: The government’s investigation into Cephalon Inc.’s illegal marketing practices that culminated in today’s $425,000,000 settlement and guilty plea by the pharmaceutical company began in January 2003 with a Cephalon sales representative in Ohio. The sales representative, Bruce Boise, refused to follow company-ordered sales strategies to convince doctors to prescribe Cephalon’s Actiq, Gabitril and Provigil drugs for unapproved (“off-label’) uses because he was worried the sales practices were illegal and the “off-label” uses were dangerous for patients. Boise was so concerned about Cephalon’s off-label marketing that he contacted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to inform them of what…

29 Sep: Obama and McCain the Flying Wallendas of prescription drug flip-flops?

Can you hear that? It’s the sound of political spinning, twirling and flip-flopping — followed closely by backbones turning to mush. In the face of a relentless disinformation campaign (and lots of campaign donations) by the pharmaceutical industry and its front groups over the past several months, both Barack Obama and John McCain are showing strong signs of backing down — in unison — from their pledges to legalize Canadian drug reimportation if they are elected. Call them the Flying Wallendas of Flip-Flops. For guys who claim to be about change — with McCain having the nerve to boast that he “took on the drug industry” in his campaign ads — they are beginning to spew the same old song…

16 Sep: How to dispose of unused prescription drugs

As we’ve been writing about here, teens who abuse prescription drugs often get them from their parents’ medicine cabinets. In many cases, the drugs are not currently being used by the parents; they were simply never discarded. With this in mind, we’ve decided to reprint the federal government’s guidelines for the proper disposal of prescription drugs. They are: Take unused, unneeded or expired prescription drugs out of their original containers. Throw the packaging in the trash. Mix prescription drugs with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter, and put them in impermeable, non-descript containers, such as empty cans or sealable bags. This will further ensure the drugs are not diverted. Flush prescription drugs down the toilet…

Rogue Online Pharmacies - LegitScripts.com

05 Sep: Are All Canadian Pharmacies “Rogue” Online Pharmacies? LegitScript Thinks So.

While reading Benjamin Gluck’s Internet Pharmacy Law blog, I came across a reference to an “Internet pharmacy verification and information service” I hadn’t yet heard of: LegitScript. I like the professed mission of LegitScript: to improve online pharmacy safety by offering a database that allows consumers to enter a pharmacy’s name and find out whether it’s legitimate or not. LegitScript apparently intends to make money by providing a verification seal to online pharmacies that meet its standards. I say “apparently” because LegitScript verification is currently provided free of charge. All of which sounds fine — until you look a little closer. You see, LegitScript claims ALL Canadian pharmacies are unsafe. Even the most established, reputable pharmacies — licensed and inspected…

01 Sep: Big Pharma’s $3 billion on advertising is a waste of YOUR money

Americans are known for our short memories, so it may surprise you to know that prescription drug ads aimed at consumers are a relatively new phenomenon. They’ve only been around in present form for a little over a decade, when the FDA, under pressure from the pharmaceutical industry, approved the practice. Now, it’s hard to watch TV or pick up a magazine without seeing a drug commercial. You might also be unaware that the U.S. is one of only two countries in the world that permit this kind of advertising. The other is New Zealand. There are a number of reasons why most doctors and health experts think direct-to-consumer advertising is a bad idea. Here are a few: Prescription drugs…

25 Aug: Lies about the safety of Canadian drugs

Chris Rice at OpEdNews is boiling mad about corrupting lobbyists and duplicitous politicians who have made it difficult for U.S. residents to buy drugs from Canadian pharmacies. Here’s an excerpt from his column: LIE: The Bush administration is fighting importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada by claiming they are unsafe and thereby protecting pharmaceutical companies who have given over $74 billion (or $2,033 per hour) [in contributions] since 2000. FACT: HHS and FDA officials cannot identify a single American injured as a result drugs purchased from licensed Canadian pharmacies. One of the nation’s leading health experts stated the administration’s argument was “hogwash” since “drugs purchased through the Canadian health care system are every bit as safe as those available…

