The Takeaway: Drugmakers Defraud Uncle Sam Repeatedly

Pharma Giants Flaunt Rules: Several of the largest American pharmaceutical companies have repeatedly defrauded Medicare, Medicaid and patients over the past decade. But because these drugmakers””including Pfizer and Merck””are the only ones making critical medicines in the U.S., the federal government must continue to do business with them.

Blockbuster Drugs Going Generic This Year

Happy New Year! Here’s some good news to start your year off right: many name-brand prescription medications are going generic this year. Among them: Lexapro, used to treat depression (March) Provigil, which treats sleep problems (April) Plavix, an antiplatelet drug which can prevent blood clots (May) Singulair, an Asthma drug (August) In the second half of 2011, Lipitor, Solodyn and Zyprexa went generic. If you are taking any of these name-brand drugs, talk to your doctor about cheaper, generic alternatives. Photo credit: on …

Drug Abuse Among Older Adults On the Rise

This is a guest post by Annie Lynsen, on loan to AARP from Small Act. When you picture a typical drug addict, what age is that person? Probably not over 55. Yet drug and alcohol abuse among older adults is on the rise. Between 1995 and 2002, the number of substance abuse treatment admissions for people 55 and older increased by 32 percent, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2005). Typically, older drug addicts aren’t abusing …

How To Save Money on Medications and Find the Best One For You

Have you ever wondered if the medication you’re taking is really the best one for your condition? Is there a less expensive, but equally effective medication you can use instead? Or is there a comparable drug with fewer side effects? You can find out with the Drug Savings Tool.

The Takeaway: Super-Committee Countdown; 1 In 5 U.S. Adults On Psych Meds

Yet the deficit reduction committee’s deadline fast approaching, it’s still uncertain whether panel members will be able to get over their current partisan deadlock and actually do what they set out to do””and if they fail, older Americans have a lot to lose. Plus, a new analysis finds 20 percent of all American adults are taking medication to treat some sort of mental or behavioral health problem.

Drug Take Back Day

It’s that time of year again; here on the East Coast, we’re unpacking our sweaters, and doing a quick inventory of summer, a sort of fall cleaning. Do you do do a seasonal survey of your closet? Maybe, in addition to that home cleaning, you should take a peek in that medicine cabinet of yours. October 29th is Drug Take Back Day. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency will be collecting unneeded and expired medicines. Do you hold on to prescriptions …