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Latest Posts

Powerful Acne Drug Forced Off Market By Lawsuits

Effective-Acne-Treatment-Severe-Nodular-AcneThe physical scars will be nothing compared to the emotional scars that will haunt the children.   I recently read  that the effective acne treatment Accutane was pulled off the market this summer quietly ending access to an excellent and effective acne treatment for millions of self conscious teens and young adults.  Accutane, or isotretinoin as it’s known, was used to treat severe nodular acne.

It turns out that Accutane was linked to inflammatory bowel disease, and other side effects resulting in thousands of lawsuits.  It spent twenty five years on the market embroiled in controversy.

Approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1982, Accutane has been the subject of controversy for years. It first garnered attention in the late eighties for causing severe birth defects. It has also been known to cause psychiatric problems, and has been linked to hundreds of cases of suicide in the United States. Accutane has also been associated with problems of the liver, kidneys, central nervous system, and pancreas, as well as the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and auto-immune systems.

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*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*

Caught By FDA: Supplement Manufacturers Boost Efficacy By Adding Real Drugs To Mix

Stiff Nights.jpgI should probably create a new blogpost category just for erectile dysfunction dietary supplements adulterated with authentic or synthetic analogs of prescription phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors (e.g., Viagra, Cialis).

However, FDA has already created a page for this earlier this year after dozens of companies have been identified as putting real drugs into their erectile dysfunction products.

Do the brains behind these companies not realize that FDA is now monitoring every erectile dysfunction supplement for all manner of PDE5 inhibitors?

Apparently not: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Terra Sigillata - PostRank (PostRank: All)*

Andrew Weil Sent Warning Letter By FDA For Selling Snake Oil Flu Remedies

Dr. Weil is often seen as the smiling “mainstream” of alternative medicine. He’s a real doctor (unlike, say, Gary Null), and much of what he advocates is standard and uncontroversial nutritional advice. But Weil illustrates the two biggest problems with so-called alternative medicne: once you’ve decided science is dispensible, the door is open to anything, no matter how insane; and no matter how altruistic you may start, sooner or later you start selling snake oil. Most doctors out there are working hard to help their patients prevent and overcome disease use the available evidence.  Others decide that science is too constraining and start practicing at the periphery of knowledge, throwing plausibility and ethics to the wind.

The fact that Weil claims to donate to charity all of his ill-gotten gains does not mitigate the harm he causes. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*

Should Halloween Contact Lenses Be Prescription-Only?

That depends on if you can afford to get them.  Costume lenses are all the rage for Halloween by adding an exciting dimension to the costume wearer.   But did you know it’s illegal to market them as over the counter?

Many consumers do not realize that they are FDA- regulated medical devices, and that recent legislation has made it illegal to market them as over-the-counter products. Still, they are commonly available in costume shops, beauty shops, convenience stores, novelty shops, and other places that people shop for Halloween items, as well as over the Internet.

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*This blog post was originally published at A Happy Hospitalist*

FDA Gets Tough With Misleading Food Labels

Food Aisle 2The next time you head down the food aisle, check out the front food labels.

The front of food labels or front-of-packages (FOP) are misleading and often confusing, leading the consumer to believe that the food they are about to buy is healthy, when in fact it is not.

In a recent post, Healthy Eating? Find Out What Could Be Hiding In Your Foods, I asked the question if we need to be detectives to find out what’s hiding in our foods.

Unless you turn the package over to read the list of ingredients, it’s impossible to tell. The front of the food label is constructed in such a creative way. Words and symbols highlight the product as healthy. It captures your attention and it gives you the impression that the food you are about to buy is good for you, but it is not. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*

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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