“Black Market” Pharmaceuticals

In June of 2005, a pharmaceutical named BiDil used to combat heart failure was approved by the FDA. While this is not a notable event—there are many drugs to treat heart failure—the approval is novel since it was only approved for African-American patients. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the FDA “…approved BiDil for use…

Prizes or patents

Josesph Stiglitz’s recent article (“Give prizes not patents“) in the New Scientist voices a valid concern that patents may be stifling–not enhancing–innovation.  He worries that IP (Intellectual Property) attorneys are involved in an “enclosure movement” by which a firm tries to patent a new idea as well as many complimentary or peripheral ideas which surround the…

Genius: A non-profit drug company wins a MacArthur Foundation Award

The so-called genius awards (actually called the MacArthur Foundation fellows) are given to 25 individuals based on “their creativity, originality, and potential to be significant contributors in their fields.”  Recipients receive $500,000 over five years with no strings attached.  One of the recipients which interests this blog is Victoria Hale (bio).  She is a pharmaceutical…

Phree Trade for Pharmaceuticals

The Envisioning 2.0 (“Drug Importation“) speaks to the fact that the FDA has consistently tried to prohibit the importation of drugs from abroad, despite the fact that drug importation has broad popular support.  Further the post cites a USA Today report which says that the US (but not Canada) has a serious drug counterfeiting problem. 

Is Price Inflation Different for the Elderly?

One Social Security reform often suggested is to change the indexation of benefits from a wage inflation measure to a price inflation measure, such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  Critics argue that the price of healthcare has increased more than overall CPI and since the elderly spend a higher percentage of their income on…

Off-label drug use is…good?!?!

I claim that ‘off label’ drug use is good.  But according to a recent Forbes article “the practice is potentially risky, since three-quarters of these off-label uses lack scientific support.”  The article (“Off-label…“) claims that this practice is very common and that one in five prescriptions for drugs are for an off-label use.and effective.  If…

Trials and transparency

The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has released a scathing report criticizing the medical procedures Parexel used in testing the TGN1412 drug. In-Pharma Technologist.com (“Parexcel back in hot water…“) reports that six individuals suffered severe side effects such as organ failure swelling of body parts due to poor administration of the trials…