Little more than a decade ago, most people had never heard of the word genomics; today it is used frequently. It is indeed a revolutionary science that is and will transform medical research and medical care. To better understand how this new science will markedly change medicine, it is convenient to consider it through a few categories:

  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Nutragenomics
  • Disease classification
  • Disease ...

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Pharmaceuticals are amazing stuff. You can bitch and moan about their costs, side effects, or the number of them you're taking, but what they've done to extend life and improve its quality is truly remarkable. And for all the bad raps they get, I salute the pharmaceutical industry, and those who work anonymously in labs around the world, to bring us these miracles. But ...

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by Patrick Fitzgerald, MPH Health advocacy organizations (HAOs) are typically organizations of prominent, trusted stakeholders who conduct campaigns to promote disease awareness, update members to new diagnostic tests and drugs, facilitate physician referrals, deliver health care services, and advocate for policies believed to be in their member’s best interest. They range in size from national organizations with many thousands of members focused on widespread disease to smaller ...

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Recently, the FDA has rejected another anti-obesity drug, Contrave, because of concerns that it might cause heart attacks in patients who take it for years. FDA's excessive caution was motivated by its experience having been burned by the Fen-Phen fiasco. This was a weight loss drug widely prescribed in the 90s that was pulled from the market after studies showed it caused fatal ...

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Many people believe that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States approves uses of drugs. It does not. This confusion comes from insufficient clarity of language. The FDA does approve whether or not a prescription drug can be manufactured, marketed, and sold, the language on the label, and the claims of advertising. Drug manufacturers must use an elaborate, detailed, lengthy, and very ...

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Abilify, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Risperal – these are among the atypical antipsychotics for which Americans paid $10 billion in 2008. $6 billion of that was for off-label use. The FDA only approves drugs when their safety and efficacy have been tested for specific conditions. For example, an antipsychotic might be approved for the treatment of schizophrenia. When it’s prescribed for anxiety or depression, that’s ...

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Having a healthy level of respect for opioids is critical for any physician. For those of us who prescribe or recommend this class of medicines on a daily basis, this statement rings all the more true.Recent events and research reinforce this reality. "Oxycontin, Other Opioid Painkillers Tied to Higher Health Risks" was the title of a recent BusinessWeek article ...

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by Christopher, BA We all know of the folly "Just Say No" as it just does not work. I disagree that a physician should ignore the requests of her or his patients, based solely on the perceivable abuse of the drug Oxycontin. This is an opiate that works wonders for patients in chronic pain situations, ...

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Well, the nuclear crisis in Japan seems to be causing a run on potassium iodide (KI), and not just in Japan. If news reports are to be believed, people in many other regions (such as the west coast of the US and Canada) are stocking up, and some of these people may have already started dosing themselves. Don't do that. Don't ...

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It’s only been a little over fifty years since vaccinations became routine for the childhood killers like polio, measles, mumps and whooping cough.  People my age and older had no choice but to suffer through childhood infectious diseases given how effectively and quickly they spread through a community. Most of us survived, subsequently blessed with life long natural immunity.  Some did not survive.  ...

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