Are drug companies putting money where their mouths are?

In a new trend, the pharmaceutical industry is offering what the NY Times calls, "money-back guarantees," essentially paying for treatments if their drug fails.

For instance, the makers of the osteoporosis drug Actonel will pay "$30,000 for a hip fracture . . and $6,000 for a wrist fracture," if a patient taking their drug suffers those conditions.

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There's a movement afloat where medical students would cover up the names of drugs on promotional gifts with duct tape.

But, as medical student Adina Cappell notes, does that really solve anything?

"The problem is, by covering up the name of the pharmaceutical company," she writes, "the future doctor does his patients and colleagues a disservice . . . By accepting perks, but refusing to give up ...

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Often times, when something is banned, unintended consequences ensue.

And when it comes to industry sponsorship, including free drug samples and pharmaceutical sponsorship of CME, it's no exception.

In a recent piece, it's no secret that I've thought that doctors continue to be influenced by industry sponsorship. To combat this, there are various forces that advocate banning drug company sponsorship of continuing medical education courses, eliminating ...

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Bipolar disease and ADHD is becoming increasingly diagnosed in the United States, but isn't an issue in the rest of the world.

Investigative journalist Philip Dowdy has some strong reasons for that, and lays the blame squarely at the drug companies, along with child psychiatrists at Harvard.

"The pharma companies and the Harvard crew worked hand-in-hand to bring America a generation of ADHD kids and bipolar children," Mr ...

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The price people are paying for beauty is getting higher.

Tough economic times are preventing people from obtaining plastic surgery, so they're resorting to more illicit means. Shady practitioners are offering silicone injections, administered in motel rooms or in so-called "pumping parties." Industrial grade silicone can be found in hardware stores, but sometimes, castor oil, mineral oil, petroleum jelly and even automobile transmission fluid are substituted.

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With the decline in network television viewership, sponsorship dollars become more important.

Showtime, the premium cable network, recently canceled a Tim Robbins pilot (via Schwitzer), a show that took a "scathing look at the pharmaceutical drug industry, focusing on a dysfunctional family behind a major drug concern."

It was considered a shoo-in to be on the schedule, so the move came as a surprise.

Showtime's owner ...

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The recession is forcing people to look for ways to cut their health care costs.

One unfortunate method is bypassing physician visits and prescription medications in favor less expensive vitamins and supplements.

According to the NY Times, here's a typical example: "In flusher times, Ms. Parham said, she spent $50 a month on prescriptions for her asthma, allergies and other chronic problems. Now, she pays $6 a ...

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One piece of big news out of the recent American College of Cardiology meetings was a "proof of concept" study involving a cardiovascular polypill.

Made up of five cheap, generic medications - aspirin, a statin, a beta-blocker, diruetic, and ace-inhibitor - the pill was shown to be well tolerated and reduce both blood pressure and cholesterol.

Which is exactly what this 5-in-1 pill should do.

That ...

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The first company that comes up with a effective drug for obesity is bound to make billions.

Prior failures notwithstanding, a trio of small pharmaceutical companies are trying to come up with the next great obesity pill. That means clinical studies are ongoing.

So, what's it like to participate in such a trial? Ed Susman, a contributing writer at MedPage Today, was involved in one, ...

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Representatives from drug companies are undergoing some hard times, as physicians increasingly are closing their doors to them, or seeing them only via an appointment.

Subsequently, the number of drug reps is predicted to fall from about 102,000 at its peak in 2007, to 75,000 by 2012.

There are a variety of reasons for this, including the fact that more doctors simply don't trust the information that's presented, ...

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