The FDA and Medical Fraud missing from Public Record

Press Play > to listen to the recording

Science-Friday banner image
Faked X-rays, fabricated data, unreported amputations… those are just a few examples of the medical misconduct discovered during Food and Drug Administration inspections. Science Friday interviews Charles Seife.

In his recent investigation about the FDA, fraud and misconduct in scientific studies of medicine, Charles Seife – Journalist, author, NYU professor – and his students revealed that the FDA routinely fails to report evidence of fraud or misconduct when it inspects the way researchers conduct clinical trials, leaving the public unaware of which research is credible and which is not.
Press Play > to listen to the recording.

Sources and more information

  • Are Your Medications Safe?, slate, Feb. 9 2015.
  • Research Misconduct Identified by the US Food and Drug AdministrationOut of Sight, Out of Mind, Out of the Peer-Reviewed Literature, JAMA Intern Med. Published online, doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7774, February 09, 2015.
  • The FDA doesn’t tell you when it finds scientific fraud, theverge, February 9, 2015.
  • FDA fails to report fraud in clinical trials – study, Reuters, February 10, 2015.
  • Medical Fraud Missing From Public Record, sciencefriday, FEB. 13, 2015.
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Menopause Transition: most Women experience Hot Flashes, Night Sweats for over 7 Years

Duration of Menopausal Vasomotor Symptoms Over the Menopause Transition

menopause Hot Flashes image
Research suggests that those with early and frequent menopause symptoms can expect them to last seven years

The menopause is part of the natural ageing process and is caused by a change in the balance of the body’s sex hormones.
Frequent menopausal vasomotor symptoms (VMS), including hot flashes and night sweats, lasted for more than seven years during the transition to menopause for more than half of the women in a large study and African-American women reported the longest total VMS duration, according to a new article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Women who experienced hot flashes and night sweats at a younger age tended to have them last longer, the study found, as did women with less education and greater levels of stress.

Sources and more information

  • Hot Flashes, Night Sweats Last for 7+ Years in Many Midlife Women, JAMA Internal Medicine Releases for February 16, 2015.
  • Duration of Menopausal Vasomotor Symptoms Over the Menopause Transition, doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8063, articleid=2110996, JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 16, 2015.
  • Vasomotor Symptom Duration in Midlife Women—Research Overturns Dogma, doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.8099, articleid=2110993, JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 16, 2015.

Do anti-depressant medications work the way they are supposed to?

The science behind commonly used anti-depressants appears to be backwards

Mc Master University campus image
The science behind commonly used anti-depressants appears to be backwards says Mc Master University researchers

The science behind many anti-depressant medications appears to be backwards, say the authors of a paper that challenges the prevailing ideas about the nature of depression and some of the world’s most commonly prescribed medications.

We are taking people who are suffering from the most common forms of depression, and instead of helping them, it appears we are putting an obstacle in their path to recovery” said lead author Paul Andrews, assistant professor of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour at McMaster University.

Sources and more information

  • The science behind commonly used anti-depressants appears to be backwards, McMaster University, February 17, 2015.
  • Is serotonin an upper or a downer? The evolution of the serotonergic system and its role in depression and the antidepressant response, ScienceDirect, doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2015.01.018, 24 January 2015.

When someone has a Miscarriage: 8 Do’s and Dont’s for Pharmacists

Written by Crazy RxMan, February 14, 2015

Advice from a Pharmacist: What YOU can do when someone has a miscarriage

Two days ago was Valentine’s Day, a day of love and the celebration of love. There were many babies conceived that night, but not all will be born. And that’s why I share my thoughts with you today… advice from a pharmacist FOR pharmacists, but the same ideas are for anyone who knows the mother of an angel.

pharmacist-hug image
Often its the patient trust for the pharmacist and she wants a shoulder to lean on and a listening ear. You’ll want to hug her and hold her and console her if she’s willing. Image via timesunion.

A few years ago I had a close friend lose a baby. She was so thrilled and so happy. I look at photographs of her at the time and her face was just beaming. It was so thrilling and exciting. But tragedy started when she started to spot. She reached out to me for help and I didn’t know what to do. I am a doctor of pharmacy, but I didn’t know what to do. It was all very heart-wrenching and sad, and I just can’t believe that I didn’t know what to do and didn’t try to help her. To this day and with all my heart I regret my actions (and inaction) at the time.

As pharmacists, we are in a unique position as healthcare providers, especially community and/or retail pharmacists. We are literally open to the public every day and have a responsibility to help those in need. Although not very common, there are occasions where you will encounter a patient that recently had or is having a miscarriage. They often come to the pharmacist for advice because we are so accessible and are in the top five most trusted professions. We have a duty to be ready to help in any way we can.

As pharmacists we know what medications to avoid in pregnancy. We can also recommend anxiety medications, depression medications, and even know what the doctor needs to prescribe if the bleeding gets out of hand, but… that’s academic. Often its the patient trust for the pharmacist and she wants a shoulder to lean on and a listening ear. But what do you say? Our training is in medication, not psychology.

