Amgen CEO on Marketplace

Kai Ryssdal interviews Amgen CEO Kevin Sharer on Monday’s edition of NPR’s Marketplace. Below are some excerpts from the interview. The full transcript is available here. Ryssdal: Do you consider Amgen to be part of what is commonly referred to as “Big Pharma”? Sharer: We have characteristics financially that look like “Big Pharma.” I’m the…

Why doesn’t my doctor prescribe generics?

A letter in the L.A. Times today from a man in Oceanside, California stated the following: “I read with great interest [“Under the Influence“] in the Aug. 6 Health section because I, at one time, would only use brand-name medications.  Even though I belong to a Medicare HMO, the co-pays sometimes were quite substantial.  I…

Drugs, Drugs and more Drugs

“Why is there so much controversy about drug testing? I know plenty of guys who would be willing to test any drug they could come up with”– George Carlin The New York Times published two articles this week about prescription drugs. The first deals with generic drugs (“More Generics Slow Rise in Drug Prices“); the…

Randomized Controlled Trials and Adverse Effects

Most health care scholars–whether they are scientists, doctors or economists–believe that randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the best means by which one can test whether or not a drug is efficacious. Despite its high cost, RCTs are able to abstract from confounding factors by randomly assigning similar patients to both a treatment and a placebo-controlled…

Anti-Depressants

There is an interesting article in the NYT Magazine (“Self-Nonmedication“) about the anti-depressant drugs pharmaceuticals.  The author stops taking Effexor and experiences anti-depressant withdrawl discontinuation syndrome.

Senate to back Drug Reimportation

The Washington Post (“Senate likely to Back…“) reports that the Senate will support a plan to remove the legislative barriers against the importation of pharmaceuticals from other countries.   According to the article: “The provision would allow consumers to buy prescription drugs from Canada and permit commercial distributors to obtain them from Canada, Japan, Austria, Switzerland…

Me too drugs

There is a very interesting series of blog posts at the Economist’s Free Exchange blog. Part I: Me too! Me too! Part II: More on me-toos Part III: We talk back Here’s a quotation from part I: “In what other industry does anyone under the age of sixty still believe that each product category should…