Biologics, a short term for biological medication, are typically prescribed to nurse autoimmune skin diseases, joints, and gastrointestinal system. They are one of the few drugs that are not made chemically, but instead are extracted from animal cells in laboratories. They are also given by either injection or IV. These drugs can cost up to more than $40,000 a year and are very established in the market. However, these biologic drugs tend to cause many severe issues to consumer's health, maybe more serious than prior to taking the drug. A list of common biologics are Remicade, Humira, Enbrel, Siliq, and Cimzia.
A lawsuit filed in Houston federal court in August claims that at least 15 gas stations scattered throughout the Houston area have been selling pills packaged as over-the-counter "sexual enhancement" supplements that actually contain a number of prescription drugs. Although the pills are marketed with statements like "all natural," "no harmful synthetic chemicals," and "no prescription necessary," the lawsuit alleges that independent lab testing has detected drugs including sildenafil, tadalafil, desmethyl carbodenafil, and dapoxetine-otherwise known as Viagra, Cialis, Priligy, and Westoxetin, respectively.
A botched knockoff of the drug Tri-Moxi (which is often injected into a patient's eye during cataract surgery) has caused at least 68 people in the Dallas area to suffer partial blindness or worse within days or weeks of being injected in the eye during routine cataract surgery. The original inventors of Tri-Moxi, Imprimis, have maintained that the original formula is safe. The alleged purpose of Tri-Moxi is to prevent swelling, infection, and dryness of the operated eye.
In late July, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers that several pharmaceutical companies have initiated recalls of the popular blood pressure drug valsartan after discovering that the medication is contaminated with a potentially carcinogenic chemical.
Johnson & Johnson and Bayer were recently ordered by a Philadelphia court to pay $27.8 million in damages to an Indiana couple. The pharmaceutical companies failed to sufficiently warn patients of the risk of internal bleeding associated with the drug, Xarelto. This judgment marks the first lawsuit loss over Xarelto. Johnson & Johnson and Bayer have been cleared of liability in the previous three federal trails that involved the drug.
Coumadin, a blood thinner, can cause death if it is not properly administered and monitored. This drug must be carefully adjusted; if a patient is given too much, bleeding cannot be controlled. If enough is not given, clots can develop. According to government inspection reports from 2011 to 2014, more than 165 nursing home residents were hospitalized or died after dosing errors of Coumadin were made. A 2007 study in the American Journal of Medicine estimated that nursing home residents experience near 34,000 fatal, life-threatening, or serious events related to the blood thinner annually.
According to a study by Houston Methodist and Stanford University, certain acid reflux medications are being linked to an increased risk of heart attacks. Researchers scoured over 16 million records from nearly 3 million patients through data mining in search of a linkage between gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, medication, and frequency of heart attacks. The study found that patients taking drugs known as proton pump inhibitors, such as Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid, had a 16 to 20 percent higher risk of heart attack than those who took H2 blockers, a drug class including Zantac and Tagamet. At this point these studies can only find associations so more conclusive studies are needed to prove if the drugs actually caused these illnesses.
In 2009, at the age of 54, Jed Grisham began taking Plavix for the treatment of blockages in his arteries. Approximately two years later, Grisham suffered from a large left brain hemorrhage and died from his injuries.
In the wake of a recent deadly meningitis outbreak, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will consider ways to strengthen regulation of drug compounding.
Once again the controversial diabetes drug rosiglitazone (Avandia) will be the subject of a 2 day Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hearing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking the unusual step of re-evaluating the evidence of safety risks from the once popular diabetes drug Avandia, whose sales were sharply restricted by the federal agency three years ago because of cardiovascular risks. The re-evaluation is to better assess the drug's safety.