I am suffering from hypocrisy and stupidy overload….apart from the patently biased reporting on Pfizer’s clinical trials and cancer drug pricing in the WP and WSJ respectively we now have the double standard on the coverage of RU-486 safety. According to recent research, 1 in every 80,000 women who have a medical abortion die. 1 in every 1,000,000 women who have a surgical abortion die. I am not a math whiz but that means that RU-486 increases your risk of death 10 times. If Vioxx had done that, it would have been the subject of a Charles Grassley media orgy. And lost in the reporting is the fact that many of the deathrs attributed to RU-486 recently are linked to off-label use (vaginal vs. oral use). Or was this fact conveniently buried even as the press beats up on other forms of off-label use?
Meanwhile, the AP had this misleading headline : Paxil May Increase Suicide in Teens, FDA and GlaxoSmithKline Warn
Actually, the FDA said that nearly 15,000 patients treated with both Paxil and dummy pills revealed a higher frequency of suicidal behavior in young adults treated with the drug, according to the letter.
The FDA reported that there were 11 suicide attempts — none resulting in death — among the patients given Paxil in the trials. Just one of the dummy pill patients attempted suicide.
Given that small number, the results “should be interpreted with caution,” the FDA said. Eight of the 11 attempts were made by patients between the ages of 18 and 30. All trial patients suffered from psychiatric disorders, including major depression.”
Left unsaid of course is that people suffering from major depession are likely to exihbit suicidal behavior and that all medications are associated with an elevation of suicidadility and that use of antidepressants is associated with a decrease in the incidence of suicide among teens.
Meanwhile, USA today ran a story discussing whether Oprah is a modern day Billy Graham.
All of this reminds me of what Thomas Jefferson said: “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing, but newspapers. “