When Dr. Louis Kraus, a chief of child psychiatry at a hospital in Chicago, writes prescriptions for patients who have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, he often chooses Concerta, an extended-release form of the drug Ritalin that gives patients relief from their symptoms for as long as 12 hours.
He was unconcerned when, a few years ago, pharmacies began substituting lower-cost generic alternatives for brand-name Concerta — after all, generic drugs are widely seen as effective and account for the overwhelming majority of prescriptions filled nationwide.
His feelings changed last November, however, when the Food and Drug Administration announced that two of the three available Concerta generics, one made by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and the other by UCB, could no longer be considered the equivalent of the brand and, in most states, could not be automatically substituted by pharmacies for the brand name. Read More…
India’s favorite comfort food, Maggi two-minute noodles, is mired in scandal. It all began in late May, when state-level regulators in Uttar Pradesh announced that they had found trace elements of lead — 17.2 parts per million, or at least seven times the allowable levels — in samples of the popular product from across the northern state. Other states, including Delhi, also claim to have found elevated levels of lead in Maggi noodles; samples in states such as Maharashtra and Kerala and Goa, meanwhile, came back clean. Singapore, which had initially asked importers to pull Maggi noodles, has now allowed sales to resume after its food regulator cleared it.
Nestlé India, which claims to have conducted its own tests on more than 1000 samples and found them safe, denies the claims of elevated lead levels. It asserts that all of its products are safe. What’s more, no one has fallen sick or died from consuming Maggi products. Still, on June 5, the company issued a nationwide recall. So far, neither Nestlé India nor Indian authorities have been especially forthcoming with details on their testing methodologies or information on the quality of the labs they used. Read More…