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Professor Emeritus Allen Frances, of Duke University, who was charimen of a DSM-IV task force, asks Does Pharma Have a Constitutional Right to Push Dangerous Drugs? He quickly answers with a resounding, "no," making no effort to hide his contempt for drug companies, comparing them to drug pushers, and noting that doctor prescribed drugs cause more overdose deaths than street drugs.

Once, they get FDA approval for a narrowly targeted pain killer indication, the drug companies turn loose the sales force to mislead doctors into prescribing the pain pills far more broadly than intended, in ways that have not been tested or approved and do far more harm than good.
Frances thinks we are distracted by controversy over the legalization of marijuana, which he says it not very dangerous drug, while ignoring he much more deadly drugs such as the legal opiods, promoted by "unscrupulous drug companies.

He also asserts regulatory fines for "blatantly illegal marketing practices" is being written off as a cost of doing business, and that the FDA is a "toothless pussy cat."

Frances is hoping to see drug companies hit with large financial penalties from consumer lawsuits similar to what occurred to constrain big tobacco companies, however acknowledges the pharmaceutical industry has one of the best funded and connected lobbying efforts in Washington.  

Pharma's latest claim is a thing of absolute splendor -- that it has a constitutional right of 'free speech' that allows it to market off-label indications to doctors, however misleadingly and with whatever disastrous consequences. To its great shame, the American Medical Association is supporting Pharma in this latest outrageous power grab.

Seventeen years ago, Pharma used a related restraint of trade argument to bully politicians and bureaucrats into granting it the unprecedented right to advertise directly to consumers. New Zealand is the only other developed country in the world that gives Pharma this ability to shanghai proper medical practice with slick peddling tricks.

Profressor Frances think we ought to be restricting the big pharmaceutical companies' "freedom of speech" not expanding it, saying that medical treatments should be based on science and doctors evaluations, not on marketing.  

Frances closes his impassioned essay calling for a "rightous and effective backlash" against "big Pharma" abuses. He thinks we are fighting the wrong war on drugs, and that containing the abuses of the big pharmaceutical companies should be or "number one public health priority.

I recommend this quick read to fire up your conviction and confidence that while government regulation is a good and necessary contributor to public policy which should be stronger, consumer action lawsuits as were used to constrain the tobacco industry can play a useful role as well.

Poll

Do you agree with Professor Allen Frances that big pharmaceutical companies are acting in such a way with regard to their promotion of off-label use of drugs, and heavy marketing that they are only little better than the illegal drug pushers?

56%17 votes
13%4 votes
10%3 votes
6%2 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes
3%1 votes
0%0 votes
6%2 votes

| 30 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

    by HoundDog on Tue May 27, 2014 at 08:32:20 AM PDT

  •  Wee. maybe --- if they carry a gun. Those are the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    folks with all the rights.

  •  Any sales person who encourages a physician (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Joieau, DRo, FindingMyVoice

    to use a drug off label is committing a crime and so are their superiors if they tolerate that activity.

    "let's talk about that" uid 92953

    by VClib on Tue May 27, 2014 at 08:39:54 AM PDT

    •  Could you perhaps explain this a little more (5+ / 0-)

      VClib. I thought that one a drug was approved for any reason, I doctor could use their judgement to prescribe it for off-label use.

      I'm not saying they should, and I understand and agree with this professor that "pushing" such additive drugs for off-label purposes is wrong on the part of drug companies, but it isn't technically illegal for doctors to write such prescriptions.

      It appears that it is illegal for drug companies to have their marketing forces push off label uses, but they have decided it is part of the "cost of doing business" to do it anyway and just pay the fines if they should be caught.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

      by HoundDog on Tue May 27, 2014 at 08:45:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, if off label use was totally prohibited (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mconvente, HoundDog, Joieau

        that'd be a medical catastrophe.

        As pretty much any physician would tell you . . .

