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Pediatric Versions of Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl Recalled

May 03, 2010 By: Nadia Category: Medicine Advice, Medtipster, Prescription News

www.Medtipster.com Source: Wall Street Journal, May 3, 2010

Consumer complaints about certain over-the-counter children’s medications spurred an investigation that led to a recall of more than 40 different products because of manufacturing problems, according to officials at a unit of Johnson & Johnson.

The recall, announced over the weekend by the company and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, prompted drug stores and other merchants to pull the medicines off their shelves and caused concern among parents who took steps to avoid giving the products — largely pain and allergy remedies — to their children.

A spokesman for J&J’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit wasn’t more specific about what issues consumers raised that led to the internal probe.

“We always receive some consumer inquiries about our products and those inquiries led to the investigation that ultimately led to this recall,” the spokesman, Marc Boston, said.

The company said there haven’t been any serious side effects reported, and the company and the FDA said the potential for harm is remote. Still, the company and the agency said the products shouldn’t be given to children for precautionary reasons.

The recall involved at least 1,000 lots of products, including pediatric versions of Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl.

Some of the liquid formulations may contain a higher concentration of their active ingredient than they should while others may contain inactive ingredients at inappropriate levels, or tiny metallic particles that are a residue of the manufacturing process, the company said.

The medicines were sold in the U.S. and Canada as well as in countries as far away as Fiji and Kuwait. All were made at a factory in Fort Washington, Pa., the FDA and the company said. Neither the company nor the FDA could say how many bottles of medicine were involved.

At English Drug, an independent pharmacy in Bethel, Conn., staffers removed several products from the store’s shelves Sunday morning after learning about the recall on the Internet. “These are very popular products, but we pulled them” out of safety concerns for consumers, said Denise McMahon, a pharmacist at the store.

In New York City, Natalia Carin said she recently gave her 2-year-old son Cole children’s Zyrtec and Motrin. He appears to be fine, she said, but added, “I’d like some information about what kind of substance this was and how dangerous it might be and what we can expect.”

Kenneth Polin, a pediatrician at Town and Country Pediatrics, with offices in Chicago and its suburbs, had heard from few worried parents Sunday, but says his advice is to turn to generic versions of the medicines. He recommended that before consumers buy a generic, they make sure to ask a pharmacist whether J&J manufactured it.

The recall is another dent in J&J’s reputation as a model of corporate responsiveness. That harks back to the deadly Tylenol poisonings in the early 1980s, when the company reacted swiftly to recall the product and inform the public.

More recently U.S. regulators have criticized J&J’s handling of product-quality issues, because of a widening series of recalls of over-the-counter medicines that accelerated late last year.

In November, the company recalled a limited number of certain bottles of Tylenol arthritis-pain caplets after identifying an uncharacteristic smell or taste associated with the products.

In December, J&J had to expand the recall to include all lots of the product. A month later, J&J widened the recall again to include other brands such as Motrin and Benadryl.

That resulted in the FDA sending J&J a warning letter saying the company had violated good-manufacturing rules at its Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, plant.

Think Generics First!

March 10, 2010 By: Tylar Masters Category: Prescription Savings

Generic drugs are a safe and effective alternative for many reasons.

Not only individuals who require inexpensive health care alternatives commonly opt to use generics, but for economic reasons, everyone should think generics first. Generic drugs use the same active ingredients and carry the same side effects as their brand name counterpart. Generics and brand-name drugs are identical in their safety, purpose, effectiveness, and administration method. By identical, it could be defined as the drugs have identical active components or employ a bioequivalent composition of the brand-name equivalent. They are deemed bioequivalent if their pace and accessibility after being given in an identical quantity have like effects. Having parallel effects, both medicine forms have the same effects and amount of effectiveness.

