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Will Nicotine-Free Cigarettes Be Mandated By The FDA?

In the previous posting I discussed the possibility of FDA requiring that no tobacco products be allowed to emit Carbon Monoxide. While appealing in its simplicity, such a strategy may have problems in that it could be interpreted as a ban on a whole class (or classes) of tobacco products, which the legislation does not allow.

Another strategy might be to reduce the harm from tobacco by lowering the nicotine content/delivery of cigarettes down to the level at which they are no longer addictive. A form of this strategy was proposed in the 1990’s by leading tobacco researchers Professor Neal Benowitz, and Professor Jack Henningfield. The FDA legislation singles out nicotine as the only chemical that cannot be reduced to zero, but this allows FDA the right to reduce the nicotine delivery of tobacco products down to a level just above zero at which they would no longer be addictive. Read more »

This post, Will Nicotine-Free Cigarettes Be Mandated By The FDA?, was originally published on Healthine.com by Jonathan Foulds, Ph.D..

FDA, Social Media, And Second Life

You have probably heard about the Food and Drug Administration Social Media Hearing that took place last November focusing on how FDA-regulated products should use internet and social media for health-related communications. It also has an own, properly designed, online presence including Twitter streams and partners.

A week ago, I had a chance to attend a lively discussion focusing on this issue in the virtual realm of Second Life moderated by Patricia F. Anderson. I’ve seen numerous conferences in Second Life and this one was again a nice example that virtual environment is still useful when people from around the world would like to gather around and watch a presentation, then discuss it. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Stents Break The Bank And FDA Gets Bigger Budget

ACP Internist continues its look at subjects important to internal medicine. Today, we follow the money.

Evidence-based medicine
The U.S. could save one-third of the $15 billion spent on stents annually if all doctors followed COURAGE trial conclusions and used generic drugs first, and stents only if pain persists. William Boden, FACP, headed that trial, and now says that reimbursement drives clinical practice. Dartmouth’s Elliott Fisher, MD, says this “perverse incentive” doesn’t improve health care. (Wall Street Journal, CNN)

Physician reimbursement reform
Following the Food and Drug Administration’s record-breaking budget allocation, seven former agency commissioners and interest groups are still saying it’s not enough to make up for years of underfunding. Even regulated industries want more funding to boost the public perception of product safety. (ACP Internist, Los Angeles Times)

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Direct To Consumer Device Marketing Meets Social Media: Mirena House Parties And Mommy Bloggers

Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the Mirena IUD, has teamed up with the Mommy marketing site “Mom Central” to sponsor house parties to sell women the Mirena IUD.

According to a warning letter sent to Bayer by the FDA about the worded content of the events –

The Mirena program is a live presentation designed for a consumer audience of “busy moms.” The program is presented in a consumer’s home or other private setting (e.g. private restaurant party) by a representative from Mom Central (a social networking internet site) and a nurse practitioner (Ms. Barb Dehn). The Mirena program submitted to FDA also references a presentation given by a fashion stylist (Ms. Angela Hastings) that immediately follows Ms. Dehn’s presentation regarding the use of Mirena. The script of Ms. Hastings’ presentation regarding fashion tips was not submitted to FDA.

The events start with an intro by a Mom Central rep – Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Blog that Ate Manhattan*

Why Would Philip Morris Support Smokeless Tobacco Products? To Maintain Dependency On Nicotine?

The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 6 that Philip Morris and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., both parts of the Altria Group Inc., wrote to the FDA suggesting that tobacco products be ranked on their harmfulness to health. This would most likely result in smokeless tobacco products being ranked as markedly less harmful than cigarettes. Philip Morris apparently claimed the plan would have “a significant public-health benefit.” (assuming smokers took the rankings at face value and switched from more to less harmful products).

Now at face value, this sounds reasonably sensible. But when we consider that Philip Morris USA makes the vast majority of its profits from cigarette sales, and the plan would apparently reduce those sales as smokers switched to smokeless products, it is reasonable to wonder what they are playing at. Read more »

This post, Why Would Philip Morris Support Smokeless Tobacco Products? To Maintain Dependency On Nicotine?, was originally published on Healthine.com by Jonathan Foulds, Ph.D..

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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