Feb 15 2012

Public Health News Roundup: February 15

FDA Says Some U.S. Medical Practices Have Purchased Counterfeit Cancer Drug with no Active Ingredient

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning health care professionals and patients about a counterfeit version of Avastin, a drug that treats several kinds of cancer, which may have been purchased and used by some medical practices in the U.S. The counterfeit version is labeled as Avastin, but does not contain the medicine's active ingredient. According to the FDA, 19 medical practices in the U.S. purchased unapproved cancer medicines from Quality Specialty Products (QSP), a foreign supplier that may also be known as Montana Health Care Solutions.

The only FDA-approved version of Avastin for use in the United States is marketed by Genentech (a member company of Roche). The FDA-approved version does not include the Roche logo on the packaging or vials. The FDA recommends that practices that have obtained products from Volunteer Distribution and QSP stop using them and file a report with the FDA.

JAMA Study Finds Antibiotic Not Very Helpful for Sinus Infections

Treatment with the antibiotic amoxicillin for patients with inflammation of the nasal cavity and sinuses doesn’t result in a significant difference in symptoms compared to patients who received a placebo, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study is important because antibiotics are commonly used to treat this condition even though there is limited evidence supporting their effectiveness. Read more on antibiotic resistance.

Teens Less Likely to Get Behind-the-Wheel Experience in States that Don’t Require Formal Driver’s Ed

A new study in Pediatrics, finds that only 80 percent of new drivers have formal driving education, and that in states without a driver education requirement, more than one in three students received no formal driver education before getting their licenses. Hispanics, blacks, males and students with lower academic achievements participated in driver education at a much lower level in states that do not require it. Read more on the link between transportation and health.

Tags: Infectious disease, News roundups, Prescription drugs, Public and Community Health, Safety, Transportation