      •  HoundDog - you are correct (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, Roadbed Guy, FindingMyVoice

        Once a drug has been approved any licensed physician can prescribe it for any medical reason they choose. However, the maker of the drug is prohibited from marketing it for anything other than the use on the approved FDA label. There is also the issue of reimbursement in that many insurance providers, including Medicare, won't reimburse for off label use. There is also a malpractice and medical group standard of care issue, all of which touch on off label use of drugs. All that being said off label use is rampant, in part because of the medical benefits available, and the slow and expensive pace of approvals from the FDA.

        Most new drugs approved in the US by the FDA have been available in Europe for two to four years before they are approved here. The European data is published in the top medical journals so for some drugs off label use can become a standard of care before they are approved for a specific use in the US. Exactly what is permitted marketing and what isn't is a constant point of friction between the FDA and the drug companies. If I am a drug company rep and I hand you an article from a top medical journal with peer reviewed data on an off label use of a drug I represent, is that marketing or education?

        "let's talk about that" uid 92953

        by VClib on Tue May 27, 2014 at 09:39:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks. This is consistent with what I thought. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, FindingMyVoice

          Apparently, from what I gather, the drug companies are saying it is education.

          I suspect they don't even have to drop off papers anymore than can leave the name of the website on a scrap of paper, but they seem not to mind having to pay fines, and just put that in as part of their marketing expense.

          Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

          by HoundDog on Tue May 27, 2014 at 10:56:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  According to wikipedia it's education (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib
          If I am a drug company rep and I hand you an article from a top medical journal with peer reviewed data on an off label use of a drug I represent, is that marketing or education?
          insofar as it is allowable.

          However, your post otherwise nicely illustrates the fallacy in the diary about the FDA being a lenient regulatory agency . . .

    •  Not true (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mconvente, HoundDog, Joieau, VClib

      courts have ruled the opposite way - i.e., it's NOT a crime.

    •  how about QCOR pushing Acthar? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog

      for $25k a pop for unapproved indications like MS where $.25 of prednisone will do just as well? They have been getting away with this for quite some time despite plenty of adverse publicity.  

      •  What this author seems to be saying is that the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wilderness voice

        FDA is not cracking down hard enough, and it is worth it them to do this.

        So he is hoping for big lawsuits. But who would sue in this case?  

        A consumer might but  damages would be limited to the difference in the cost, not enough to make it worth the legal fight, unless someone could win a class action suit.

        I guess this is the reason we keep hearing about "tort reform." '
        If industry can limit damages and class action suits then they may have a de facto free reign in situations like this.

        Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

        by HoundDog on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:00:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was replying to a prior comment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HoundDog

          by VClib saying this practice is illegal. As to Acthar, no consumer would sue because this ridiculous price gets paid by insurers (read: policyholders via premiums). Self-paying consumers will just buy the vastly cheaper alternative.  

          The FDA does indeed need to crack down on abusers such as this.  Pain meds are a different matter - either it works to quell pain or it doesn't and the patient will know soon enough.

          •  OK, thanks Its easy to get these replies mixed up (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wilderness voice

            Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

            by HoundDog on Tue May 27, 2014 at 12:10:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Hell, ANY Drugs, Or Medical Treatments. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, DRo, Joieau

    Hell yes.

    I think the proper question is "can society regulate pharma's constitutional right to advertise medical care?"

    If someone thinks that's off base, I'll refund what you paid for my layman's opinion.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue May 27, 2014 at 08:51:49 AM PDT

    •  I don't know how it came to be, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, HoundDog

      but we cannot watch the evening news without being bombarded by drug ads.  And the pretty pictures displayed while listing the side effects lull us into disregarding even the most severe (eg, 'which can lead to death') and encouraging  "there's a pill to fix everything".

      Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

      by DRo on Tue May 27, 2014 at 09:26:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Only Older People Watch News, and Almost All (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DRo, HoundDog

        your health spending occurs beginning around retirement.

        That's why industry was willing to allow Medicare to be created.

        I'm guessing if you watch an extreme skateboarding broadcast you won't see many medical ads.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Tue May 27, 2014 at 09:57:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  All drugs are a tradeoff (5+ / 0-)

    between effects, side-effects, alternatives and abstention.

    I'm very big on disclosure, but I like having the choices.

