Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tip-toeing their way through social media

Due to a lack of regulation on pharmaceutical company marketing through social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, drug companies are asking the FDA for clearer guidelines so that they may market their products without fear of reprisal. An Indianapolis race car driver, who is working directly with the Danish drug giant Novo Nordisk, has tweeted about his use of Nordisk's insulin pen for his Type I diabetes and it is unclear whether his plugging the Danish drug company's product is acceptable or not. Time will tell. Read more about Pharma social media marketing at Time Magazine's online site, here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oh Noes! iPeed on my iPhone.

Another *wonderful* use for the iPhone - STD testing. All you have to do is urinate (or spit) on a computer chip and plug it in. The Guardian reports.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Plastinated Body Parts - Just in Time for Christmas

According to this post in the Telegraph found here, Gunther von Hagens, the creator of the Body Worlds exhibitions is selling human body parts online. The article stated that, "the German entrepreneur, whose Body Worlds exhibitions showed human cadavers in lifelike poses, has told clients they will be able to buy the fleshless corpses which he injects with plastic resin over the internet. The body parts will go on sale from November 3 with whole human bodies available for £61,733." His site offers plastinated body slices to qualified buyers, and giraffe tail or bull testicle slices fashioned into jewelry to the public. If that's not quite your style there is always the purse or t-shirt option plastered with the face of an actual corpse.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

White Coat, Black Hat at the U bookstore

Carl Elliott, local author and U of M professor will discuss his new book, White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine, on Tuesday, October 26 at 4:00 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

"Patients Like Me"

Today's Slate has a fascinating article on the concept of "crowdsourcing" of medical problems- defined in 2006 by Wired Magazine as, " the process of seeking a problem's solution from a wide community, often online..." Check it out here.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Trivial Punishment

What do you think game show audience members would do if they could shock a contestant when he answers questions incorrectly? As reported by MPR in March this year, a French television station created a mock game show to answer this question. One would think that the Milgram experiments provided sufficient evidence of what someone would do when given the opportunity to shock another person for trivial reasons, but what's going to produce higher ratings than broadcasting someone being shocked to 'death' with 460 volts of electricity? Probably not much. Read the story from MPR, here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

THE weight-loss solution of the century

Dr. Steve Brule from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! on Comedy Central proposes an amazingly American weight-loss solution in this short clip. To see the clip, click here.

What have gastroenterologists been doing all these years? Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Calling All Shoppers...

Your cash register receipts might be toxic to more than just your bank account. Check it out at The Patch.

Body Worlds returns

But without the sex.  Read more in The Vancouver Sun.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Driven from discovering

Alice Dreger writes about the suicide of Dan Markingson in a clinical trial at the U in the Bioethics Forum.  Read it here,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lawyers, drugs and money

Mischke on the death of Dan Markingson. Read it here.

The Minnesota Daily on the death of Dan Markingson

"Mary Weiss says she wasn’t surprised when her lawyer called notifying her that the University of Minnesota was seeking about $57,000 in legal fees. It had already put her through enough after her son, Dan Markingson, 26, stabbed himself to death while enrolled in a clinical trial for an anti-psychotic medication here in 2004, a trial she didn’t want him in."  Read more on the Daily editorial page.

Monday, September 06, 2010

$272 Can Only Go So Far

A recent article in Salon.com talks about "Pink Kisses," a website for women who seek post-breakup "counseling." According to the article, "For $272, you can receive a 'super goddess action plan,' a bouquet of flowers, two life coaching sessions, 'better than sex' truffles and two weeks of 'you-go-girl' text messages (e.g.,"You're a lady deserving of an enchanted existence" and "Supergirl, you can move mountains"). You also have the option of uploading a photo of your ex's face and watching "his picture burn with our awesome virtual flames" and creating your very own inspirational poster. These clichés also come in smaller, more affordable packages." Check out the article here. Also the (very pink) Pink Kisses site.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

White Coat, Black Hat

The unauthorized website is here.  Don't visit it; you'll just encourage him.

