March 10, 2010 |
Some doctors treat patients with early-stage prostate cancer with radiation. Others favor surgery, while some advocate only close monitoring. Which approach is most successful? No one knows. When it comes to diabetes management, doctors don't have answers to key questions: At what point should insulin be started? Is it safe to lower the blood sugar to normal levels? What is the best way to monitor blood sugar control? Similarly, endocrinologists don't know what is the best way to treat patients with hyperactive thyroids.
March 1, 2010
Doctors may not agree on the need to screen children for high cholesterol, but those who do will likely want to treat kids with abnormal results. Lifestyle interventions, especially dietary changes, form the foundation of any lipid treatment plan. Fat consumption should be reduced, with less than 10% of daily caloric intake coming from saturated fats and with trans fats eliminated completely if possible. Exercise is also important. Even modest amounts of exercise, if performed regularly, can improve lipid levels.
January 26, 2010 |
Biotech giant Amgen Inc. reported a 1% profit increase for the fourth quarter of 2009, with stable sales for many of its popular drugs. The Thousand Oaks company said its drug sales in the quarter were mixed, with its colon cancer drug Vectibix showing growth. But sales of its anemia drug, Aranesp, dropped 20% in the U.S. and 8% worldwide after a study linked the medicine to increased risk of stroke, the company said. In a conference call with analysts, the company said fourth-quarter sales for Vectibix were $66 million worldwide, up 44% from $46 million a year earlier.
December 26, 2009 |
At a time when major biotech companies in California are eager for investors, Japanese pharmaceutical companies are increasingly becoming a go-to place for money to develop and sell new drugs. Japan's largest drug maker teamed up with Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. in San Diego last month to develop and sell an obesity drug that the companies think could eventually be worth $1 billion. In October, Japan's second-largest drug firm announced a $110-million payment to Medivation Inc. of San Francisco to develop and market a potential prostate cancer drug together in a deal that they hope could reach $655 million.
August 12, 2009 |
The first member of a new class of osteoporosis drugs reduced spinal fractures by about two-thirds in post-menopausal women and in men undergoing hormone-deprivation therapy for prostate cancer, according to two studies released online today by the New England Journal of Medicine. The drug, called denosumab, is the first to block production of cells called osteoclasts that break down bones, and physicians have high hopes for it because of its efficacy, ease of administration and apparent lack of severe side effects.
July 21, 2009 |
After a 50-year drought of new drugs and a string of disappointing failures of potential treatments for lupus, researchers said Monday that they have found an experimental drug that can ameliorate the symptoms of the life-threatening autoimmune disorder that afflicts as many as 1.5 million Americans.
July 14, 2009 |
Big Pharma experienced acute dizziness and irritability last month when House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) proposed rescinding the tax deduction for direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising. This is the ad segment that brought you "Viva Viagra," the Ambien CR rooster and the Cialis couple-in-the-tubs, who I sincerely hope are soon struck by lightning. The segment accounts for about $5 billion in advertising per year. This is your IRS on drugs.
January 10, 2009 |
They have four legs, fuzzy faces and udders full of milk. To the uninitiated, they look like dairy goats. To GTC Biotherapeutics Inc., they're cutting-edge drug-making machines. The goats being raised on a farm in central Massachusetts are genetically engineered to make a human protein in their milk that prevents dangerous blood clots from forming. The company extracts the protein and turns it into a medicine that fights strokes, pulmonary embolisms and other life-threatening conditions.
December 15, 2008 |
Multiple sclerosis remains a cruel medical mystery. It strikes in the prime of life and runs an unpredictable course that can end in total disability. Scientists are a long way from halting the disease entirely, but several promising drugs are in late-phase clinical trials and experts anticipate better lives for patients in the near future. "We will see many new drugs on the market and many new options for patients," says Dr.
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.