Terra Sigillata

Archives for April, 2007

I wish I could claim responsibility for this essay but the mega-props go to Roy M Poses, MD, of the team blog, Health Care Renewal (blog mission statement: “Addressing threats to health care’s core values, especially those stemming from concentration and abuse of power.”). Last week, Roy wrote, “Med Schools to Faculty: Show Me The…

Over the last year or so, the US FDA has grown tougher on withdrawing prescription and over-the-counter drugs that have not met the modern burden of proof for safety and efficacy that was officially required by the 1962 passage of the Kefauver-Harris amendments to the 1906 Federal Food and Drug Act (WaPo overview from June…

The weekly NCI Cancer Bulletin recently featured a clinical trial being led by MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston where the supplement, alpha-lipoic acid, is being investigated to minimize the peripheral neuropathy associated with platinum-based chemotherapy such as cisplatin or oxaliplatin. Peripheral neuropathy is an unpleasant side effect of platinum-based chemotherapy that is characterized by…

As alerted by other ScienceBloggers, I have recently learned that the US Fish & Wildlife Service is proposing to the White House that Florida’s manatee be removed from the “endangered” list, downgrading the marine mammal to merely “threatened.” The result would be a relaxation of boating speed and access rules that have allowed the manatee…

The relatively recent addition to ScienceBlogs, first-year medical resident, Signout, very generously tagged me with recognition as a “Thinking Blogger” on her list of “Five Blogs that Make Me Think.” This meme was started in early February by Ilker Yoldas for peers to recognize content-rich blogs. Signout was all too kind: A neighbor here at…

From a news release by the University of California at Davis: The new study, published in this month’s issue of Environmental Health Perspectives – available online at www.ehponline.org – was prompted by the case of a 54-year-old woman who was seen at the UCD Occupational Medicine Clinic following a two-year history of worsening hair loss,…

…my attention was raised to another mitochondrial glycolysis inhibitor being touted for anticancer utility. From a 1 April New York Times Op-Ed by Ralph W. Moss entitled, “Patents Over Patients“: In 2004, Johns Hopkins researchers discovered that an off-the-shelf compound called 3-bromopyruvate could arrest the growth of liver cancer in rats. The results were dramatic;…

I noted a couple of days ago the voluntary withdrawal of a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease called pergolide (Permax). The reason for the withdrawal is that the drug has been linked to reports of valvular heart disease (VHD) and I promised further explanation. The story is a continuing episode in pharmacology and drug…

Well, this sure doesn’t help

A bad day for pharma on the newswires: Pfizer subsidiaries agree to pay $34.7 million in fines Two subsidiaries of Pfizer Inc. have agreed to pay fines totaling $34.7 million for offering a kickback to recommend company drugs and for illegally promoting the human growth hormone product Genotropin for non-approved uses, federal prosecutors announced Monday.…

Doug Farrago, MD, is a private practice doc in Maine who has been publishing the print medical satire journal, Placebo Journal, since 2001. Doug does it all, including spoofing drug company adverts, collecting humorous doc stories, and generally poking fun at drug reps, HMOs, and lawyers. About two years ago, Doug started sending out e-mails…