Monday, January 29, 2007

Take 2 Slugs In The Gut And Call Me In The Morning

I've been reading a lot about gun control lately but that's not what I want to talk about today. Between 2003 and 2004 there was a drop of 49,945 in the death rate for Americans. This would also be the same time that Vioxx was pulled from the market due to an increased risk for heart attack.

Vioxx was a billion dollar drug. A wonder that was handed to Merck on a platter from academic research. Vioxx wasn't one of the so-called breakthroughs that big pharm has to lose billions of dollars trying to develop. Professor Xie at Brigham Young U. handed the drug industry everything they needed, almost on a platter, with his paper "Xie WL, et al. Expression of a mitogen-responsive gene encoding prostaglandin synthase is regulated by mRNA splicing. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1991;88(7):2692-6."

From there the drugs Celebrex and Vioxx were developed to target the cox-2 enzyme. Clinical trials almost took longer then development. They were hailed as a wonder and since it didn't take decades to develop the drug companies turned a profit quickly.

Until they started killing people. What looks like tens of thousands of people in a year.

Guns kill 12,000 Americans each year. It looks like doctors, the FDA and the legal pharmaceutical industry kill 4 times more Americans then guns. It's no wonder the American Medical Association is big on supporting gun control. They don't like the competition.


Anonymous Adorable Girlfriend said...

This post is very slanted. I've argued time and time again that it's not the drug that causes the problem in many patients. It's a marketing issue instead. How many Americans are on drugs that they really need. That acurately address their real illness? I'd say few because we have people without problems on Celebrex and many depressed people walking around feeding it with alcohol and illegal drugs. It's a marketing issue.

I cannot run trials on people without a certain disease. Therefore, their data does not get entered into the safety database. I cannot report safety on patients who are not supposed to be getting a drug.

Jan 29, 2007, 1:55:00 PM  
Blogger RicketyFunk said...

If you haven't seen Pan's Labrynth, I'll fill you in on a scene where a guy gets his leg sawed off. Now, that's a bit on the extreme end of things, but it wasn't too long ago when people didn't have the LUXURY of popping pills in order to "feel better".
All you could do was bite a bullet while the doctor hacked away.

I'd rather avoid modern medicine's approach to immortality and just take the bullet.

Jan 29, 2007, 5:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Adorable Girlfriend said...

I agree that we can bite the bullet Rickety. However, look at how much longer people live today, how many less women die giving birth and how many diseases have been cured over the past 25 years. It's not that simple, nor should it be.

Jan 30, 2007, 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger RicketyFunk said...

But do we need all of these people living as long as they do? Do we need to keep people alive when their bodies are failing them? Emphasis on NEED.

I don't really see it as a complicated subject.

Human Life is sacred
Disease is the enemy of human life
In order to preserve the sacred, disease must be eliminated.

For many there's only one (western-modern-medicine)way to eliminate disease.

Maybe there are others.

Feb 1, 2007, 1:10:00 AM  
Blogger Dean ASC said...

I'd say fewer diseases were cured in the last 25 years then were made up in order to sell drugs during the last 10 years.

I have restless leg syndrome even as we speak.

Feb 3, 2007, 3:57:00 PM  

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