Posts Tagged ‘pharmaceutical companies’

Hooked on Prescription Drugs – Half of US Took at least One Prescription Drug in Previous Month

My comments in red. – Ilene

Hooked on Prescription Drugs – Half of US Took at least One Prescription Drug in Previous Month

Courtesy of Mish

AN ELDERLY WOMAN IS HOLDING PILL BOTTLES.PROPER MEDICATION CAN RELIEVE THE COMPLICATIONS OF AGING. IT IS IMPORTANT FOR A PERSON TAKING MORE THAN ONE MEDICATION TO HAVE A DOCTORS SUPERVISION TO AVOID SYNERGISTIC SIDE EFFECTS. ADDICTIONS CAN ALSO RESULT FROM INAPPROPRIATE MEDICATION.

Here is an interesting article on Bloomberg regarding prescription drug usage. The study is from 2008. Please consider Prescription Drug Use Rose to Include Half of Americans in 2008.

Almost half of Americans took at least one prescription drug per month in 2008, an increase of 10 percent over the past decade, a U.S. study found.

One of every five children ages 11 or younger took at least one medication each month in 2008, led by asthma and allergy treatments, according to the survey released today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among those ages 60 or older, 37 percent used five or more prescriptions per month.

The most common medications for adolescents were treatments for attention-deficit disorder, a condition in which people have trouble paying attention and engage in impulsive behavior.

For adults ages 20 to 59, antidepressants, including Eli Lilly & Co.’s Cymbalta and Pfizer Inc.’s Zoloft, were the most-used drugs. In the last 10 years cymbalta withdrawal symptoms have dramatically been lowered to levels accepted by regulatory agencies. Cholesterol-lowering medications, including Pfizer Inc.’s Lipitor and AstraZeneca Plc’s Crestor, were the most common drugs taken by people ages 60 and over, with 45 percent of those in that age group on such therapies.

$238 Billion Industry

Prescription drug were a $234.1 billion industry in 2008. The number is certainly higher today. Are pharmaceutical companies interested in curing anything or just treating the symptoms?

[The pharmaceutical companies are most interested in making profits, though individual scientists that work for the pharmaceutical companies are typically more ethical than the collective "corporation," aiming to both cure disease and alleviate symptoms.  Unlike some conspiracy theorists, I don't believe that bad outcomes driven by the profit motive are a result of massive plots to make money and make people so sick they need more medications.  See for example: After Avandia: Does the FDA Have a Drug Problem?]

Throughout grade and high school,…
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Might I Also Suggest Subsidized Crack For Crackheads Perhaps?

Might I Also Suggest Subsidized Crack For Crackheads Perhaps?

Courtesy of Jr. Deputy Accountant 

Oh Big Pharma, your marketing talents never cease to amaze me. As if Crestor and the like haven’t gotten enough of a push lately with drug companies now able to market statins to those with lifestyles that might lead to higher cholesterol, British researchers have actually suggested that statins should be offered as condiments to balance the unhealthy effects of fast food. 

You have got to be kidding me. Why not try keeping the Big Mac out of your mouth, fat a*s?

Via MedPage today:

Patrons of fast-food restaurants may see packets containing statins next to the ketchup and salt at the self-serve counter if the suggestion of British researchers becomes reality.

Emily Ferenczi, BMBCh, of Imperial College London, and colleagues calculated that most daily statin regimens would be enough to neutralize the increased cardiovascular risk associated with eating a quarter-pounder with cheese and small milkshake every day.

Because statins are cheap, relatively safe even at high doses, and effective for reducing cardiovascular risk across patient subgroups, offering them to individuals who choose to eat an unhealthy diet against best medical advice might make sense, they argued in an editorial in the American Journal of Cardiology.

"It cannot … be reasonably argued on safety grounds that individuals should be free to choose to eat lipid-rich food but not be free to supplement it with a statin," they wrote.

A recent LA Times article wonders just how effective statins can be - it appears to me they are quite effective… at making money, that is.

As the world’s most-prescribed class of medications, statins indisputably qualify for the commercial distinction of "blockbuster." About 24 million Americans take the drugs — marketed under such commercial names as Pravachol, Mevacor, Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor — largely to stave off heart attacks and strokes.

