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Federal prosecutors in California and Florida sued on Wednesday to stop two companies from providing stem cell treatments, alleging the clinics marketed their procedures as remedies for ailments including cancer and heart disease without proof of safety and efficacy.

The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday sent warning letters to 13 manufacturers, distributors and retailers of e-cigarette liquids. In a phone briefing for reporters, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the companies are endangering kids by marketing the products to resemble juice boxes, cookies or candy.

"You look at the lollipop for example. I don't see how my 4- or 5-year-old doesn't just look at that and see a lollipop. It's a lollipop," he said.

An online pharmacy that bills itself as Canada's largest is expected to be fined $34 million Friday for importing counterfeit cancer drugs and other unapproved pharmaceuticals into the United States, a sentence that one advocacy group called too light for such a heinous crime.

Florida has the second highest number of for-profit stem cell clinics in the United States, and a new proposal by a Tampa lawmaker would crack down on those that prey on elderly and vulnerable Floridians.

The Food and Drug Administration last month sent criminal investigation agents with search warrants into nine storefronts across Central Florida that help customers order drugs from pharmacies in Canada and overseas at big discounts.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public health advisory this week regarding the use of Kratom - an herb that some people use to treat pain, stress, anxiety, and even opioid withdrawal.

A federal Food and Drug Administration advisory committee Wednesday recommended approval of a new injectable treatment for opioid addiction.

One Jacksonville addiction specialist participated in the drug trial that the panel examined data from.


The FDA has issued an advisory and recall for all liquid drug products made at Davie-based drug company PharmaTech. This is the second recall in the last 10 months, including products widely used by infants and toddlers.

The first contamination advisory was issued after Burkholderia cepaci was found in the drug company's water system. B. cepacia,  a bacteria known to cause pneumonia in people with weakened immune systems and cystic fibrosis, among other diseases, has potentially serious effects. The contaminated water was used during the manufacturing of each liquid medication.

Most potential new drugs fail when they're tested in people. These failures are not only a major disappointment, they sharply drive up the cost of developing new drugs.

A major reason for these failures is that most new drugs are first tested out in mice, rats or other animals. Often those animal studies show great promise.

But mice aren't simply furry little people, so these studies often lead science astray. Some scientists are now rethinking animal studies to make them more effective for human health.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a field trial to release genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys.

FDA: No Miami-Area Blood Donations During Zika Investigation

Jul 29, 2016

Pointing to concerns about transmission of the Zika virus, the federal Food and Drug Administration on Thursday requested that blood banks in Miami-Dade and Broward counties temporarily halt collecting blood until safeguards are put in place.

The Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that it will now allow gay men to donate blood, but there's a catch.

For the first time, the Food and Drug Administration has ordered a major tobacco company to stop selling several types of cigarettes.

The FDA on Tuesday ordered the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company to stop selling four products: Camel Bold Crush, Vantage Tech 13 and the regular and menthol versions of Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter cigarettes.

Food manufacturers must be more vigilant about keeping their operations clean under new government safety rules released Thursday in the wake of deadly foodborne illness outbreaks linked to ice cream, caramel apples, cantaloupes and peanuts.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug designed to increase a woman's libido.

The controversial decision was hailed by some doctors and advocates as a long-sought victory for women's health, but was condemned by others as irresponsible and dangerous.

While the “Right to Try Act,” which aims to give dying patients the right to try unapproved experimental drugs, is law in Florida as of today, its implementation isn't so clear.

In theory, the Right to Try law allows terminally ill patients access to drugs that have passed first-phase clinical trials and are going through later-stage trials as part of a new drug application to the Food and Drug Administration.

Experimental Drug Bill Awaits Scott Action

Jun 1, 2015

The Florida House this week sent a bill (HB 269) to Gov. Rick Scott that would allow terminally ill patients to have access to experimental drugs.

The bill, filed by Rep. Ray Pilon, R-Sarasota, drew significant discussion during this year's regular legislative session, with Pilon and other supporters saying it could help people with diseases such as cancer.

The bill focuses on drugs that have been through what is known as "phase 1" of a clinical trial but have not been approved for general use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Sarasota urologist  Ronald Wheeler says he's going to continue doing a controversial prostate-cancer treatment, even though an FDA panel recently voted against it and even though the state could punish him for it.

Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved the French device that Wheeler uses for high-intensity focused ultrasound, called HIFU, he has been treating his patients in Mexico.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Division of Dockets Management says it has received 75,000 comments on a proposed rule on tobacco products. That's thousands more comments than most other proposals. 

"It's looking like it ranks in the top 10 of all time," Ryan Cleaver, a docket specialist with the agency, said of the public comment period that ends today. 

 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration wants to add new regulations to additional tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, pipe tobacco and cigars.

The proposed regulations are not going down well in Tampa's Ybor City, which has been rolling out cigars since 1886.

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Gov. Rick Scott's office is continuing to push back against cigar regulations proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

 Over two days at the Florida State Fairgrounds, volunteers organized by the Florida Dental Association provided more than $1 million in free services.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn made a lot of specific promises when he ran for that office, from improved parks and public spaces to incentives to get police officers to live in the city, and more. 

How has he done on keeping those promises?

Lottie Watts / WUSF

Hundreds of people showed up at the Florida State Fairgrounds Friday for free dental care sponsored by the Florida Dental Association.

At 5 a.m., there were about 800 people waiting outside, according to Dr. Terry Buckenheimer, president of the Florida Dental Association.

Electronic cigarettes, which substitute water vapor for smoke, are growing in popularity, with new stores popping up all around. The Tampa Tribune reports that more than 20 percent of adult smokers across the country have tried “e-cigarettes,” which are not regulated by the FDA and contain varying amounts of nicotine and come in all kinds of flavors. Public health officials say they haven’t been adequately tested, but some former smokers swear by them.

The Compounding Shop in St. Petersburg has agreed to recall all of its sterile drugs, the Tampa Bay Times reports. The FDA says it’s a precaution and there have been no reports of illness. As Health News Florida reported last month, that pharmacy was included on a list of pharmacies where federal investigators found dangerous conditions

A third Floridian has died from contaminated steroid injections, and the number of Florida sites that received products from the now-infamous New England Compounding Center has tripled to 260, the state Department of Health said today.

Fifty-one of the recipients of NECC's injectable drugs are in West-Central Florida, according to the list of sites posted on the DOH web site.