  •  Hi early readers. I just put up a poll. Hope it (0+ / 0-)

    doesn't look like I'm "pushing" this poll on you. I know better than that as doing that could be a "prescription" for backlash. So I'll just take my medicine on this one and chillaxe.

    Hey, I just noticed if I changed that first period to a comma, and "Hi," to "High" I could get in another drug pun. What a good thing I do not have any latent silly tendencies.

    Well, is high time I check my txt mails. Cheers.

    Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

    by HoundDog on Tue May 27, 2014 at 09:01:52 AM PDT

    •  A good poll question might be if drug companies (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog

      had a constitution right to push safe (rather than dangerous) drugs . . . .

      If so, that'd just leave us to quibble about the gray area in between.

      •  Yes, I should have thought of that Roadbed. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy

        Because you know I much I love quibbling. Can't get enough of that.  (humor alert.)

        Yes, you are right. That was the most important idea in the post, but I sort of missed by getting distracted with the easier Do you agree with  framing.

        What happened is I was trying to finish this one fast. For some reason my rate of production has fallen off dramatically. I think after having a series of post get front page recs, I'm now proof reading them more and putting more attention into writing or something.

        So I was behind sched, but thought since this one is short a poll would be nice, but then though damn, I just don't have time, I'm supposed to be packing boxes for our move to Florida.

        Then I thought hey a simple do you agree, yes, no poll I could do in 4 minutes, and I always, will think of a couple funny one just to spice it up while I'm doing it. So blammo I went with it.

        In retrospect, if I had just taken an extra 20 seconds to ask myself, Can I think of a better guestion you are getting at would have been 5 times as good, and just as easy.

        Oh, well water on the bridge.

        Thanks RG.

        How have you been? Do you have any special plans for the summer?

        Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

        by HoundDog on Tue May 27, 2014 at 09:29:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you for your explanation and interest (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HoundDog

          in my summer  plans.

          And yes I do have special plans, I plan to stay right here and take my quibbling up to 11 . . .. .

          However, in this particular case, the word "dangerous" in the title seemed to be less quibbling per se than needlessly framing the entire debate in an unnecessarily negative way from the get-go (unless you were purposefully trying to make distinctions between various types of drugs, which wasn't clear).

          Especially when the bigger issue - i.e.,  using old drugs for new purposes - overall has great (and growing) benefit

          •  Oh, let me check, RG. I just came from writing the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy

            post about President Obama's announcement of his plan for withdrawing the remaining US droops during his term.

            So I do not remember where I used the word dangerous.

            BTW I enjoy "quibbling" over wording. It's pretty much what I do all day.

            So if you meter goes up to 11, I am going to claim mine goes up to 12, because I just got a "nitro quibble booster."

            Let me check what you are talking about.

            What do you think I should have made the title.

            I prefer specific quibbles. Drop "dangerous?"

            Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

            by HoundDog on Tue May 27, 2014 at 10:47:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's just plain silly (0+ / 0-)
              So if you meter goes up to 11, I am going to claim mine goes up to 12, because I just got a "nitro quibble booster."
              Kinda like in "There's Something About Mary" when the pyscho hitch hiker is pitching his idea for 7 minute abs (to save time from 8 minute abs) and the Ben Stiller character tries to quash the idea by asking what happens if somebody then comes out with 6 minute abs.

              Bottom line, there is no more any such thing as a scale that goes up to 12 as there are "6 minute abs"

        •  Oh, that dangerous was from the authors title. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roadbed Guy

          I guess his logic if he is trying to make this sound as evil as possible, not just a constitutional issue, should corporations have free speech, but rather "do you want these evil drug pushing companies marking dangerous drugs to your kids.

          Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

          by HoundDog on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:03:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Where's the DEA when you need them? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, Egalitare


    I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cow bell!

    by glb3 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 09:06:30 AM PDT

    •  Yes, we've finally found something useful for (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glb3, wilderness voice, RMForbes

      that DEA Czar Micelle Leonhart to do.

      Thanks for reminding me glb3. I usually start my day by doing  google list on hot topics, and this morning I forgot to scan for what incredibly stupid, annoying, and oppressive things she has been up to in the last 24 hours.

