Monday, August 3, 2015


The two horsemen of pharma's apocalypse

Tuesday, January 6, 2015, 11:57 AM
During the past decade, the pharmaceutical industry abandoned most of the distinctive virtues that originally inspired many people in the Delaware Valley to spend their careers working for it. The main reason for this devolution has been pharma's slavish abandonment of its integrity while catering... Read more

The cost of assumption in medicine

Tuesday, December 30, 2014, 5:30 AM
We’ve all heard that the practice of medicine is as much an art as it is an objective science. The complexities of human biology and disease, genetic disparities and the limits of our scientific knowledge and technical abilities make this so. This reality is nowhere more apparent than in the realm... Read more

Understanding the meaning of expiration dates on drug labels

Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 11:50 AM
Drug manufacturers are required to stamp an expiration date on their products. On over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, the expiration date is often printed on the label or carton under "EXP" or stamped without ink into the bottom of a bottle, carton, or the crimp of a tube. But what does the expiration... Read more

When the law fails

Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 5:30 AM
Consider this. Imagine a heavily travelled intersection with a faulty traffic light that turns green in both directions with a certain frequency. Imagine you and your loved ones are passing through that intersection, complete in your trust that the light will ensure safe passage. A deadly collision... Read more

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
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. Anesthesiologist and Surgical Intensivist in the Philadelphia Area
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