Drugs & Pharmaceuticals

Andrew Kolodny, the self-appointed (but thoroughly unqualified) opioid czar has repeatedly used the made-up phrase "heroin pills," in an apparent attempt to demonize opioids like oxycodone. In a way, Kolodny has now succeeded. To fill the void left by the shortage of oxycodone, the Southwest is being flooded by "real" heroin pills called Mexican Oxy. But the pills aren't actually heroin - they are fentanyl copies of oxycodone, which are killing people who use them. Nice going, once again.
As Big Pharma shifts risk for drug discovery to start-ups, the acquisition and licensing of those discoveries serve as a hidden driver of medication cost. Consider Keytruda.
So-called "play or pay" was designed as an incentive for pharmaceutical companies to engage, or to continue to be engaged in, antibiotic discovery and development.
There's bad press coverage ... and then there's (expletive) press coverage. ABC's Milwaukee affiliate most certainly provided the latter, after reporting that less-addictive, over-the-counter drugs -- like Advil and Tylenol -- are three times more effective than some opioid counterparts. This is dead wrong. And neither Advil nor Tylenol is the slightest bit addicting. Aside from that ... way to nail the story WISN!
The United Kingdom released a five-year and a 20-year plan for combatting antimicrobial resistance. Both are worth a careful read – especially if you're interested in efforts on stewardship and research support. But there's something buried in the five-year version that's less than straightforward. Let's take a look.
Step therapy generally refers to trying one medicine after another, in order to get the best response for your patient. Most insurance companies believe that the lowest cost is the "best" approach. But an often-overlooked issue for both physicians and their patients is stepping down treatments, or eliminating unnecessary meds that are no longer necessary or "align with patient interests."
The price of insulin continues to rise. But before jumping on du jour soundbites, knowing its history may help explain why our first wonder drug is now a chimeric poster child for the best and worse in the pharmaceutical industry.
Reader's Digest recently ran an absurdly biased and misleading article about drugs to avoid. If you follow its advice you're going to have one seriously empty medicine cabinet. And a whole lot of discomfort and pain.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about new approaches to antibacterial therapy. But I keep going back to some old family history ...
Coffee is touted as a prevention remedy or for countless (and unrelated) diseases and conditions. One that isn't on that list is asthma. So, is coffee useful for asthmatics? Scientifically it should be. But you would need to drink a ghastly amount of it. (And at no extra charge we include the always-popular "Chemistry Lesson From Hell.")
Policymakers, providers, insurers and employers continue to complain that the U.S. must curtail spending on drugs to slow down the ever-growing cost of health care. Yet they’re not taking advantage of an innovation that's available to them -- and one that's saving the European Union massive sums.
When pharmaceutical companies jack up prices, it irritates everybody. And when people are irritated, politicians take the opportunity to do some grandstanding to win votes. Just a few days into its term, the House Oversight Committee in the new Congress has already launched an investigation into drug pricing. Is that justified? Not really.