Terra Sigillata

Archives for January, 2007

Send some love to Derek Lowe

Pharmaceutical chemist, Derek Lowe, at Corante’s In the Pipeline notes that yesterday was the end of his employment at the Wonder Drug Factory due to a site closure. I’ve admired Dr Lowe since I began reading blogs because he puts a human face on the travails of a bench-level pharmaceutical industry researcher. His thoughtful discussions…

Remembering Challenger…

It was a very cold morning in North Florida (in the teens/low 20s Fahrenheit) as I walked in to class during my second semester of graduate school. I vaguely recall some concerns about the launch of Challenger that morning because of the cold and I believe it was scrapped once before, this highly-touted launch of…

In an insult to dietary supplement companies who at least try to play by the rules, a company has agreed with the US FDA to recall its product because it might work too well: FDA and Ebek, Inc. notified healthcare professionals and consumers of a voluntary nationwide recall of the company’s dietary supplement because the…

I don’t even know where to begin with this beautifully-crafted but very sad article in today’s Wall Street Journal (sub req’d..sorry) by Suzanne Sataline. This has all the features that are sure to send PZ Myers and Orac convulsing in a corner somewhere. As detailed in FDA allegations from an ongoing investigation as reported by…

If you’ve been perusing ScienceBlogs.com over the last week or two, you’ll note that some bloggers are trying to make their sites even more accessible to the casual reader by introducing a description of basic concepts within their respective fields. I used to teach a 60-90 min lecture to the public in one of the…

Science blogging conference

The 2007 NC Science Blogging Conference came off as a great success thanks to the vision, passion, and general butt-busting of Anton Zuiker, Bora, Brian, and Paul and the sharing of wisdom by all the speakers. A fellow health professional-turned-journalist remarked to me that professional meeting planners couldn’t have done a better job. Organization, advertising,…

Have you had your lead today?

Now this is bloody lovely: supplement consumer watchdog ConsumerLab.com reports that some multivitamin supplements are contaminated with lead, with one at concentrations 10 times above acceptable California exposure limits. Jacqueline Stenson at MSNBC does a good job of putting this all in perspective: Of 21 brands of multivitamins on the market in the United States…

This is a recipe for disaster: a demographic prone by need to polypharmacy, also using supplements, etc., without informing their primary care provider. A joint study by AARP and NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reveal that nearly three-quarters of patients over age 50 do not discuss their use of complementary and alternative…

While I wait for my copy of Dan Hurley’s book, “Natural Causes: Death, Lies and Politics in America’s Vitamin and Herbal Supplement Industry,” it is interesting to read the media reports on his interviews and the responses from the dietary supplement industry. While the Natural Products Association has simply responded with a measured, educational piece…

Dan Hurley’s new book, “Natural Causes: Death, Lies and Politics in America’s Vitamin and Herbal Supplement Industry,” has the industry on the defensive. Cited by Katie Couric’s two-part CBS News series on dietary supplements and excerpted today in the New York Times, Hurley seems to have created a buzz reminiscent of Marcia Angell’s similar indictment…