Monday, May 22, 2006

MIT OWC: Ethics in Research

(Yep! Still posting!)

Have you heard of MIT OpenCourseWare? Here is a description of the OCW from their website: "MIT OCW is a large-scale, Web-based publication of the educational materials from the MIT faculty's courses…MIT OCW provides users with open access to the syllabi, lecture notes, course calendars, problem sets and solutions, exams, reading lists, even a selection of video lectures, from 1250 MIT courses representing 34 academic disciplines and all five of MIT's schools. The initiative will include materials from 1800 courses by the year 2007"(Link) (emphasis mine).

Anyway, I think this is a really very cool project. I get an email update and they've added an interesting ethics class:

Biomedical Engineering Seminar Series: Topics in Medical Ethics and Responsible Conduct in Research. See the details here.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Take a ride on the love train

Saturday Night Live says: Come on, old people, get on board right here.

Pressure rising

"Three pharmaceutical companies donated $700,000 to a medical society that used most of the money on a series of dinner lectures last year to brief doctors on the latest news about high blood pressure." Read more in the New York Times.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Gary Schwitzer on OTM

This week Bob Garfield talks with Gary Schwitzer about his recently launched website You can listen to the segment here (second from the bottom).

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Script-tracking backlash

The AMA makes $40 million a year peddling information about doctors to pharma without their consent. In the face of legislation to prohibit the practice, the AMA now says that it will allow doctors to opt out. Only the procedure for opting out doesn't really mean doctors can opt out. See "Doctors Object to Gathering of Drug Data" in The New York Times.

Monday, May 01, 2006

On the lighter side...

Check out Bill Maher's "New Rules" segment from last Friday's show:
"And finally, New Rule: Drug companies have to stop making up diseases! I don't know - I don't know what the terrorists are planning next for America, but if I had every problem they talk about in medicine commercials: breathing, lifting, walking, sitting, sleeping, crapping, not crapping, getting a boner and male pattern menopause—I would welcome death. Bring it on! Deadly nerve gas? Please, I've got seasonal allergies!" Full text

Pre-diagnosis drugs for Schizophrenia

Mixed Result in Treating Schizophrenia Pre-Diagnosis

"In recent years, psychiatric researchers have been experimenting with a bold and controversial treatment strategy: they are prescribing drugs to young people at risk for schizophrenia who have not yet developed the full-blown disorder."

"Daily doses of the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa, from Eli Lilly, blunted symptoms in many patients and lowered their risk of experiencing a psychotic episode in the first year of treatment, the study found. But the drug also caused significant weight gain, and so many participants dropped out of the study that investigators could not draw firm conclusions about drug benefits, if any.

The long-awaited study, which was financed by Eli Lilly and the National Institute of Mental Health, raised more questions than it answered, experts said."