Here’s some hints and tips from what I’ve learned:

  1. If you’re in the pharmacy, take her to a quiet spot… the waiting room, or somewhere private away from the noise and listening ears. You want to give her 100% of your focus and time. The metrics can wait. THIS is no longer about some guy getting his generic Lipitor filled in 3.5 minutes. This is a genuine opportunity to help someone, and that’s WHY you went into pharmacy in the first place.
  2. LISTEN to her. What she’s going through right now is uniquely tragic to her. This is something she may have never experienced before and the depths of complete despair are deep. She wants to unleash her feelings of sadness and disappointment. Let her do it and be supportive. Let her direct the conversation. Don’t interrupt.
  3. NEVER say something like “You can try again” or “Everything happens for a reason.” Why? Because you don’t know that. You don’t know the situation, and moreover, the little spirit and life that was lost cannot just be replaced like a car part. He or she was a unique individual with his or her own personality. You wouldn’t suggest to your grandmother that she can “try again” when grandpa passes away, would you? No. Let her grieve and mourn the unique soul that was lost.
  4. Don’t say “I know how much it hurts.” Instead, listen to her as she tells you how much it hurts. Even if you’ve had a miscarriage yourself, you still don’t know her unique situation. Be gentle, be kind. Pain of the heart is the worst kind of pain. She may dream about the loss all night long, then wake up and think about it all day long, wondering what she did wrong, wondering why God kept her from having children, wondering “Why me?” until she cries herself to sleep at night. Empathize with that pain.
  5. Don’t say “It’s part of Mother Nature’s or God’s plan.” That may very well be, or it may be that God wanted her to have that baby just as much as she did. We don’t know everything about this life. It’s a good bet we know even less how it works on the other side. If she is having a crisis of faith, be supportive and try to understand it from her point of view as she finds answers for herself. You couldn’t possibly have answers in this regard, only opinions, and she doesn’t need those.
  6. NEVER tell her to stop feeling sorry for herself. A little life, full of love and personality, was just lost. She will always, always wonder what this little person could have been in her life, someone to hold and cherish and raise. That’s NOT something you just get over. In fact, you NEVER get over it, you only deal with the pain. So never say anything like that. A better thing to say is “Nothing in the world could have prepared you for this and I’m so sorry you have to go through it.”
  7. If would be easy to just say you can’t imagine their pain. Instead of that, try to imagine what it would be like to have a little person growing inside you. Imagine the excitement, thinking of a baby name, buying little socks, building a crib, etc. Then imagine that all taken away from you. Now do you understand why this is so hard on her? Now you’ll want to hug her and hold her and console her if she’s willing.
  8. Refer as necessary to people and organizations equipped for this tragedy. A good place to start is HERE.

I don’t pretend to an expert on the subject, but I’m a pharmacist and as a healthcare provider, I want to be ready for the next time this happens to me. You may never have this happen to you, but be prepared in case it does happen!

Also remember…

A Dad Hurts Too
a-dad-hurts-too image
Advice from a Pharmacist: What YOU can do when someone has a miscarriage.

 

Mastectomy Lingerie: discover Lorna Drew new Collection

Due to customer demand, Lorna Drew launched their first mastectomy collection in early February 2015.

Mastectomy-Collection image
One of the biggest hurdles women face after breast removal is finding a bra that works for their new body shape.
Mastectomy felt like a natural next step in expansion for the Lorna Drew brand.

Due to customer demand, Lorna Drew launched their first mastectomy collection in early February 2015. That decision I am sure, will make lots of women – dealing with breast cancer – happy.

We have seen another year of growth in sales for our maternity brand collection which got me to think about how best to move our company forward,” said the designer and brand’s namesake, Lorna Drew. “Mastectomy lingerie was something that we are continuously being asked for by our stockists. Some of them were already selling our Nursing bras to their Mastectomy customers, due to the fact that our nursing bras already had pockets in place for breast pads which were being used to fit their prosthetics instead.”

Sources and more information

How to Measure a Medical Treatment’s Potential for Harm

Sometimes, the chance of a medical treatment’s harm can be greater than the potential for benefit…

man walking drawing
Knowing a medical therapy’s potential for benefit is not enough., we must also consider potential harms.

Not every person who takes a medication will suffer a side effect, just as not every person will see a benefit. And sometimes, the chance of harm can be greater than the potential for benefit…

For instance, for about every 1,500 women assigned to get mammography screening for 10 years, one might be spared a death from breast cancer (though she’d most likely die of some other cause). But about five more women would undergo surgery and about four more would undergo radiation, both of which can have dangerous, even life-threatening, side effects…

Continue reading How to Measure a Medical Treatment’s Potential for Harm,
nytimes, FEB. 2, 2015.

Related post: Can This Treatment Help Me? There’s a Statistic for That,
nytimes, JAN. 26, 2015.

