Archive | May, 2012

Industry Bias in Biomedical Science

An interesting article written by Christopher T. Robertson titled “The Money Blind: How to Stop Industry Bias in Biomedical Science, Without Violating the First Amendment,” appears in the American Journal of Law and Medicine (vol. 37, pages 358-387, 2011). The article discuses how the medical industry spends billions of dollars to create innovative products but also spends nearly as much to change the behavior patterns of those interested to make sure the products are purchased. The author states “As a veteran of the industry writes, ‘ in the pharmaeeutieal industry, there are two ways to market an approved drug for a new use: the ‘indication’ route—performing studies necessary for regulatory approval—or the ‘publication’ strategy, whieh stimulates off-label prescribing by using research ‘to disseminate the information as widely as possible through the world’s medical literature.’ “ A mention is made of a candid document by Pfizer which states “What is the purpose of publications? The answer: the ‘purpose of data is to support, directly or indirectly, the marketing of our product.’ Or in short: “Purpose of Publications: The Bottom Line.’ “ The author mentions a quote by a judge “The pervasive commercial bias found in today’s research laboratories means studies are often lacking in essential objectivity, with the potential for misinformation, skewed results, or cover-ups.” The […]

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Scientific Integrity and the Commercial Speech Doctrine for Industry

An interesting article by Joanna K. Sax titled “Protecting Scientific Integrity: The Commercial Speech Doctrine Applied to Industry Publications,” appeared in the American Journal of Law and Medicine in 2011 (vol. 37, pages 203-224). The article opens up by discussion how the economic reality of survival and profits may distort a company’s decision making process regarding full disclose on a particular drug. Dow Corning, which manufactured implants, withheld important data from long-term animal models which demonstrated adverse effects from breast implants and failed to conduct long-term studies. It was necessary for litigation in order to expose Dow’s failure to conduct the necessary studies. It was found that even though Dow denied liability they had evidence which demonstrated they had knowledge of the harmful effects of the breast implants and suppressed these findings. The author later mentions how the tobacco industry used propaganda in the 1960s and 1970s to refute evidence of the harmful effects of second-hand smoke by flooding the scientific literature with studies which concluded that passive smoking was not harmful. A discussion is made of a potential regulation called the Truth in Marketing (TIM) Act which would expand the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) role to penalize pharmaceutical companies for false or misleading […]

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Dental Cleanings May Reduce Stroke and Heart Attack Risk

A study in Taiwan looked at those who have had professional tooth scraping and cleaning performed and found that they had reduced risks of stroke and heart attack. The study showed that more frequent scraping/cleaning was associated with more reduced risk compared to never having teeth cleaned/scraped or occasionally having it performed. The study looked at over 100,000 people and found that if either a dentist or dental hygienist scraped and cleaned teeth those people in that group had a 24% lower risk of a heart attack and a 13% lower risk of a stroke when compared to those who never had a dental cleaning performed. The people in the study were followed for an average of 7 years. The study was conducted using data from the Taiwan National Health insurance data base. One of the researchers was Emily (Zu-Yin) Chen, M.D., cardiology fellow at the Veterans General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, who stated “Protection from heart disease and stroke was more pronounced in participants who got tooth scaling at least once a year.” She went on to further address how tooth scaling appears to reduce inflammation-causing bacterial growth which can potentially lead to stroke or heart disease. As discussed […]

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Cluster Headache Features and Therapeutic Options

A review article titled “Cluster Headache: Clinical Features and Therapeutic Options” written by Charly Gaul, Hans-Christoph Diener, and Oliver M. Muller published in Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (vol. 108, issue 33, pages 543-549, 2011) provides an interesting look on new options for those with a chronic refractory cluster headache. The article discusses how 120,000 people in Germany are affected by cluster headache. The attacks are in the periorbital area on one side and last 90 minutes on average. The attacks often posses a circadian and seasonal rhythm. The author lists the diagnostic criteria for cluster headache as from the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-II). First line drugs for treatment include verapamil and cortisione or lithium and topirmate. In addition, short term relief can be obtained by local anesthetics and steroids along the course of the greater occipital nerve. I have taken verapamil as discussed over at http://www.teethremoval.com/ndph.html and also had lidocaine injected into my occipital nerve as discussed over at http://www.teethremoval.com/occipital_nerve_block.html as treatment strategies after suffering from a 24/7 headache 2 days after having all 4 healthy wisdom teeth removed. I did not have a positive experience with the occipital nerve block which just led to more lasting pain and […]

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