Top of mind positioning has been replaced with top of page positioning.  The old ad model of informing, persuading and reminding are being replaced by involvement, community and empowerment.  So why are the nightly network newscasts still being subsidized by drug direct to consumer (DTC) ads? From all the latest research that I have done, coupled with the research from other sources like Manhattan Research, Pew and Rodale, it’s quite clear ...

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One recent news item in the world of pharma is the less-than-enthusiastic response of an FDA panel to Boehringer-Ingelheim’s experimental “sexual desire for women” pill, flibanserin. I believe the quest for a “female Viagra” (an inaccurate parallel, by the way) is fundamentally misguided. Here’s why. There’s a big difference between sexual function and sexual desire. Viagra does something that a pill can, in fact, do – impacts a physiological process. Erectile dysfunction is, ...

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It is insulting to think that doctors who are ostensibly smart enough to save one's life are in fact so stupid, or merely gullible enough, to be swept away by what is in actuality only a very weak potion of sales-presentation intermixed with and embedded within generally informative and pharmaceutical-balanced subject-focused medical lectures. Such lectures occur usually at a private function room at a restaurant or, in conjunction with a served ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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