Drugs & Pharmaceuticals

There is no safe way to inject heroin. Narcan (naloxone) may not save your life. Your friends may not be able to, either.
For every additional microgram per liter of lithium in the water supply, the suicide rate dropped by 0.27 per 100,000 people per year.
If you're someone who believes that the Food and Drug Administration is purely guided by science and that politics has never influenced its decisions, we likely live on different planets. As for some background, here's some recommended reading to go with our overall perspective on this issue.
There are both advantages and disadvantages of studying repurposed drugs to battle COVID-19. In an interview, ACSH advisor Dr. Kathie Seley-Radtke weighs in on this method while providing a glimpse at some of the very promising research now going on in her lab. If you want to know how antiviral drug discovery might tame COVID-19, this is a must-read.
Antibiotic resistance, or AMR infections, has been with us since the dawn of the antibiotic era. Their numbers grow slowly every year and they are often hidden from view, but we don’t consider this issue a crisis.  Why? Because it's been going on for so long?  Because AMR infections are a chronic, and not an acute, problem? Why is this not a crisis?
In March I wrote about Phase IIa results of a novel NSAID-like drug ATB-346 (now called otenaproxesul), which is structurally and functionally similar to naproxen (Aleve). But the non-opioid drug lacks its gastrointestinal side effects, especially ulcers. Now Phase IIb results are in and it still looks good. Will it become the first member of a novel class of pain drugs? We could sure use it. A summary of the company's report to shareholders.
Dr. David Shlaes contends that he continues "to believe that most hospital administrations understand that what is best for their patients is what is best for their hospitals, and that they try and act accordingly." The ACSH advisor adds that while there may be "exceptions to this, it is clear that the Medicare policies are now doing more harm than good."
We increasingly extend both the quality and quantity of life for what were fatal diseases; AIDS/HIV comes readily to mind. But treatment is also increasingly expensive, even with insurance coverage. In some instances, co-pays are equivalent to the annual median household income. A new paper looks at a readily available source of funding. (Spoiler alert: it doesn't involve new taxes.)
A July 22 paper in the journal Nature further underscored earlier studies showing that neither the anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, nor chloroquine, prevents SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – from replicating in lung cells. ACSH advisor Dr. Katherine Seley-Radtke has more.
The study by Didier Raoult et. al., the one partly responsible for the massive, unwarranted use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID, has been picked to bits by a review panel hired by the journal that published it. It's now clear that the Raoult study was a methodological mess. How did it get published at all? Should it be retracted? Let's take a look.
We normally butt heads with the Center for Science in the Public Interest. But its recent attack on Joseph Mercola's magical COVID cures deserves praise. CSPI could be a great organization if it focused more on eliminating quack medicine and less on labeling bacon as causing cancer.
The company dedicated to discovering vaccines for herpes is back in the news. Rational Vaccines gained notoriety when its founder, the late Dr. Bill Halford, bypassed FDA protocol for vaccine development and set up a small trial on the island of St. Kitts, in the Caribbean, using live attenuated virus on volunteers who were suffering from herpes simplex. Now, three years after Dr. Halford's death, Rational is developing five vaccines for herpes and two for COVID. But his time, by the book.