Blockbuster drugs.  They are, to this day, an addiction for big pharma.  A blockbuster can produce a huge ROI and fund the development of new drugs and new marketing programs but today the deck is stacked against blockbuster drugs. The healthcare environment today is one in which cost containment is a key element.  In the next few years a lot of blockbuster drugs are going to come off patent including Lipitor, ...

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Patients want a quick fix. Society wants patients to have a quick fix, so that they can quickly return to their usual performance at work and home. Patients still have shame about seeking help from a psychiatrist or other mental health professional. So they ask help for their depression from their primary care physician. The PCP feels an emotional pressure to provide the quick fix in that 15-minute appointment - the ...

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A simple study from the March, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association illustrates something important about the way we perceive the effectiveness of medication. 82 adult volunteers were recruited. They were told they were taking part in a trial of a new pain medication, testing its effectiveness using a standardized, well-established protocol using low-voltage shocks as a painful stimulus. All ...

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The commonly prescribed breast cancer drug, Arimidex, was released as a generic in June 2010. The generic name is anastrozole. I called several local pharmacies last week to find out how much this medicine would cost for a one-month supply. I found some very surprising results: Costco: $27 Walgreens (with Saver Card): $325 (without Card): $380 CVS: $361 Walmart: $347 Target: $340 These are not typos. Costco is selling a one-month supply of generic Arimidex for $27, ...

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Parkinson's disease (PD) commonly includes a variety of behavioral disturbances related to impulsivity.  Impulse control problems noted in PD includes hypersexuality, compulsive shopping, compulsive eating and pathological gambling. These behavioral problems may be related to the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease.  However, drugs commonly used in Parkinson's disease appear to increase the risk for impulsive behavioral problems. Clinicians face a dilemma in drug-induced behavioral disturbances.  The drugs that may be effective for treating ...

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An excerpt from Doctor Guilt? by Everett Winslow Lovrien, MD This is the story of a boy who had hemophilia, a bleeding disorder that resulted in pain, disability and death before adulthood. A new medicine was developed which brought an end to suffering and increased longevity in persons with hemophilia.  The effect of the new medicine was like magic. It was a remarkable revolutionary advancement ...

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by Marianna Rakovitsky, RPh Recently there has been a lot of controversy  about the use of NSAIDs and heart health. NSAIDs are medications for pain and inflammation. Many of them are sold over the counter and they are used by millions of people for various aches and pains as well as for more serious chronic conditions such as arthritis. Aspirin is technically an NSAID, but its effects ...

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An excerpt from Unhinged: The trouble with psychiatry- a doctor’s revelations about a profession in crisis. Copyright © 2010 Daniel Carlat. Excerpted with permission by Free Press, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. It may be hard for people to imagine that drug reps can get us to prescribe a particular drug by simply giving us a meal or being nice to us. The process is subtle, but ...

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by Arnon Krongrad, MD The noose was loose on its neck. At first I worried, but then I relaxed. This was a bottle of pomegranate juice, the antioxidant superpower. As the billboard implied, it could cheat death. Perhaps if I consumed pomegranate juice, I could cheat death. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission charged POM Wonderful, LLC, makers of pomegranate products, with deceptive advertising. What ...

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by Gary Puckrein, PhD Unapproved drugs have never been tested by the Food and Drugs Administration for safety and efficacy. Prescribed by the million every year in the United States, these products pose a potential danger to all patients, but HIV/AIDS patients who suffer weakened immune systems are at an even higher risk as they are more vulnerable to injury due to their disease. That's why we ...

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