Pfizer and Merck: Different Strokes
"Celebrex continues to sell, while Vioxx got yanked. Courts, doctors, patients, and investors will decide which approach is better."

Indeed. For how long Celebrex continues to sell is another question.

Got Arthritis? Suck it Up
Blogging has been limited, so I direct you to Medpundit's thoughts on the Naproxyn/COX-2 controversies, as well as this followup article.

Medrants also gives his opinion.

Happy holidays!

Blogging will be light until after Christmas. I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.




TV makeovers more extreme than real
The AMA now officially opposes Extreme Makeover and The Swan.

Malpractice a case study; Del. lawyers, doctors split over 'affidavits of merit'
"Since October 2003, any person claiming to be the victim of medical negligence must submit an affidavit from a qualified medical expert stating that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a defendant has been negligent."

This seems to be working in reducing the amount of frivolous lawsuits in Delaware.

Debate on Malpractice Looms for Senate
Let's see if Time's 2004 Person of the Year can turn some of his talk into results regarding malpractice reform.

Awareness during surgery, once dismissed as imaginary, is real "“ and potentially devastating
"The first thing Sidney L. Williams says he heard when he awoke in the operating room during open heart surgery two years ago was the insistent whine of a bone saw cleaving his sternum."

The uncommon, but scary, proposition of anesthesia awareness.

So, what if COX-2's are withdrawn from the market? There are plenty of patients (i.e. those with arthritis) who require an anti-inflammatory in the face of prior ulcers or GI bleeds. That is presumably why they were on Vioxx, Celebrex or Bextra in the first place.

One option would be to use COX-2 preferential medications, such as Relafen, Lodine or Mobic - all discussed previously.

If that ...

Read more...

Pfizer to Halt Advertising of Celebrex to Consumers
Cat's already out of the bag isn't it? Halting the DTC advertising is kind of like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic - Celebrex is a sinking ship. Others seem to agree:

Still, Pfizer has no plans to stop selling Celebrex, Pfizer chief executive, Henry A. McKinnell, said in an interview on "This Week," on ABC Television. For many patients, Celebrex ...

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Medicine Fueled by Marketing Intensified Trouble for Pain Pills
"Pfizer spent almost $71.2 million on Celebrex, up about 55 percent from almost $46.1 million spent in the same period a year ago, according to data from the research firm TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. The effect of such advertising, many doctors say, was to drive to consumer demand for COX-2 drugs far beyond the bulk of those patients who really ...

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A different slant on pharmaceutical advertising from this month's (the last free issue by the way) BMJ - Killing me softly: myth in pharmaceutical advertising.



Above is an advertisement for Aprovel, an angiotensin-receptor blocker anti-hypertensive, from a medical journal in the UK. The BMJ dissects this ad, discussing the subtle use of myth in pharmaceutical advertising in medical journals:
This image transports the (UK) reader to ...

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Can the human eye detect an offside position during a football match?
"To apply the offside rule correctly in a football game, the referee must be able to keep in his visual field at least five objects at the same time"”two players of the attacking team, the last two players of the defending team, and the ball.

This is beyond the capacity of the human eye, which may ...

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Health Canada warns about use of pain killer Celebrex due to heart risk
"Health Canada has pulled authorization of pain relief drug Celebrex for the treatment of a rare genetic disease, following 'new information' linking the drug to an increased risk of heart attack."

Blogging from Canada continues. The recommended dose for Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) - the disease mentioned in the article - is 400 mg twice ...

Read more...

False-Positive Cancer Screening Results Costly
"Screening for cancer quite often produces a false-positive result, and this can lead to costly -- and ultimately unnecessary -- follow-up testing, according to a new report."

Some press given to the fact that indiscriminate cancer screening has its downside. That is why the evidence is so important.

The Fallout From Celebrex
Discussing the legal ramifications from today's Celebrex news.

Celebrex, Vioxx Scandals Prompt AIDS Group to Call for Ban on Consumer Drug Advertising
The only positive I see from the COX-2 debacles is that it will force the public to be skeptical of DTC marketing, hopefully the first step in eliminating them altogether. Anytime a patient comes in demanding a medication they see on TV, I'll simply respond by bringing up these Vioxx and Celebrex DTC marketing-fueled ...

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FDA Statement on the Halting of a Clinical Trial of the Cox-2 Inhibitor Celebrex
"While we have not seen all available data on Celebrex, these findings are similar to recent results from a study of Vioxx (rofecoxib), another drug in the same class as Celebrex. Vioxx was recently voluntarily withdrawn by Merck. Another drug in this class, Bextra (valdecoxib) has shown an increased risk for CV events in patients after ...

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As you have heard, Pfizer disclosed a connection between Celebrex and major heart problems:

The studies were conducted for Pfizer by the National Cancer Institute. In one [the APC cancer trial -ed], patients taking 400 mg to 800 milligrams of the drug daily were found to have a risk of experiencing major heart problems that was 2.5 times greater than people who were not taking the drug. ...

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With New Sleeping Pill, New Acceptability?
Get ready for the next big thing, a pill for insomnia designed for long-term use. This is a huge market that the pharmaceuticals would love to further exploit, since when one starts on sleeping pills, they are unable or unwilling to stop (think PPIs for GERD). Of course, the big marketing push is coming:

Sepracor, a still unprofitable company based in Marlborough, Mass., ...

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Canadian Officials Disagree on Reimportation of Prescription Drugs
Canadablogging continues! The province of Manitoba is where many of the internet pharmacies are based, and they are at odds with the Canadian health minister, who wants to "crackdown" on the entire industry.

Incidentally, why are many of the internet drug stores based in Manitoba? I wondered the same thing. Here is what I found:

Some of the ...

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