HEALTH

Reports: Unabomber alleged suspect in 1982 Tylenol poisonings

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Theodore Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, allegedly is a suspect in the 1982 Tylenol poisonings in the Chicago area that killed seven people, according to published reports.

The Tylenol poisonings, in which someone placed potassium cyanide in with the pain relievers on store shelves, prompted the introduction of tamper-proof packaging for many over-the-counter medicines.

In a handwritten motion filed in federal court in Sacramento, Calif., Kaczynski reported he voluntarily submitted a DNA sample for comparison against a partial DNA sample in the Tylenol case files. The motion requests that the government keep all evidence and material taken from Kaczynski’s cabin indefinitely.

An auction of Kazynski’s property had been ordered by U.S. district judge Garland Burrell Jr. to help satisfy the $15 million Kazynski owes in restitution.

According to reports, the U.S. attorney’s office in Sacramento filed papers Monday opposing a halt to the auction. "Kaczynski has not been indicted in connection with the Chicago Tylenol investigation, and no such federal prosecution is currently planned," the government’s motion stated.

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Exergen’s temporal artery thermometer outsells competing brands

BY Michael Johnsen

WATERTOWN, Mass. — For the second consecutive year, the Exergen temporal artery thermometer outsold all other brands at retailers nationwide, Exergen announced Thursday.

“We developed temporal artery thermometry to satisfy the need for a quick, accurate and noninvasive method to measure temperature, and we are pleased to see that consumers are embracing it,” stated Francesco Pompei, CEO of Exergen. “Over 30 published studies have confirmed its accuracy and ease of use across all ages and clinical settings, with thousands of healthcare facilities using the professional TemporalScanner as the standard for thermometry over rectal, ear or oral thermometers.”

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CHPA praises FDA committees’ decision to mandate weight-based dosing of APAP for children

BY Michael Johnsen

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Two Food and Drug Administration advisory committees on Wednesday unanimously voted in favor of mandating weight-based dosing for children between the ages of 2 and 12 years who are being administered acetaminophen.

The joint committees — including both the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee and the Pediatric Advisory Committee — also supported a new label indication of fever for APAP for use in children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years. The committees did not support, however, an indication in labeling for children between ages 6 months to 2 years for pain relief. This indication currently is included for children older than 2 years.

"The manufacturers of pediatric acetaminophen products support the FDA advisory committee’s recommendations to give parents and caregivers more accurate and detailed dosing information where it is needed — directly on the Drug Facts label," stated Scott Melville, president and CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

The CHPA also had supported a new indication for acetaminophen as a pain reliever in children under the age of 2 years, noting that pediatricians today recommend acetaminophen as a mainstay for the treatment of pain, including pain associated with ear infections, sore throat, teething and minor conditions. The advisory committees, many of whom are pediatricians, suggested that physicians can continue to recommend these medicines for pain relief in infants.

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