      I better check. Inquiring minds want to know.

      Great line. Thanks.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

      by HoundDog on Tue May 27, 2014 at 09:20:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But that's not what the DEA is all about (0+ / 0-)

        The DEA was created originally so that the Federal Government could strip the Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights of the Nixon Administration's political rivals in the anti-war movement. The DEA was never about protecting the American people from dangerous and addictive drugs at all.

        The actual reason the DEA exists is to remove the right of some people from participating in our system of government. They are only about creating and maintaining a new form of prohibition in order to destroy the future of minorities, the poor and anyone else that are not likely to support Republican ideologies and to keep these people from voting. The DEA must be disbanded completely and the Constitutional rights and voting rights of their victims must be reinstated immediately.

        Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

        by RMForbes on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:32:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Adverse Drug Reactions [ADR] (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, DRo

    kills 100,000 people a year in-hospital according to the FDA. ADR occurs at an estimated rate of 2 million a year overall, including 350,000 nursing home patients. That's just various incompatibilities between various pharmaceuticals, not overdoses of prescription opioids.

    While physicians SHOULD be asking patients what drugs they take before prescribing anything new, they too often don't. In my own experience, both my mother and sister ended up drugging themselves into early death by insisting on taking every drug they were ever prescribed daily, forever (for side effects and side effects of side effects of actually necessary drugs, plus anything they saw advertised on TV no matter what it was for). Got to the point where they could never leave home because they couldn't carry enough drugs with them, timed intake by whatever show was on TV that hour.

    It's not so much that they were addicted to the drugs - though that's how it appeared - it was that they were addicted to the doctoring. As if they only felt alive if some guy with a stethoscope was poking and prodding and prescribing. Always hoping to be somehow 'cured' of what ailed them, but never actually feeling any better.

    Big Pharma understands the psychology very well. Counts upon it now that they can advertise directly to the public. Who never seem to listen to the fast-talking disclaimers. Like for the asthma drugs (their primary ailment) with the notable side effect of "Death By Asthma." Doesn't look much like a drug an asthmatic ought to be taking from where I sit...

    But then again, I managed to escape the too much doctoring and too many drugs trap by not having a chronic ailment that required such. I do know some people prescribed opioids for pain, though. They're forever trying to sell or give them away as if they're desirable recreational drugs in themselves. We always refuse, but it certainly appears that they have no trouble getting more before they should have taken the last of the last prescription. As if doctors don't bother to keep track. My guess is they don't. Because if they did, there would be a whole lot less of it available to recreational users not bright enough to keep from killing themselves with 'em.

    There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

    by Joieau on Tue May 27, 2014 at 09:22:24 AM PDT

    •  It is more common nowdays (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, HoundDog, Joieau

      for pharmacies to alert customers to drug interactions between drugs they are taking.  Of course, that only works if the patient is getting all their meds from the same place.  The worst thing a person can do is to get their meds from one doctor at one pharmacy and their meds from a different doctor at a different pharmacy.  If anyone is reading this and is doing that, please switch your pharmacies so that one is handling everything you are taking.  Yes, pharmacies charge different prices for drugs, but given that a bad interaction can kill you, that 'bargain' drug stops being a bargain.

      "In 20 years, the GOP will be small enough to drown in a bathtub." - me

      by estamm on Tue May 27, 2014 at 09:52:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  neither necessary nor sufficient (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau

        Anyone who is capable should read the full prescribing information for any prescribed drug, upon starting a new prescription or even if restarting an old one.  A good pharmacy may be able to tell you about interactions, but will they warn you about the interaction with grapefruit? or the dangers of restarting rifampin if you have ever taken it before?  

    •  Sorry, to hear about our mother and sister Joieau. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RMForbes, Joieau

      Thanks for your thought provoking comment. You remind me of a thought I was having this weekend with regard to this terrible shooting.

      The CNN newscaster seemed as if they were trying to egg on a little bit of indignation that the police went out to this guys house but because he acted normal they didn't pick up on his bad intentions.

      Then all of these experts came on suggesting all the different reasons why parents should be calling the police on their mentally distressed or troubled children, which doesn't sound right to me.