Journée internationale du cancer de l’enfant

Découvrez “Eva Pour La Vie”

Les enfants sont les grands oubliés du financement de la recherche contre le cancer. L’association “Eva pour la vie” veut faire changer la loi – 50000 signataires en France.

En savoir plus
  • Avec 500 décès par an, le cancer est la première cause de mortalité des enfants par maladie. Pourtant, moins de 2% des fonds dédiés à la recherche anti-cancer sont alloués aux cancers pédiatriques.
    Vidéo publiée le 16 Mar 2013 par la chaine Evapourlavie.
  • Journée internationale du cancer de l’enfant, evapourlavie.
  • Les besoins des enfants oubliés , ParisMatch, 15 février 2015.
  • Cancer de l’enfant : le besoin d’interpeller les décideurs politiques, lachaineducoeur, 13/02/2015.
  • Cancer chez l’enfant : le scandale, laprovence, 12/02/2015.
  • À qui profite le règlement pédiatrique européen?, Prescrire, 28 novembre 2012 .
  • Découvrez nos post tagués Nicole Delepine.
  • Regardez cette liste de vidéos sur la recherche sur notre chaine YouTube.

The Imitation Game, based on the real life story of Alan Turing, official UK trailer

Alan Turing had finally been granted a pardon for his conviction for homosexuality

In The Imitation Game, Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal.

More about the movie

  • Alan Turings name restored with film about his work, life and identity,
    oddonion, ovember 14, 2014.
  • Budget 2014: Alan Turing Institute to lead big data research,
    oddonion, March 19, 2014.

More about Alan Turing posthumous pardon

  • Alan Turing granted Royal pardon by the Queen, telegraph, 24 Dec 2013.
  • Grant a pardon to Alan Turin, epetitions, Closing:23/11/2012.
  • Government rejects a pardon for computer genius Alan Turing, the guardian, 7 February 2012.
  • How Alan Turing Finally Got a Posthumous Apology, radar, September 17, 2009.
  • PM apology after Turing petition, BBC News, 11 September 2009.
  • Gordon Brown: I’m proud to say sorry to a real war hero, telegraph, 10 Sep 2009.
Even more
  • Pardon all of the estimated 49,000 men who, like Alan Turing, were convicted of consenting same-sex relations under the British “gross indecency” law (only repealed in 2003), and also all the other men convicted under other UK anti-gay laws, change.org, Feb 10, 2015.
  • Our posts tagged Alan Turing, who was chemically castrated by means of DES in 1952.
  • Video published on 27 Jan 2015 by UICC channel.
  • Watch more media videos on @DES_Journal YouTube channel.

National Day of Action on Valentines Day to show our support for the NHS

Don’t be a Secret Admirer !

NHS-Day-of-Action
Image via @999CallforNHS. Watch @DES_Journal diaporama and health posters album on Flickr.

999 Call for the NHS is calling for a National Day of Action on Valentine’s Day 14th February 2015 to show our support for the NHS.

All NHS campaign groups are invited to organise rallies and protests on this day to show support for their local NHS services, and oppose the governments privatisation agenda. Groups could hold a rally in their town, march from their local hospital to the town hall or town centre, hold a showing of the film Sell-Off, or protest at a bank involved in the PFI scam.

  • You can sign this petition on change.org.
  • 999 Call for the NHS is calling for a National Day of Action on Valentine’s Day 14th February 2015 to show our support for the NHS, 999callfornhs.
  • All our posts tagged SaveOurNHS.
On Flickr®

Happy Valentine’s Day NHS founder Nye Bevan!

Let’s put Nye Bevan, founder of the NHS, on our £20 notes!

Nye-Bevan-NHS-founder image
The National Health Action Party, a political party formed by doctors, nurses, paramedics and ordinary people who’ve come together to defend and improve the NHS, believe featuring Aneurin Bevan on our £20 banknote is a fitting tribute.

Aneurin Bevan, chief architect of the National Health Service, was one of the most important ministers of post-war Britain. A lifelong champion of social justice and the rights of working people, he established the NHS in 1948 as the world’s first universal healthcare system, funded from general taxation, publicly provided and free at the point of need.

Despite the economic hardships of the immediate post-war period, Bevan was determined that the new National Health Service should give the very best care to all the people equally, irrespective of how rich or poor they were.

For almost seven decades now, the NHS has served Britain in the same spirit that Bevan himself set forth in his account of its founding, ‘In Place of Fear’:
“… no society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means.”

National polls consistently name the National Health Service as the thing that makes most people proud to be British. It reflects the diversity of our country, caring for and staffed by people from a multitude of races and backgrounds. The 70th anniversary of the founding of the NHS in 2018 is the ideal time to recognise its founder. We believe featuring Aneurin Bevan on our £20 banknote is a fitting tribute.

  • You can sign this petition on change.org.
  • 999 Call for the NHS is calling for a National Day of Action on Valentine’s Day 14th February 2015 to show our support for the NHS, 999callfornhs.
  • All our posts tagged SaveOurNHS.
On Flickr®