Results of two drug studies suggest that the standard practice of treating women for a one year period with the Roche breast-cancer drug Herceptin is likely best. (Source: WSJ.com: Health)MedWorm Sponsor Message: Please have a look at this new site driven by MedWorm: The Breast Cancer Daily read more..
Sunday 5 January 2014
FRIDAY, Sept. 28 -- Measuring progesterone levels in women with pain or bleeding during early pregnancy may help determine whether or not the pregnancy is viable, a new study says.A viable pregnancy means that there is a reasonable expectation... read more..
Bayer joins global initiative for better access to safe and effective contraception
A new initiative announced at the United Nations headquarters in New York by Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg shall make a safe and effective long-acting and reversible method available to more than 27 million women in the world's poorest nations. read more..
MONDAY, Oct. 1 -- The most common side effects in girls and young women who receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine appear to be fainting right after the injection and skin infections where the shot was given, a new study confirms.The... read more..
Hip Resurfacing More Likely to Fail Than Hip Replacement: Study
TUESDAY, Oct. 2 -- Hip resurfacing fails in many patients and should not be used in women, according to a large new study.Often recommended to younger patients, hip resurfacing is similar to hip replacement except surgeons don't completely remove... read more..
FRIDAY, Sept. 28 -- A simple three-question survey might identify women who have symptoms that may indicate ovarian cancer, according to a new study.The two-minute paper-and-pencil questionnaire can be given in a doctor's office and checks for six... read more..
Saturday 4 January 2014
The FDA has sent a warning letter to one of the most prolific Internet drug providers from Canada, which reports have tied to an investigation of counterfeits of the cancer drug Avastin that were sold to physician practices in the U.S. this year.The agency this week posted a warning letter sent to a lawyer in Manitoba claiming that hundreds of websites it identified, including CanadaDrugs.com, were offering for sale drugs made at unapproved facilities. It said the sites were even offering domperidone, which it said is no longer approved for sale in the U.S. because of dangers to breastfeeding women.
A similar warning letter regarding "Arkadiy Kisin/White Forest Solutions" was also sent to a series of email addresses and lists dozens of Internet pharmacy sites offering contraceptives and "unapproved drugs" including Accutane, which it says has not been approved for sale in the U.S. since 2010.
An investigation this year by The Wall Street Journal tied the owner of CanadaDrugs.com, Kris Thorkelson, to a probe by federal authorities into companies that the FDA said supplied counterfeit Avastin to U.S. doctors. It said subpoenas sent to physicians asking for information about where they obtained the drugs named Thorkelson. The warning letter says, the "FDA is taking this action against your firm because of the inherent risk in buying unapproved and misbranded new drugs." It gives the companies 10 days to respond.The FDA in February and April discovered the counterfeit cancer drugs. Some of the recovered boxes were labeled Altuzan, which is the brand name for Avastin in Turkey. Tests, however, determined that there was no active ingredient in the counterfeits. So far, there have been no reports of problems related to the drugs, according to the FDA and Genentech, the Roche ($RHHBY) unit that makes the cancer treatment.The letter came only days after the agency launched a new campaign it hopes will discourage the practice of buying drugs online, or at least, teach consumers how to determine what sites are potentially legit. The agency last week launched BeSafeRx, to warn against the dangers.- here's the warning letter to CanadaDrugs.com
- here's the letter to Arkadiy Kisin/White Forest SolutionsRelated Articles:
Fake of Roche's Avastin shipped from Canadian supplier
Phony Avastin vials contained chemicals, but no drugs
Avastin alert likely to revive discussion of pharma-financed tracking system
U.S. market size, shortages lead to more counterfeits
FDA tries to teach consumers of Internet dangers read more..
Wednesday 3 October 2012
Study: Physicians give less credence to studies funded by pharmaceutical industry
By Chelsea Conaboy, Globe Staff
Doctors are less likely to trust studies funded by the pharmaceutical industry even when they are well-designed, a study lead by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School found.
Recent ethical transgressions in industry-funded studies likely have affected how physicians view industry research, the authors write. But pharmaceutical companies continue to play a big role in drug development.
Doctors should be wary, said Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, lead author on the study published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine. “On the other hand,” he said, “there is a lot of good industry-funded research out there. If people are being too skeptical and painting everything with the same brush, then that will reduce the inclination for physicians to act on really good research simply because it’s being funded” by pharmaceutical companies.
