Wednesday, December 22, 2004

A correction; and healthy skepticism at last!

Yesterday we posited the idea that there was a media script for the "confused consumer" who did not know how to handle the news about Vioxx, Celebrex, Naproxen, etc. We are happy to say that we are wrong about this, as the script has been revised along lines we approve, namely the pissed off consumer.

We saw in yesterday's Wall Street Journal an article (free to subscribers only) about people with pain who were not happy about having the option to weigh risks versus benefits taken out of their hands. Similarly, while listening to NPR's Talk of the Nation, we heard John Klippel (heading of "Treating Pain"), president and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation, make the same case. OK, the Arthritis Foundation Supporters Page clearly shows that it's in Pharmas pocket. Still, a broken clock is right twice daily (cliche watch).

An article in today's New York Times shows us some healthy skepticism from members of Congress, particularly Republican, concerning the results of the Bush Administration's study on the safety of drug re-importation. Really, where do people think those Canadian drugs come from, anyway? And what would they find if they performed the same kind of study on drugs processed through the world's largest "repackaging" facility in Bentonville Arkansas (guess for whom?). If they don't take the Administration seriously on this, why did they swallow the $400 million pricetag for the Medicare Modernization Act (drug bill)?

On the subject of drug safety and the FDA's role in policing, I want to recommend Philip Hilts' history, Protecting America's Health. As I state in my Amazon reading list, while reading about the patent medicine era, consider how many conservatives/libertarians want us to return to those days, having the marketplace weed out the bad actors and products, after we can no longer ignore the bodies piling up on the streets.

Shop happy. I hate slamming into annoyed people in the mall.

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