18 Aug: A peek inside the FDA’s black box warning labels

Today’s Los Angeles Times has a feature analyzing the FDA’s so-called “black box” warning labels — and why some risky drugs receive them while others don’t. The article specifically poses this question: Cipro and the similar antibiotics are given the agency’s strictest black box warning label, while epilepsy drugs Lyrica, Depakote and Topamax may have escaped. Why? There’s nothing earthshaking in the piece — the FDA’s decisions are presented as more or less appropriate — but for those interested in how the FDA does its job, it’s a worthwhile procedural. The story is accompanied by a glossary of drug regulation terms.

07 Aug: Are suffix drugs a ripoff?

The Consumerist has been pulling plums from Dr. Edward Jardini’s How to Save on Prescription Drugs — and the latest has caused a bit of a firestorm on the blog. Specifically, the Consumerist says that “suffix drugs” — the kinds with letters like CD, CR, ER, LA, SR, XL, XR, or XT after the name — are usually just different versions of the same drug that vary only in how the drug releases in the body. The blog then says: By coming up with different variations on old drugs, pharmaceutical companies can keep the profits rolling on drugs whose patents have expired. Best of all, if they can get the doctor to write one of these letter sequences after the…

29 Jul: Follow eDrugSearch.com on Twitter

We’ve started a Twitter account and would love for you to follow us. If you’re not familiar with Twitter, it’s a social network built around a kind of mini-blogging or group IM tool that allows you to leave messages of up to 140 characters. Some of our favorite bloggers like John Mack, Jack Friday and Matthew Holt are already using it, so we thought we’d try it out, too. You can follow us here: https://twitter.com/carybyrd

28 Jul: Big Pharma dances on the FDA’s grave, part 2

I wrote the other day about the hypocrisy –not to mention true gall — that pharma apologists like Peter Pitts have shown in their attacks on licensed Canadian pharmacy drug reimportation. Essentially, Pitts argues that Americans should not be permitted to buy Canadian drugs because the FDA is incompetent to regulate these imports and keep the public safe. This is now the pharmaceutical industry’s leading argument against Canadian drugs. The exquisitely painful irony here, of course, is that Big Pharma has been leading the charge to de-fang (and then de-gum and de-tongue) the FDA for decades now. I like the analogy I used the other day, so I’ll use it again: It’s like a child murdering his parents — then…

23 Jul: Big Pharma steps up disinformation campaign against drug reimportation

You might think Big Pharma would give up its longstanding fight against Canadian pharmacy drug reimportation — now that both John McCain and Barack Obama vocally support it (not to mention 80 percent of the American public). You’d be wrong. As it turns out, Big Pharma believes it has a trump card in its bid to maintain its inflated drug profits by keeping out competition from abroad. That trump card: the incompetence of the FDA. The argument is outlined in this op-ed piece by Peter Pitts, president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, which is funded by Big Pharma among other sources. Says Pitts: Several lawmakers have proposed allowing Americans to buy drugs from abroad. Since many…

06 Jul: Why pharmaceutical companies want marijuana legalized

I came across a really interesting piece on AlterNet, detailing the efforts of Big Pharma to develop and patent cannabis-based medicines. Apparently, pharmaceutical companies think medical marijuana delivered as patented pills, oral sprays and in other forms could be a real cash cow. They think this benefit would more than offset any loss of revenues from people turning to roll-your-own solutions. Here’s an excerpt from the story: Big Pharma is busily applying for — and has already received — multiple patents for the medical properties of pot … … as the private sector continues to move forward with research into the safety and efficacy of marijuana-based pharmaceuticals, it will become harder and harder for the government and law enforcement to…

