The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating the potential risks of using medicines with codeine to treat coughs and colds in children and has issued a Drug Safety Communication about such medicines. There is a potential for serious side effects, including slowed or difficult breathing.
Codeine is a type of opioid used to treat mild to moderate pain and reduce coughing. It is usually combined with other medications in prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) cough-and-cold medicines, according to the FDA. In April, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced that codeine must not be used to treat coughs and colds in children younger than 12. The EMA also said codeine is not recommended for children and teens between 12 and 18 who have breathing problems, such as asthma. The FDA will continue to evaluate this safety issue and will consider the EMA recommendations. Continue reading
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has proposed new legislation to regulate the sale of used cars with unrepaired recalls with what he says can be lethal safety defects.
Blumenthal, the senior senator from Connecticut, is concerned about cars sold by CarMax. “CarMax advertises that all its vehicles must pass a rigorous ‘125 point inspection,’ but no inspection that routinely ignores outstanding safety recalls can be called ‘rigorous,'” Blumenthal said, according to television station WFSB. “Regardless of whether they are buying a new or used car, all consumers deserve to know they are buying a safe car.” Continue reading
Florida U.S. Rep. Bill Posey recently presented evidence to Congress that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) destroyed data linking the MMR vaccine, (measles, mumps and Rubella) and autism.
Posey based his charges on the allegations from Dr. William Thompson, a 17-year veteran of the CDC, who became a whistleblower and charged that he was pressured to manipulate data in order to conceal possibly harmful side effects of the MMR vaccine, WND (WorldNetDaily) reports. Continue reading
The use of electronic cigarettes has been on the rise in their short time on the market. While they are touted as being a safer alernative to traditional cigarettes and as a cessation tool, there are still public health and safety concerns surrounding the products, especially given the lack of oversight from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency is currently planning on issuing regulations, and as that process moves forward a congresswoman is calling for the devices to be regulated the same as normal cigarettes.
According to Plymouth-Canton Patch, Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) is asking the FDA to place the same restrictions on e-cigarettes as regular cigarettes. The congresswoman was prompted by a veteran who was seriously injured by an exploding vapor pen. “Your natural thought is, is it safe to inhale? But second, is it safe to light up? Could it explode? And most people … didn’t think they had to worry about it exploding and I was actually stunned to hear of the number of incidents that have occurred across the country,” Dingell said to WWJ/CBS Detroit. Continue reading
Many Americans spend up to 90 percent of their food budget on processed foods, which are more convenient and can be less expensive than fresh foods, but health and nutrition experts say such foods may be less healthy than fresh foods.
Dietitian Kate Patton and intern Sara Saliba of the Cleveland Clinic’s Section of Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation explain the concerns. “Processed food has been altered in some way from its natural state,” Patton says. Often, processed foods have additives—substances that add color, enhance flavor or increase the product’s shelf life, for example. “Additives are not necessarily bad,” Patton says. “Most foods do require additives to prevent spoilage and maintain their nutritional value.” Continue reading
Amgen Inc. has agreed to a $71 million settlement with 48 state attorneys general who accused the drug maker of unlawfully marketing its anemia drug Aranesp and plaque psoriasis drug Enbrel, for uses beyond the scope of their Food and Drug Administration’s approvals.
The Thousand Oaks, California-based drug maker agreed to a consent judgment last Tuesday, Law360 reports. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the others said Amgen has marketed Aranesp for cancer-related anemia without FDA approval and promoted Enbrel to treat mild plaque psoriasis — an auto-immune problem that causes the flaking and scaling of skin— though the drug is approved only for more serious forms of the condition, according to a statement issued by Schneiderman. Continue reading
Three manufacturers of duodenoscopes—specialized medical scopes—have received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning letters because the scopes have been linked to outbreaks of a deadly “superbug.”
The FDA says the companies failed to adequately report problems with the devices and, in some instances, failed to ensure the scopes could be cleaned properly between uses, the Washington Post reports. The warning letters were sent to Olympus Medical Systems, Fujifilm Corp., and Pentax Medical. Continue reading
Data shows that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is approving most drugs that come their way. BioMedTracker, a division of publishing giant Informa that helps investors track events in the pharmaceutical industry, was commissioned by Forbes to conduct a new analysis of FDA drug approval rates. That analysis showed that “new molecular entities”, or drugs that have never been marketed before, were rejected 66 percent of the time as recently as 2008. This year, the FDA has approved 89 percent of NME so far; the agency rejected three new uses and approved 25. The increasingly high approval rates raise concerns about allowing unsafe drugs onto the market.
According to Forbes, the statistics are even more dramatic upon closer review. BioMedTracker and the FDA count NME differently, with the former taking every use of a new medicine into consideration. For instance, the new antibiotic Avycaz was rejected this year to treat hospital-acquired pneumonia but it was approved for two other uses. Similarly, the diabetes drugs Jardiance was rejected for combination treatment with metformin but it approved for use on its own. When taking these situations into account, Forbes reports, the true FDA approval rate it about 96 percent. Omitting BioMedTrackers counting of multiple uses for one drug means that the FDA rejected only one drug, Merck’s anesthesia antidote Bridion, and approved 23. Continue reading
Two Massachusetts Nursing Home Employees Accused of Posting Humiliating Videos of Resident Abuse on Snapchat
Two nursing home employees in Lowell, Massachusetts, are accused of abusing residents of the facility and posting humiliating videos of the abuse on Snapchat.
Lowell Police were called to Wingate at Belvidere Nursing Home on Wentworth Avenue around 2 p.m. on July 31, after relatives told police that inappropriate videos of nursing home residents had been posted on Snapchat by 23-year-old Sabrina Costa and 22-year-old Kala Shaniece Lopez, New England Cable News (NECN) reports. Continue reading