The National Research Council (NRC) will host discussions on the efficacy of meat, eggs and other foods that come from cloned animals. The meeting was requested by the FDA, academics, food industry representatives and public interest groups and is intended to examine science-based safety issues surrounding animal biotechnology.
The 50 prescription drugs most advertised to consumers were responsible for nearly half of last year's 18.8% increase in prescription drug spending, according to a report by the National Institute for Health Care Management Research and Educational Foundation. Pharmaceutical companies say the report was slanted due to the group's alignment with health insurers determined only to cut costs; they say the report fails to address the advertisements' benefits to patients.
The FDA on Nov. 20 approved Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical's Ortho Evra, a hormonal contraceptive device that women wear on their skin. In clinical trials the patch was found to be as safe and effective as birth control pills but more convenient for some women, as it needs to be applied only weekly rather than taken daily.
The FDA has issued a warning to consumers and health-care professionals to stop using Syntrax Innovations' weight-loss aid Lipokinetix, after the agency received at least six reports of individuals suffering from acute liver failure linked to the supplement. Syntrax says the product has been off the market for more than a year.
Actelion's Tracleer tablets were approved by the FDA on Nov. 20 as the first oral treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a rare and often fatal type of high blood pressure. The drug improves exercise ability and decreases the rate of clinical worsening in PAH patients with a significant limitation of physical activity.