The Wall Street Journal reported that a study of prescription patterns in 2009, conducted by IMS Health, showed that 25% of children in the US were on regular medication. IMS Health is a firm that provides "marketing intelligence" to pharmaceutical companies. The firm’s job is to keep the $800 billion per year global pharmaceutical industry on a continued pattern of growth.  Hopefully these consultants accomplished something quite different this week. Hopefully they ...

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A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. by Mark A. Warner, MD Drug shortages of a number of drugs, including anesthetics, continue to impact anesthesiologists and patients each day. Throughout the shortages, anesthesiologists will be committed to ensuring patients remain safe and receive ...

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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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