Though I am not going to say that the New York Times lied, they either purposely and grossly misrepresented the truth or did a horrible job of reporting. In their article, "Diabetes Drug Maker Hid Test Data, Files Indicate" the Times states that Avandia maker GSK "secretly began" a study which "provided clear signs that it (Avandia) was riskier to the heart." In fact, the study in question, called study ...

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Part 2 of a series.  Please read part 1, DTC advertising, and its history with the FDA. In the first installment, we looked at the history behind consumer advertising of prescription drugs. We also explored the concept of commercial free speech and why this form of advertising is legal. To fully appreciate the controversy about direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising, we must now examine the commercial effects of these ad campaigns. ...

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How are we going to solve the drug problem? The answer is we aren't. Psychoactive drug abuse is as old as recorded history. As long as drugs are available and humans are frail, there will be drug abuse and drug abusers. The main point for medicine is to follow Hippocrates. First, do no harm. So many of our drug laws, intended to do good, actually do more harm than good. Witness marijuana. Will California ...

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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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