Friday, September 03, 2010

The Mild Torture Economy

Scott McLemee reviews Roberto Abadie's new book, The Professional Guinea Pig, in Inside Higher Ed.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Stunning news (yawn) on Meridia

News flash: a diet pill is linked to strokes and heart disease.  (Again.)  Should Meridia be recalled?  Read about it here.

Medicating Children with Antipsychotics

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

JAMA editor is leaving

Remember when the editor of JAMA called Jonathan Leo "a nothing and a nobody" for criticizing the JAMA conflict-of-interest policy?  Dr. Catherine DeAngelis is leaving her post as JAMA editor-in-chief.  Read about it in Pharmalot or the WSJ Health Blog. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Depressed toddlers?

From BNET Pharma: "The New York Times Magazine crowned Dr. Joan Luby as the queen of preschool depression this weekend, but failed to mention that Luby has taken cash from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Shire (SHPGY) and AstraZeneca (AZN) to study using atypical antipsychotics in young children."

Read it here. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pura Vida, Señor Limbaugh

I spent the last few weeks in Costa Rica and one of the things that I learned was that the people there were quite flattered to learn that talk show host Rush Limbaugh has put their nation at the top of his list for medical care. It'll surely be a nice revenue boost for them, as Limbaugh's health hasn't been the very best in recent years. It is interesting (and ironic too), considering that Costa Rica's health system is government-run and everyone is guaranteed medical services, which clearly clashes with his position on "ObamaCare" in the States. The Costa Rica News recently covered this revelation. Check it out here.

Ahh, well, as they say over there, Pura Vida!

Kevin MD on White Coat, Black Hat

An excerpt from White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine, appears on the KevinMD.com blog.  Read it here.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

CAFE study author replies

Jeffrey Lieberman, the principal investigator for the CAFE study in which Dan Markingson died, defends the questionable dosing choices in the study on the Carlat Psychiatry Blog.  See Carlat's summary, plus comments by Dr. Bernard Carroll and me, here.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Even Toddlers Get The Blues

Researchers are currently investigating early-onset depression (and I mean really early onset) amongst preschool-aged children. What does preschool depression sound like? A young child named Kiran, when brought to Disney World, stated: “Mickey lies. Dreams don’t come true." Read more about diagnosing depression in preschoolers in this upcoming Sunday's New York Times Magazine. The online article is available here.

(Illustration taken from the article mentioned above.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Making a Killing" in Mother Jones

Dr. Bernard Carroll has coined the term "experimercial" for clinical studies that a company has designed not for scientific purposes, but to create positive publicity for a product in a particular market niche.  What happens when subjects die in these studies?  Nothing. 

My article on the death of Dan Markingson in a Seroquel experimercial appears in the September issue of Mother Jones.  You can read the article online here.

Addendum: additional posts on this at the NY Times "Prescriptions" Blog, MinnPost, Psychology Today, Pharmalot, and the Carlat Psychiatry Blog.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

FDA narrowly approves Eli Lilly to market Cymbalta for chronic pain

Remember the "depression hurts, but you don’t have to" commercials that got Lilly into trouble a few years back? They might be making a return to a television near you. Click here to read more in the NY Times.

Photo credit: J.B. Reed/Bloomberg News

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Malaria - It's Music to your Ears

Youssou N'Dour of Senegal has been making waves with his hit song, "Xeex Sibbiru." The song translates to "Fight Malaria" in Wolof, and is now being used as one of the anti-malaria education campaigns by the nonprofit organization Malaria No More. So far, it seems to be making somewhat of a dent, but of course there is a long way to go. Read more here.

MacStatin with cheese

McDonald's could counteract the heart risk of its burgers and shakes by handing out statin packets long with ketchup and mustard, say researchers at Imperial College London.  Their suggested catchphrase: "I'm neutralizin' it."  The story is here.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The New York Times blows it

HealthNewsReview gives poor marks to the New York Times for its front-page PR job supporting a new test for Alzheimer's Disease.  (The Times reporter: Gina Kolata, yet again.).  Read about it here.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet, it's NDM-1!

