Archive for November, 2012

Chairman of Senate Health Committee pushes to tighten oversight of drug facilities

The Chairman of the Senate Health Committee has pledged to tighten oversight of drug compounding facilities like the New England Compounding Center (NECC) responsible for the deadly meningitis outbreak. Senator Tom Harkin made the commitment during a Senate hearing in which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was questioned on the fungal meningitis outbreak linked to the NECC.

Read more about the regulation of compounding pharmacies…

New England Compounding meningitis suits can proceed

Lawsuits against New England Compounding Pharmacy Inc. over cases of fungal meningitis linked to the company’s injectable steroids can move forward and evidence must be preserved, a federal judge said. The company had asked U.S. District Judge Dennis Saylor in Boston to delay a dozen lawsuits filed in federal court in Massachusetts pending a decision next year by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on which court should hear the hundreds of cases pending nationwide.

Read more about New England Compounding Center lawsuits…

Zoloft may raise risk for major bleeding in patients taking blood thinners

A new study has found that patients who take the blood thinner Warfarin along with an antidepressant such as Zoloft may be at an increased risk for major bleeding. Patients taking antidepressants in a class known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as well as warfarin were 60% more likely to suffer major hemorrhaging than patients on warfarin but no SSRI.

Read more about hemorrhaging risks caused by SSRI antidepressants…

FDA updates list of New England Compounding Center contaminated drugs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released an updated list of contaminated drugs produced by the New England Compounding Center (NECC), the pharmacy responsible for the recent national meningitis outbreak. FDA inspections of the facility found unknown fungal growths and bacteria in the steroids triamcinolone and betamethasone.

Read more about the contaminated New England Compounding Center drugs…

Ranbaxy Declines After Recall of Generic Lipitor in U.S.

Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. (RBXY) fell the most in more than three months after announcing a recall of the company’s generic version of Pfizer Inc. (PFE)’s cholesterol treatment Lipitor. Ranbaxy is pulling the pills from the U.S. because they may contain small particles of glass, the company said in a statement on its website. The recall of atorvastatin will cause a “temporary disruption” in the supply of the drug and it will take two weeks to complete an investigation into the issue, Ranbaxy said.

Learn more about the generic Lipitor recall…

Meningitis victims tell Mass. judge: Freeze assets

Lawyers for two people who claim they contracted meningitis from contaminated steroid injections made by a Massachusetts pharmacy asked a judge on Tuesday to freeze up to $461 million in assets of the pharmacy, its owners and two related companies while lawsuits are pending.

Read more about the lawsuits against the New England Compounding Center…

Celexa, Lexapro linked to birth defects in new study

Antidepressants such as Celexa and Lexapro have been linked to an increased risk of serious birth defects, according to a new study published in the journal Human Reproduction. The study encompassed all antidepressants in the same class as Celexa and Lexapro, known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Read more about the link between SSRI antidepressants and birth defects…

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