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Articles on Prescription drugs

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Many counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs are sold online, and the bulk of them are being obtained without a prescription. Peter Dazeley/The Image Bank via Getty Images

Dangerous counterfeit drugs are putting millions of US consumers at risk, according to a new study

Prescription opiods, stimulants such as those used to treat ADHD and the ingredients found in sexual dysfunction drugs like Viagra are some of the drugs that are being marketed to US consumers.
Generic drug names are assigned at the global level by the World Health Organization in conjunction with national naming authorities. (Shutterstock)

Generic drug names provide information for doctors, so why is Health Canada promoting the use of pharma brand names?

Generic drug names are often long, but they can tell doctors what type of medicine it is and how it works. But it’s brand names that appear first and most prominently in Health Canada materials.
Nearly 100 scholars and health care professionals are urging women to limit their use of acetaminophen during pregnancy. Oscar Wong/Moment via Getty Images

Tylenol could be risky for pregnant women – a new review of 25 years of research finds acetaminophen may contribute to ADHD and other developmental disorders in children

Tylenol has long been considered a go-to medication for low to moderate pain and for fever reduction, even during pregnancy. But mounting evidence suggests that it is unsafe for fetal development.
Antibiotics do not shorten or reduce the severity of colds or flu, but they could produce adverse effects that make you feel even worse. (Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)

Antibiotics in cold and flu season: Potentially harmful and seldom helpful

Resistant bacteria aren’t the only risk posed by overprescribing antibiotics. A more immediate risk is side-effects and reactions, which a new review shows are surprisingly frequent and often severe.
As public figures and some in the media touted hydroxychloroquine, prescriptions skyrocketed. Grace Cary / Moment via Getty Images

When Trump pushed hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, hundreds of thousands of prescriptions followed despite little evidence that it worked

When news reports tout a drug, people get interested, even if the benefits are unproven. Patient hopes, requests and demands can easily turn into real prescriptions in their doctor’s office.
During the federal election campaign, Liberals promised to take critical steps to implement pharmacare. Will they deliver? (Shutterstock)

Will Canada finally get pharmacare?

To implement pharmacare, the Liberals will need to negotiate with the provinces, and the mostly Conservative premiers are unlikely to make this easy. The insurance industry also has much to lose.
When people went to their GP asking for painkillers, they weren’t prescribed higher doses of codeine or stronger opioids, as some feared. from www.shutterstock.com

Here’s what happened when codeine was made prescription only. No, the sky didn’t fall in

When codeine became a prescription only drug in 2018, the number of overdoses dropped, our new research shows. But restricting sales of codeine is only one way to reduce harm from opioids.
A letter to leaders of Canada’s political parties signed by 1200 academics with expertise in health care calls for parties to commit to a national pharmacare plan. (Shutterstock)

Leave the patchwork to the quilts: The case for pharmacare

The 1964 report that paved the way for Canada’s medicare envisaged that after universal coverage for doctors, the next step would be prescription drugs. But that next step hasn’t come.
When drug companies and drug regulators, such as Health Canada, sit down together at “pre-submission meetings” this may have a negative impact on public health. (Shutterstock)

Health Canada and Big Pharma: Too close for comfort

Drug companies have a job to do and so does Health Canada. When the relationship becomes murky, the public are at risk.
U.S. President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto hold a news conference before signing the USMCA. The deal, if passed into law, poses dangers to public health. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The new NAFTA’s assault on public health

The collective public health of Canada, the United States and Mexico will take a hit if the new NAFTA becomes law.
Research shows that six of 11 Health Canada scientific advisory committees had a majority of members with a direct or indirect financial interest. (Shutterstock)

Health Canada committees swimming in financial conflicts of interest

Health Canada must be unbiased and it must be seen to be unbiased – so that Canadians get the best possible value out of prescription drugs.

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