Former Players Say NFL Teams Gave Pain Pills ‘Like Candy’

By Jim Litke, AP Sports Writer Former NFL lineman Jeremy Newberry says he often hobbled into the San Francisco 49ers locker room using a walking boot and crutches, then lined up behind as many as two dozen teammates for treatment – in his case, a shot of the painkiller Toradol. Ten minutes later, he sprinted onto the field to play. The toughness of pro football players is part of the league’s image, but a lawsuit filed on May 20 on …

The Surprising Risks of Antibiotics

The next time you find yourself asking for an antibiotic to treat a nasty cough or sinus infection – or accepting one when your doctor offers it - consider this: Doctors are overprescribing antibiotics and putting patients at risk, sometimes giving patients three times as many antibiotics as are warranted, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. This practice can cause harmful side effects and lead to infections that kill thousands of Americans …

The Essential Philip Seymour Hoffman

When I glanced at my e-mail alerts on Sunday and saw that Philip Seymour Hoffman, arguably the greatest film actor of his generation, had died of a probable drug overdose, I felt the same mix of sadness and anger that came over me when Whitney Houston died. Again, a performer taken way too soon… again a drug death preceded by reports that the artist was “clean and sober”…again that empty feeling of a creative resume half-filled, never to be completed. …

GlaxoSmithKline Ends Payments to Doctors

Pharmaceutical companies make lots of money and spend lots of money, including lavish payments to doctors for consulting; expenses-paid conferences, cruises and other events for doctors; and bonuses for sales reps who exceed sales targets, even if that means pitching a drug for uses the Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved. Over the past three years, the investigative journalists at the nonprofit ProPublica, along with its news media partners, have been writing about these practices in the series Dollars for Doctors …

Drug Company to Pay $2.2 Billion in Risperdal Settlement

We hear a lot about how older Americans have difficulties with their prescription medications. That makes it all the more disturbing when a pharmaceutical company takes advantage of them by promoting a drug as safe and effective for a certain condition – like, say, dementia - when in fact it may not be. According to the Justice Department, that’s what Johnson & Johnson did in marketing its antipsychotic drug Risperdal to older adults and other vulnerable patients. Now the company will …

Medicare Premiums Stay Level

Medicare premiums will stay at their current levels next year. While the Affordable Care Act has made sweeping changes in the nation’s health care system, the monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which covers doctor visits and most types of outpatient services, will stay at $104.90 in 2014, with the deductible also unchanged, at $147. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter. Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), called that “good news …