FDA to Ease Rules for New Alzheimer’s Drugs

Saying there’s “a desperate need” for new Alzheimer’s treatments, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it plans to ease the approval rules for experimental drugs in the hopes of slowing or preventing the devastating brain disease in its early stages. Noting that without new medications the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s could nearly triple to 16 million by 2050, the FDA’s Russell Katz, M.D., wrote on the agency’s blog that “it was with a sense of urgency” …

Drug-Research Scandal: Patients Lose Again

Isn’t anyone looking out for patients’ welfare these days? Last week we read about how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration was hampered from investigating problems at the compounding pharmacy accused of supplying tainted drugs linked to the recent meningitis outbreak that sickened nearly 500 and killed 34. Then on Sunday a Washington Post investigation charged that the drug industry’s growing influence over research on new medications has resulted in studies being manipulated to obscure dangerous side effects so the …

First Weekly Diabetes Drug Wins FDA Approval

Well, now we know why celebrity chef Paula Deen was recently hired to promote the daily diabetes drug she takes: That drug is getting some new competition from Bydureon, the first once-a-week treatment for Type 2 diabetes approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA approved the injectable, extended-release drug last month after several delays due to government concerns that it might cause heart rhythm abnormalities. Manufacturer Amylin Pharmaceuticals expects the drug to be available in pharmacies this …

Juicy News: Citrus May Cut Stroke Risk, But Beware of Grapefruit

Lots of citrusy health news recently: Researchers say a nutrient in vitamin C-rich fruits like oranges, tangerines and grapefruit may help lower women’s risk of stroke, but beware — the Food and Drug Administration also just issued a reminder that fresh grapefruit and grapefruit juice can interfere with some prescription and nonprescription drugs. According to a new study published last week in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, women who ate the most citrus fruit had a 19 percent …

Check Your Medicine Cabinet: Excedrin, Bufferin, NoDoz and Gas-X Recalled

Several well-known, over-the-counter medicines from drug-maker Novartis — including 16 types of Excedrin — are being voluntarily recalled, the Food and Drug Administration has announced, because some bottles may contain broken pills or tablets from other Novartis products, including some powerful prescription painkillers. Consumers are being warned to check their medicine cabinets for Excedrin and NoDoz with expiration dates of Dec. 20,2014, or earlier, and Bufferin and Gas-X Prevention with expiration dates of Dec. 20, 2013, or earlier. Consumers who …

New Pneumonia Vaccine For Adults 50 and Older

A pneumonia vaccine previously recommended only for infants and young children, has now been approved for adults ages 50 and older, the Food and Drug Administration announced. The vaccine protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal disease, including the most common type of pneumonia plus meningitis and ear infection. It previously had been approved for use in children ages six weeks through five years. A little more than a month ago, a panel of federal health experts voted overwhelmingly to recommend …