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    Forum Posts by
    Adriane Fugh-Berman

    • EpiPen Furor: Patient Groups Take Money, Stay Mum

      Posted on August 29, 2016

      The furor around the price of an EpiPen has exposed the contradictions of patient advocacy groups with funding from the pharmaceutical industry. EpiPens contain epinephrine, an oldie-but-goodie, inexpensive generic drug that effectively treats potentially life-threatening allergic reactions. Pharmaceutical companies put this common, inexpensive drug into expensive, auto-injecting devices, which are useful, portable devices for those… Read more

    • The Drug that Cried “Feminism”

      Posted on March 17, 2015

      Branded as “The Little Pink Pill” and “Female Viagra,” flibanserin, Sprout Pharmaceuticals’ only drug, was recently resubmitted to the Food and Drug Administration for approval for hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), a questionable condition promoted by pharmaceutical companies to sell questionable drugs. Flibanserin, a failed-antidepressant-turned-libido-boosting-drug, has already been rejected twice by the FDA due to… Read more

    • LEGGO the Logo? Why Pharma Logos Belong on CME

      Posted on May 19, 2014

      Several weeks ago, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) announced a new rule banning corporate logos from accredited educational materials for physicians. The ACCME sets standards for the continuing medical education (CME) that most practicing physicians must obtain in order to renew their licenses. Pharmaceutical companies often fund CME, and previously chose whether… Read more

    • Rounding Up Scientific Journals

      Posted on January 10, 2014

      Scientific journal publishing reached a low point in November, when the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology retracted a study by Gilles-Eric Séralini and colleagues at Caen University in France. The study, published in November 2012, assessed the effect of feeding rats corn genetically modified to withstand treatment with Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup for two years (that is a lifetime… Read more

    • Low-T, High Profit?

      Posted on August 20, 2012

      An unusually lengthy and undoubtedly expensive 90-second commercial for Androgel aired during men’s swimming and volleyball events in NBC’s coverage of the Olympics. The ad touts Androgel 1.62%, a more concentrated formulation of Abbott Laboratories’ testosterone treatment, and starts by addressing “the millions of men who have used Androgel 1%.” Millions of men may have used Androgel,… Read more

    • Mammography and the Corporate Breast

      Posted on November 24, 2009

      The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) would seem as unlikely a target for attack as Santa’s elves. For a quarter-century, this squeaky-clean, underappreciated group of doctors and nurses who are specialists in preventive medicine has toiled away in obscurity in the selfless service of public health. Appointed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and… Read more

    • Editing Ethics: JAMA’s New Conflict of Interest Policy

      Posted on April 14, 2009

      The role of a medical journal should be to publish relevant, worthy, peer-reviewed articles, and the appraisal of what is relevant and worthy must include determining authors’ conflicts of interest. Two editors at JAMA, however, appear to think their role includes the repression of public information and the silencing of concerned readers who expose conflicts… Read more

    • Deceptive Market Practices in the Marketplace of Ideas

      Posted on July 2, 2008

      Over the last four decades, conservative think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Cato Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Hoover Institute, and Manhattan Institute have dominated the public policy debate on taxation, affirmative action, the military, and welfare reform. More recently, they have also dominated the debate over health care. Part of their… Read more

    • Smoke and Mirrors

      Posted on April 25, 2008

      The latest entry in disease-mongering (an art form in pharmaceutical marketing) is tobacco dependence. Products approved for helping smokers quit are now being groomed for a new role as permanent substitutes for smoking, on the grounds, apparently, that the drugs kill fewer people than the cigarettes. A recent commentary in the Annals of Internal Medicine… Read more

    • Classic Drugs under Attack

      Posted on October 26, 2007

      The pharmaceutical industry has made many arguments against generic drugs, but the newest entry almost qualifies as farce. A recent New York Times op-ed accuses the government of “ an inherent conflict of interest” for testing new drugs against tried-and-true drugs. The Center for Comparative Effectiveness, the agency under attack, doesn’t even exist yet; it would… Read more

    • Cervical Cancer Vaccines and Industry Influence

      Posted on March 15, 2007

      When the manufacturer of the cervical cancer vaccine announced that it will stop lobbying for mandatory vaccination of schoolgirls, my students reacted with jeers. “So what?” said one, “They’ve already achieved their goals.” So young, so cynical – but not necessary inaccurate. After all, Merck has spent years, and millions, preparing the market for Gardasil.… Read more

    • Kid Too Big? We’ve Got Drugs for That

      Posted on November 6, 2006

      Using drugs to keep a disabled child a convenient size sets a new low in social control via doctors. A recent report describes the “treatment” of a profoundly disabled six-year-old girl with estrogen in order to stunt her growth and keep her small. The child, who functions at an infantile level, was also subjected to… Read more

    • The Waiting Room: Pharma’s Latest Lair

      Posted on October 27, 2006

      Drug companies have created a multimedia assault on waiting rooms in physicians’ offices. The newest form of drug advertising comes in the form of silent televisions permanently tuned to a mixture of drug ads and health news. The Healthy Advice Network has installed at least 95,000 screens in waiting rooms across the country. Messages can… Read more

    • Carcinogenic Diagnosis

      Posted on October 6, 2006

      If a diagnostic procedure increases cancer risk, should patients be informed of that risk? Apparently not, at least for one procedure performed more than 150,000 times a day in the United States.1 CT scans use multiple x-rays to create three-dimensional images that are diagnostically useful but expose people to far more radiation than conventional x-rays.… Read more

    • The Dog Ate My Disclosure

      Posted on August 23, 2006

      The Center for Science in the Public Interest, one of a handful of consumer advocacy groups that takes no industry money, has called for medical journals to levy a three-year publishing ban on authors who omit declarations of conflicts of interest. Environmental Health Perspectives has imposed just such a ban. In the August 7 issue… Read more