Category Archives: Pharmaceuticals

ACE inhibitors win

I always liked ACE Inhibitors and shied away from Angiotensin Receptor Blockers because of cost.

Now I am rewarded for being parsimonious.

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Blood thinner report from the FDA

Comparing the thrombin inhibitor Pradaxa (dabigatron) to the vit K inhibitor and old standby, warfarin (Coumadin), the research results were mixed. Not impressive.

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More noise about the statins

As you know, there are those who think the statins are a little bit of a scam.

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Why no Antibiotic development?

Here’s a hint on why the R and D on antibiotics is drying up–FDA can claim some credit for the problem.

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Lipitor generating litigation–cause of type II diabetes?

The statins have some problems, they are still promoted as reducing cardiovascular event risk.

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Jenny McCarthy and RFK Jr: Ohio State Univ is calling you… Mumps outbreak

Even though we root for Ohio State’s opposition, we
still feel pity for anyone who’s listened to Jenny and RFK.
There are now over 200 confirmed cases of Mumps in
the Ohio State campus area, including Columbus, Ohio. Continue reading

Labs and viruses: nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong…

It seems that a bunch of epidemics (arguably pandemics) were courtesy of… escapes from labs that were researching them/trying to produce vaccines, etc. Continue reading

Yet another nail in Tamiflu™

Tamiflu™ (generic name: Oseltamivir) has been promoted for years as a miracle drug for treating influenza (including swine flu) and other viral nasties. The US gov’t has spent gazillions of tax dollars stockpiling it. But…. Continue reading

updated, was: Bad science, bad business, in Chili’s (restaurant chain) autism feelgoodism

update: Chili’s backed down. http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2014/04/07/chili-cancel-fundraiser-for-anti-vaccine-charity/
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Courtesy of Forbes: It seems that Chili’s has gotten on the autism bandwagon/promotion. They’re announced they’ll “support the National Autism Association (NAA) by giving this group 10% of their take at the table on Monday, April 7.” Not a good idea… Continue reading

Conlicts of Interest

I get tired of hearing about conflicts of interest from people who have the biggest conflict of all–devotion to and dependence on government money.

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Claim: FDA’s overly broad and expensive rules… keep life saving drugs from market

This argument gets thrashed out every couple of years, with the FDA saying all these regulations and studies “protect” the US consumer (“Thalidomide!, Thalidomide!”) while folk hoping for better and faster access to drugs point out the huge expenses and delays. Continue reading

More on Tylenol and ADHD

A commentary that is very good from the ACSH people.

http://acsh.org/2014/02/acetaminophen-use-pregnancy-behavioral-problems-offspring/

Pot Legalization a Disaster says Former DEA Chief

This will get some of my friends going.

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A Fine Story of a Great Woman

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.

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Josh Bloom on Hep C Drug Development Problems

Josh Bloom PhD, was once in the Pharma Science Biz as I recall. Now he works at American Council on Science and Health.

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Strong Bugs Require Strong Drugs

Nothing more important in medicine than antibiotics for acute infections–big life saver.

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23 Skiddoo to “23andme” chromosomal screening

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.
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Remember that “Swine flu” (A/H1N1) scare five years ago?

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

Seems that latest push for more and more statins… had some flaws

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.

[NY Times]

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:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/18/health/risk-calculator-for-cholesterol-appears-flawed.html

No US/FDA approved drug? If you’ve got connections, they’ll authorize a foreign import

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