Here is yet more evidence that fentanyl, rather than prescription drugs, is fueling the opioid crisis. It's time to add illegal drug cartels to the list of defendants.
Drugs & Pharmaceuticals
This week marks the 37th anniversary of the approval of human insulin – the first biotech drug ever. Almost as revolutionary as the drug was its five-month approval by the FDA, which was two years less than average. Dr. Henry Miller celebrates the dawn of biotechnology. He should know. At that time he was in charge of the FDA team that reviewed it.
It's open enrollment when those with Medicare can adjust the supplemental programs, those involving the cost of their medications as well as out-of-pocket spending. Here's a quick guide. (And we're betting you can find a way to reduce your spending before Congress gets to it.)
Scientists have discovered molecules that inhibit tumor growth by starving cancer cells of their favorite foods: the sugar glucose and the amino acid, glutamine.
Opioid prohibition spares no one, but the elderly are especially vulnerable. If they're in pain, chances are that they will be sent out of their physician's office with nothing more than Tylenol, which is just about useless. It almost happened to my mother. Yours may not be so fortunate.
Dr. Stuart Levy, a giant in the world of infectious disease, passed away last week. ACSH advisor Dr. David Shlaes, a former colleague of Dr. Levy (pictured), examines his legacy.
A recent survey shows that Americans despise the pharmaceutical industry not only more than ever before, but also more than any other business sector. Dr. Chris Gerry closely examines the factors -- both sensible and nonsensical -- that have contributed to Big Pharma's rock-bottom reputation.
The science of discovering and developing new antibiotics is difficult enough. But antibiotics present an additional, unique problem: economics. It is very difficult for a pharmaceutical company to even recoup its R&D costs because of a small market, which is mostly hospital use. Some kind of subsidy is necessary. ACSH advisor Dr. David Shlaes examines whether Medicare can help, and to what degree.
Many of those who want to shove their kids into a lead-lined, basement safe room when someone walks by with a can of Raid or diet soda, are unknowingly feeding them multiple, unknown chemicals by giving them dietary supplements. And virtually none of those are useful -- and some are actually dangerous.
Zolgensma, the gene therapy, developed and marketed by the pharmaceutical company Novartis, won both FDA approval and the title of "world's most expensive drug" earlier this year. However, it's recently come to light that Novartis knowingly provided the FDA manipulated data during the approval process. Dr. Chris Gerry explains what went wrong, why this is such a big deal, and whether Zolgensma should stay on the market.
Sometimes groups or individuals propose breaking the patent on an important drug because it's too expensive. This is not the right way to hold down drug prices, because it will hold down innovation. Breaking a patent is theft, no matter how you look at it.
In the never-ending campaign to demonize any drug that could possibly be abused, a physicians group at the University of Pennsylvania claims that music is a viable alternative to Versed (a benzodiazepine) in calming patients before outpatient surgery. But it is not. All you have to do is read the paper and this becomes obvious. Better orthodoxy, worse medicine.