ProPublica.org and This American Life partnered for a special report on acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol), the active ingredient in Tylenol, which is also found in many other over-the-counter medications. The narrow therapeutic index of acetaminophen means that often, the difference between safe use and overdose can be as small as one gram. From ProPublica.org: "About 150 Americans die a year by accidentally taking too much acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, federal data from the CDC shows."
Widespread fraud has been discovered in the case of an Indian generic drug manufacturer that makes generic Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) and many other drugs. Ranbaxy has "pleaded guilty to seven federal criminal counts of selling adulterated drugs with intent to defraud." [more inside]
Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us. Summary: Inside the Cover Story. Related video: The Exorbitant Prices of Health Care [more inside]
Cheap, safe drug kills most cancers. That's the good news. The bad news is that because there's no patent and it's so cheap to make, researchers may not be able to get funding from the private sector for further research since the treatment wouldn't make a profit. [Via Hullabaloo.]
Newsfilter: The trial of a new drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis and leukaemia goes horribly wrong. 6 normally healthy volunteers have a freak reaction to the drug resulting in multiple organ failure. All 6 men are in intensive care. 4 are seriously ill while 2 remain in a critical condition. An eyewitness, fortunate to have taken only a placebo recalls the nightmare as the men around him begin to fall ill.
Underwear Goes Inside The Pants (video) is a nice little ditty about the condition of the world in 2004.