NDM-1 has gained notoriety recently as a newly discovered genetic mutation that enhances antibiotic resistance among various bacteria, including E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae. It is said to have originated in healthcare settings in South Asia, particularly India and Pakistan. Apparently now it has made its merry way to England and the USA and medical tourism is being blamed for what scientists consider to be the next big "superbug," a la MRSA. Check out this article in the NY Times.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Beyond filling prescriptions

Pharmacists and pharmacies are now taking on a larger role than before: assisting patients in improving/maintaining their health statuses beyond the use of pills. Click here to read more.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

DNA on a stick

University of Minnesota researchers will be giving kids ride tickets and backpacks in exchange for agreeing to a genetic test at the State Fair.  The Strib reports.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

University of Minnesota quietly sneaks out its new COI policy

It's August, and everyone is on vacation, which means it is perfect timing for the University of Minnesota to publish the conflict-of-interest policy it has been working on for three years.  Last week the Strib reported on the policy (in an article which read like a press release from the university PR office,) but now the policy is getting some fair criticism.  Pharmalot reports here.

New Medical Device Study

A new study by Prof. Ralph Hall at the University of Minnesota Law School has found that additional testing on medical devices in humans may not prevent future product recalls. Click here to read more in the Star Tribune.

Friday, July 23, 2010

FDA "Sting" Involving Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing

Surprise, Surprise. An FDA undercover investigation, AKA "sting," has found that direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies have been generating misleading test results, and using misleading marketing tactics. The firms cited in the report include 23andMe, Pathway Genomics, DeCode Genetics and Navigenics. According to the NY Times article found here "four companies had sent the donors different results for the same sample and told donors they were at lower risk for getting diseases they already had, while two other companies suggested that a customer’s DNA could be used to create personalized supplements to cure diseases."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sandwich in a Can

Mark Kirkland of Salt Lake City, Utah, has developed the Candwich - sandwich in a can, to be released in August in a vending machine near you. Designed for soccer moms, people constantly on the go, or students who are just too darn lazy to put together two pieces of bread with meat or peanut butter. Sounds like an interesting idea, but in terms of practicality, I'd worry about the potential for foodborne illness. And taste. The notion of eating a 1 year old BBQ chicken sandwich in a can isn't the most appealing. Read more at MSNBC. And of course, the Candwich website. Yum!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Morbid Ink

"Tattoo artists have a popular saying within their profession: Love lasts forever but a tattoo lasts six months longer."  So does death, adds John Troyer, who will speak about "memorial tattoos" tonight at The Observatory in New York City.

Policing the Interwebs

A recent article in the NY Times talked about the day-to-day happenings and mental health implications of being an "internet content reviewer" - a job that involves screening and flagging some of the most vile content the internet has to offer. Here's the article.

Bipolar Bear?

Bipolar is no laughing matter.
So remember not to laugh when you download 'Bipolar Bear,' an application for your iPod, iPhone, or iPad. What does this application do? Bipolar Bear lives on your device, speaks to you, and is, well... moody. According to its creators, "comments made by the Bipolar Bear are sometimes upbeat and cheerful but sometimes frustrated and paranoid." Find out more about Bipolar Bear, here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Anxious like us

Americans are the most anxious people in the world, according to the World Health Organization.  Why?  Wisconsin Public Radio's "To the Best of our Knowledge" reports.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What to make of the FDA Avandia decision?

The Wall Street Journal Health Blog reports on the spin given to the decision by different media outlets, and gives us some guidance.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Carlat on NPR

To listen to Dr. Daniel Carlat talk about his new book, Unhinged, on "Fresh Air," click here.

Novartis announces Ritalin gummies

Impure injections

The FDA is cracking down on the Kreitchman Center at Columbia University, where government officials say that researchers where injecting mentally ill patients with tainted drugs and chemical tracers. Read more about it in the New York Times.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bad tattoo? Help is on the way...

