The sicker you get, the richer they become.
The campaigns are everywhere. On ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX, Animal Planet, the Game Show Network and Syfy. In People, Popular Mechanics and Better Homes and Gardens magazines. On the radio and along subway lines. If you were born between 1945 and 1965, you could have hep C, screams Gilead Sciences, which makes the hep C drug Harvoni. Continue reading
Many are baffled why the suicide rate in the United States is rising despite antidepressant use being at an all time high. Suicide has risen to 38,000 a year, says USA Today, after falling in the 1990s despite almost a quarter of the population in some age groups taking antidepressants and use of some psychiatric drugs growing by 700% in the military. Shouldn’t suicides be going down? Continue reading
In 2009, CBS news reported that drugmakers had spent hundreds of millions of dollars to raise awareness of fibromyalgia which it called, “a murky illness, helping boost sales of pills recently approved as treatments and drowning out unresolved questions—including whether it’s a real disease at all.” Eli Lilly and Pfizer had donated more than $6 million to “nonprofit groups for medical conferences and educational campaigns,” reported CBS. While fibromyalgia, like most diseases given such “awareness” certainly exists, the timing and estimation of how many people “suffer” was totally orchestrated by Pharma and its many patient front groups. Continue reading
Next month, hundreds across the country will participate in “Out of the Darkness” walks to raise awareness about suicide and to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Continue reading
A couple of rotten eggs finally got their due. Well, sort of. Continue reading
What if you didn’t grow up amid America’s gun culture, but are still a member of the race which suffers the most from U.S gun violence? As Gary Younge, a black reporter who grew up in England demonstrates in a moving new book titled, “Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives,” it might cause you to ask hard questions other reporters duck. Continue reading
Long before the Internet and direct-to-consumer advertising, the medical profession tried to reassure people about their health concerns. Remember “take two aspirins and call me in the morning”? Continue reading
After the first mad cow, things got worse.
US cattlemen and agriculture professionals are ecstatic over China’s willingness to accept US beef imports for the first time in 13 years. Yet few reports articulate why the beef ban occurred in the first place. Continue reading
It is estimated that up to 66 percent of U.S. women and 45 percent of U.S. men live with chronic pain from spinal disorders like disc disease, pinched nerves and neck pain, to complex regional pain syndromes, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and headaches. Low back pain alone affects eight out of 10 people worldwide and is the fifth most common reason people visit a doctor. Continue reading
Thanks to drug safety scandals and new methods of marketing, the bloom had fallen off the Pharma reps’ roses.
More than a decade ago, the job of pharmaceutical rep was enviable. Direct-to-consumer advertising pre-sold many drugs so doctors already knew about them. Medical offices welcomed the reps who were usually physically attractive and brought lunch. In fact, reps sometimes had their own reception rooms in medical offices and seemed to see doctors before waiting patients. Continue reading
I recently interviewed Lawrence Golbom, author of ‘Not Safe As Prescribed.’ Continue reading
It happens with regularity during citizen open-mike sessions at FDA drug advisory committee hearings. A queue of “patients” materializes out of nowhere to testify, often in tears, about the crucial need for a new drug or new use approval. Some are flown in by Pharma. Continue reading
Is patient safety being compromised in the rush to approve new drugs?
There is a reason drug safety experts recommend waiting five years before taking a new prescription drug. Before new drugs are released to the public, they are tested on a shockingly small group of people for a shockingly short period of time. Risks and safety problems, therefore, often don’t emerge until millions try the drug as we saw with the withdrawn drugs Vioxx, Bextra, Baycol, Trovan, Meridia, Seldane, Hismanal, Darvon, Raxar, Redux and at least 11 others. Continue reading
There can be a downside to a full head of orange hair
Last week, President Trump’s doctor disclosed that the president takes finasteride, a drug marketed as Propecia, to treat male pattern baldness. While it is tempting to make jokes about Trump’s hair, and even the sexual side effects that accompany the drug, it also has many disturbing side effects that neither the president—nor any other man—should risk. Continue reading