by Charles Bankhead Reanalysis of a landmark cholesterol-lowering trial of people typically considered at low risk for heart attacks indicated that the results are flawed -- and do not support the primary-prevention benefits that made headlines, authors of the review asserted. The reanalysis of the massive JUPITER trial involving almost 18,000 people with low or normal cholesterol but elevated levels of the inflammatory biomarker C-reactive protein (CRP) -- turned up no evidence ...

Read more...

by Marianna Rakovitsky, RPh Oh, Summer! The weather is warm, the sun is shining and it is the time when we try to get outside as much as possible. Summer is my favorite time of the year. I love the beach, days that are filled with light and sunshine,  trips to the orchards and hanging out in the backyard. The sunshine that makes the summer such a ...

Read more...

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services could save a half billion dollars a year by switching its beneficiaries with macular degeneration to  Genetench's Avastin instead of Genentech's Lucentis, the Wall Street Journal reported recently. The two drugs are variations of the same molecule.

Many eye doctors across the country have been switching to the less expensive Avastin ($42 a dose compared to $1593 for Lucentis) to save their ...

Read more...

by Crystal Phend Homocysteine-lowering supplements do not help prevent further cardiovascular events in heart attack survivors, a large randomized trial affirmed. The trial, which followed more than 12,000 heart attack survivors over nearly seven years, found that folic acid plus vitamin B12 effectively reduced homocysteine levels, but did not reduce major vascular events overall nor any other individual endpoint compared with placebo, reported Jane M. Armitage, BM BChBSc, MBBS, of the University ...

Read more...

I recently received a call from a mother that made me both want to cry and scream out in frustration. Several months ago I wrote a post entitled Drugs for Children May Silence Stories, in which I described a young boy who had suffered severe neglect as an infant. His adoptive parents had sought help from me when he was four, but when I recommended intervention for the whole family ...

Read more...

by James Baker, MD Clinical psychologist Irving Kirsch is selling a new book in which he argues that anti-depressants aren't much better than placebo.  He bases his claim on sophisticated statistical studies he has done that combine the results of antidepressant research trials from over the years. The scary part is that he had to use the freedom of information act to get a hold of some of the studies. His ...

Read more...

by Charles Bankhead Increased emphasis on conflicts of interest has yet to sway physicians' generally positive attitudes toward drug and device manufacturers' marketing activities, a survey of almost 600 attending physicians and trainees showed. More than 70% of respondents saw nothing inappropriate about attending sponsored lunches, and 25% had no problems with accepting large gifts from industry representatives, according to an article in the June issue of Archives of Surgery. Surgeons, trainees, and ...

Read more...

by Edison Wong, MD With the recent proposal to repeal the so-called Massachusetts “gift ban” (more appropriately referred to as the “interaction ban”), I asked myself who stands to gain the most from such bans? Is it the consumers or patients? Is it the physicians or their practices? Is it the federal or state governments? Nope. Sadly, it is the insurers who gain the most, at the expense of patients. The ...

Read more...

by Cole Petrochko The FDA warned consumers to be alert for websites selling a fake "generic" version of the flu drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu), which may be dangerous to patients allergic to penicillin. The Tamiflu fake does not contain the active ingredient of the drug it imitates but does contain cloxacillin, which can cause anaphylaxis in patients allergic to antibiotics in the same class as penicillin. The FDA uncovered the mimic through purchasing the ...

Read more...

by Michael Smith The number of emergency room visits for nonmedical use of prescription painkillers more than doubled between 2004 and 2008, according to a CDC estimate. The increase was part of a trend that saw emergency room visits for nonmedical use of all prescription and over-the-counter medications reach the same level as those for abuse of illicit drugs, the agency said in the June 18 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly ...

Read more...

Most Popular