RxISK Stories: Gambling on the side effects of antidepressants – does Pfizer play dice?

This piece by Daniel O'Sullivan was first posted on Crikey.com. Our interest was stimulated by a query to RxISK from Daniel who had been told by the Australian regulator (the TGA) that they only had one report of this. Looking for gambling in RxISK, gives 1 case in Australia, but 4 cases of pathological gambling - more than from all the rest of the world combined, and 8 cases of impulsive … [Read more...]

Speaking Engagements – updated

  21 Feb 2013 Washington, DC. Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill Panel at Selling Sickness Conference: Independent Resources for Journalists, Health Professionals and Consumers. Dr. Healy’s talk entitled Scaremongering: How RxISK.org will make Medicine Safer. (Includes discussion and demonstration of RxISK.org, the first free independent website for researching and … [Read more...]

Dance with Python: healthcare in peril

Figure 1

This is the last in what was once the BarMittzva Romba series aimed at Bar(ack) & Mitt.  These have now been renamed as a series of Dances - Dancing as fast as we can, Dance to the Music of  Time, Dancing in the Dark, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies, & Shadow Dance . Between them they reprise the plot of  Pharmageddon. In Malaysia, Dancing with Pythons is an art form. Women dance to … [Read more...]

Shadow Dance: is alcohol safer and more effective than SSRIs?

This is the fifth in the Dance series tackling the crisis in healthcare We have dug a deep hole. The regulatory hoops through which a company has to jump are now so minimal that it would be easy for us to get alcohol, nicotine, benzodiazepines or opiates on the market as antidepressants. Opiates in fact have a much better track record than SSRIs for treating severe depression - melancholia. … [Read more...]

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies: how prescription only keeps doctors’ healthy and wealthy but not wise

This is the fourth in the Dance series that tackles the crisis in healthcare. In 1962, politicians attempting to put things right in the pharmaceutical sector accidentally created the perfect raw material for drug development, and the basis to transform this raw material into  the perfect product. But to complete the perfect market needs one extra element - a perfect consumer. By continuing an … [Read more...]

Dancing in the Dark: how patents make drugs the perfect objects of desire

This is the third of six posts in what was the BarMittzva Romba series, now a dance series. A further step taken in 1962 made it possible to shape the raw material from clinical trials into the perfect product. This development hinged on the strategy chosen to reward pharmaceutical companies. In 1962, the options were to offer product, or process patents for drugs or some other form of reward … [Read more...]

Dance to the Music of Time: how clinical trials help pharma invent data

This is the second post in a 6-part what was the  BarMittzva Romba series, now a dance series. Every product is built from a raw material. The raw material puts constraints on a product developer. There may be difficulties fashioning the product from the material, or the material may be costly or scarce. There is the delicate matter of how the mark-up from raw ingredient to product is perceived … [Read more...]

Dancing as fast as we can: the crisis in healthcare

This is the first of 6 Dance posts that cover the role of pharmaceuticals in the current healthcare crisis.  It is based on Pharmageddon.  In succeeding posts the role of clinical trials, patents, and prescription only status will be covered.  The first five posts have been renamed from BarMittzva Romba; this combination of Bar(ack) and Mitt seems to have been too clever for its own good.  We … [Read more...]

RxISK Stories: Weight gain on thyroxine

This blog post has first been published on the RxISK.org website. If you would like to comment on this post, please do so using this link. If there is one thing most doctors think they know its that weight gain can be caused by an underactive thyroid and having an overactive thyroid leads to weight loss. So the thyroid hormone, thyroxine, will lead to weight loss. And magazines, newspapers and … [Read more...]

RxISK Stories: Smoke & Pfizer get in your eyes

This blog post has first been published on the RxISK.org website. If you would like to comment on this post, please do so using this link. On March 15, Out of My Mind was published on davidhealy.org. This was one of the first RxISK stories. At the moment it is the blog post that has attracted the most comments. The comments are worth reading - there is close to universal recognition of … [Read more...]

RxISK Stories: The Myth of the Magic Bullet – Flox Tox

This blog post has first been published on the RxISK.org website. If you would like to comment on this post, please do so using this link. In July this year, Antimicrobrial Agents & Chemotherapy had an article - Fluoxetine is a Potent Inhibitor of Coxsackievirus Replication by Zuo J, Quinn KK and colleagues. "No antiviral drugs currently exist for the treatment of enterovirus infections, … [Read more...]

RxISK Stories – Facts about FACS

This blog post has first been published on the RxISK.org website. If you would like to comment on this post, please do so using this link. Janet's Story I was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 14. After trying different drugs my seizures were controlled by a combination of Phenytoin (Epanutin) and Sodium Valproate (Epilim). What they didn’t tell me was that Sodium Valproate carried the … [Read more...]