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Archive: August, 2011

Why Pfizer brought back a heart drug from the dead and a BRIC update

Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 6:00 AM
Over the recent hurricane weekend, Pfizer presented results of a study that tested its drug Inspra (eplerenone) among heart failure (HF) patients. According to the study's principal investigator, the results were "overwhelmingly...positive." Compared to those patients who received standard medications... Read more

Pharmaceutical gray market thrives along with national drug shortage

Sunday, August 28, 2011, 2:27 PM
The national prescription drug shortage I wrote about last year has advanced to a point where there’s now rationing of some drugs, and even reports of cancer patients being turned away when a needed drug is unavailable – sometimes right in the middle of a course of chemotherapy. This public... Read more

A Hidden Benefit of Health Reform – Insurance You Can Understand

Friday, August 26, 2011, 10:51 AM
I try to follow health policy pretty closely, but some aspects of the health care system remain mysterious. For example, I don’t fully understand what’s in my own insurance policy. I’m aware that it generally covers care that is “medically necessary.” But what are the... Read more

Similarities Between Pharma's Finance Managers and the Tea Party

Wednesday, August 24, 2011, 6:00 AM
Over the past ten years pharma has lost $1 trillion of capitalization. The industry's current doldrums result from an inadequate number of new drugs that its customers feel compelled to purchase. Instead of spending more and spending more wisely to develop such drugs, finance managers at many Big... Read more

How medicines in creams, ointments and sprays can harm you

Monday, August 22, 2011, 6:00 AM
When applied, the medicines that come in creams, ointments, gels, sprays, lotions and patches will enter your body by penetrating through the skin and entering the bloodstream. They can cause side effects if you use too much of the medicine and it can happen even if the medicine is only intended to... Read more

Obamacare Loses in Court, or Does It?

Friday, August 19, 2011, 6:00 AM
The health reform law suffered a significant defeat in court last week. A federal appeals court in Atlanta ruled that its mandate requiring everyone to have health insurance is unconstitutional. Does this put Obamacare legally on the ropes? Not at all. The decision contains much more than the headlines... Read more

How to Select Which Drugs to Develop?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011, 6:00 AM
An earlier post mentioned the singular importance of product equity reviews that every branded drug company performs annually. Stated plainly, the lifeblood of branded pharma companies consists of developing new drugs that work substantially better than existing ones. At product equity review sessions... Read more

PhRMA Seeks to Repeal Rule on Testing Drug Names for Safety

Monday, August 15, 2011, 6:00 AM
If the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has its way, a federal regulation crucial to drug safety will be repealed. The current regulation authorizes the Food and Drug Administration to screen drug names as part of the drug approval process – and to react when a proposed... Read more

We May not Realize it, but Health Care is a Jobs Engine

Friday, August 12, 2011, 12:13 PM
Here’s some good economic news for a change. One sector of our economy keeps pumping out jobs. You may have guessed, it’s health care. The health care industry added 31,300 jobs in July for the biggest monthly jump since 2007. Over the past year, it has added 298,000. That’s an expansion... Read more

Report on Poverty Helps Explain Philadelphia’s High HIV Rate as City Gives Out Its Millionth Condom

Thursday, August 11, 2011, 3:22 PM
Four months after introducing its custom-labeled Freedom Condom, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health has distributed more than one million free prophylactics and is on target to give out 2.5 million this year, up from 1 million last year, the agency said Thursday. The campaign is aimed at... 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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