      The job of the police is not to help or care about troubled people, but rather determine if they represent a threat. So as I parent they are the last people I would call for help. They have the wrong purpose.

      Then you describe you Mother and sister who you think are taking all of these prescriptions because the doctors prescribing medicines are the closest thing they have to someone caring about them. But again our medical system is set up so doc appts are now becoming slotted for 20 minute or 40 minute intervals too far about to really be "caring for' patients in the way they need it.

      So it go me thinking. In the old days, isn't this one of the functions served by the priest, minister, or rabbi?

      Someone on duty, or on-call 24/7 in a community to "tend to the flock. Comforting people at a time of loss of loved ones, checking in to make sure the elderly, or sick are getting the care they need, and even providing some kind of ongoing emotional support, guidance and counseling for people like your mother and sister, or teenagers undergoing a major transititon from living at home with parents to going out into the world - as if now a high school diploma is all the prep and help one needs.

      And, they worked for extremely modest wages.

      In a pluralistic society, now with science, and also with fundamentalists becoming so intolerant many of these people are the last people we might want as general "caretakers," and I am a scientific humanist, so please don't misunderstand me.

      I'm not suggesting a back to religion movement.

      Just a wistful thought that maybe in some ways we lost, and are losing some good and even necessary functions in our social systems as we evolve beyond the old religious institutions.

      Not exactly throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but do you see what I'm saying?

      If we were playing some kind of computer game, and I'm jus making this up, but if there were a SimSocialSystem, wouldn't we want a social structure, and some roles where people could get general purpose authentic caring?

      I'f become attached to my new doctor who has been seeing me monthly to help me lose weight, and I am really surprised that do to a cancellation on her part, and a missed appt on mine, because the replacement appt was sched at an odd time, Ive missed two months of appointments and now feel a deep whole in my life.

      Like your sister an mother, going in to my 20 minute weigh in and getting to be "the good boy," or dog in this case, has somehow become one of my most important .... I don't know how to even describe it "meaningful emotional experiences?" It's not really a relationship, or maybe it is in an odd way in terms of ongoing interactions that actually connect me to our society or social system.

      So, you comment resonates with what I've been thinking and feeling - it seems almost everywhere we look we can see clues, or evidence of people who are lonely. Modern society has liberated us from so many burdensome, and even oppressive connections by giving us choices where none existed before.

      Instead of farming the same patch of land, being connected to the neighbors around us, just for everyday interactions, or common needs like water, protection, we had to form relationships, (and too often maybe trapped by them) now we can drop into any market picking up food and no even remember who the cashier was, if we even used one.

      Thanks for commenting Joieau. Sorry to go on for so long. Since have known each other for so long, and especially during that Fukushima series I feel connected to you - like you are one of my internet friends - the modern day "farmer in the next field."

      So this is just my way of saying  a friendly "hi neighbor, I guess."

       

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

      by HoundDog on Tue May 27, 2014 at 10:00:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you're right on an important (0+ / 0-)

        level. Though Mom and Sis didn't really lose contact with friends/community until they became house-bound, and even then they had each other and my other sister and her kids who visited regularly. And they both had real health problems - asthma, emphysema, and COPD - though neither actually died of those OR of drug interactions.

        I do believe they ruined what chance they had of living longer, happier lives by means of their drug/doctor dependencies. The drugs Mom was taking (including the ones for osteoporosis) caused her bones to become so fragile that when she fell one night at the end of her bed putting on pajama bottoms she broke her femur, hip, three vertebrae and both arms. At which point she deliberately starved herself to death. Her mind was fine, her body was done. Sis decided to try an 'experimental' surgery of lung reduction (why would a lifelong asthmatic want to get rid of any lung at all?), never got out of the hospital.

        Other doctors tried through the years to get them off the unnecessary meds when they were hospitalized for this or that, they took to smuggling their drugs in and taking them on the sly. I took a big box of them to their GP (the one who prescribed most of them) one time and demanded he go through the desk reference to weed out the unnecessaries. He did, but they had stockpiles and took 'em anyway. It's a serious mindset and a strange - but real - way of life. That's the "addiction-like" behavior that so befuddled me. They could only get so much doctor time, but they had the drugs right there next to them and it made them feel 'alive' even if none of them ever made them feel 'well'. Very weird, but there wasn't anything anyone could do about it. The more I tried, the meaner they got. Eventually I quit trying.

