Policy & Industry

The Secret to Fast-Acting Antidepressants

Scientists have uncovered the antidepressant mechanism behind ketamine — an anesthetic, a recreational dance-party drug, and, as it turns out, an unusually fast-acting mood booster. The scientists hope that their finding will lead to the development of other, new drugs that can help patients recover from depression faster.

Major …

FDA panel: Avastin ineffective against breast cancer

In light of clinical trials suggesting no benefit from the medication among breast cancer patients, U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted yesterday in favor of withdrawing approval of the cancer drug Avastin (bevacizumab) for treatment of breast cancer. Avastin, which is manufactured by Roche, was originally granted

FDA: obesity drug works, but safety concerns remain

A potential new obesity drug appears effective at helping patients lose weight, according to a report released today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but concerns remain about side effects — which could include depression, anxiety, impact on heart rate and risks for pregnant women. The document was released in advance of a

ER Doctors Feel Pressure to Overtest

Fear of lawsuits often prompts emergency room doctors to order tests that they may feel are unnecessary, the Associated Press reports. In the fast paced environment of an emergency department, making quick decisions that can have life-altering implications is a standard aspect of treatment — and the pressure not to miss anything is …

WHO: Pharma ties didn’t impact swine flu decisions

In response to an investigation published last week in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) which pointed to affiliations between World Health Organization (WHO) advisers and pharmaceutical companies manufacturing H1N1 flu vaccines, WHO inspector general Margaret Chan said that industry ties had no impact on the global health agency’s

BMJ: WHO swine flu advisers had drug company ties

Almost exactly one year ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the swine flu outbreak had reached global pandemic proportions. The announcement, made on June 11, 2009, spurred governments to order huge stocks of vaccines and prompted broad public health initiatives around the globe. And while we can all be grateful that

Possible criminal investigation for Tylenol maker

Things just seem to be getting worse for Johnson & Johnson and one of its branches, McNeil Consumer Healthcare. After a routine inspection by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of a McNeil plant in Pennsylvania found serious lapses in quality control — including bacterial contamination and lack of proper evaluation of a …

The Riskiest FDA-Regulated Foods

Widespread recalls and horror stories about salmonella and E. coli outbreaks have become common fodder for news stories in the U.S. in recent years, and even worked their way into our collective pop culture — in the October …

A Pharma Company Role in Medical Literature

If you’ve ever worried that pharmaceutical companies have too much sway when it comes to determining your treatment, today’s news won’t help quell your fears.

The New York Times reports that a large pharmaceutical developer hired ghostwriters to “play a major role in producing” 26 scientific papers that support hormone replacement …

Does Prevention Really Cut Health-Care Costs?

If you’ve been trying to follow the debate over U.S. health-care reform, you might be confused about whether Obama’s plan is really going to cut costs, how much it will save, and how on earth there can be so much debate over what seems like accounting. At the heart of this issue, however, is the question of prevention: Can prevention …

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