Thursday, October 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Chantix (varenicline), thoughts of suicide/self-injury and homicide

Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 11:41 AM
FDA is moving the smoking cessation drug Chantix into the drug safety spotlight tomorrow. The agency has scheduled a joint public meeting of two advisory committees to review the current Boxed Warning and Medication Guide. Some history: In 2008, my organization, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices... Read more

Where health care is headed

Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 2:23 PM
The trend lines in U.S. health care keep getting clearer. Employers are shifting larger percentages of the coverage costs to their employees (see here). At the same time, private insurers try to evade the Affordable Care Act's prohibition against excluding people with serious or pre-existing conditions... Read more

Two myths of patient recruitment

Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 1:09 PM
An invitation recently arrived by email to attend a podcast purporting to show how promoting clinical studies in social media can seriously boost patient recruitment. The podcasts's underlying premise constitutes yet another contribution to the radically exaggerated, even misleading notion that IT... Read more

Compounded pain creams and adverse effects

Thursday, September 18, 2014, 5:30 AM
Some compounding pharmacies are preparing compounded pain creams and ointments that contain a combination of multiple potent medications. Many include drugs that can cause central nervous system depression or cardiac effects such as ketamine, baclofen, cyclobenzaprine, lidocaine, tricyclic antidepressants... Read more

Is Novartis' LCZ696 "revolutionary" or just a marginal improvement?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 1:02 PM
Over the Labor Day weekend, Novartis presented the results of a trial for its cardiovascular compound, LSC696, at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) meeting in Barcelona, Spain. Reactions to those results were the number one topic on the pharma blogosphere for several days afterward. Prior... Read more

Recommendations for preventing harm from accidental medicine poisonings in children

Wednesday, September 3, 2014, 8:53 AM
Last week, I discussed a recent study that shed light on deep-rooted causes of child poisonings with medicines. Interviews were conducted with caregivers who reported child poisonings, which gave valuable information about causes that may have been overlooked in prior studies. Based on this information... Read more

Where will pharma land when US healthcare comes apart?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 11:18 AM
The Affordable Care Act has now successfully withstood the slanders and subversions of the reactionary-right to become a permanent part of the American health care system. At the same time, recognition seems to be growing that it will do little if anything to correct the system's fundamental problem... Read more

Accidental childhood poisonings happen when medicine is not where it’s normally stored

Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 9:06 AM
A recent study provides parents with insights regarding accidental child poisonings with medicines. The purpose of the study was to identify the deep-rooted causes of accidental poisonings with medicines. To do this, the researchers conducted interviews with caregivers who reported child poisonings... Read more

Don’t confuse WartSTICK with lip balm!

Thursday, August 21, 2014, 12:29 PM
Many people are familiar with over-the-counter wart treatments. They're typically available in small bottles of a liquid with an applicator or are packaged in an aerosol container with a special application tip. But did you know there is also a wart remover that uses a formulation in the form of a... Read more

Pharma's drug development ignores narrowing formularies

Monday, August 18, 2014, 5:30 AM
For more than 50 years the me-too element of pharma was an integral part of its business model. The process involves a company developing and launching a compound that produces almost exactly the same clinical results as other products already available in that therapeutic class. In itself this me-too... Read more
About this blog

Check Up covers major health events in our region and offers everything from personal health advice to an expert look at health reform. Read about some of our bloggers here.

For Inquirer.com. Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section

Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
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