If you have a new iPhone and take Avandia, this has probably been a less than stellar couple of months. But, if you also have an unsightly lower back tattoo, things are looking up! Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chronic fatigue paper delay

There is an outcry from the chronic fatigue syndrome community regarding the delayed publication of an article that provides evidence of the link between the syndrome and a retrovirus. Click here to read more about it in the New York Times.

Crisis for the Crisis

The Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the leading AIDS social service organization in the US, is moving to a new (inconvenient) location due to an increase in rent. This has left many people infuriated, including activist Larry Kramer. Click here to read more about the uproar.

Would you work for this company?

"GSK has a history of adopting the most combative, scorched-earth positions possible in defense of its brands," writes Jim Edwards.  And here is the evidence

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rent a White Guy

How to become a fake businessman in Beijing, as reported by Mitch Moxley in The Atlantic.  All it takes is white skin and a good suit. 

GlaxoSmithKline hid Avandia data

For GlaxoSmithKline, it just gets worse and worse.  According to the New York Times, GSK tested Avandia against a competing drug in 1999.  But the study showed that Avandia performed worse and was riskier to the heart.  So GSK buried the data for 11 years and failed to post the study on a federal web site, as the law requires.  It makes you wonder what the GSK bioethics consultant is thinking.

University of Minnesota researcher illegally snoops in medical records

Yet another scandal at the University of Minnesota AHC.  Read about it in the Strib.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Guinea Pig Pros

Anthropologist Roberto Abadie spent a year living in youth hostels and group houses in Philadelphia, trying to understand why people volunteer to test the safety of new drugs for money. The result is his superb new book with Duke University Press, The Professional Guinea Pig.  The book is profiled in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Yet another study links atypicals to large weight gains in children

Read about it here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Video Games Might Also Do This.

Dangerous blood clots linked to hours of sitting and playing...mah-jongg? NY Times reports.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Death blow to Avandia?

An FDA official has delivered a brutally critical review of Avandia, finding that GSK failed to count instances where Avandia was related to serious heart problems.  The review could mean the death of the controversial drug next week, when a panel of experts meets to decide whether Avandia should be withdrawn from the market.  Read more in the Times.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Food stamps for doctors

Danny Carlat reports.

J&J will disclose payments to doctors

Johnson and Johnson joins the growing list of drugmakers who post information about their payments to doctors.  But they don't make it easy.  Read more.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Surgery on demand?

"Patients used to read an article or two. Now, they’re actually seeing procedures on YouTube. Is this the future of medicine?  A radical treatment for MS goes viral.  Read more in the Times.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

What a Shocker.

Perhaps I'm in the wrong to say "well, duh!" to this, but is it really all that surprising that taking Viagra is associated with contracting various STDs? MSNBC/Reuters report on this study.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Altria Academic

The Chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco recently sold her shares in Altria and then donated the money to the University. She would have done so earlier, but she just forgot. Click here to read more.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Your Lady Gaga eyes

Circle lenses will make your eyes look large and creepy, but are they safe?  Read all about it in the Times.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Restaurant industry says: "We need more drug lunches"

"It's a familiar story: a martini and some pan-seared salmon for lunch, and the next thing you know you've bought yourself a case of brand new implantable defibrillators that you didn't even know you needed."  Read more about drug reps and the restaurant industry in Salon.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Predicting Menopause

Doctors in Iran have developed a new blood test to predict when menopause will happen. The Guardian reports.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Surrogacy on the Cheap

The NY Times recently reviewed a documentary entitled "Google Babies" which examined the fertility industry reaching from the United States to India.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Can I have seconds, please?

Most surgeons still love those pharma lunches, says a new survey.  The gifts too.  Any kind of marketing, actually.  Read more at Pharmalot.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What's wrong with medical ghostwriting?

The journal Bioethics has three new articles on the ethics of medical ghostwriting in the most recent issue, which can be found here. Danny Carlat comments on the Carlat Psychiatry Blog.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Going Green = Bad for You?

