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  View the entire October 2017 issue in PDF format

  • U.S. Senate Passes 'False-Hope' Act
    (October 2017)
    In August, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the so-called Right to Try Act. Worst Pills, Best Pills News Editor Dr. Michael Carome explains how this deceptively named bill would put countless patients at risk by undermining important FDA safety rules related to the use of unapproved, experimental medications.
  • News Brief for October 2017
    (October 2017)
    In this month’s news brief, we report on the FDA’s recent decision to partially grant a petition from Public Citizen to require the addition of a warning about a dangerous drug-drug interaction to product labeling of repaglinide-containing diabetes medications.
  • Tofacitinib (XELJANZ): The Wrong Choice for Rheumatoid Arthritis
    (October 2017)
    Tofacitinib is one of the newer medications approved by the FDA for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Learn why we have designated this drug as Do Not Use.
  • Diabetes Drug Canagliflozin Doubles Risk of Amputations, FDA Warns
    (October 2017)
    Canagliflozin is one of three medications in the newest diabetes drug class. In this article, we discuss why the FDA recently required that a black-box warning about the risk of amputations be added to the product labeling of canagliflozin.
  • Vitamin E Does Not Prevent Declines in Memory and Cognitive Function
    (October 2017)
    Dietary supplement makers often tout vitamin E products for a variety of purported health benefits, including the promotion of brain health. Find out why vitamin E supplements are unlikely to prevent cognitive decline and may cause serious harm if taken in doses exceeding the recommended dietary allowance.
  • Injected Naltrexone for Opioid Addiction
    (October 2017)
    Hear how drugmaker Alkermes has engaged in a novel but troubling marketing campaign to increase sales of its once-monthly injected version of naltrexone (VIVITROL) for treatment of opioid addiction.

  View the entire September 2017 issue in PDF format

  • Owner of Drugmaker Linked to Meningitis Outbreak Convicted of Racketeering But Acquitted of Murder
    (September 2017)
    In March 2017, a federal jury found the co-owner of a now-bankrupt Massachusetts compounding pharmacy guilty on more than 50 counts of racketeering and mail fraud for his role in the deadly nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak in 2012, which had been linked to tainted steroid drugs. Read the troubling details of how the company’s co-owner escaped being convicted of second-degree murder.
  • A Dangerous Proposal to Roll Back Pharmacy Compounding Rules
    (September 2017)
    Following a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak linked to a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy’s tainted steroid drugs, Congress in 2013 passed a law to strengthen the FDA’s oversight of the compounding pharmacy industry. Learn about reckless legislation now being considered by Congress that would reverse the 2013 law.
  • New Evidence Refutes Testosterone Benefits for Age-Related Symptoms
    (September 2017)
    In this article, we discuss new data from well-designed randomized controlled trials that show that testosterone treatment in older men with low testosterone blood levels does not improve memory or other cognitive functions and actually increases the buildup of cholesterol in coronary arteries.
  • Naltrexone-Bupropion (CONTRAVE): Another Dangerous Weight-Loss Drug
    (September 2017)
    Learn why Public Citizen’s Health Research Group has designated CONTRAVE, a combination weight-loss medication that was approved by the FDA in 2014, as Do Not Use.
  • Black-Box Warning Added to Hepatitis C Drugs
    (September 2017)
    The FDA recently required that the product labeling for several of the newest hepatitis C drugs be revised to include a black-box warning, the strongest warning that the agency can require. Find out what the new warning says.
  • Abuse-deterrent Opioids
    (September 2017)
    To address the growing epidemic of prescription opioid drug overdoses in the U.S., many drugmakers have attempted to develop opioid pills that are supposedly resistant to being manipulated in ways that make them easier to abuse. In this article, we highlight problems with these so-called abuse-deterrent opioid formulations.

  View the entire August 2017 issue in PDF format

  • FDA Calls for Withdrawal of Dangerous Opioid That Never Should Have Been Approved
    (August 2017)
    Worst Pills, Best Pills News Editor Dr. Michael Carome assesses the implications of the FDA’s recent request that a major pharmaceutical company remove from the market its reformulated extended-release opioid product.
  • Anti-Clotting Drugs Increase Risk of Dangerous Bleeding In the Head
    (August 2017)
    Millions of people in the U.S. take blood thinners or antiplatelet medications to prevent the formation of potentially harmful clots in the heart, large veins or arteries. In this article, we report new research that examined the risk of one of the most serious bleeding complications associated with these drugs: subdural hematomas in the head.
  • Food-Drug Interactions You Should Know About
    (August 2017)
    Although health care professionals often advise patients on whether the medications they are taking may interact with each other, they do not always discuss how various foods may interact with medications. Learn about some of these dangerous food-drug interactions and how to protect yourself.
  • Drugs That Cause Diarrhea
    (August 2017)
    Many medicines can cause diarrhea, which can be severe and life-threatening in some cases. Find out which drugs have this adverse effect.
  • Medications for Hair Loss
    (August 2017)
    Alopecia, or excessive hair loss, is a common problem among both men and women, and it can have a considerable negative impact on the body image and emotional well-being of affected individuals. In this article, we present our recommendations regarding drugs that are approved for treating hair loss.

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