Tag Archives: Pharmacy & Pills

Drug bust nets huge haul of heroin and fake oxycodone pills in Delaware

Drug bust nets huge haul of heroin and fake oxycodone pills in DelawareTwo men have been charged with distributing controlled substances – in this case, fentanyl disguised as oxycodone pills.



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Drug makers flooded US with billions of opioid pills as epidemic surged, data shows

Drug makers flooded US with billions of opioid pills as epidemic surged, data showsStatistics are a blow to country’s biggest pharmaceuticals that paid millions of dollars in out of court settlementsPurdue sold $ 3bn of its high-strength branded drug, OxyContin, which in 2010, was about one-third of the opioid market by value at its peak. Photograph: Toby Talbot/APDrug makers and distributors flooded the US with more than 75bn opioid pills in the crucial years when the country’s epidemic of painkiller addiction and deaths surged to record levels, according to previously secret data released by an American court.The publication of the Drug Enforcement Administration statistics is a blow to some of the country’s biggest pharmaceutical firms that have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in out of court settlements in part to keep sealed evidence that they profiteered from escalating demand for opioids even as public health officials were declaring an epidemic.The database covers 2006 to 2012 when opioid prescriptions reached a peak of 282m a year, enough to supply every American adult with a month’s worth of pills. By then, annual sales of narcotic painkillers had surged past $ 8bn.US district judge Dan Polster, in federal court in Cleveland, Ohio, is hearing about 2,000 civil cases brought by cities and counties coast-to-coast against opioid makers and distributors, wrapped into a giant case known as a multi-district litigation.He ordered the release of the data following a year-long legal battle by newspaper companies the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia, the state worst hit by the opioid epidemic, and the Washington Post.Deliveries of the two most common opioids, hydrocodone and oxycodone, escalated by more than 50% in the years covered by the database, to 12.6bn pills in 2012 alone, an analysis of the DEA numbers by the Washington Post found.By then the federal agency the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had declared a public health crisis because of the surging death toll from overdoses. Some of the largest increases in sales were to parts of the country already devastated by opioids.Nearly nine out of 10 of the pills were manufactured by subsidiaries of three pharmaceutical multinationals – Mallinckrodt, Endo and Actavis, since renamed Allergan.These companies may not be household names but the pills they sold ardently, often allegedly inappropriately for treatment of chronic pain and while downplaying the risks of addiction, infiltrated communities all across the US in the last two decades.Mallinckrodt sold nearly 29bn opioids in the six years to 2012, taking 38% of the US market. Actavis was not far behind while Endo sold 11bn opioid tablets. Among Endo’s drugs was a high-strength opioid, Opana, that it was forced to pull from the market because it was killing so many people.Meanwhile Purdue Pharma is alleged to have played a leading role in driving the mass prescribing that unleashed the epidemic by changing the practice and culture of pain treatment. It was the fourth-largest manufacturer but with a much smaller proportion of the market at about 3%t.However, the volume of sales does not necessarily reflect the impact of individual drugs on the epidemic. Many of the more common painkillers were lower-strength opioids which helped create dependency and addiction but did not pose the same risk of overdose as stronger but less widely prescribed narcotics.Purdue sold $ 3bn of its high-strength branded drug, OxyContin, in 2010, about one-third of the opioid market by value at its peak.The pill consists of oxycodone, a powerful opioid derived from the opium poppy and which is stronger than morphine. The drug has been widely blamed for a surge in overdose deaths through the 2000s.All of the companies are targets of multiple lawsuits accusing them of driving up opioid sales with false claims about the safety and effectiveness of their drugs as are the members of the Sackler family who own Purdue Pharma.The newly released DEA data will bolster the plaintiffs’ claim that responsibility for the epidemic runs wide across the drug industry with manufacturers intent on grabbing as large a part of the opioid market as possible with little regard for the unfolding human tragedy.The opioid makers have denied wrongdoing and, among other things, sought to place blame for the epidemic on doctors overprescribing drugs. But Purdue has previously been hit with a $ 600m fine for a criminal conviction over its marketing of opioids, and in March the company agreed to pay $ 270m to settle a civil suit by the state of Oklahoma. Two years ago, Mallinckrodt paid a $ 35m settlement with the justice department over its opioid deliveries.County-by-county data shows that sales of opioids were often focused on areas most blighted by the epidemic, including some of the poorest parts of Appalachia. At one point, the highest per capita deliveries were to rural Mingo county, West Virginia, where “pill mills” and pharmacies were raking in money by churning out prescriptions without question to anyone who paid cash. The practice drew caravans of drug users from hundreds of miles away.Large numbers of the opioids delivered to Mingo county were by the country’s biggest drug distributor, McKesson Corporation. The Washington Post said the DEA data showed that McKesson and five other companies, including the pharmaceutical chains Walgreens, CVS and Walmart, were responsible for the bulk of painkiller deliveries across the US.McKesson, which is listed seventh in the Fortune 500 paid a record $ 150m fine two years ago to settle federal accusations that it was making suspiciously large deliveries of opioids to places where there could not be a legitimate demand for so many pills.It was also among companies that paid millions of dollars to settle lawsuits by West Virginia’s attorney general that they flooded his state with opioids.A former head of the DEA division responsible for monitoring prescription drug distribution, Joe Rannazzisi, has previously told the Guardian that he attempted to launch criminal prosecutions against McKesson and other distributors but he ran into the power of the industry’s political lobbying and was blocked by justice department officials.



