Archive for November, 2011

A second chance for faulty food? FDA calls it ‘reconditioning’

When a school lunch supplier repackaged moldy applesauce into canned goods and fruit cups, it drew a sharp warning from federal health regulators last month — and general disgust from almost everyone else. But even as Food and Drug Administration officials prepare to re-inspect Snokist Growers of Yakima, Wash., to ensure that the applesauce maker keeps toxin-tainted fruit off store shelves, federal officials and industry experts acknowledge that Snokist is not alone in “reworking” faulty food. Turning imperfect, mislabeled or outright contaminated foods into edible — and profitable — goods is so common that virtually all producers do it, at least to some extent, sources say.

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Merck to plead guilty, pay $950M over Vioxx marketing

Drug giant Merck has agreed to plead guilty and pay $950 million to settle criminal and civil charges over the marketing of the arthritis painkiller Vioxx, which studies showed increased the risk of strokes and heart attacks, the Justice Department has announced. Merck pulled Vioxx from the market in September 2004.

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Yaz and Yasmin linked to kidney or gallbladder problems

The birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin may increase a woman’s risk of developing kidney or gallbladder problems. Multiple warnings by the Food and Drug Administration have alerted doctors and patients about serious kidney and gallbladder risks linked to the use of Yaz or Yasmin.

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FDA revokes approval of Avastin for breast cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declared the blockbuster drug Avastin should no longer be used in breast cancer patients because there is no proof it extends their lives — and it is causing dangerous side effects.

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FDA: Trilipix May Not Cut Heart Attack Risk

The FDA changed the label for the cholesterol-lowering medicine Trilipix (fenofibric acid) and is notifying healthcare professionals that the drug “may not lower a patient’s risk of having a heart attack or stroke.”

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Medical Malpractice Damage Caps Harmful To Patients

In 2003, the state of Texas passed a radical bill that placed strict limits on medical malpractice damages for pain and suffering. Despite arguments that these damage caps would bring better health care to the state of Texas, the real beneficiaries of this law are the doctors who are no longer held accountable for their negligence and their insurance companies.

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FDA asks TNF blocker makers to submit cancer reports

The FDA has asked manufacturers of certain class of drugs, known as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blockers, to submit reports of cancers in children and adolescents due to an increased risk of lymphoma and other cancers. TNF blockers include Remicade (infliximab), Enbrel (etanercept), Humira (adalimumab), Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) and Simponi (golimumab).

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