One of the advantages of marrying an immigrant is having intense exposure to another culture. My wife’s Russian heritage, and her family, have enriched my own life immeasurably. The trip that I took with her and my brother to Russia in 1990, where she served as our personal translator, was unforgettable. During the early years of our relationship, I heard stories about her family that seemed incredible to an American like ...

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There's an interesting video from WCVB in Boston about doctors getting kick backs from the insurance company to switch patients from branded medications to generic medications: New Rules To Protect Prescription Drug Customers. If people were concerned about undue influence when drug companies used to give physicians pens and other novelties (now currently banned by most companies), they should really be concerned about actual monetary payments. The patient interviewed in the Boston ...

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About a month ago, a 44-year-old insurance executive came to see me with complaints of headaches and muscle cramps. His pain was caused by the typical cluster headache located behind one eye, accompanied by one-sided tearing and nasal congestion, and often triggered by occasional wine or chocolate. The muscle cramps mainly affected the legs and seemed to worsen after exercise. When I got the results of his lab work, I was ...

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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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