Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Court Hears Arguments In Data Mining Case"

Monday, April 25, 2011

A social media clinical trial?

The WSJ reports on an intriguing new clinical trial of lithium for ALS -- conducted on PatientsLikeMe.  Read about it here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Just say no to Oxycontin money

"A University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health organization that has been criticized for its advocacy of controversial uses of narcotic painkillers says it has decided to stop taking money from the drug industry."

"UW made the announcement after an April 3 investigative report in the Journal Sentinel revealed that its UW Pain & Policy Studies Group had taken about $2.5 million over a decade from companies that make opioids. The money came while the group pushed for what critics say was a pharmaceutical industry agenda not supported by rigorous science: the liberalized use of narcotic painkillers for non-cancer chronic pain."

John Fauber reports in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Supreme Court to hear prescription data mining case

Is data mining legal?  Pharmacies sell electronic prescription records to data miners like IMS Health, which in turn sells them to pharma.  Pharma uses the data to track doctor's prescriptions, so that it can tell whether its marketing tactics are having any effect.  But many doctors and patients object to this, and some states have started to put limits on the practice.  On April 26 the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc. et. al, on the constitutionality of Vermont’s data mining law.  Read about it here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kid getting bullied at school? Maybe she needs plastic surgery!

ABC News covered this story of a 7-year-old girl getting plastic surgery to avoid bullying. Hmmm...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"About half of U.S. adults take vitamins and other dietary supplements"

An article on Huffington Post discusses federal data on vitamin and supplement consumption in the United States. And considering what we discussed on Tuesday about the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, these data are somewhat alarming.

The most inspiring pharmaceutical leaders

PharmaVoice magazine seeks nominations for its annual list of the most inspiring figures in the pharmaceutical industry.

"These individuals should view industry trends as challenges not burdens, as opportunities not obstacles. They should embody panache and conviction. They should be leaders who plan for the future rather than respond to change. They should be innovative, creators of out-of-the box and breakthrough strategies, products, and services. They should be pioneering new paths and lifting their companies to new heights."

The nomination form is here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Coming to a slum near you

Skin bleaching seems to be the new fad in the slums of Jamaica, and its supposedly hit dangerous proportions. According to the article, "Most Jamaican bleachers use over-the-counter creams, many of them knockoffs imported from West Africa. Long-term use of one of the ingredients, hydroquinone, has long been linked to a disfiguring condition called ochronosis that causes a splotchy darkening of the skin. Doctors say abuse of bleaching lotions has also left a web of stretch marks across some Jamaicans' faces." Read more of this interesting story here.

Friday, April 08, 2011

King of Walks

Ben McGrath has a terrific article about the Barry Bonds doping scandal in the March 28 issue of The New Yorker, but sadly, you need a subscription to read it.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Kidneys on your news feed

Roxy Kurze was desperate to find a kidney donor for her husband Jeff. She posted a bulletin on Facebook seeking someone of blood type O that was willing to help. Success! Read more here.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Double-standard for autism therapy

Minnesota will pay for your child's intensive autism therapy -- but not if you are poor.  Maura Lerner reports in the Strib.  (For background, read part one of Lerner's two-part series.)

Think before you take that purple pill

The FDA is warning patients about PPIs -- again.  Read about it here.

Monday, April 04, 2011

"Cardiac Consultants Seem to Help Biotronik Device's Sales"

Can hiring physicians as consultants for biotech companies be a marketing scheme? Interesting but definitely not surprising. Check out this New York Times article.