Despite being environmentally friendly, this article talks about the hazards associated with using reusable bags when shopping.

Industry ties to CME credits under scrutiny

Should CME courses cease to be financially supported by medical industry money? Click here to read about the latest goings on in the tussle between medical schools, drug and device companies and medical associations.

Assisted Suicide in Germany

Germany’s highest court recently ruled that it is not a criminal offense to end life-sustaining treatment for a patient. This ruling is at a time where increased attention is being paid to the assisted suicide debate in Europe. Click here to read the article in the NY Times.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Foreign trials for US drugs

...according to a report by Daniel R. Levinson, the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, 80 percent of the drugs approved for sale in 2008 had trials in foreign countries.

Click here to read more about the report that is to be released tomorrow.

Heart Healthy

An article in the NY Times discusses the new wave of heart devices that transmit information to medical providers, and the good and the bad that can come with these gadgets.

ODing on the Purple Pill

Slate Magazine talks about the overuse of the heartburn medicine Nexium, particularly in younger kids.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Socially conscious medicine, or greedy and self-interested?

Which medical schools produce the least socially conscious doctors?  Vanderbilt, UT Southwestern and Northwestern,  according to a new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.  Traditionally black medical schools such as Morehhouse, Meharry and Howard have the best scores.  Read about it here

Device Dispute

Who is at fault: the surgeons or the medical device company? The issues of money and influence in medical device surgeries are discussed in the NY Times. Click here for to read the article.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Medical Flops

What was the biggest medical failure of the past decade?  Zelnorm?  Vioxx?  Xigris?  See this Forbes slideshow.

FDA votes down "female Viagra"

Read about it at Pharmalot.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Medtronic shipment of human heads seized by Arkansas officials

Officials in Arkansas are investigating a shipment of 40 to 60 human heads found by Southwest Airlines employees at a cargo facility last week in Little Rock.  Read all about it here.

A new, gay anti-smoking campaign

The CDC has launched a new, highly effective anti-smoking campaign. Click here to learn more.

More on the NIH conflict of interest scandal

Bernard Carroll, Charles Nemeroff's former department chair, comments on the Nemeroff-Insel scandal at Health Care Renewal.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Desperate Measures in Desperate Times

An unemployed and uninsured Michigan woman shot herself in the shoulder with the hopes that she would receive free medical care in the ER for a previous shoulder injury. Unsurprisingly, her plan failed and she may be in a little legal trouble now as well. CBS News reports.

Should the NIH ask Tom Insel to step down from its conflict of interest committee?

Cast your vote at Pharmalot.

Monday, June 14, 2010

POGO says Insel should resign

The Project on Government Oversight says the director of the NIH.should be fired.  Read more here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

An added feature: Disease

This is why I don't touch items in stores and why I always have hand sanitizer at the ready. Yes, I am one of 'those people.'

Fight over paper comes to an end...for now

A three-year publication battle is coming to an end in the psychology community. The source of controversy: the critique of a scale used to assess whether or not a person is a psychopath and capable of violent acts. Click here to read more.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

World's Heaviest...By Choice.

A 42 year old New Jersey mother of two has a hefty goal: to tip the scales at 1,000 lbs., and thus become the world's heaviest living woman. Yikes! Check this story out on MSNBC.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Monday, June 07, 2010

Cancer Villages

Interesting article from The Guardian about "cancer villages" in China - places where the priority is economic gain, not public health.

Medical experimentation on detainees?

Watch the video here.

The NIH gets tough on ethics? Not likely.

In public, NIH director Tom Insel has come down hard on conflicts of interest. In private, he has been working behind the scenes to help a major violator, Charles Nemeroff, find a new plum position at the University of Miami, assuring Miami that the NIH is behind him. The story is reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The incriminating emails can be seen here, along with commentary by Ed Silverman of Pharmalot.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Not reading the signs

Since 2005, thousands of echocardiograms have gone unread by doctors at the Harlem Hospital Center. An ongoing investigation is looking into what exactly went wrong, and who may have been denied necessary care at the hospital. Click here to read more.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Glucose Tattoos

Researchers at MIT are developing a "glucose tattoo" - a continuous blood sugar monitor that makes use of fluorescent carbon nanotubes (in the form of nanoparticle ink) placed under the skin to reflect infrared light back through the skin and to the monitor. They say the monitor itself will be watch-sized or smaller and could eliminate the need for daily finger pricking that many diabetics have to do. Check out the article here.

