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Is the Contraceptive NuvaRing Killing Thousands?

"Danger in the Ring." According to Karen, a doctor in the emergency room asked her over the phone: “Was your daughter using birth control?” Karen said, “Yes, NuvaRing.” He removed the device and said, “I thought so, because she’s having a pulmonary embolism.” [more inside]
posted by blue suede stockings on Dec 28, 2013 - 103 comments

Xanax and Zantac

Why are pharmaceutical names so goofy?
posted by Chrysostom on Aug 29, 2013 - 135 comments

Even better than the real thing?

Widespread fraud has been discovered in the case of an Indian generic drug manufacturer that makes generic Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) and many other drugs. Ranbaxy has "pleaded guilty to seven federal criminal counts of selling adulterated drugs with intent to defraud." [more inside]
posted by fiercecupcake on May 18, 2013 - 28 comments

Tests and the Dead

A recent German television documentary, Tests and the Dead, has revealed that, between 1983 and 1989, the East German government sold its citizens to Western pharmaceutical companies for research, with firms such as Hoechst and Sandoz having paid the cash-strapped dictatorship as much as €430,000 for the ability to test experimental drugs on selected patients in special clinics. The patients were not informed of the tests, and at least several have died as a result of their treatment.
posted by acb on Dec 5, 2012 - 21 comments

Red Pill or Blue Pill? First, take off those 3D glasses.

The drugs don't work : a modern medical scandal - "The doctors prescribing the drugs don't know they don't do what they're meant to. Nor do their patients. The manufacturers know full well, but they're not telling."
posted by Gyan on Sep 22, 2012 - 76 comments

Oxycontin - The Pill of Pain

OxyContin: Purdue Pharma's painful medicine. Among the sellers of opioids, none has been more successful -- or controversial -- than Purdue Pharma, maker of the No. 1 drug in the class: OxyContin, which generated $3.1 billion in revenue in 2010. Purdue and its marketing prowess are the biggest reasons such drugs are now widely prescribed for all sorts of pain, says Dhalla: "Purdue played a very large role in making physicians feel comfortable about opioids." And as we'll see, Purdue's past and present go a long way toward explaining how so many Americans came to be in the grip of potent painkillers.
posted by storybored on Jan 23, 2012 - 63 comments

Where Did All The Adderall Go?

Where Did All The Adderall Go? A mysterious American adderall shortage has paralyzed the cognition and emptied the pocketbooks of millions of legal tweakers this year. Try to pay attention: it's a fun history of amphetamine, shortages, grotesque corporate greed and the Holy Grail of Big Pharma business models that is the "addiction-proof" addictive drug. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by DarlingBri on Nov 19, 2011 - 183 comments

Burzynski The Movie

Burzynski, the Movie is the story of a medical doctor and Ph.D biochemist named Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski who won the largest, and possibly the most convoluted and intriguing legal battle against the Food & Drug Administration in American history.
A documentary by Eric Merola.
posted by xmattxfx on Jun 14, 2011 - 12 comments

master of information

The New Biology - Eric Schadt's quest to upend molecular biology and open source it. (via)
posted by kliuless on Apr 9, 2011 - 35 comments

The latest controversy concerning HRT

Ever since the Women's Health Initiative published data showing increased risk and little benefit with post-menopausal hormone replacement therapy it has become more controversial and the FDA now recommends using the lowest dose possible for the shortest time, if using it at all. Why was HRT so popular in the first place? It now appears one reason was that what appeared to be legitimate articles in peer reviewed journals were actually ghostwritten by drug companies. [more inside]
posted by TedW on Sep 24, 2010 - 22 comments

Thin Times

Struggling British biotech firm Vernalis reports "striking" weight loss among patients taking its new obesity drug, "V24343".
posted by chuckdarwin on Sep 14, 2007 - 26 comments

Oxycontin for the rich, heroin for the poor...

"Well, a lot of people have said DEA is in the dark on these issues, but that is a little bit much." (.doc; long) Despite a power outage, an FDA-lead panel discusses how to manage abuse of the infamous opiod painkiller OxyContin. Purdue Pharma, its sole manufacturer, had tried to bring its more powerful successor Palladone (.pdf) to the market, before "dosage jump" issues lead to the drug being pulled by the FDA. Meanwhile, trucks loaded with $3mil dollars of "oxys" continue to get hijacked for a $15mil street turnover, despite GPS tracking and other high-tech security measures used for cigarette distribution. Doctors invariably shuffle pills sideways despite tamper-proof presciption pads (long). Purdue only stops selling more profitable and addictive double-doses of OxyContin after government pressure. On the level of the street, addicts who find themselves too tolerant to the drug find their needs more than adequately met when they can buy many more hits of heroin for the same cost. Philadelphia-based writer Jeff Deeney outlines some of these fascinating issues and more as he looks into how race, cost, manufacturing and distribution factors in OxyContin abuse invariably drive the addict to cheaper and more easily accessible heroin.
posted by Rothko on Feb 2, 2006 - 72 comments

How to think about prescription drugs.

How to think about prescription drugs. Malcolm Gladwell's latest piece in The New Yorker
The emphasis of the prescription-drug debate is all wrong. We've been focussed on the drug manufacturers. But decisions about prevalence, therapeutic mix, and intensity aren't made by the producers of drugs. They’re made by the consumers of drugs.

posted by trharlan on Oct 31, 2004 - 20 comments

An Epidemic of Globalization?

Haunted by a truly global epidemic, perhaps it is time to consider the effects of globalization on the spread of diseases like AIDS. In addition to making it easier for disease to achieve global prevalence, global economics reduce funding for public health by placing treatment emphasis on those who can pay for their drugs, and, in the case of AIDS, may also encourage pharmaceutical companies to pursue expensive life-long 'treatments' rather than cures. Furthermore, younger, economically depressed members of the global economy are wholly dependent on the whim of richer nations for their well-being in the face of devastating epidemics. In this case, it seems that the global marketplace has failed to be the holy grail it is so often presented as.
posted by kaibutsu on Dec 1, 2003 - 17 comments

Inventing a new disease?

Inventing a new disease? Some experts are saying that the drug industry is trying lump women’s sexual problems under the term “female sexual dysfunction” to create a market for lucrative new Viagra-like drugs. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association [abstract] found sexual dysfunction is more prevalent for women (43%) than men (31%), but the jury is still out.
posted by gottabefunky on Jan 3, 2003 - 54 comments

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