People die from overdoses of prescription painkillers more than cocaine or heroin.
With the now-widespread use of mobile phones in mind, the Philadelphia office of the Drug Enforcement Administration launched an anonymous texting tip line for people to alert authorities about fraudulent use of prescription drugs.
The Philly DEA office said in a statement that to use the service on a cell phone, enter Tip411 (847411) in the “To” field, and the keyword “ RXTIP” followed by the tip information in the text field.
Most adults - and, unfortunately, a few children - face vexing financial decisions.
John Hammergren was no different. Hammergren is the chief executive officer of McKesson Corp., which is the largest of the big three pharmaceutical wholesalers. Valley Forge-based AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health are the other two.
According to the Wall Street Journal (link here), Hammergren faced a difficult decision just before March 31.
In the wake of Monday's Supreme Court decision that blocked the ability of patients to sue generic drugmakers for design flaws in their medicine because it would conflict with Food and Drug Administration rules, members of Congress and consumer groups renewed their plea to the FDA to change those rules.
A link to Tuesday's Inquirer story is here.
Three senators and four representatives - all Democrats - sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, urging her to make the changes happen so that patients who think they are harmed can seek redress in state courts.
Supreme Court rules in favor of drug companies, FDA in case involving Philly's Mutual Pharmaceutical Co.
In a case involving Philadelphia's Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that federal law related to pharmaceutical regulations preempts a person's ability to sue in state courts and allege that a generic drug is designed badly.
The 5-4 decision - split along the traditional conservative-liberal line - is a victory for the drug industry and, indirectly, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The case is Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., v. Bartlett, 12-142.
A Senate committee is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon to discuss problems of questionable prescribing practices under the Medicare Part D program. A recent report found that more than 700 doctors had unusually high prescribing patterns, and more half of them tended to scribble scripts for controlled substances.
Part D is the prescription drug portion of Medicare, the federal government's insurance program for people age 65 and older, along with some younger people who are disabled. Taxes pay for Medicare, generally. However, when President Bush pushed through Medicare Part D - which cost the federal government $62 billion in 2012 - he did not push through extra taxes to pay for it.
Not surprisingly, seniors like discounted medication.
The Food and Drug Administration said it has approved Teva's Plan B One-Step for all ages without a prescription, which represents another step in the decade long legal and regulatory debate over access to emergency oral contraception, often referred to as the morning-after pill.
New York Federal Judge Edward Korman - and briefly, so far, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit - has been officiating the legal arguments between the federal government and groups seeking greater access to the medicine for women of all ages and at the lowest possible price.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., is based in Israel but has its Americas headquarters in Montgomery County, outside Philadelphia, makes Plan B One-Step.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued three decisions Thursday, but none of them were Mutual Pharmaceutical Co., v. Bartlett, 12-142.
Mutual used to be a private, stand-alone Philadelphia company, founded in 1947. But since the case began, it was sold to Takeda Pharmaceuticals and then Sun Pharmaceuticals, so Sun inherits the ligation. The case involves whether federal law regarding FDA rules supersede a patient's ability to sue a generic drug company for product design in state court. A New Hampshire woman, Karen Bartlett, suffered a horrible reaction to a generic drug made by Mutual.
A previous Inquirer story, in advance of oral arguments, is here.
Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit has had dozens of recalls in the last few years and the plant in the Philadelphia suburb of Fort Washington has been closed since April 2010. (Other units and divisions have had similar issues.)
In a brief interview Wednesday after speaking at the Wharton Leadership Conference at the University of Pennsylvania, J&J chief executive officer Alex Gorsky said the company was waiting for the FDA to "check off" some of the boxes on the list of repairs or renovations that J&J had to complete before a full review is done, perhaps by the end of 2013.
Thursday's Inquirer print story is here.