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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Internet threatens drug price controls
". . . the current price regime is threatened by a 'Canada-only' bill now before Congress that would allow Americans to purchase drugs via Internet from Canada but not from other countries.

If such legislation were passed, Canada would be overwhelmed by drug buying from the United States, he said. The system that keeps Canadian drug prices 40 per cent below U.S. prices might ...

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Ontario plans tough new anti-smoking laws
"Ontario has introduced the toughest anti-smoking legislation in Canada, prompting anger among smokers, who will be forced to butt out virtually everywhere except in their own homes, or outside in the cold."

I'm in Canada for the next little while, so blogging will have a Canadian flavour. Regarding the new Ontario anti-smoking laws - kudos I say.

Blog Fodder
isemmelweis (newly added to the Blogroll) gives us a daily roundup of interesting links from the medical blogs. Kind of a "Grand Rounds Lite". Keep up the good work.

States Weigh Med-Mal Courts
"As debate over 'tort reform' continues across the United States, several states are considering the creation of medical malpractice courts to help streamline what many view as costly, complex litigation."

This would be a huge step forward, and probably would have a more significant impact than non-economic caps (via PointofLaw).

An interesting case courtesy of this week's NEJM:

A 66-year-old man presented with a two-year history of fatigue, paresthesia of the legs and feet, weight loss, and shoulder enlargement, with limitation of movement. On physical examination, periorbital ecchymoses (the "raccoon" sign) and infiltration of the periarticular tissues of the shoulders were found.
A biopsy specimen of abdominal fat that was stained with Congo red was positive ...

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Are caps the answer to the malpractice crisis?
A physician and a lawyer debate the pros and cons.

Weis suit against doctors who performed stomach stapling moves ahead
Charlie Weis is the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots and future head coach of the Notre Dame football team. He had the surgery because obese people don't get hired for head coaching jobs.

Unfortunately, there were complications from the procedure and he was in a coma for two weeks.

A medical malpractice ...

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A Puzzling Blood Pressure Drug Finding
"A study of recommended blood pressure drugs has produced a result even the researchers find hard to explain: Adding a calcium channel blocker to a diuretic was associated with an increase in deaths but not an increase in incidence of stroke or coronary events such as heart attacks."

I'm not sure why JAMA keeps publishing these second-tier observational studies. All they do is ...

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Ducks, Gills, Syphilis, and the Homunculus: The Tangled Bank #18
CodeBlueBlog hosts this biweekly sampler of science, medicine, and natural history blogs.

Hospital targets the Big Mac
"The Pizza Hut is shuttered, its neon sign collecting dust on the floor. But knocking down the Golden Arches has proved far more difficult for Toby Cosgrove, the new head of the Cleveland Clinic."

The Cleveland Clinic wants to kick McDonald's out of their building. I think the Clinic may be taking itself a bit too seriously.

The Doctor's World: Take Two Torts and Call Me in the Morning
An article talking with Senator Edwards' personal physician as well as the double standard that exists when treating lawyers.

Doctor or Health Care Provider
Reminding people of the subtle difference between the two.

Grand Rounds 12
Parallel Universes hosts the first overseas edition. Come get your weekly best of the medical blogosphere. CodeBlueBlog hosts next week.

Ads for body-imaging health screens may mislead



I have written before how full-body scans are not recommended. A recent study from the Archives of Internal Medicine notes the many misstatements in brochures advertising full-body scams - uh, I mean scans:

One ad, for example, contained the statement, "I had a time bomb in my body...You need to know."

In addition, one quarter of the newspaper ...

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Allergan's BOTOX Not Cause of Botulism in Florida Patients
Saint Nate kindly alerts me to this article, which gets to the bottom of the previously cited mystery involving botulism.

Holidays bring death for many Americans
An uplifting study to put you in that festive, Christmas mood.



The cover for this month's BMJUSA leaves nothing to the imagination.

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