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Painkillers

OPINION
April 17, 2005
Your April 14 edition reported on two stories illuminating the current state of American justice. In the first, a self-confessed and unrepentant terrorist (Eric Rudolph) received a life sentence for killing two and injuring 150 ("Rudolph Admits Bombing '96 Olympic Park, Clinics"). In the other, federal prosecutors are recommending the same life sentence for a doctor (William Hurwitz) whose only crime was to overprescribe painkillers in a very few cases (24 out of 5,000) and whose pioneering work in the area of pain management has restored the lives of thousands.
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NEWS
May 11, 1989 | THOMAS H. MAUGH II, Times Science Writer
People who consume two or more tablets of acetaminophen--the primary ingredient in Tylenol and other popular painkillers--on a daily basis for at least a year have triple the normal risk of developing disabling kidney disease, according to a new study reported today. And, use of such painkillers may cause as much as 20% of all kidney disease requiring dialysis or transplants, according to a second article, also in the New England Journal of Medicine. An estimated 100,000 Americans have suffered complete kidney failure and currently receive such therapy.
BUSINESS
June 20, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Government regulators said they were preparing to allow highly addictive medications to be prescribed online, a goal long sought by health insurers and large employers. Doctors are required by law to write out by hand prescriptions for controlled substances, which include attention deficit disorder drugs such as Shire Pharmaceuticals' Adderall and painkillers like Cephalon Inc.'s Fentora, which is for cancer patients. The concern is that patients are more likely to abuse these treatments, and their prescriptions should be monitored more closely.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 12, 1992 | PSYCHE PASCUAL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It was lethal conversation, laced with talk of painkillers and suffocation by plastic bag. But for Derek Humphry, co-founder of the Hemlock Society and best-selling author of a manual on suicide, telling others how to die is a way of life. On Saturday, the 61-year-old Eugene, Ore., author described how, in 1975, he assisted in the suicide of his first wife, Jean, who was suffering from terminal cancer.
SPORTS
January 25, 1993 | BARRY HORN, DALLAS MORNING NEWS
On his knees, his head aching, his body shaking, his stomach churning, Golden Richards, in a cold sweat, would hover in his bathroom over the toilet in desperate search. He had to do something. There were no more painkillers--no more Percodan pills--in the medicine cabinet or under the bed or in whatever hole he had chosen as the latest hiding place for his drugs. His demons demanded immediate satisfaction. He had consumed the last of his stash.
NATIONAL
December 24, 2004 | Lisa Getter, Times Staff Writer
Federal regulators on Thursday urged doctors to think twice before prescribing several popular and controversial painkillers to their patients with histories of heart trouble. Despite recent studies indicating that the drugs -- which include Pfizer Inc.'s Celebrex and Bextra -- may be associated with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that it did not have enough concrete information to pull the blockbuster pharmaceuticals from the market.
HEALTH
April 25, 2005 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
The discovery last year that the painkillers Vioxx and Celebrex may increase the risk of heart problems wasn't just a disappointment to people with chronic pain and the doctors who treat them. The news has threatened to cut off a promising arm of research in cancer prevention.
BUSINESS
August 10, 1994 | From Associated Press
Bayer works wonders. More doctors use Tylenol. Advil stops the pain. The claims, counterclaims and dizzying displays of tablets, capsules, caplets and gel caps are enough to bring on a slam-bang head-thumper that would make even Robert Urich groan. Americans' preoccupation with their throbbing heads has encouraged a vigorous advertising battle in which the purveyors of painkillers fight almost hourly over which works fast! faster! fastest! You choose: Regular strength, extra strength?
NATIONAL
November 16, 2002 | From Associated Press
People who develop a rash upon taking a new painkiller called Bextra should immediately stop the drug because it has been linked to some rare but life-threatening skin diseases, federal health officials warned Friday. The Food and Drug Administration has about 20 reports of serious reactions -- including the skin diseases Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis and exfoliative dermatitis, as well as allergic reactions -- among Bextra users since sales began in March.
NATIONAL
April 13, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
A painkiller proposed as a successor to Vioxx should not be approved, a panel of federal health advisors recommended to the FDA. The nonbinding 20-1 vote was on the prescription drug Arcoxia, made by Merck & Co. Inc. A Food and Drug Administration drug safety expert had told the panel the drug might substantially increase the risk of stroke and heart attack and was no more effective for pain relief than other medicines in the same class.
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