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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 22, 2013 | By Robert J. Lopez
A Long Beach man was sentenced Monday to 10 months in prison for importing thousands of counterfeit male enhancement pills that had dangerous levels of lead, federal authorities said. Shem Michahdavid Weissman, 24, admitted that he had ordered the phony ExtenZe tablets from a Chinese manufacturer and had them shipped to his rented post office box in Los Angeles, according to federal authorities. Authorities launched a probe of Weissman after Immigration Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted a package that contained 1,800 counterfeit pills.
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NEWS
June 27, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court told the high court of Oklahoma on Thursday to clarify a new state law restricting the use of the RU-486 abortion pill, setting the stage for a possible future ruling on how far states can go in regulating the practice of abortion. Legislators in several states, including Oklahoma, have passed laws to strictly regulate the practice of abortion. Among them are measures that require all women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound test. Oklahoma also adopted a law restricting the use of RU-486.
SCIENCE
June 20, 2013 | By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step for use without a prescription or age restrictions, effectively ending more than a decade of legal and regulatory wrangling over the controversial morning-after pill. In a statement, the FDA said its action complied with an order by U.S. District Judge Edward Korman of New York, who had openly criticized the George W. Bush and Obama administrations for imposing restrictions on the sale of the pill for political reasons.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 12, 2013 | By Joseph Serna
A recording of the discussion among emergency personnel related to Paris Jackson's apparent suicide attempt last week has been released to the media. In the recordings, obtained by the Associated Press, paramedics are told Michael Jackson's teenage daughter had taken 20 Motrin pain reliever pills and used a knife to cut herself. The night before the apparent suicide attempt, ParisĀ  tweeted : "yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away now it looks as though they're here to stay.
SCIENCE
June 12, 2013 | By Monte Morin
It was hailed as a significant step forward in women's reproductive rights, but this week's decision by the Obama administration to allow non-prescription, over-the-counter sales of the emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step may do little to dispel widespread bafflement over the issue, say medical and legal experts. "There's going to be confusion for a while," said Kathleen Besinque, an emergency contraceptive expert and associate professor of pharmacology at USC. Due to a series of separate actions by petitioners and the government, as well as legal appeals, the matter has been very difficult to follow.
BUSINESS
June 11, 2013 | David Lazarus
Generic prescription drugs have to meet exacting standards for ingredients and quality, which you'd think would make them uniformly priced at pharmacies. But that, of course, isn't the case. Generic drug prices can be all over the map, depending on where and how you buy them. Bruce Lowther, 45, takes five generic prescription meds daily for a heart condition. He had a heart attack a few years ago. Lowther was paying nearly $370 every three months for supplies of his drugs at Target.
NATIONAL
June 10, 2013 | By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times
The Obama administration dropped its long-standing opposition to over-the-counter sales of a controversial morning-after pill Monday and decided to permit consumers of any age to buy Plan B One-Step without a prescription. In papers filed in federal court in New York, government attorneys announced that the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services would remove age and point of sale restrictions on the emergency contraceptive, pending approval by U.S. District Judge Edward Korman.
OPINION
June 3, 2013 | By David Margolius
As the saying goes, "With great power comes great responsibility. " That applies to physicians when prescribing medications, but it also should apply to pharmacies when they're dispensing medications. In December, after seven years of exams, lectures and rounds, I received my medical license. Finally, I had the power to prescribe medications without the co-signature of my supervisor. "Be careful," she advised, "remember the story of 'once.'" The story of "once" is a cautionary tale that - best as I am able to tell from Google - was adapted from a Spanish soap opera.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 2013 | Sandy Banks
It's a new front in the long-running battle over reproductive rights, playing out this time as a clash between politics and science. Doctors say there's no medical reason to keep girls of any age from having easy access to the morning-after contraceptive known as Plan B. A judge's ruling last month would do away with current age restrictions. But the Justice Department appealed that ruling last week. The Obama administration wants to make the over-the-counter pill off-limits to girls younger than 15, unless they have a prescription.
BUSINESS
May 6, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
Pfizer Inc. will begin selling its popular erectile dysfunction pill Viagra to patients on its website, in an unusual move to combat counterfeit drugs. It's a novel strategy because drug-makers rarely sell medicines directly to patients, but analysts say rivals will be watching the experiment closely. Men will still need a prescription to get the little blue pills delivered to their home, but they won't have to deal with a pharmacist in the store. Online pharmacies have proliferated in recent years, hawking fake versions of Viagra and other brand-name drugs at ultra-low prices and with no prescription needed.
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