23 Jun: What’s the difference between brand-name and generic drugs?

In the United States, we’re trained virtually from birth to value brand names — in fact, often to overvalue them. Did you know, for example, that when large corporations buy one another, they often have to pay millions — or even billions — of dollars for something accountants call “intangible assets”? One of these assets — called “goodwill” — can be thought of as the value of the brand. It reflects the profits a company makes over and above what you’d expect from the tangible assets alone, simply because of its reputation. Big pharmaceutical companies want you to buy into the value of brands when purchasing prescription medications — so you’ll pay more for them. That’s one of the reasons…

13 Jun: Tracey Ullman on Buying Canadian Drugs

Comedienne Tracey Ullman debuted a new series on Showtime this season, and one of her funniest bits was making fun of FDA policy that — officially, at least — forbids American consumers from purchasing drugs from Canadian pharmacies. Check it out: It’s funny stuff. Of course, the reality, for those familiar with the law, is that the FDA permits U.S. citizens to order drugs in supplies of 90 days or less without fear of confiscation. It’s similar to the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gay soldiers. Though it wouldn’t happen in real life, Ullman’s skit does point out the true absurdity of the FDA’s official stance on Canadian drug reimportation. Fortunately, both John McCain and Barack Obama oppose…

22 May: Don’t blame the Internet for prescription drug abuse

Yeah, I know; I’ve written about this topic before — more than a few times. But I feel compelled to do so again. Frankly, I’m mad as heck and I can’t take it any more. Just as there have been past hysterias blaming the Internet for sexual predators, pornography, political polarization, celebrity obsession, obesity (go outside and play!) and every other social malady facing our nation, now it seems the media is whipping itself into a frenzy over the dangers of Internet pharmacies for prescription drug abuse. The latest blog post I flagged on this topic, “Internet Pharmacy Websites the New Drug Dealers,” referenced a sad tale on CNN.com headlined, “My husband died from online drugs.” Don’t get me wrong….

22 May: Arthritis sufferers have an alternative to Celebrex

With all the buzz (some good but mostly bad) about Celebrex out there, it’s surprising how few people seem to be aware of an alternative arthritis treatment called Euflexxa. I just ran a Google search on the two terms, and while Celebrex returned 11,300,000 results, Euflexxa came back with just 14,800. That’s a shame. More than 10 million Americans have osteoarthritis of the knee; it’s one of the most common forms of arthritis. Until recently, the most patients could hope for was to manage the pain and inflammation with drugs ranging from (on the mild end) acetaminophen up to (on the severe end) Celebrex. With Celebrex, of course, patients also had to weigh the benefits vs. the well-publicized risks. In…

20 May: Reclast’s “jaw problems” caused by too many warnings.

Retired physician John R. Agnew has an amusing take on Big Pharma’s bombardment of consumers with DTC advertising. Writes Agnew: The drug commercials seem to me to be insulting. They overstate the benefits, minimize the side effects and ignore the cost: “Panacea is not for everyone,” they warn. “Let your doctor know if you have liver disease (he is too dumb to figure it out for himself) or are allergic to this drug (which you wouldn’t know in advance anyway). Side effects include fainting, jaundice, suicidal thoughts, constipation and sudden death. Do not operate heavy machinery after taking the first dose, and tell your doctor right away if you are dying”… My favorite is Reclast, a once-a-year treatment for osteoporosis….

20 May: The latest verdict against Accutane

Last month, a New Jersey jury awarded a Utah woman named Kamie Kendall $10.5 million for damage done by the acne drug Accutane, one of a series of recent successful lawsuits against the drug’s maker, Hoffman-LaRoche, Inc. The court found that Hoffman-LaRoche did not adequately warn consumers of the drug’s risks and side effects. A lawyer on the winning side states: It’s a very dangerous drug – it causes birth defects, it causes psychosis, it causes IBD. When you’ve got a drug like this you shouldn’t mince words at all, which is at the heart of the case. No question that’s been our point, and in three cases, we’ve won $2.5 million, then just over $7 million, then now almost…