Drugs & Pharmaceuticals

Over the course of the past few weeks Mylan has replaced Turing and Valeant as the most scrutinized and critiqued pharmaceutical companies in the United States. Though politicians and pundits have claimed the problem is Big Pharma, the issue of price-gouging is far more pervasive among generic drugs.
One of the few places one might expect to find a soaring rate of gonorrhea infection is the piously conservative state of Utah. But, new CDC data shows that the incidence of gonorrhea is up over 400% in merely three years, from 2011 to 2014.
Sometimes drugs behave very well. They do what they are supposed to do, and do it well, maybe even without side effects. We are fortunate to have one of these that works against a very common infection — herpes simplex virus.
What explains such a rapid rise in price for a drug that has been off-patent for years?
We've known for a while that excess body fat (as in overweight and obesity) can raise the risk not only of chronic diseases like diabetes, but also some types of cancer. A new report indicates that the number of types of cancer may be more than we have thought.
Insulin-requiring diabetics may be able to toss their syringes in the not-too-distant future, if a new type of insulin-containing pill can conquer research hurdles. Packaging the hormone in a new type of lipid vesicle could protect it from breakdown by stomach acid and eliminate the need for frequent injections.
Obesity and excess body fat — especially the type around the middle — can lead to excess fat within the liver. When this occurs, it can diminish the liver's ability to function, and if continued long enough can lead to liver failure. But exercise (and it doesn't have to be extreme) can turn this problem around, at least in Chinese adults.
Researchers have discovered that two mutations in the estrogen receptors in breast tumors are linked to the length of survival — even if the tumors have spread. Knowledge of such mutation can inform treatment decisions and benefit patients.
Obesity is considered a risk factor for several types of cancer — breast and colon cancer, for example. But some cancers might be considered risk factors for obesity — or at least weight gain, according to a recent study from Columbia University.
As we wrote recently a number of Olympians swear by "cupping therapy," which they claim allows them to recover from injury and overcome muscle soreness more quickly. Although it's a bunch of nonsense, it still may have room for improvement.
Over-prescription of antibiotics for non-bacterial illnesses contributes to the overuse of these drugs and to antibiotic resistance by the bacteria — a real threat to human health. Some preliminary research suggests that testing for CRP might help decrease the rate of overprescription.
Dehydration can be dangerous for the elderly, since their thirst mechanisms and kidneys may not be as well tuned in to the body's status as compared to those of younger people. But the current urine tests don't accurately reflect what's happening in the body, according to a recent study.