shutterstock_110115209 First, it was the MMR-autism link—that turned out to be a complete fabrication, a fraud invented by a single “researcher” who made up his data. He was taking money from plaintiff’s lawyers, and he was trying to patent his own, competing vaccine. Too bad for the scare and the resulting surge in measles. Then, the mercury connection. A mercury-containing preservative,
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Two of the biggest -selling prescriptions of all time, Plavix, an anti-platelet medication, and Lipitor, a cholesterol lowering medicine, have been available in generic form since May 2012 and November 2011, respectively. However, most retail pharmacies are still charging patients $100-$200 monthly for these medications. Why? And what does this market oddity say about our chances of lowering healthcare costs in the United States? Patients are used to paying a high ...

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It's a nightmare that doesn't end for the family of 24-year-old Marek Lapinski, who suffered cardiac arrest recently during the removal of two wisdom teeth in a southern California oral surgery clinic.  The former college football player had no known health problems prior to the surgery, but died three days later in a hospital intensive care unit. While the circumstances of Mr. Lapinski's death are still being investigated, the case highlights ...

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The FDA issued a warning about the antibiotic azithromycin (Zithromax). The media stories have some patients terrified and some of them are calling me convinced that azithromycin is poison, a reliable agent for suicide. What’s the hubbub about? Azithromycin is in a family of antibiotics called macrolides, which also includes erythromycin and clarithromycin (Biaxin). Erythromycin and clarithromycin have long been known to very rarely cause fatal abnormal heart rhythms. It ...

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My kids know that I enjoy a spirited argument.   During the days when the dinner table was our public forum, I tried hard to offer a responsible voice of dissent on the issues before us.  I admit now that the view I espoused was not always my own, but one that I felt merited inclusion in the discussion.  I still do this with them and to others in my life ...

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shutterstock_118348960 According to a new report from Cegedim Strategic Data, DTC promotional spending declined 22% versus last year. In fact they reported that “spending in nearly every channel saw decline year over year in 2012, the only exception being direct mail, which continued an upward trend.  Here are the reasons why I expect DTC marketing to continue to decline in 2013. 1. Most big brands ...

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A recent meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that coenzyme Q10 is of benefit in congestive heart failure. For those who like the idea that food and nutrients can be excellent medicine, this paper is interesting at the very least. But there is a case to be made that it is far more than that. There is a case to be made that it ...

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My perspective on scientific publications has been greatly affected by my experience with this blog and social media in particular.  The ability to serve as author, reviewer, advertiser and marketer can be easily achieved in this space thanks to the power of self-publishing.  But with this new platform comes new responsibilities and for those of us who chose to work with people daily, perhaps none is as great as maintaining ...

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shutterstock_118348960 Quick!  Can you name the leading cause of accidental death in the United States now?  It is prescription drug overdose.  Since 2009 death from legally prescribed narcotics has led auto accident deaths as the number one cause of accidental death in the United States.  More than 15000 die now annually. On October 5, 2012 the Wall Street Journal on its front page published ...

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oprah I am sure Oprah had spectacular ratings for her Lance Armstrong interview and so, in the spirit of truth-telling, I have another mea culpa show for Ms. Winfrey to consider: vaccine safety. Until Jenny McCarthy got major air time the link between vaccines and autism was relatively fringe. But with Oprah in September of 2007 McCarthy, and by extension Andrew Wakefield, the ...

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