December 8, 2009 |
One of the great frustrations of the libertarian-minded right is how Republicans got stuck being "the party of big business." The quotation marks around the term are at least somewhat necessary because, in many respects, it's not true. The notion that big business is "right wing" has always been more sloppy agitprop than serious analysis. It's true that historically, big business is against socialism and communism -- and understandably so. Socialism and communism were once close to synonymous with expropriation of wealth and the nationalization of industry.
August 9, 2009 |
With the pharmaceutical companies at the bargaining table on healthcare reform, and Congress considering new restrictions on drug advertising, it may pay to bone up on some facts about the industry with the following quiz: 1. What percentage of Americans over the age of 65 take at least one prescription drug on a daily basis? a. 20% b. 40% c. 60% d. 75% 2. In 2005, what percentage of all continuing medical education for physicians was paid for by Pharma?
May 16, 2009
Re "Debate heats up over public healthcare," May 10 As a fourth-year medical student set to become a family physician in June, I am quite upset to hear President Obama lauding the various corporate players in his health reform game over their "concession" that would save us "trillions" over the next few years. Clearly, their gift is a last-ditch effort to preserve their own bottom lines and has nothing to do with working toward reform. We need real reform, not public relations stunts.
March 25, 2009 |
Recently, as pharmaceutical companies engaged in another of their periodic benders of merger-mania, I spoke to a group of students at Scripps College in Claremont. The students were in exactly the demographic the industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to woo with drugs for attention-deficit disorder, depression and bipolar illness. And they weren't happy. The students' beef with Big Pharma is simple. The drugs don't work that well, or, if they do, only for a short while.
March 10, 2009 |
Big Pharma got bigger on Monday with Merck Co.'s announcement that it would acquire rival Schering-Plough Corp. in a cash-and-stock transaction worth $41.1 billion. And the deal is being made easier by U.S. taxpayers. Faced with tough competition from generics, fewer potential blockbuster drugs in development and the prospect of a government overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system, drug makers are consolidating. In January, the world's largest pharmaceutical company, Pfizer Inc.
November 13, 2008
Re "A new front on heart disease," Nov. 10 I am not impressed with the results of the study of the statin drug rosuvastatin (Crestor) presented at the recent meeting of the American Heart Assn. The only significant statistic to consider in this study is the "absolute risk reduction," which was only 1.2%: 120 people would have to take the drugs for two years to prevent one heart attack, stroke or death. A proven treatment plan that would reduce the risk and possibly prevent or reverse cardiovascular diseases consists of a whole-foods, plant-based diet with minimal or no animal or dairy products, maintaining normal weight and moderate exercise, such as walking 30 minutes daily.