Seniors With Access To Medical Marijuana Use Fewer Prescription Drugs

Physicians wrote significantly fewer prescriptions for painkillers and other medications for elderly and disabled patients who had legal access to medical marijuana, a new study finds.

In fact, Medicare saved more than $165 million in 2013 on prescription drugs in the District of Columbia and 17 states that allowed cannabis to be used as medicine, researchers calculated. If every state in the nation legalized medical marijuana, the study forecast that the federal program would save more than $468 million a year on pharmaceuticals for disabled Americans and those 65 and older.

No health insurance, including Medicare, will reimburse for the cost of marijuana.

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Pfizer’s Lyrica shows No Relief From Post-Traumatic Nerve Pain

Pfizer Inc said its blockbuster pain drug, Lyrica, had failed to show benefit in patients suffering from a type of post-traumatic nerve pain, in a late-stage study.

The drug did not lead to pain reduction in patients compared with a placebo, the company said on Wednesday.

Currently, there is no approved treatment in the United States for post-traumatic neuropathic pain.

Lyrica, which generated $1.22 billion in sales in the third quarter, is already approved to treat nerve pain associated with diabetes, shingles, spinal cord injury and fibromyalgia.

Reuters

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Note: Lyrica is also known as Pegabalin. Continue Reading

Honey-Based Mead May Curb Antibiotic Resistance, Say Makers

Scientists in Sweden are launching their own mead – an alcoholic beverage made from a fermented mix of honey and water – based on old recipes which they say could help in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

Together with a brewery, the scientists who have long studied bees and their honey, have launched their own mead drink – Honey Hunter’s Elixir.

Lund University researcher Tobias Olofsson said mead had a long track record in bringing positive effects on health.

“Mead is an alcoholic drink made with just honey and water and it was regarded as the drink of the gods and you could become immortal or sustain a better health if you drank it.

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EU Agency Adopts Plan To Cut Clinical Trial Secrecy

Europe’s medicines regulator has endorsed a scheme to publish detailed clinical reports underpinning new drug approvals from next year, though campaigners for full transparency said they were concerned some data would still be missing.

The London-based European Medicines Agency (EMA) has been at the center of a row about divulging trials data for the past two years, following concerns over undisclosed data for certain drugs such as Roche’s flu pill Tamiflu.

Critics of the pharmaceuticals industry argue that free access to such data is essential, so that independent experts can test claims made about prescription drugs.

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Belgium Surprised At International Euthanasia Backlash

Belgian media expressed rank incomprehension over foreign criticism of the country’s extension of euthanasia to children, portraying legislation as humane and dismissing any notion of sick children being pressed to their deaths.

Thursday’s vote, the first to extend such provisions to children without any age limit, passed as easily as 2002 legislation allowing euthanasia for adults that had backing from 75 percent of Belgians. It created only minor ripples of dissent in the country, but a wave of interest and fury abroad.

“Belgium has allowed the killing on demand of terminally ill children and has headed for the ethical abyss.

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