Fight Brewing In California Over Adding Cancer Warning Label To One Of Most Common Over-The-Counter Drugs
Acetaminophen is found in well-known brands like Tylenol, Excedrin, Sudafed, Robitussin and Theraflu. In other pharmaceutical news: production of some Excedrin products temporarily halted; the effort to fight superbugs continues to be patchy; pharma's race to partner with tech companies; and more.
The Associated Press:
California Considers Declaring Common Pain Killer Carcinogen
A fight is coming to California over whether to list one of the world's most common over-the-counter drugs as a carcinogen, echoing recent high-profile battles over things like alcohol and coffee. The drug is acetaminophen, known outside the U.S. as paracetamol and used to treat pain and fevers. It is the basis for more than 600 prescription and over-the-counter medications for adults and children, found in well-known brands like Tylenol, Excedrin, Sudafed, Robitussin and Theraflu. (Beam, 1/21)
GlaxoSmithKline Halts Production Of Some Excedrin Products
Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has temporarily stopped production of Excedrin, its popular over-the-counter migraine medication. The company ceased nationwide production and distribution of its Excedrin Extra Strength and Excedrin Migraine products because of "inconsistencies in how we transfer and weigh ingredients," a GSK spokesperson told ABC Syracuse affiliate WSYR. (Schumaker, 1/21)
Two Excedrin Products Are Temporarily Discontinued, Company Says
The company does not believe that the product poses a safety risk to consumers but has voluntarily implemented the measure as a precaution, it said. "We are working hard to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, but at this point in time cannot confirm a definite date as to when supply will resume," it said. "Other Excedrin products are available along with other pain-relieving drugs, but dosages may differ. Consumers should consult their pharmacist for the most suitable alternative product." (Karimi, 1/22)
Pharma Is Making Some Effort To Fight Superbugs, But Progress Is 'Patchy'
Amid rising concern over a lack of antibiotics, a new analysis finds most drug makers are failing to expand their pipelines to sufficiently combat resistance, although more companies are sharing surveillance data on where resistance is occurring and are no longer overselling the medicines. Overall, the number of antibiotics being developed has increased only marginally in the past two years and just nine of these medicines are considered novel, most of which are being pursued by small and medium-sized companies with fewer resources than global drug makers. And while more clinical-stage antibiotics are supported by plans to ensure better access, most efforts remain patchy. (Silverman, 1/21)
Pfizer Exec On Pharma’s Race To Partner With Fitbit, 23AndMe, And Others
Pharmaceutical giants are hunting for ways to tap into the data from your smart watch, your sleep tracker, and your genetic tests. Drug makers see that information — part of what’s known as real-world evidence — as a powerful tool to help them hunt for new drug targets and design more efficient clinical trials. And they’re racing to outbid one another for the most desirable data. (Thielking, 1/21)
Hallucinogenic Root Takes Davos Stage As Addiction Fighter
The World Economic Forum’s billionaire audience in Davos took a break from the problem of climate change to listen to the story of a company developing a hallucinogenic drug. The fascination lay not in recreation, but for its potential as a treatment for addiction to opioids that have killed hundreds of thousands in the U.S. Modeled on an extract from the root of an African shrub and already used medically in a few countries, the experimental therapy is to soon be tested by Atai Life Sciences AG, a company studying other natural products, such as magic mushrooms to treat depression. (Henning, 1/22)