At the zenith of their profitability, these medications raked in $26.2 billion a year for their manufacturers. The introduction in recent years of cheaper generic versions may have begun to cut into sales revenues for the brand-name drugs that came first to the market, but better prices have only fueled the medications’ use: In 2009, U.S. patients filled 201.4 million prescriptions for statins, according to IMS Health, which tracks prescription drug trends. That’s nearly double the number of prescriptions written for


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Cancer Treatments: The New Frontier

Cancer Treatments: The New Frontier

Courtesy of Pharmboy

Cancer is characterized by a group of abnormal cells that grow and replicate uncontrollably. These cells’ rapid replication allows them to invade adjacent tissues and organs and even spread to other parts of the body. As they replicate, they can crowd out organs, preventing the body’s essential processes from occurring normally. Cancer, if left untreated, can hinder the body’s organs from performing their functions enough to cause death.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2009.  Figures 1 and 2 show the Male and Female breakdown of different cancer types from the CDC (as of 2006) and we can understand why now prostate and breast cancer research top the list.  Next comes lung, and Figure 3 shows a adenocarcinoma in the lung.

Number of deaths for leading causes of death:

  • Heart disease: 631,636
  • Cancer: 559,888
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 137,119
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 124,583
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 121,599
  • Diabetes: 72,449
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 72,432
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,326
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 45,344
  • Septicemia: 34,234

  Figure 1. Top 10 Cancers: Male 

Figure 2. Top 10 Cancers: Female

Figure 3.  Adenocarcinoma – Lung cancer

For about 40 years, the pharmaceutical and government sponsored research have waged a war on cancer, and many think that it has been a failure as the age-adjusted mortality rate for cancer is essentially unchanged over that time.  But that’s a deceptive metric.  S. Dubner points out that the "flat mortality rate actually hides some good news. Over the same period, age-adjusted mortality from cardiovascular disease has plummeted, from nearly 600 people per 100,000 to well below 300. What does this mean? Many people who in previous generations would have died from heart disease are now living long enough to die from cancer instead."

BusinessWeek had an article on the costs of life, and as the population ages and the baby boomers start to retire, how are we to think about the costs associated with fighting cancer?

Eric C. Sun et al. (“An Economic Evaluation of the War on Cancer” (link) 2010) attempt to measure the degree to which R&D spending on cancer has benefited not only the life expectancy, but also the social and economic value to the economy.

For decades, the U.S. public and private sectors have committed substantial resources towards cancer research, but the societal


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Healthcare Reform Sausage Not Fit For Consumption

Healthcare Reform Sausage Not Fit For Consumption

Courtesy of Mish  

Reverse of trade card

As healthcare "reform" heads for passage, president Obama will soon have bragging rights for getting legislation passed that no one has before.

Although the Senate and House versions are different, the odds are something will pass. Moreover the odds are very high the final bill will resemble legislation passed by the Senate.

Senate House Clash

Please consider Senate Democrats Move Toward Clash With House on Health Measure

Senate Democrats, after securing a hard-fought Christmas Eve victory on health-care legislation, now move toward a battle over taxes and other issues with the U.S. House as lawmakers look to merge their differing bills.

The two chambers took different paths toward covering tens of millions of uninsured Americans. And when they begin reconciling their measures next month, they’re likely to clash over issues that include whether to set up a new government-run insurance program to restricting federal funds for abortion.

Finding agreement on financing the legislation “may be the toughest of all,” said Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat.

The House adopted a 5.4 percent income surtax on individuals earning more than $500,000 and couples earning over $1 million to pay for its $1.05 trillion bill. Senate Democrats would fund their $871 billion bill, which passed on a final vote of 60-39 yesterday, in part by placing a 40 percent excise tax on the costliest health-insurance policies. That provision is opposed by labor unions, which are among the party’s strongest backers.

Because it required all 58 Senate Democrats and two independents to stick together to get the 60 votes needed to secure passage of the chamber’s health-care bill, Thurber said it’s likely the Senate will win out on most issues. “The narrow majority in the Senate makes it almost a necessity to go with the Senate position,” Thurber said.

House negotiators “will have to capitulate on most main differences,” agreed Rogan Kersh, a public policy professor at New York University.

Drugmakers including Whitehouse Station, New Jersey-based Merck & Co. have a number of fights on their hands. Lawmakers are pushing for the industry to spend more than the $80 billion that it promised to help patients in the Medicare program for the elderly afford prescription drugs.

