drugs

Can the FDA Adequately Police Generics?

Jul 13, 2015
epsos.de / Creative Commons

As the federal government advocates increased use of generic drugs, concerns are mounting about the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s oversight and the quality or effectiveness of some generics.

Torchia Family

The family of a Meriden man who died in 2013 at age 56 is suing Derby nurse practitioner Heather Alfonso and the pain clinic where she worked, alleging that her rampant overprescribing of narcotics contributed to his death.

Mark / Creative Commons

Connecticut has a list of eleven medical conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana. But a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that marijuana has not been clinically proven to be an effective treatment for most of those ailments. 

Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, says the sedative used in Oklahoma's lethal injection cocktail does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Here's the background to the case, in the words of SCOTUSblog:

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A Derby nurse practitioner identified as the state’s highest Medicare prescriber of potent narcotics has admitted taking kickbacks from a drug company in exchange for prescribing pain medication.

Nathan Reading / Crea

The presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has increased over the past few decades, and the development of new antibiotics has decreased. It's a trend raising fears among physicians that, without quick and deliberate action, antibiotics could become useless.

Mel Evans / Associated Press

Firefighters in New London saved two lives over the weekend by administering the opioid reversal drug Narcan to suspected heroin overdose victims.

Damian Gadal / Creative Commons

The Planning and Zoning commission for Bridgeport will vote on June 29 on a proposal to extend a moratorium on applications for medical marijuana farms and dispensaries for another year.

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It has been approximately nine months since Connecticut's certified patients were first able to purchase medical marijuana.

Damian Gadal / Creative Commons

It took Connecticut nearly two years to start dispensing the medical marijuana  the legislature approved for conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy and cancer.

But, the program is growing strong  since it opened nine months ago. The list of covered conditions is growing and more dispensaries will be popping up to meet the needs of the almost 4,000 enrollees. 

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Time ran out this legislative session on a bill that would have allowed minors to be prescribed medical marijuana. The legislature's inaction means a Montville mother and her sick daughter will continue to live in Maine where children can legally be prescribed pot.

Connecticut Senate Backs Cutting Penalties for Drugs

Jun 3, 2015
Heath Alseike / Creative Commons

The state Senate has approved legislation that would make drug possession a misdemeanor for the first two offenses and establishes other changes in criminal justice policy.

The legislation approved on a 22 to 14 vote early Wednesday requires third and subsequent convictions to be punishable as felonies.

Thomas Marthinsen / Creative Commons

It’s nothing new that family steps in when family needs help. But more and more grandparents are raising grandchildren. At the center of this? Prescription drug and heroin addiction.

foshydog / Creative Commons

When Connecticut's legislative session ends at midnight Wednesday, hundreds of pending bills will fade away without a vote.

A proposal that would give terminally ill patients the right to try experimental drugs has been ready for a vote in the House of Representatives since April 21, and is unlikely to be taken up before Wednesday night's deadline.

In Pennsylvania, it's estimated opioids like heroin killed at least 1,300 people last year. In Massachusetts, more than 1,000 have died, and in Connecticut, heroin deaths jumped more than 85 percent in two years.

But figuring out the size and scope of the problem is harder than many people think.

Pennsylvania, like many states, doesn't require reporting of specific details on drug overdoses, and whatever other information is available is at least two years old.

The problem of opiate addiction in Maine is one that state Rep. Barry Hobbins knows something about. "One of my family members has been struggling with this dreaded addiction of opiates for six years," he says.

So when pharmaceutical company Pfizer — which makes opioids that have abuse-deterrent properties — asked Hobbins to sponsor a bill that would require insurance companies to cover these more expensive drugs at the same level as other opioids, he agreed.

Courtesy Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Alexion Pharmaceuticals, the Cheshire-based company, will cut an $8.4 billion deal to buy another drug maker. Alexion says it has an agreement to buy Synageva BioPharma, located in Lexington, Massachusetts, for the equivalent of $230 a share. 

Lately, Californians have been focused on a measles outbreak that got its start at Disneyland. But in the past five years, state health officials have declared epidemics of whooping cough twice — in 2010 and in 2014, when 11,000 people were sickened and three infants died.

Heather Brandon / WNPR

A Manchester social service agency will close its 40-bed homeless shelter July 1 rather than comply with a state order to admit homeless people who abuse alcohol and drugs. 

Allan Foster / Creative Commons

A bill that would give terminally ill patients the right to try experimental drugs and treatments currently not approved by the Food and Drug Administration is working its way through the state legislature. 

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Wesleyan University said two of the five students arrested on drug charges following a rash of on-campus overdoses have been expelled. 

Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Whaley said in a campus-wide letter that the judicial process is continuing for the other three students, who are currently suspended. 

Hospitals are one of the worst places to try to get a good night's sleep, just when you need it the most. And though many have tried to muffle the noise of beeping monitors and clattering carts, the noise remains a big problem for many patients.

But what if we looked at a night in the hospital as a long overseas flight? As you settle in, they hand out eye masks and earplugs. And you cleverly brought along melatonin, the sleep-regulating hormone sold at drugstores everywhere.

The divide between Republicans and Democrats on pot politics is narrowing, President Barack Obama said in an interview Monday.

Middletown Police Department

Police have arrested a fifth Wesleyan University student on drug charges stemming from on-campus overdoses that sent a dozen people to the hospital. 

Intropin / Creative Commons

AIDS Connecticut’s syringe exchange program is the first in the state to start distributing Naloxone to injecting drug users. The medication can be administered to reverse opioid overdoses.

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Police say that only one Wesleyan University student remains hospitalized following a rash of drug overdoses last weekend that left a dozen people in need of medical treatment.

Lt. Heather Desmond of Middletown police said Thursday that the family of the patient at Hartford Hospital is not authorizing the release of details on the student's condition. 

Joe Mabel / Creative Commons

Police say four Wesleyan University students arrested this week after about a dozen people who took the party drug Molly were hospitalized are known on campus as drug dealers.

Brendan Dolan-Gavitt / Creative Commons

Four Wesleyan University students have been arrested on drug charges in connection with about a dozen hospitalizations among people who took the party drug MDMA, also known as Molly.

The students have been suspended from the university. Charges include possession of a controlled substance, illegal obtaining and supplying of drugs, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell.

Alaska's voter initiative making marijuana legal takes effect Tuesday, placing Alaska alongside Colorado and Washington as the three U.S. states where recreational marijuana is legal. The new law means people over age 21 can consume small amounts of pot — if they can find it. It's still illegal to sell marijuana.

"You can still give people marijuana, but you can't buy it — or even barter for it," Alaska Public Media's Alexandra Gutierrez reports. "So, it's a pretty legally awkward spot. That probably won't stop people from acquiring it, though."

Nicole Cho / Creative Commons

Police are trying to trace the source of a possibly bad batch of MDMA – a drug also known as Molly – after ten students and two visitors overdosed at Wesleyan University. As of Monday afternoon, eight people remained hospitalized.

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