The Health Brief

The F.D.A. has approved a generic epinephrine auto-injector

Teva Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. has gained the F.D.A. approval to market their generic version of EpiPen.

The need for a generic life-saving version of the EpiPen started in 2016 when Mylan Pharmaceuticals (a multibillion dollar pharmaceutical company and the owners of the brand name medication, Epipen) made a what were you thinking kind of move and drastically increased the price of the EpiPen medication from $100 for two pens to over $600 for two.

(Someone had to be smoking some serious crack when they made that decision).

Even with insurance the hefty increase in price made it virtually impossible for everyday people to buy the life-saving medication.

Mylan’s disturbing increase combined with the upset of the people and the news coverage caught the attention of federal antitrust regulators.

Regulators started an investigation that led to what some have called a “Mind-Blowing” antitrust scheme wherein 18 drug makers were accused of fixing generic drug prices.

All together, the 18 companies worked together to falsely inflate the prices of 15 drugs to treat glaucoma, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety and asthma as well as several other conditions, the attorneys general allege.

Although there are other medications on the market none of them have been granted the title “Generic EpiPen” until now.

This approval means patients living with severe allergies who require constant access to life-saving epinephrine should have a lower-cost option, as well as another approved product to help protect against potential drug shortages.— F.D.A. Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in the statement.

Hopefully, it will be far more affordable!

More than 100 cases of Measles have been reported in the U.S.

Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 100 cases of measles have been diagnosed this year in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

How? A contributing factor to an increase in measles in the United States is that travelers visit countries where there’s a measles outbreak and then they bring them back.

What can I do? If you already have measles, it’s important to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to other people. You should:

  • avoid work or school for at least 4 days from when you first developed the measles rash
  • try to avoid contact with people who are more vulnerable to the infection, such as young children and pregnant women, cancer fighters and the aging while you’re ill

What about prevention? If you plan on traveling to other countries, see your doctor, first! You may need to be vaccinated. Whether you’re traveling or not according to the CDC, two doses of MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine are nearly 100 percent effective at preventing measles. (CDC)

But I’m worried about the safety of vaccines. You’re not alone. Many of us are. As the years pass we get more information about the potential side effects. There are pros and cons to vaccination.

I plan to discuss this more in a future article but for now my advice is that you do your research. Talk to your doctor. Don’t let others influence your decision. Trust your gut.

Weed killer reported in breakfast foods? 

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently reported that Glyphosate, a weedkiller linked to cancer, was found in “hefty doses” in popular oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars.

To my dismay, the weed killer was also found in about one-third of the samples made with organically grown oats. For the full story and the brands tested go to EWG.

end of article

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