You may ask, if brand name and generic medicines are so similar, why are brand name drugs more inexpensive than generic drugs? The expensive price of branded drugs stem from their research, process, and promotion. Since the brand name drug is recently made, a copyright is provided to grant them sole rights in selling the medicine. When these branded medicines are nearing their patent termination, other manufacturers go to the Food and Drug Administration to permit them to manufacture the generics.

Generic drug manufacturers don’t have a patent, thus the logic for their lesser price. Other generics can have a patent for the composition but not for the active ingredient. Because the generic manufacturers only have to apply and have no initial R&D prices, they can offer the drug at a smaller cost. Economics also have a function in the generic drug’s cheaper value. Since more producers can produce a generic version, there is higher competition in the economy. For one manufacturer to have a lead against the other, they must sell the medicine at a less expensive cost. With more customers, they can opt to have sales at a cheaper value.

Since generic drugs get their smaller prices from economic factors, it’s evident that a medicine’s value does not determine its quality. Some people are under the misconception that generic drugs have a smaller cost because they’re not as effective. Prior to reaching such a conclusion, you need to do research and comprehend the costing process behind it. The Food and Drug Administration makes certain that generic producers adhere to their criteria. These criteria are implemented to branded and generic medicine companies. Anyone with this price misreading should also know that 50 percent of the generics produced are done by branded manufacturers. Don’t be alarmed if the generic version applies a different combination of inactive ingredients. The differences also stem from a copyright issue. US copyright laws require that generics cannot look identical as the brand-name equivalent. Nonetheless, the generic will still use the same active ingredient process and mix to cause identical efficacy and results.

The Cost of Active Ingredients in Popular Prescriptions, Revealed

January 05, 2010 By: Tylar Masters Category: Medtipster, Prescription Savings

Have you ever wondered how much the active ingredient in brand name prescription medications costs? Take a look below and see examples of how little it costs to produce some of the most popular brand name medications sold in the United States.

Every prescription listed below is available on a discount generic program at a pharmacy near you. Medtipster.com is your one stop shop to locate these, and thousands of other prescriptions, for as little as $4, or less!

norvasc

Norvasc

Norvasc: 10 mg

Consumer Price – 100 tablets: $188.29

Cost of General Active Ingredients: $0.14

Percent Markup: 134,493%

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paxil

Paxil

Paxil: 20 mg

Consumer Price – 100 tablets: $220.27

Cost of General Active Ingredients: $7.60

Percent Markup: 2,898%

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Prozac

Prozac

Prozac: 20 mg

Consumer Price – 100 tablets: $247.47

Cost of General Active Ingredients: $0.11

Percent Markup: 224,973%

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Tenormin

Tenormin

Tenormin: 50 mg

Consumer Price – 100 tablets: $104.47

Cost of General Active Ingredients: $0.13

Percent Markup: 80,362%

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Vasotec

Vasotec

Vasotec: 10 mg

Consumer Price – 100 tablets: $102.37

Cost of General Active Ingredients: $0.20

Percent Markup: 51,185%

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Xanax

Xanax

Xanax: 1 mg

Consumer Price – 100 tablets: $136.79

Cost of General Active Ingredients: $0.024

Percent Markup: 569,958%

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Zestril

Zestril

Zestril: 20 mg

Consumer Price – 100 tablets: $89.89

Cost of General Active Ingredients: $3.20

Percent Markup: 2,809%

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Zithromax

Zithromax

Zithromax: 600 mg

Consumer Price – 100 tablets: $1,482.19

Cost of General Active Ingredients: $18.78

Percent Markup: 7,892%

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Zoloft

Zoloft

Zoloft: 50 mg

Consumer Price: $206.87

Cost of General Active Ingredients: $1.75

Percent Markup: 11,821%

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Now more than ever, with healthcare costs at at all time high, and little relief in sight for so many who struggle with affording medications, we encourage you to share this information with your family and friends.

And remember, Medtipster.com has up to date information on health screenings, immunizations, mini-clinics, and of course, prescription drugs at the lowest cost available.

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