Negotiating Power

The House measure calls for the government to capitalize on its buying power to


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How Drug-Industry Lobbyists Won on Health-Care

How Drug-Industry Lobbyists Won on Health-Care

Jim Greenwood, President and CEO of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.  TIME

By Karen Tumulty and Michael Scherer, courtesy TIME

In Congress, committee chairmen are known as the old bulls for a reason: it’s unwise to provoke them. So it isn’t often that you see one get rolled by his own committee — especially when the chairman in question is the formidable and canny Henry Waxman and the issue in question is one that matters a lot to him. But that was what happened on July 31 as the House Energy and Commerce Committee was putting the final touches on health-reform legislation. Waxman’s fellow California Democrat Anna Eshoo offered a last-minute amendment that Waxman opposed. Knowing he would lose, Waxman decided to save face with a quick voice vote. But Eshoo insisted on a roll call, which would put every member on record. Waxman snapped at her, "You promised you wouldn’t do that!" The final tally was 47-11 against the chairman.

Waxman’s loss that day was a big victory for drug companies, which have spent more than any other segment of the medical industry to make sure that they come out winners in the effort to overhaul the nation’s health-care system. It’s understandable the drugmakers would want a roll-call accounting of who their friends and enemies are, considering the size of the investment they are making on Capitol Hill: in the first six months of this year alone, drug and biotech companies and their trade associations spent more than $110 million — that’s about $609,000 a day — to influence lawmakers, according to figures compiled by the nonpartisan watchdog group Center for Responsive Politics. The drug industry’s legion of registered lobbyists numbers 1,228, or 2.3 for every member of Congress. And its campaign contributions to current members of Waxman’s committee have totaled $2.6 million over the past three years.

The return on that investment has been considerable, both in the House and in the Senate. "We’ve done very well," says lobbyist Jim Greenwood, a former Republican Congressman from Pennsylvania who was a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and now heads the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). "We carried a majority of the Democrats and a majority of the Republicans in each of the committees, and by very clear margins."

Whether the broader public is benefiting from the industry’s success is less clear. How Greenwood’s group has scored decisive early…
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Drugmakers Ramp Advertising Campaign For Health Care Reform

Drugmakers Ramp Advertising Campaign For Health Care Reform

drug-makersCourtesy of Mish

Be prepared for a barrage of commercials from pharmaceutical manufacturers telling you what a "tremendous deal" the health care reform package is. Clearly reform is a "tremendous deal" for them, otherwise they would not be pushing it so hard.

Please consider Drugmakers Consider Ad Campaign on Health Overhaul.

Drugmakers are considering a $100 million advertising campaign starting as early as September to push legislation that would overhaul the health care system, said a person familiar with the discussion.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry’s lobbying group, discussed funding the ad campaign during a meeting in Washington last week, the person said. PhRMA spokesman Ken Johnson said no decision has been reached on the group’s campaign strategy for when Congress reconvenes after the August recess.

PhRMA will be running television commercials in August promoting the importance of the drug industry on the economy in states where pharmaceutical companies have operations, Johnson said. PhRMA said they support measures to revamp the health care system and will contribute $80 billion over 10 years to lowering drug costs. They also stand ready to oppose legislation that would allow the government to directly negotiate prices on medicines sold through the prescription drug program of Medicare, the government’s health plan for the elderly and disabled.

Two people familiar with the discussions in Washington said the amount of money put into ads could increase to $120 million.

$8 Billion a year for 10 Years

Will PhRMA really lower costs by $80 billion? Who gets to measure? How much will PhRMA profit?

In order, the answers are no, PhRMA, and immense.

The last two questions are easy to figure out. The pharmaceutical manufacturers would not be spending $120 million in advertising if it did not mean immense profits for them. Note "They also stand ready to oppose legislation that would allow the government to directly negotiate prices on medicines sold through the prescription drug program of Medicare, the government’s health plan for the elderly and disabled."

In other words the manufacturers do not want group rates. US consumers pay the highest rates in the world for prescriptions. I would like to see legislation that would allow drug imports come in from Canada and for the rest of the world to pay their share of the


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Zero Hedge

Former CIBC Banker Wins Appeal Claiming He Was Discriminated Against For Being A Straight Man

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

A former employee of Canadian bank CIBC won an appeal to have his discrimination complaint reassessed this week, according to a federal court.

The employee's claim? That he was told he had "no hope" of a promotion because he was straight. 

Previously, the Canadian Human Rights Commission had dismissed Aaren Jagadeesh's claim that he was subject to discrimination due to his sexual orientation as a straight man, according to the ...



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Phil's Favorites

When China and other big countries launch cryptocurrencies, it will kick off a global revolution

 

When China and other big countries launch cryptocurrencies, it will kick off a global revolution

Cash of the titans. Artistdesign29

Courtesy of Liang Zhao, Lund University

One of the hottest topics in cryptocurrencies is the prospect of major economies launching state-backed digital coins. China’s central bank recently accelerated plans for what is currently known as the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP). It could launch within the next 18 months, while the Europ...



