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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Phil's Favorites

Beirut explosion: the disaster was exceptional but events leading up to it were not - researchers

 

Beirut explosion: the disaster was exceptional but events leading up to it were not – researchers

A trade in waste flows from Europe to Asia. Avigator Fortuner/Shutterstock

Courtesy of Scott Edwards, University of Bristol and Christian Bueger, University of Copenhagen

At the time of writing at least 100 people have lost their lives and a further 4,000 have been wounded following an ...



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Zero Hedge

Florida COVID-19 Cases Top 500,000; NYC Sets Up "Check Points" For Travelers: Live Updates

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Summary:

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  • Chicago public schools to reopen online only this fall
  • UK invests $18mil in Scottish vax factory
  • JNJ strikes huge vax deal with White House
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Walk Through the Gold and Silver Charts to See What to Expect

Courtesy of Technical Traders

Check out the analysis of this morning’s Gold and Silver charts by our own Chris Vermeulen, Chief Market Strategist and Founder of TheTechnicalTraders.com, to see what is in store for precious metals. Make sure you check out our Gold and Silver article from August 4th, 2020 for additional context behind our predictions and rationale for continued price appreciation.

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Biotech/COVID-19

What the huge COVID-19 testing undercount in the US means

 

What the huge COVID-19 testing undercount in the US means

Health care workers use a nasal swab to test a person for COVID-19 in Pembroke Park, Florida. Joe Raedle / Getty Images News

Courtesy of Melissa Hawkins, American University

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other institutions recently published a study which estimated that the true number of people infected by COVID-19 could be six to 24 times high...



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ValueWalk

Beyond Meat Has Not Disclosed Its Environmental Effects

By Jacob Wolinsky. Originally published at ValueWalk.

A recent S&P Global Market Intelligence Trucost analysis found that Beyond Meat Inc., the maker of plant-based meat alternatives, has not disclosed the full extent of its environmental impacts. This includes the amount of greenhouse gases emitted or the volume of water discharged.

Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Beyond Meat Has "0" Disclosure Of Environmental Impacts

Key insights from the analysis include:

  • Beyond Meat’s weighted environmental disclosure ratio, which shows what percentage of its environmental impacts it discloses...


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Kimble Charting Solutions

Is the US Dollar Nearing Bottom? Or Is It Different This Time?

Courtesy of Chris Kimble

The U.S. Dollar ran into a perfect storm in 2020: a pandemic (Coronavirus), an easy Federal Reserve, and trillions of dollars in government stimulus.

The result has been a steep decline in the greenback.

Looking at today’s chart, however, suggests that the US Dollar may be nearing a bottom. That is if recent history proves true.

The Dollar is testing its 9-year bullish up-trend support at (1) and US Dollar bulls are disappearing. In fact, investors are the least bullish the US Dollars (20% bulls) since 2011 at (2). Notice that each ...



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Chart School

RTT browsing latest..

Courtesy of Read the Ticker

Please review a collection of WWW browsing results. The information here is delayed by a few months, members get the most recent content.



Date Found: Sunday, 29 March 2020, 07:00:37 PM

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Comment: Silver Shorts Are In a Bind | Ted Butler youtu.be/qQc0AoJp-Q8



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Digital Currencies

Twitter Says "Human Error" And "Spear-Phishing Attack" Responsible For Massive Bitcoin Hack

Courtesy of ZeroHedge

Twitter suffered from a major hack about two weeks ago and has now said that its staff was tricked by "spear-phishing", which is a targeted attack to trick people into simply handing out their passwords. 

Twitter staff were targeted through their phones, according to a new report from the BBC. The attacks then allowed hackers the ability to Tweet from celebrity Twitter accounts. Twitter has said it was "taking a hard look" at how it could improve its permissions and processes.

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Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia - The Branch COVIDIANS Are Still Burning Down the House

 

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Courtesy of Lee Adler, WallStreetExaminer 

The numbers of new cases in some of the hardest hit COVID19 states have started to plateau, or even decline, over the past few days. A few pundits have noted it and concluded that it was a hopeful sign. 

Is it real or is something else going on? Like a restriction in the numbers of tests, or simply the inability to test enough, or are some people simply giving up on getting tested? Because as we all know from our dear leader, the less testing, the less...



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Coronavirus, 'Plandemic' and the seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

 

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No matter the details of the plot, conspiracy theories follow common patterns of thought. Ranta Images/iStock/Getty Images Plus

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Insider Scoop

Economic Data Scheduled For Friday

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How IPOs Are Priced

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Funny but probably true:

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