CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 2013 |
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.
May 6, 2013 |
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.
May 2, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY -- President Obama says he's “very comfortable” with a Food and Drug Administration ruling that maintains age restrictions on females who can buy the so-called morning after pill without a prescription. The rule announced this week prohibits girls younger than 15 from buying the drug, known as Plan B, over the counter. The decision was made by the FDA and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Obama said, pushing back against women's groups that have suggested the White House has interjected its political concern about a touchy subject into the rule process.
April 23, 2013 |
Unless there is some recognized analgesic effect of rolling a joint, lighting it up and deeply inhaling the by-products of marijuana combustion, then it stands to reason that you could distill the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol, and formulate it into, say, a capsule. Doing so would combine the relief that comes with smoked marijuana with the ease of a pill and the quality control that comes with approval by the Food and Drug Administration. Poof! Up in smoke goes the debate about medical marijuana.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2013 |
It's not enough that medical insurance companies want to dictate how much and what kind of treatment our illnesses deserve. Now legislators and law enforcement agencies are butting in, trying to curtail the use of high-powered painkillers because too many people are dying from abuse of prescription drugs. A physicians group is asking the Food and Drug Administration for stricter guidelines on how the drugs are used, an FDA advisory panel has recommended limiting patients to fewer pills and making prescriptions harder to refill, and Congress is considering a bill that would bump hydrocodone-based pills - Vicodin, Norco and Lortab - into the same controlled-substance class as opium.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2013 |
North Dakota is trying to ban all abortions. Arkansas is trying to ban them after 12 weeks. Mississippi is down to its last abortion clinic. If you think the abortion question in this country was settled after the Supreme Court made its historic Roe vs. Wade ruling in 1973, you haven't been paying attention. Tossing Roe was not just a plank of the 2012 Republican Party platform, it was a reliable applause line in every 2012 Republican presidential candidate's stump speech. Friday's federal court ruling in New York that girls of all ages should have unrestricted access to the so-called morning-after pill to prevent pregnancy is an unvarnished victory for reproductive freedom at a time when its opponents are pushing hard in the opposite direction.
April 5, 2013 |
President Obama once fretted about the prospect that girls as young as 10 or 11 could walk into a drugstore and buy emergency contraception pills as easily as "bubble gum or batteries. " With his blessing, the Department of Health and Human Services set aside the advice of medical experts and blocked efforts to allow girls younger than 17 to get the so-called morning-after pill without a prescription. That age limit is poised to disappear now that a federal judge has cleared the way Friday for girls - and boys - of any age to purchase the medication without having to notify their parents or a doctor.
March 27, 2013 |
A new oral medication for multiple sclerosis has won the Food and Drug Administration's marketing approval, and is to become available almost immediately to patients suffering from the debilitating auto-immune disease. Tecfidera is the commercial name for dimethyl fumarate, a capsule that won the FDA's blessing Wednesday as a treatment for relapsing MS, a degenerative brain disorder that can impair mobility, sensation and thinking. In clinical trial evidence submitted to the FDA by Biogen Idec of Weston, Mass., the medication's maker, Tecfidera reduced the proportion of patients who relapsed when compared with a sham medication.
February 27, 2013 |
More than half of American women over the age of 60 take vitamin D and calcium supplements, but the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said this week that they're probably wasting their money. In a new recommendations from the federal government's expert panel on preventive medicine, the task force says that most postmenopausal women should not take vitamin D and calcium to reduce their risk of bone fractures. The dosages assessed were 400 international units (IUs) of vitamin D3 and 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day. The conclusions are based on an analysis of six randomized trials designed to study the health effects of vitamin D and calcium supplements.
February 26, 2013 |
It's not the pink Viagra many women have been waiting for, but a pill approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday aims to help women who have passed through menopause with a distinctly libido-killing problem: painful sex. The FDA has approved a pill, Osphena, meant to be taken daily by post-menopausal women experiencing dyspareunia, or pain during sexual intercourse. Taken once daily, Osphena helps strengthen and build vaginal tissues, which respond to decreases in estrogen after menopause by becoming thin and more fragile.