psychopharmacology

0

I remember my respected psychopharmacology preceptor always had a pile of a bit out of date copies of the Wall Street Journal sitting around the house.  I asked him why — about the third time I saw them sitting around his living room. He explained to me then it was the thing you really had to read to know what was going on in the pharmaceutical industry.

I remember I rolled my eyes heaven ward.  I was too busy memorizing molecular structures and trying to understand potential mechanisms of drug-drug interactions. I still do a bunch of that sort of thing.  I do it more quickly than I did at that time, but I still do it.  Oh, I will find on line pretty much anything I can in “Newsfeeds” and such, but it is more to condemn than to follow these days, from what I know and can see. Basically, my problem is that they seem to keep making better sounding drugs.  But from what I read, I don’t usually see them as a clear CLINICAL improvement over what I have seen in the past. In other words, I don’t think they are making people “more better” in terms of having more efficacy or less side effects or such.  I just can’t find it in statistics in general, and sometimes even wonder if statistics are not a tad “Gerrymandered.”

Read more on How They Plan To Sell Even More Drugs Next…

Filed under FDA, News, prescription drugs by on . Comment#

0

It happened several years ago, when one of the immigrants of Mexican origin I frequently saw as a patient in the poorer counties of California came to see me and pulled a pen and a steno pad out of her purse.  My Spanish was a bit more rudimentary than it is now. She was matronly, with mostly grayed hair in the classic bun.  She asked me if I could spend a few extra minutes with her.  I told her I would take all the time I could, and try to serve her needs. It wasn’t her, she said.  It was her youngest daughter, aged 13.  Read more on Delayed Gratification And Life…

0

When a marijuana patient visits me for permission to use that drug, I have to ask them, gently, how long they have used it.  Most, if they are old enough, do not give me an answer that I can quantify.  Instead, they start with something like, “It seems like yesterday I used it for fun.  Now, I need it just to (fill in the blank).” Survive, live, walk, or keep from throwing up.  They wonder about how and when it changed from a form of recreation to a form of drug treatment.

They never seem to believe it has already been a drug, for thousands of years, in other cultures.  If I give them enough time, they count their own age and their own problems by how they use it.  With a few thousand papers published every year, mostly in other countries, it would be crazy at this point to try to believe it wasn’t a drug.  For an amazing number of folks, it seems to be the way they reckon the passage of their lives. Read more on The Passage of Time…

Filed under Alternative Medicine, Family, News, weight by on . Comment#

0

I was poking around, looking for what is brewing in psychopharmacology; a field I am no longer particularly proud I spent a lot of time studying and working in.  Strange, or maybe not so strange, that I’ve met both of the principals allegedly involved in this pharmacological ghostwriting scandal.

Ghost WriterI saw Dr. Schatzberg when he led various sessions at a large professional meeting on the coast.  My main memory of him is that he looked tired, maybe even a bit depressed.  I was told I had to write a lot of articles and do a lot of research projects, so maybe someday when I grew up I could do this kind of work.  I was told, often and a lot, that I had plenty enough neurons, so it would only take work, and a lot of it.  Dr. Nemeroff actually came to Kansas between visits to the coasts.  He was friends with my preceptor in psychopharmacology.  He came to speak at our grand rounds, where we were awe struck by the large amount of patients seen, as well as the large amount of numbers and lovely statistics.

Read more on Who Knows Who Writes This Stuff?…

Filed under big pharma by on . Comment#

0

Doctors at a hospital chain in Los Angeles have complained about pressure to make unnecessary hospital admissions.  It takes a lot to make doctors complain.  These sorts of actions are rare enough that my gut reaction is to believe that where there is smoke, there is probably fire.

A long time ago, a preceptor, or teaching doctor, in psychopharmacology told me to read business newspapers like the Wall Street Journal if I really wanted to know what was going on in drug development.  I never seemed to have the time, but he certainly did. He had a nice family and a fairly large home.  A little more recently, my husband told me if I was ever approached by Mike Wallace, then the star reporter of 60 Minutes on CBS, with a microphone and a camera, I should probably run like hell.

I am delighted this group of doctors complained.  The health care company has denied the allegations.  They say the data, collected by a third party, does not support the allegations. They don’t provide a link to the data, and I can’t locate it anywhere, so I guess I’ll just have to take their word for it. Cute, huh?  One thing I have learned about all allegedly scientific data, whether it is a result of pouring things in test-tubes or a lot of people counting numbers, is not to judge the results until I know who paid for them.  This hospital apparently paid someone to check if their admissions were appropriate.  Can anybody possibly trust this data, especially knowing it is unavailable and its collection was paid for — if not supervised — by the hospital in question? Read more on Did Anyone Actually Believe That Medical Care Companies Were Honest or Ethical?…

Filed under Healthcare reform by on . Comment#