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Insider Scoop

The Daily Biotech Pulse: European Nod For Amgen, miRagen Overhauls Clinical Pipeline, Tonix Snags Patent Win

Courtesy of Benzinga

Here's a roundup of top developments in the biotech space over the last 24 hours.

Scaling The Peaks

(Biotech stocks hitting 52-week highs on Dec. 11)

  • Acceleron Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: XLRN)
  • Aimmune Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: AIMT)
  • Aprea The...


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Digital Currencies

Three Men Arrested In NJ For Running Alleged $722 Million Crypto Ponzi Scheme

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Authored by Kollen Post via CoinTelegraph.com,

United States authorities in New Jersey have announced the arrest of three men who are accused of defrauding investors of over $722 million as part of alleged crypto ponzie scheme BitClub Network, per a Dec. 10 announcement from the Dep...



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Kimble Charting Solutions

Is Freeport McMoRan (FCX) Making A Run For the "Gold"?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

Mining company Freeport McMoRan NYSE: FCX is enjoying the tailwind from a strong year for gold and silver prices. And although Copper prices are down, Copper has been turning up lately.

This has helped Freeport’s stock price recover in 2019 and has FCX testing a key breakout level.

Below is a “weekly” chart of Freeport McMoRan (FCX). The shaded channel outlined by each (1) highlights the longer-term downtrend that FCX has been stuck in.

But this could change on a dime, especially if FCX can breakout above (2). This area represents its re...



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Lee's Free Thinking

Chart Shows the Fed Ramping Up Not QE - Funding Almost All Treasury Issuance

 

Chart Shows the Fed Ramping Up Not QE – Funding Almost All Treasury Issuance

Courtesy of Lee Adler, Wall Street Examiner 

The Fed is ramping up “Not QE” .

The Fed bought $2.2 billion in notes today in its POMO, “not QE,” operations. Actually $2.15 billion because they sold back a whole $50 million. Must have been a little glitch in the force.

This brings the Fed’s total outright purchases of Treasuries to $170 billion since it started Not QE, on September 17.

It also did $107 billion in gross new repo loans to Primary Dealers to buy Tre...



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Chart School

Silver stock taking the sector higher

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

As the US economy begins to show late cycle characteristics like: GDP slowing, higher inflation, higher wage costs, CEO confidence slump. 
Previous Post: Gold Stocks Review

The big players in the market are looking for the next swing off good value lows. This means more money is finding it way into the gold and silver sector, and it is said gold and silver stocks actually lead the metal prices. The cycle below shows prices are ready to move in the months ahead (older chart re posted).




 

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Members' Corner

Sacha Baron Cohen Uses ADL Speech to Tear Apart Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook

 

Sacha Baron Cohen Uses ADL Speech to Tear Apart Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook

By Matt Wilstein

Excerpt:

Sacha Baron Cohen accepted the International Leadership Award at the Anti-Defamation League’s Never is Now summit on anti-Semitism and hate Thursday. And the comedian and actor used his keynote speech to single out the one Jewish-American who he believes is doing the most to facilitate “hate and violence” in America: Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

He began with a joke at the Trump administration’s expense. “Thank you, ADL, for this recognition and your work in fighting racism, hate and bigotry,” Baron Cohen said, according to his prepared...



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The Technical Traders

VIX Warns Of Imminent Market Correction

Courtesy of Technical Traders

The VIX is warning that a market peak may be setting up in the global markets and that investors should be cautious of the extremely low price in the VIX. These extremely low prices in the VIX are typically followed by some type of increased volatility in the markets.

The US Federal Reserve continues to push an easy money policy and has recently begun acquiring more dept allowing a deeper move towards a Quantitative Easing stance. This move, along with investor confidence in the US markets, has prompted early warning signs that the market has reached near extreme levels/peaks. 

Vix Value Drops Before Monthly Expiration

When the VIX falls to levels below 12~13, this typically v...



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Biotech

Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

Reminder: We are available to chat with Members, comments are found below each post.

 

Why telling people with diabetes to use Walmart insulin can be dangerous advice

A vial of insulin. Prices for the drug, crucial for those with diabetes, have soared in recent years. Oleksandr Nagaiets/Shutterstock.com

Courtesy of Jeffrey Bennett, Vanderbilt University

About 7.4 million people ...



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Mapping The Market

How IPOs Are Priced

Via Jean Luc 

Funny but probably true:

...

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Phil has a chapter in a newly-released eBook that we think you’ll enjoy.

In My Top Strategies for 2017, Phil's chapter is Secret Santa’s Inflation Hedges for 2017.

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