The researchers evaluated the responses of 263 internists assessing a series of studies for hypothetical new drugs to treat persistent chest pain, diabetes, or high blood cholesterol. The physicians were asked to score the studies on how confident they were in the results and how likely they were to prescribe the drug.
The studies were of variable levels of quality. Some were characterized as large, randomized, long-running studies that included reports on a drug’s safety. Others were significantly smaller, with no safety report and no “blinding,” meaning patients and physicians knew whether they were in the study group or control group, which can bias the results.
The studies also had either no funding disclosure or were described as being funded by a pharmaceutical company or by the federal government’s National Institutes of Health.
Kesselheim said he was “heartened” to see how well the doctors distinguished between strong study designs and weaker ones. The ways in which they interpreted funding disclosures were trickier.
Doctors generally discounted the credibility they assigned to studies funded by industry, as compared with those that were government-funded or had no funding disclosure at all. That was true even when the strength of design was the same across the studies.
The authors note that a doctor’s willingness to prescribe a new drug may be determined in large part by a single significant study, so a physician’s perception ultimately can affect patient care.
Kesselheim said the results should put pressure on the pharmaceutical industry to prevent further ethical lapses. They highlight the need for more NIH funding of drug studies and continued efforts to monitor research to guard against results tampering, he said.
Chelsea Conaboy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @cconaboy.
GOTBO = glimpse of the bleeding obvious read more..
A Must-Read Book That Exposes the Impact of Big Food, Big Ag and Big Pharma on Our Lives
Born with a Junk Food Deficiency: How flaks, quacks, and hacks pimp the public health
373 pages; Hardcover
Can anyone remember life before "Ask your Doctor" ads?—Born with a Junk Food Deficiency, p. 17
How can drugs designed to make animals gain weight fast not have an impact on national obesity?—Born with a Junk Food Deficiency, p. 219
Certain books are for certain people. Born with a Junk Food Deficiency is for people who eat, use prescription drugs, have or intend to have children, or care for or expect to care for aged parents. People who are concerned about women's health, veterans' health, animal welfare, consumer rights, truth-in-advertising, state or federal budget crises, or the undue influence of corporate money on democracy will want to read this book. Given that the food and pharmaceutical corporations that are mentioned in the book are transnational, I would also recommend it to anyone in the world who reads English.
Born with a Junk Food Deficiency is a thoroughly researched and documented exposé of what Big Food, Big Ag, and Big Pharma are doing to us, to animals, and to our ways of practicing business, medicine and democracy, all in the name of Big Profit. The author, independent investigative journalist Martha Rosenberg, told me in a telephone interview that she took seven years to do the research and another year to write and illustrate the book. What emerges from Rosenberg's research is a no-holds-barred indictment of corporate control over some of the most intimate aspects of our lives: The food we eat and the medicines, especially psychiatric medicines, we take.
Despite the title, the first part of Born with a Junk Food Deficiency is all about prescription drugs. The first chapter, "When the Medication is ready, the Disease (and Patients) will appear—OR when TV makes you sick," takes us on a journey through pharmaceutical advertising, starting in the '50s and '60s in professional journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) through the current Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) advertising touting medications for every condition from seasonal allergies to bipolar disorder. She shows that these ads are heavily sexist and ageist and that in the effort to develop new markets, the pharmaceutical industry has developed a population that sees itself as ill. (According to About,com, nearly 4 billion prescriptions were written in the United States in 2010). People self-diagnose on websites, then report to their doctors demanding the latest advertised drug, sometimes with a coupon in hand. Rosenberg states in the book that doctors have had to take classes in refusal skills to deal with these patients.
Of course, sometimes people really do become ill, no thanks, in part, to our junk food diets. But the problem is not just too much soda and a sedentary lifestyle. Sometimes the problem is the chemicals with which Big Ag has laced our foods, especially our animal products, to make the most money in the shortest amount of time. A recent Agence France Press article, about the southern region of the U.S. being the most obese in the country, cast the blame on "cliché" Southern foods such as fried chicken and fried okra. As I pointed out to Rosenberg in our interview, these foods had been popular in the South long before the obesity epidemic. And as Rosenberg wrote in Chapter 9 of the book, titled The drugstore in your meat, " . . . [C]hickens were once slaughtered at 14 weeks old, when they weighed about two pounds, but by 2001, they were slaughtered at seven weeks, when they weighed between four and six pounds." (Hint: cooking does not rid the meat of growth-promoting hormones and antibiotics the animals are fed.)
For me, the best things about Born with a Junk Food Deficiency are the sometim read more..