Social Media to Kick Smoking

I live about 7 miles away from Philip Morris USA's corporate headquarters at the moment. Needless to say, smoking seems to be a rather popular pastime around here. Here is a CNN link on using social media / web-based smoking cessation programs. Richmond could definitely use a few of them.

Shocked but not urinating

The Strib pimps a weird new treatment for overactive bladder in this article, which reads like a press release for a local company called Uroplasty Inc. Apparently if you attach electrodes to your leg every week for three months at $25o a pop, you will have to pee less often. Read the electrifying news here.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Binge drinking is good for you

Good Old Dr. Wakefield.

Autism extraordinaire Andrew Wakefield tried to link the MMR vaccine to Crohn's Disease before his theory tying autism to that same vaccine. Check out this article from Slate.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep...

Why are American soldiers trying to eradicate opium production in Afghanistan while the pharmaceutical industry is paying farmers to produce it? Read here.

Hijacked Research

A friend of mine, Dr. Gary Remafedi, has recently been the subject of malign efforts by an anti-gay group who have incorrectly referenced his research for their agenda. Click here to read more.

Are blockbusters dead?

"How bad is big pharma doing? It's been four years since anybody has launched a mass-market medicine." Read more from Matthew Herper at Forbes.com

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Should the Nigerian Trovan lawsuit against Pfizer proceed?

The U.S. Solicitor General says yes. Read more at Pharmalot.

Dieting for Dollars

More employers are offering financial incentives to their workers to lose weight. MSNBC reports.

Not Another Weight Loss Show

Greetings from Richmond, VA, where I am living/working this summer. Here is an article about this new NBC show called "Losing It" which is hosted by Jillian Michaels, who was also involved with "The Biggest Loser." I haven't seen it yet, so all I can say is Yikes!

Nothing to disclose at the APA

"New Orleans. It was 95 degrees with 99 percent humidity. The Gulf had the biggest oil spill in US history. And attendees to this week's American Psychiatric Convention (APA) annual meeting in New Orleans had to brave 200 protesters chanting 'no drugging kids for money' and 'no conflicts of interest' to get into the convention hall."

Martha Rosenberg reports on the annual APA meeting. And Daniel Carlat comments here.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Hastings Center Report call for papers

"To mark the fortieth anniversary of the Hastings Center Report, we are looking forward. Rather than commemorate the issues and authors that the Report has published in the past, we want to know from you what issues bioethics should be looking at in the future!"

Gregory E. Kaebnick, editor of the Hastings Center Report, is looking to the next generation for these answers. "We'll throw the doors open: we'll read anything that any student, graduate fellow, or untenured professor in bioethics sends us (current or former Center staff excluded), and we'll publish the best of the lot in the November-December 2010 issue."

Read more here.

Conference: The Role of Narrative in Science and Medicine

"Hiram College's Center for Literature, Medicine and Biomedical Humanities celebrates its 20th anniversary and its founders, Dr. Carol Donley and Dr. Martin Kohn. Join us for two days of discussion, writing workshops, entertainment, and lectures from Rita Charon, Richard Preston and more." Read more here.

But will they FedEx your pizza?

Are telemarketers the new drug reps? Maybe so, says Astra Zeneca.

What did they know and when did they know it?

Physicians at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health authored papers showing that the Sanofi-Aventis drug Multaq is an excellent treatment for atrial fibrillation. Now, however, it appears that Multaq may be dangerous, and the authors apparently never saw the raw data that they vouched for. They did get large checks from Sanofi-Aventis, though. Read more in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.