Big Pharma

Pharmaceutical companies can be good and bad – here we’ll try to report any significant news on their unexpected impact on your health.

Latest News

Times Book Review: Too Many Pills – The Times – 27-May-2018
Polypharmacy can have more complications than the illnesses prescribed for.
When a doctor discontinued 320 nursing home drugs the number of deaths halved.
Big Pharma supports academic theory that you need to treat people who might get sick.
You have to treat 1,000 people with mild hypertension to prevent one stroke.

We Need a Different Approach to Drug Discovery – Fortune – 12-Mar-2018
Discovery of new cardiovascular medicines at lowest point in decades.
Need a more focused medicines approach.
Trials should combine technology and real-world evidence to accelerate development.
Current ecosystem doesn’t readily recognize scientifically robust subgroup data.
Payers, regulators, policymakers, and industry need to challenge old paradigms.

Predicting mirror image of drug compounds can save money – BBC News – 5-Jan-2018
Researchers developed an algorithm to test whether drugs are likely to undergo racemisation.
Racemisation creates mirror images of the chemical compounds.
One of these enantiomers may prevent certain drugs from binding in people’s bodies.
Instead of having the desired effect, drugs can become less potent or have an adverse effect.
Prediction can identify problem molecules early in development to save money.

Doctors promoting treatments on social media fail to disclose ties to drug makers – STAT – 29-Feb-2016
US physicians often fail to mention that they have accepted thousands of dollars from the companies that make the prescription drugs they tout.
E.g. internist posts on Facebook about the positive effects of a cholesterol drug manufactured by a company that paid him nearly $60,000.
Not legally obligated to disclose payments from drug companies.
Studies have shown payments from drug makers do influence prescribing.

Big Pharma costs hundreds of thousands of lives with biased info – Independent – 24-Feb-2016
King’s Fund health think tank claims there is a systemic lack of transparency in the information being given to doctors.
Benefits of drugs exaggerated and their side effects under reported.
Prescribed drugs are 3rd biggest killer after heart disease & cancer.
Need full access to the raw data from clinical trials for independent scrutiny.

Efficacy of new drugs compared to older ones not dramatic – Formulary – 04-Jul-13