Originally published in HCPLive.com by Anita Ramsetty, MD We are very fortunate to have a number of newer insulins available for our patients. For years we had animal insulins only. NPH and Regular, then we had Ultralente. The development of analog insulins marked the upswing in technology that we would sustain for a period of time. The most recent big blip in the ...

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Originally published in Insidermedicine Receiving a seasonal flu vaccine may offer some protection against the H1N1 flu, although it by no means should replace an H1N1 vaccine, according to research published in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal. Here is some information about the H1N1 vaccine and seasonal flu vaccine: • They are two separate vaccines. A seasonal ...

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Select states have taken a hard line against doctors accepting any type of gifts from drug companies. And that includes food of any kind, which makes for some awkward moments at national physician conventions. So, during this week's ACEP Scientific Assembly in Boston, WhiteCoat snapped a picture of this notice, which borders on farcical: drug company gifts I've heard similar stories from other ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today Staff Writer Contrary to information that led the FDA and other regulatory agencies to release warnings about varenicline (Chantix), a new study has found "no clear evidence" of a relationship between the risk of suicide and the smoking-cessation drug. medpage-todayBoth varenicline and bupropion (Zyban), another drug used in smoking cessation programs, were ...

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Recently, a former staff medical writer at a MECC (Medical Education Communication Company) anonymously alerted me to a particularly sleazy advertising tactic used by a medical writing company. This person had worked as a pharma-supported medical writer for several years, but recently quit because, “I really couldn't stomach the ethical problems associated with writing for the pharma industry." Recently, looking for medical writing jobs, this writer came across a company ...

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by Diana Lee A recent episode of the A&E show Intervention about a woman with occasional migraines and other serious health problems who takes up to 50 Percocet pills a day made me uncomfortable. Maybe Danielle, the woman featured in the episode, really does have migraine attacks. But she is also an addict. One condition really has nothing to do with the other. Many people with acute or chronic pain use ...

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When it came to Michael Jackson, I argued recently that the singer himself had to share some of the blame. An op-ed in the Houston Chronicle places more blame, however, on a celebrity's enablers, be it a personal physician or part of their entourage with access to a doctor. By enabling a celebrity's dependence to drugs, the piece, citing the case of Anna Nicole Smith, says, "facilitation of Smith's prescription drug ...

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In an effort to cut prescription drug costs, there is constant pressure to switch from brand name medications to their generic equivalents. But in this special report from MedPage Today, there may be some variability between generic medications that can lead to clinical symptoms. However, most of the data is anecdotal, and at best, based on retrospective data. For instance, when it comes to anti-seizure medications, some neurologists are cautioning ...

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by Michael Kirsch, MD Demonizing the pharmaceutical industry has become a parlor game for many who enjoy the challenge of shooting at an oversized target. Scapegoating Big Pharma? Now, that takes guts. Never mind the gazillions they spend on research and development to create tomorrow’s treatments for cancer, arthritis, depression, infectious diseases, heart attacks and strokes. I know that drug industry executives are not all eagle scouts whose mission ...

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I've previously written that direct to consumer drug advertising should be banned, similar to the rest of the world, except for New Zealand. The main reason reason is that many of the advertised products are for expensive, brand name drugs that have little advantage over their generic counterparts. In a New York Times' Room for Debate post on the issue, various viewpoints are presented. I find myself agreeing with internist ...

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