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Gardiner Harris has written a powerful front-page story for the New York Times titled "Medicines Made in India Set Off Safety Worries" (Feb. 15, 2014). If anything, the headline downplays the seriousness of the problem. Here is the first sentence... (Read More)
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The FDA has just banned the importation of pharmaceutical ingredients from the largest drug company in India, but it is not the first time. Four of Ranbaxy's five manufacturing facilities once made drugs or active ingredients for the US market.... (Read More)
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According to The American Heart Association and The American College of Cardiology, 33 million Americans should now be on statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs. That means about twice as many people as are currently prescribed these drugs. Using the new guidelines, physicians... (Read More)
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Whenever we talk with people who have seen a doctor recently, they are generally happy to have gotten helpful advice and treatment. But there are usually two or three things about the visit that drove them nuts. High on the... (Read More)
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Have you been seeing the ad blitz for Lyrica (pregabalin)? A LOT of money is being spent trying to convince the American public that Lyrica is the answer to diabetic nerve pain. One of the most compelling commercials stars a... (Read More)
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Abilify (aripiprazole) is one of the most successful drugs in the pharmacy. Last year this medication had sales of over $5,000,000,000, making it the # 2 medication on the top 10 hit parade of best selling drugs (in dollars).  One... (Read More)
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They are among the most widely swallowed pills in the world today. "They" are acid-suppressing drugs including:   PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS                       • Esomeprazole (Nexium)

            ... (Read More)
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Blood pressure pills are perceived as generally safe medications. ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors in particular are considered highly effective with few adverse reactions. We calculate that at least 100 million prescriptions are filled for ACE inhibitors each year. Here... (Read More)
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A front-page story in the Wall Street Journal has blown the lid off a highly controversial internal squabble at the FDA involving a popular category of blood pressure medicine. ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers) are among the most frequently prescribed drugs... (Read More)
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Physicians, pharmacists and patients love NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.), celecoxib (Celebrex), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), ketoprofen (Orudis), meloxicam (Mobic) and naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn, etc). Billions of such pills are prescribed, dispensed and swallowed... (Read More)
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For more than 10 years we have been worried about the FDA's ability to oversee the quality of generic drugs. That concern arose because of letters, email messages and comments posted to this website from patients who reported all manner... (Read More)
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My father died as a result of a missed diagnosis. He was in the coronary intensive care unit at a teaching hospital in upstate NY after suffering a heart attack at his home. He was treated in a timely manner... (Read More)
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When lovastatin was first approved by the FDA in 1987 under the brand name Mevacor, it was perceived as a breakthrough in cholesterol reduction. Here was a drug that many believed would prevent heart disease without the unpleasant complications of... (Read More)
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Missed diagnoses are harming or killing 150,000 patients every year. How can so many avoidable mistakes be happening? Most of us go to a doctor or hospital because we are having a problem. If a symptom is causing us a... (Read More)
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"When I get coughs they're intense. I cough to the point of throwing up and throwing my upper back out, ending up in the hospital. I always leave with narcotics for my back, a muscle relaxant, cough medicine with codeine,... (Read More)
Bonus Interview: listen to an additional interview with our guest:
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It seemed like a good idea at the time. California required furniture makers to put flame retardants in their upholstery to delay combustion and give people extra time to escape a fire. What's not to like about this idea? Well,... (Read More)
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Physicians, pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies complain bitterly that patients don't take their medicine. Health professionals wring their hands and gnash their teeth over what they call the compliance crisis. Actually, they have changed the name because of a recognition that... (Read More)
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Can medications you take to get a good night's sleep or ease anxiety increase your risk for Alzheimer's disease or dementia? That is the question being raised as a result of a new study published in the BMJ (formery the... (Read More)
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One of the most popular blood pressure pills in the pharmacy these days is Diovan (valsartan). It belongs to a class of medications called ARBs (angiotensin receptor blockers). Other drugs in the class include: ANGIOTENSIN RECEPTOR BLOCKERS (ARBs): • Candesartan... (Read More)
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Miners used to take a canary with them into the coal mine because if the bird died, the air had gone bad and it was time to get out of the mine. Heart attack patients are like those canaries. They... (Read More)
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We are reposting our People's Pharmacy Alert from October 3, 2012 because of The New York Times article about "An Increase in Scrutiny for Generics." On October 3, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it was asking Teva... (Read More)
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Until August 15, 2012, if you asked almost any American physician whether someone with a blood pressure reading of 145/95 should be treated with medication, the answer would have been a resounding yes! Medical students and residents are taught that... (Read More)
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When the very first statin-type cholesterol-lowering drug was approved by the FDA in July, 1987 there was great excitement. Lovastatin (Mevacor) was perceived as a magic bullet for lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart attacks. Within a short... (Read More)
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Finasteride (prescribed as Propecia for baldness and Proscar for enlarged prostate) appears to have serious and potentially long-lasting sexual side effects such as lowered libido, impaired ejaculation and disappointing orgasms. More about this in a moment. When we first learned... (Read More)
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It's bad enough when exposure to a potential toxin affects the person who is exposed. It's even more worrisome when exposure to a chemical affects not only the next generation but possibly future generations as well. That could well be... (Read More)
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Every year millions of Americans are seriously harmed by the medicines that are supposed to heal them or relieve their discomfort. In far too many cases, the injuries are disabling or even fatal. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices [ISMP]... (Read More)
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Q. I am looking for a deodorant or an antiperspirant that doesn't contain aluminum for myself and my teenage daughter. The natural, aluminum-free products from the health food store just don't do the job. My daughter is very self conscious... (Read More)
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The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a provocative article this week titled "Azithromycin and the Risk of Cardiovascular Death." It stimulated dramatic headlines: "Popular Antibiotic May Raise Risk of Sudden Death." New York Times, May 16, 2012 "Antibiotic... (Read More)
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The FDA has just updated its warnings on cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins. These include Altoprev (lovastatin extended-release), Crestor (rosuvastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), Livalo (pitavastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), and Zocor (simvastatin), as well as the combination products Advicor... (Read More)
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Have you ever heard the phrase "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil"? Wonder where it comes from? This proverb about three monkeys is often used to refer to people who deal with bad behavior by pretending it... (Read More)