        Who can really say someone's life was "too short," and by whose measure? Though I'm pretty sure (because I've had a number of relatives live to 100+) people can certainly say their own life has been "too long"! Everybody dies of something at some point, it's just sad that some people spend their lives so afraid of death that they forget to live.

        And hiya, neighbor! §;o)

        There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

        by Joieau on Tue May 27, 2014 at 12:23:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I fixed your tags. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo

    there was a period after each tag instead of a comma, so it was all one big tag.

    Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

    by emmasnacker on Tue May 27, 2014 at 09:26:49 AM PDT

  •  If doctors knew half as much about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice, RMForbes

    nutrition and vitamins and minerals that they do about prescription drugs, our rate of prescriptions in America would plummet.

  •  Wut? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeehs, HoundDog

    This:

    Pharma's latest claim is a thing of absolute splendor -- that it has a constitutional right of 'free speech' that allows it to market off-label indications to doctors, however misleadingly and with whatever disastrous consequences. To its great shame, the American Medical Association is supporting Pharma in this latest outrageous power grab.
    That is against the law.  Sales Reps who do so are fired.  Companies that have tried to do so are fined into oblivion.

    It is Doctors experimenting on their own, without approval of the FDA or Pharma, based on their own research of how drugs are being used elsewhere in the world where the FDA does not hold sway.

    But the reality, doesn't fit your narrative does it?

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Tue May 27, 2014 at 10:42:12 AM PDT

    •  I'm not sure I follow you here EdMass. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RMForbes

      First that Professor Frances' narrative not mine. I don't have an agenda here, I just encountered the article which I thought was interesting.

      While this does seem to be against the law, his implication is that the drug companies have decided to challenge it, probably after Citizens United.

      Maybe I'm wrong, and I agree the author, and I guess I as well should be clearer, is implying that the drug companies are ignoring the law.

      He comes right out and says, the regulatory penalties are so small they just pay the fines.

      You say reps are fired, how does this jibe with his statement they are now just considering the fines a cost of doing business?

      Could it be that they are daring the FDA to challenge again on this so they can take it to the Supreme Court.

      His narrative is the free speech issue, that wasn't something I added.

      Doctors independent use of off-label would seem to be an different issue.

      But the reality, doesn't fit your narrative does it?
      So I don't get this last line? What are you saying?

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

      by HoundDog on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:13:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  EdMass, I think you may misunderstand where (0+ / 0-)

      I coming from.

      I was mostly reporting this as  journalist.

      Personally I strongly favor a doctors right to prescribe off-label meds, and oppose any attempt by government to interfere with it, most especially the DEA.

      I take 2 or maybe 3 off label meds and it is a great system the government should keep its nose out of, IMO.

      What I found interesting was Frances' accusation that drug companies are intentionally defying the FDA regulatory power on marketing, but deciding to pay the fines.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

      by HoundDog on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:26:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, aimeehs

    ...because one of my babies was successfully carried to term and birthed through the "off label" use of a particular drug.

    Yes, let's do something like...fast-track approval of specific 'off label' uses for drugs that have already undergone their basic "generally safe to use" tests...but a wholesale prohibition on off label uses seems extreme.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:06:57 AM PDT

    •  I support doctor's rights to prescribe off-label (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RMForbes

      meds and would oppose any attempt to restrict it.

      I've already gone on record opposing the DEA's attempt to intimidate and limit doctors ability prescribe off label meds.

      For me the issue is whether or not the information the doctors is getting from drug  companies is accurate and are they obeying the law or bypassing it.

      So I agree with you on the baby part, and perhaps want to keep some of the bathwater you want to throw out.

      Generally speaking I don't think government should interfere with what doctors want to prescribe.

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Comments and Posts intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited.

      by HoundDog on Tue May 27, 2014 at 11:23:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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