Sunday, December 21, 2014

SEPTA's suit against Gilead raises bigger questions

Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 5:30 AM
Last week the regional transportation authority in this area, SEPTA, filed suit against pharmaceutical company Gilead for its “exorbitant pricing” of Sovaldi, a product to treat hepatitis C. SEPTA is a self-funded organization that covers the health benefits for its employees and their... Read more

Vitriolic or naive: Pharma as film noir

Monday, December 8, 2014, 12:17 PM
What a difference a day makes. Last week's posting presented some speculation as to why the board at Sanofi might have fired CEO Chris Viehbacher. The core argument was that the board may have dismissed Viehbacher for committing the unpardonable sin of trying to break pharma’s cartel by agreeing... Read more

Insulin pen users: dial-up then push button

Thursday, December 4, 2014, 8:39 AM
If you have diabetes and take insulin using an insulin pen, you may be one of many who are not using the pen correctly. Many insulin pens have a dial on one end of the pen to “dial-up the dose” (Figure 1, top). That same end has a button that needs to be pushed so the dose can be delivered... Read more

Explanations for firing Chris Viehbacher look flimsy

Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 9:16 AM
As unexpected activities at work preempted regular postings during the past several weeks, this piece will provide a catch-up on a prominent story that animated the pharmaceutical industry in October and November. The board of French-based Sanofi, the world's fifth largest pharma (based on sales)... Read more

Ticking sound with epinephrine autoinjector is normal

Thursday, November 20, 2014, 9:21 AM
Epinephrine is a medication that’s important to have on hand if you or a loved one has severe allergies to a particular substance like certain medications, bee stings, etc. The good news is the drug can be prescribed by your doctor as an autoinjector that can be carried on the person at all times... Read more

Anxiety, exhaustion plague girls in pursuit of perfection

Monday, November 17, 2014, 9:43 AM
The misguided pressure to be perfect is taking its toll on women across the globe who misinterpret the feminist movement to mean having it all and at the same time. As opportunities for lofty careers close to and through the glass ceiling are added, nothing is taken away leaving these mythical Wonderwomen... Read more

Ongoing issues that can obstruct safety at the drugstore

Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 9:43 AM
When a pharmacist dispenses a medication, especially a new one, it’s important to assure the patient has all the information they need to use the medication safely. For this reason, state boards of pharmacy in NJ, PA and DE have regulations on the books that require pharmacists to educate or... Read more

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
About this blog

Check Up covers regional health news and a wide array of healthcare topics from pharmaceutical happenings to patient safety. Read about some of our bloggers here.

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
Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. Cardiothoracic surgeon in the Philadelphia area
Amy J. Reed, M.D., Ph.D. Dual Board Certified Anesthesiologist and Surgical Intensivist
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