A commentary that is very good from the ACSH people.
Category Archives: Pharmaceuticals
This will get some of my friends going.
This is a wonderful essay on the life of a woman struck down by a terrible mental illness.
I see these late teen patients going south and it’s a heartbreaker. Schizophrenia is an awful thing.
Josh Bloom PhD, was once in the Pharma Science Biz as I recall. Now he works at American Council on Science and Health.
Nothing more important in medicine than antibiotics for acute infections–big life saver.
A couple of weeks ago the FDA came down, hard, on the “do it yourself” “Personal Genome Service” tests offered by Google-affilliated “23andme.com”, effectively shutting down their sales.
Their concern was that the company was marketing the kits “in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act)” as the company (per the FCC letter) “… markets the PGS for providing “health reports on 254 diseases and conditions,” including categories such as “carrier status,” “health risks,” and “drug response,” and specifically as a “first step in prevention””.
This is one of those greyish areas between Big Gov’t as Big Nanny, but also with a company promoting a product as promising way above any scientifically valid data.
When even Forbes is on the side of the FDA… my head hurts. But I know better than to take acetaminophen… Oh, and make sure to read the Sci-Am article and comments.
Some researchers analyzed the news coverage in the UK. To the surprise of, well, absolutely no one, people with connections to the drug industry were way more worried publicly, and were solidly promoting the use of anti-viral and other meds. This despite the fact that the effectiveness of these treatments is, to be charitable, very questionable.
To be fair, of course, many experts are, indeed, working in their industries of choice. Just like, for example, aeronautical experts are going to be found at Boeing. But they really should ID their affiliations and reporters need to keep them in mind: Continue reading
There have been lots and lots of studies over the past decades that prove that statins are effective in changing the cholesterol levels in blood. What’s not at all so clear is whether this actually makes any difference to most patients in helping to reduce death rates from heart disease.
Risk Calculator for Cholesterol Appears Flawed
Last week, the nation’s leading heart organizations released a sweeping new set of guidelines for lowering cholesterol, along with an online calculator meant to help doctors assess risks and treatment options. But, in a major embarrassment to the health groups, the calculator appears to greatly overestimate risk, so much so that it could mistakenly suggest that millions more people are candidates for statin drugs.
more info at:
There’s a meningitis outbreak at Princeton Univ. in NJ. There’s no US approved drug to treat this strain (“B”). But with at least seven infected students so far (and some heavy duty alumni, including the First Lady), the FDA is allowing them to bring in “Bexsera, a vaccine against N. meningitidis serogroup B only approved for use in Europe and Australia,”.
So if it’s good enough for the rest of the world, why has the FDA been dragging its feet? And the same for many, many, other drugs that other countries have deemed safe and effective?
more info from the Princeton student newspaper: http://goo.gl/Qiahtb
On May 18, the highly anticipated fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—aka DSM-5—was released by the American Psychiatric Association at its annual meeting. There has been no shortage of critics of this new edition, including Thomas R. Insel, MD, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
“Approximately 10 years ago, the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS) found that postmenopausal hormone therapy in older women caused nearly two-fold increases in dementia risk…” Continue reading
This is junk science because: Continue reading
This mixmaster meta-analysis is junk science because… Continue reading
Based on the popularity of my recent posting on meds, I offer the following for your reading pleasure…
My late father-in-law practiced psychiatry in the Midwest, and was—by any standard—brilliant. For one thing, he never received a grade lower than “A” from grammar school, all the way through his medical education… Continue reading
“The 53 percent increase in the diagnosis of ADHD in the past 10 years cannot be explained on the basis of genetics or any other biological discovery that would permit a valid diagnosis.” Continue reading
A psychiatrist recommends a patient for a University of Minnesota antipsychotic clinical trial — even though one week earlier the psychiatrist recommended the patient be involuntarily committed. The patient subsequently committed suicide, possibly but not certainly because of the medication. Question: How could patient possibly have provided “informed consent” to participate in the clinical trial? Continue reading
A very small study — with very little credibility. Continue reading
In the olden days, “you did have to suffer a little bit.” Continue reading
Meanwhile, BigPharma is researching how to get antidepressants classified as vitamins. Continue reading