Monday, February 28, 2011

Matt Lamkin on brain-boosting drugs, in The Chronicle

Stimulants are second only to weed as the drug of choice for college students.  Should they be banned?  Matt Lamkin says no.  Read it here.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Why do doctors order so many expensive tests?

According to an article in Time, found here, advanced radiology tests are being used more often by doctors. This isn't news, but the discussion of the motivation behind the use of the tests, and the need for reform is interesting.

The Corporate Pursuit of Happiness

Cutting edge research from Stanford Business School suggests companies can boost sales by persuading consumers that buying the companies' products will make them happier. Marketing will never be the same.

Tattoos as Makeup? Read the Fine Print

Apparently tattooing your face doesn't always work out so well, the Times reports.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Our discussion in class on enhancements and identity reminded me that I should pick up some Neuticles (testicular implant) for my sister's dog. He just hasn't been acting like himself since the big snip...

Undoubtedly, these are top of the line nuts:

"Neuticles allows your pet to retain his natural look, self esteem and aids in the trauma associated with altering....Neuticles not only replicate the pet's testicles in size, shape weight and feel - but the new UltraPLUS featuring ScarRetard has features not available on human implants. Yes- Neuticles are that advanced!"

And if dogs are anything like humans, the snipped pups without Neuticles probably face constant bullying from the other males who still have testicles to flaunt.

Or not.

FDA to the Rescue

The FDA already knew that there was something wrong in those alcohol wipes that have sickened many since 2009. But they chose to ignore it. Whoda thunk the FDA would be *that* incompetent? Oh wait.....question answered.
Read more at MSNBC.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Corporate University

Bill Gleason examines the disturbing parallels between the University of Minnesota and Brown University, at The Periodic Table.

"Take on Depression" on Facebook. (Then take your Seroquel)

John Mack investigates an AstraZeneca Facebook discussion.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Money won't buy you health insurance

Even if you're rich.  A software executive explains.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A chance to cut is a chance to collect

Why are women getting so many surgical biopsies?  Follow the money, says the Times.

"The bigger the earlobes, the more prosperous you are"

Ethnically-targeted cosmetic surgery, in the Times.

Friday, February 18, 2011

FDA approves X-Ray Vision Pills

AstraZeneca settles more Seroquel suits, but the University of Minnesota clears Charles Schulz -- again

AstraZeneca has settled another batch of lawsuits over its fraudulent marketing of Seroquel, reports FiercePharma, but the University of Minnesota has cleared its Chair of Psychiatry, Charles Schulz, of any wrongdoing.  Read about it in City Pages.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Health Care Renewal on the Markingson suicide

 Dr. Roy Poses of Brown University weighs in on the University of Minnesota's inadequate response to the Markingson case on  Health Care Renewal.  He concludes:
"Of course, since Mr Rotenberg is responsible for, among other things, reducing the university's legal liability, one could see how he might not want to delve further into this case.  As we noted earlier, it is not clear that previous "exhaustive" investigations asked the questions that needed to be asked, or had access to all the relevant data.  The issues are not whether their was criminal conduct, or even civil liability, but whether the university is presiding over good science and protection of research subjects.

So we should be worried, of course, that commercial firms sponsor research on human beings mainly to serve marketing objectives, and that university faculty and administrators go along, allowing their formerly prestigious universities' names to be added to the research in exchange for the money they so much want to keep themselves living in the style to which they are accustomed. We ought to be particularly worried when these universities seem to forget about their mission to find and disseminate new knowledge in favor of defending the work that continues to bring in the money."

SoDak Abortion Providers, invest in Kevlar

South Dakota is attempting to legalize killing abortion providers. Who's next?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Psychotropic cocktails in the US military

"After a decade of treating thousands of wounded troops, the military’s medical system is awash in prescription drugs — and the results have sometimes been deadly."  The New York Times reports.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

University of Minnesota exonerates itself

More coverage of the refusal to investigate the Markingson suicide, on Pharmalot.  Also, Science reports here,
noting that the university's stance seems to have "hardened."

Fake Dentist, Real Teeth

A 71-year-old man has been running an under-the-table dental operation out of his Sugar Hill, GA home. He has no medical or dental license at all, but apparently took a few classes in college in Ukraine. Well, I sure hope he visits a legit dentist for his own dental care. Check it out here.

MinnPost: Bioethicists respond to U of M Regents' refusal to appoint outside panel

MinnPost weighs in on the refusal of the Board of Regents to investigate the Markingson suicide.  Read about it here.

Monday, February 07, 2011

U to bioethicists: Thanks for your concern, but we already got away with this

The Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota has responded to a request by university bioethicists to investigate the suicide of Dan Markingson.  The answer is no.  Read about it in The Pioneer Press. (Also here, or here, or here.)

Multiple Sclerosis Patient Support Groups

I was just checking out what would be available in the Net. There were some good links to the MS Society and local MS groups. There was also the below.

How I fight MS, sponsored by EMD Serono, a division of Merck, sponsored by Elan Pharmaceuticals, maker of Tysabri, sponsored by Copaxone,
CCSVI Multiple Sclerosis Liberation Procedure Abroad through WorldMed Assist is a unique approach to first-class medical care by sending patients to Mexico.

PMS relief...finally!

Relief from PMS: drugs and minor surgical procedures! I wonder who was behind this "news" article.

Pharma's celebrity shills

Which celebrities work for pharma?  Have a look at BNET Pharma, but take Gary Schwitzer's quiz first.  (Spoiler alert: Antonio Banderas is the Nasonex bee.)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Schulz scandal on

Maia Szalavitz weighs in on the University of Minnesota psychiatry scandal at  Read it here.

Australian medical journal bans drug company ads

Emergency Medicine Australasia will no longer accept advertisements from the pharmaceutical industry, its editors have announced, arguing that such ads harm patient care.  “It is time to show leadership and make a stand, and medical journals have a critical role to play in this. At Emergency Medicine Australasia, we have, therefore, drawn a line in the sand and have stopped all drug advertising forthwith. We invite other journals to show their support and follow suit by declaring their hand and doing the same.”  Read about it at Pharmalot.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


So...the University of Minnesota's very own CIDRAP cites a Finnish study about a supposed link between the H1N1 pandemic flu vaccine "Pandemrix" (made by the ever so popular GlaxoSmithKline) and narcolepsy. Hmmm...might there be some confounded data here?
Try not to fall asleep when you read it here.

Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships

One- and two-year Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowships for 2011-12 will be awarded to outstanding Graduate School students with interdisciplinary dissertation topics who would benefit from interaction with faculty at one of the University's interdisciplinary research centers or institutes.

Recipients of the 2011-12 fellowship will receive a stipend of $22,500 for the academic year beginning September 2011, plus full tuition. Eligible recipients are also covered by comprehensive health insurance, including subsidized dependent and dental care.

For application instructions, and more information, visit

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Is U of M department of psychiatry chair in the pocket of AstraZeneca?

Charles Schulz, the Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, is under scrutiny for his controversial work with AstraZeneca and the suicide of a young man from St. Paul.  Read about it here, in the City Pages.

Mayo Tweets on Mysterious Wrist Pain

Here's the story I was talking about in class today...

There looks to be some substantial research to support this approach, I think Dr. Berger just took it a step further for diagnosis (which is what this communication is about).

What's in that pill?

"A French father-of-two is to take GlaxoSmithKline to court on Tuesday, alleging the British firm's drug to treat Parkinson's disease turned him into a gay sex and gambling addict."  Read more here.