Heart disease and hypertension prescription drug use increases among young adults
FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. According to new research conducted by Medco Health Solutions, prescription drug use by younger adults for heart disease and high blood pressure is increasing at a rate that far outpaces older adults.
The analysis shows that between 2001 and 2006, the number of 20-44 year olds taking prescription medications to treat high cholesterol increased 68 percent, and use of antihypertensives jumped 21 percent.
Based on this new analysis, the estimated number of 20-44 year olds nationwide on lipid-lowering drugs rose from 2.5 million in 2001 to 4.2 million in 2006, while the number of people in that age group taking antihypertensives spiked from 7 million to 8.5 million in the six-year period.
The increase in the number of 20-44 year-olds on lipid-lowering medications was 37 percent higher than it was for 45 to 64 year olds; the growth in prevalence of those on antihypertensives was 52 percent greater.
Amgen cuts fewer jobs in R.I. than predicted
WEST GREENWICH, R.I. Despite last month?s reports that drug maker Amgen would lay off 450 employees from its Rhode Island staff, the number is proving to be lower, according to the Associated Press.
Instead, according to reports, Amgen cut 300 employees, after realizing that it needed more workers to help manufacture Enbrel, an arthritis drug.
Amgen has roughly 1,600 workers in Rhode Island. It plans to close one of its manufacturing plants by the end of the year.
The company plans to lay off 1,500 employees across the country as part of a major cost-cutting plan.
Edwards suggests new drug ads wait for two years
LACONIA, N.H. Presidential hopeful John Edwards said Sunday he had outlined a plan to regulate prescription drug companies and their advertising. Edwards suggested that drug makers wait two years to begin advertising their new products to consumers since the cost of advertising has escalated to nearly $4 billion over the past decade.
The two-year delay would prevent television ads from driving consumers to drugs that haven’t been proven safe, said Edwards, who also would require drug companies to get Food and Drug Administration approval before launching major ad campaigns.
“I think two years makes sense. I think it gives enough time for a drug not just to have been tested in clinical trials but to be out among the public, to see what kind of adverse reactions there have been,’’ he told reporters afterward.
Edwards’ plan also includes augmented penalties for companies that violate truth-in-advertising laws, and would require companies to disclose more information about a drug’s side effects and effectiveness compared to placebos and less expensive alternative drugs.
The Democratic hopeful said this idea would ensure that “salesmanship is not trumping the facts, so people learn what the real risks are associated with these drugs,” Edwards said.