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Elon Musk repeatedly breaks down in interview as he admits taking pills to sleep and explains bizarre Tesla tweet

Elon Musk repeatedly breaks down in interview as he admits taking pills to sleep and explains bizarre Tesla tweetElon Musk repeatedly broke down in an interview in which he attempted to explain some of his recent strange behaviour. The Tesla boss has admitted to taking pills to sleep and that he has had a difficult year, alternating between laughter and crying as he did. Mr Musk made the revelations in an interview with the New York Times that appeared to have been organised primarily to address the controversy around a recent tweet he posted about Tesla.



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Indiana teen allegedly tried to kill infant niece by lacing breast milk with pills

Indiana teen allegedly tried to kill infant niece by lacing breast milk with pillsPolice say a 19-year-old from Indiana has been wanted on an arrest warrant for months after allegedly trying to kill her 11-week-old niece old using poisonous breast milk.



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Mom Gets 50 Years for Giving Son, 5, Fatal Dose of Pills and Setting His Body on Fire

Mom Gets 50 Years for Giving Son, 5, Fatal Dose of Pills and Setting His Body on FireNarges Shafeirad pleaded guilty last year to feeding her 5-year-old son, Daniel Dana, a fatal dose of antihistamines.



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Pregnant US women sue over mislabeled birth control pills

A suit was filed in Philadelphia against four pharmaceutical companies that sold birth control pills in packaging that mistakenly reversed the order in which they were to be taken, rendering them ineffectiveMore than 100 women who became pregnant after taking birth control pills that were mislabeled have filed suit in the United States, seeking millions of dollars in damages and interest, their lawyer said Thursday. The suit was filed last week in Philadelphia against four pharmaceutical companies that sold the pills in packaging that mistakenly reversed the order in which they were to be taken, rendering them ineffective. The packaging error left the women "without adequate compensation and at risk for unwanted pregnancy," the complaint charges.



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Is Taking Birth Control Pills A Band-Aid Treatment For PCOS?

Is Taking Birth Control Pills A Band-Aid Treatment For PCOS?I remember in my early training that the first question to ask a patient with polycystic ovary syndrome was: "Are you trying to get pregnant?" If no, hand them the birth control pill. If yes, choose between clomid, a fertility drug, and metformin, an insulin sensitizer. No questions related to lifestyle, stress, nutrition, total toxic burden…



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‘Over the counter’ birth control pills might save public money

(Corrects attribution of paragraph 5.) By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) – Providing no- or low-cost birth control pills over the counter may reduce costs and prevent up to a quarter of unplanned pregnancies, researchers say. Many women would likely start using oral contraceptives if they were available with little or no up-front cost over the counter instead of with a prescription, they suggest in the journal Contraception. …
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‘Over the counter’ birth control pills might save public money

By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) – Providing no- or low-cost birth control pills over the counter may reduce costs and prevent up to a quarter of unplanned pregnancies, researchers say. Many women would likely start using oral contraceptives if they were available with little or no up-front cost over the counter instead of with a prescription, they suggest in the journal Contraception. “Making pills available without a prescription would remove the need for unnecessary, time-consuming and sometimes expensive visits to doctors’ offices and clinics,” wrote Diana Foster, the study’s lead author from the University of California, San Francisco, in an email to Reuters Health. The researchers used computer models to analyze several studies and databases to predict how unintended pregnancy rates might change if birth control pills were available without a prescription and with little or no cost.
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Pills before and after sex can help prevent HIV, study finds

FILE - In this Thursday, May 10, 2012 file photo, a doctor holds Truvada pills at her office in San Francisco. A study released Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 shows that the drug, used to treat HIV infection, also can help prevent it when taken before and after risky sex by gay men. The study, done in France and Canada, is the first to test "on demand" use of Truvada, a pill combining two AIDS drugs, by people planning to have risky sex. The uninfected men who took it were 86 percent less likely to get HIV compared to men given dummy pills. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)SEATTLE (AP) — For the first time, a study shows that a drug used to treat HIV infection also can help prevent it when taken before and after risky sex by gay men.



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