Meds

Statins do not decrease the risk of many cancers

by Kristina Fiore

Claims of unintended benefits of statins appear to be largely unsubstantiated and known risks — including liver and renal problems and myopathy — confirmed, British researchers concluded based on findings from a large prospective open cohort study.

The study involving more than two million people, “largely confirmed other studies that reported no clear association between statins and risk of cancers,” Julia Hippisley-Cox, MD, and Carol Coupland, MD, of the …

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Primary care antibiotic resistance for common infections

by Nancy Walsh

Primary care patients prescribed an antibiotic for a urinary tract or respiratory infection consistently developed resistance to that antibiotic lasting as long as one year, a British meta-analysis revealed.

In five studies that included 14,348 patients treated for urinary tract infections, within one month of receiving an antibiotic an individual patient’s odds ratio having a resistant pathogen was 4.40 (95% CI 3.78 to 5.12), according to Céire Costelloe, PhD, …

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Doctors can report bad drug ads to the FDA

by John Gever

A new FDA program seeks to enlist healthcare professionals in flagging improper sales tactics for prescription drugs.

Although the agency calls the program “Bad Ad,” its interest goes beyond broadcast and print advertisements to include misleading in-person presentations.

Housed within the Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communication (DDMAC), the program is intended to increase the number of eyes and ears available to monitor pharmaceutical companies’ promotional activities — especially …

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Proton pump inhibitors associated with fracture and C. difficile

by Charles Bankhead

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) significantly increased the risk of both fracture and recurrent infection with Clostridium difficile, investigators in separate studies reported.

PPI use increased the odds of spine, forearm/wrist, and total fractures by 25% to 50% over three years, but had no effect on the risk of hip fracture. Overall, the acid-fighters had a modest effect on bone mineral density (BMD), Seattle researchers reported in the May 10 …

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Few receive the shingles vaccine because of cost to doctors

by Michael Smith

It’s a classic good-news, bad-news story.

The vaccine against shingles, already shown to be effective, is both safe and well-tolerated, researchers found after following more than 38,000 participants in the randomized trial that led to the 2006 approval of the vaccine.

On the other hand, few people are getting the vaccine, and for a variety of reasons — including its cost — researchers noted in a separate study. Both analyses …

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Fight against salt needs consumer help

by Cole Petrochko

As a person who has handled salt in cooking, is prone to headaches from sodium, and has written an article on legislating salt content in prepared and packaged foods, let me tell you about salt, because I know a thing or two.

Well, it would be hard to not know much about salt after the recent string of attention paid to the “white shaken one” — eat too …

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Statins for heart disease prevention, is the luster fading?

by Peggy Peck

First, my disclosure: I’ve written at least one news article about every major statin trial since 4-S, and I’ve been mightily impressed with almost all of the statin data. So, I was also impressed when the JUPITER results were reported about a year and a half ago — although I became a little less “impressed” as JUPITER continued to spew forth …

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Alternative medicine isn’t taught to doctors in medical school

by Crystal Phend

Physicians don’t know much more about complementary and alternative medicine than their patients do, according to a new survey.

Most healthcare professionals who answered an online survey of Drug and Therapeutic Bulletin subscribers said their profession was just as poorly informed about herbal medicines (75.5%) as the general public (86.3%).

And almost half of respondents rated their own knowledge about herbal medicines as “quite” or “very” poor (36.2% and 10.4%, …

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Colchicine is now a branded gout drug, and why patients lose

Colchicine is a commonly used drug to treat gout. It used to cost pennies a pill, but now its price has since soared to $5 or more a pill.

What happened?

It’s an unintended consequence of FDA regulation. Colchicine had been used for centuries, but was caught up with the FDA’s zeal to regulate unapproved drugs.

A profit-driven pharmaceutical company swooped in at the opportunity, and performed the studies showing …

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