As a patient, you probably see lots of hype-filled reports about various drugs. After a drug is approved, there’s an inevitable blitz of negative publicity which often scares people away from important new solutions that could help them.
There has been so much news lately about Multaq (dronedarone), the drug designed to provide the benefits of amiodarone but with fewer risks. This drug is important to people with afib, especially those with heart disease whose choices are limited, so it’s time to put into context for patients what has transpired in the two years since FDA approval.
These two companion articles provide an in-depth analysis into issues that have been reported about Multaq, including whether it can cause: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Atrial Fibrillation Blog*
This has been a busy time for my family as my daughter, Ruthie, has just graduated from high school. Because we live in a close-knit, fairly small town, we were all zipping around in the days afterward attending graduation parties. We knew many of the 400 or so young people who graduated. In most cases they are blessed with good health and the prospect of a fun summer followed by a college education. But the health picture isn’t sunny for all of them.
I heard this story at one of the parties this weekend: A leader of the senior class, who had leukemia as a child and received many heavy-duty medicines to cure it, is now facing a kidney transplant. His kidney function numbers have taken a nose dive. Usually the wait for a transplant would be a couple of years or more and dialysis for a teenager. In the meantime, this would totally disrupt his life. But there is another way. We’ve talked about it very recently in our videos about kidney transplant: receive a donated kidney from someone who is living.
That is exactly what is happening. The young man will receive a kidney from Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Andrew's Blog*
Gene Goldwasser died last week. He was 88, and he was my friend.
I wrote previously about a series of conversations I conducted with Gene and Rabbi A.J. Wolf a few years ago. I met Gene one spring day after calling to invite him to sit in on a class I was teaching to a small group of medical students about social issues in healthcare.
I’d read about him in a book called “The $800 Million Pill,” by Merrill Goozner. In the book, Goozner writes the story of Gene’s two-decade hunt to isolate the hormone erythropoietin (EPO).
Part of the story relates how Gene tried to interest traditional big pharma companies in his discovery, only to be brushed aside. Instead, Gene wound up sharing his discovery with what became Amgen. The company went on to make a windfall from recombinant production of the hormone and licensing it as a drug for patients with anemia and kidney failure. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*