Thursday, December 16, 2004

A few new links for today....

Today we're keeping it simple, providing some links to interesting reading. With apologies to James Taranto and the Daily Howler, we are also adopting the first person plural.

First up, we have the NIH admitting to flubbing safety standards in African trials for nevirapine, trying to reduce mother-baby transmission. What is disturbing here from our perspective is that the NIH performs so much of the basic science that brings us new medications - we would hate to see Congressional rats drag this organization over the coals, the way they tried to dismantle the FDA after the Republican takeover. The NIH contribution to drug development is not as well known as it should be, but some recent books are trying.

Next up, an article in the Washington Post (we like to link to them, because they don't yank access to articles after seven days, like SOME publications we could name) about choosing the sex of your baby by genetically examining the embryos before implantation. Nothing about drugs here - we were just appalled at the bitch mom who states "My husband is a 'Junior' and has a family business that he wants to continue in the family name...I'm excited, [w]e always wanted a boy" with the picture showing her surrounded by her three unworthy daughters. This reminded us of articles that appeared a few months ago in various places about "missing" tens of millions of girls in China and India. Unfortunately, they aren't missing because of genetic testing - they are aborted more frequently now due to increased access to ultrasound machines in rural areas. Since the fetus has to be far along to see the sex on ultrasound, we're talking about a LOT of second term or later abortions. It's all about devaluing girls.

Lastly, we cannot resist the urge to make crash-test dummy jokes about the Consumer Union's new website comparing drugs in the same therapeutic class, like NSAIDs and PPIs. Seriously though, this sort of information is invaluable, until non-placebo controlled trials are mandated, as they should be.

We would also like to note that to gin up some publicity, we have posted a couple of book reviews on Amazon, hoping to lure a few innocent pairs of eyeballs to this blog, as well as a "Listmania" list. Let me know if it works.

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