Witch Doctors

  • by: |
  • 02/12/2007
Wounded in battle, Alexander the Great's last words were, "I am dying at the hands of too many doctors." I know how he feels.

Marcia Angell weighs in on the Medicare prescription drug benefit, predictably calling it a giveaway to drug companies, claiming that the VA drug lists -- as well as drug formularies throughout the world -- only ditch drugs that are not cost-effective. Like Herceptin, Lipitor, Avastin, Gleevec... Angell is the only person in the world who doesn't know that Medicare Part D is ruthlessly shifting patients to generic medicines by the way, which is why she continues to flog me too drugs..

And she continues to talk about drugs that were first discovered 25 years ago instead of what companies are investing in now. Talking about the future means talking about genomics, targeted therapies, personalized medicine, translational research...all the activities companies are spending dough on. And she continues to perpetuate the lie that companies spend more on things other than R&D by lumping in the total cost (administration) of running a corporation to the cost of marketing.

My question is: what new drug has Dr. Angell invested in, worked on, discovered or developed in her lifetime? How would she make drug discovery and development more effective and efficient? Does she have special pre-knowledge about which medicines will work that other scientists do not? If so, I wish she would stop recycling the same old crappy op-ed and share the recipe for developing breakthrough drugs without have to develop all those me-too medicines...

High cost for me-too drugs

And speaking of recycling crap...Steve Nissen is once again claiming that he courageously warned America about the cardiovascular dangers of taking drugs for ADHD, drugs he still claims -- as someone who knows nothing about ADHD -- are way too overused. This time he is claiming this in front of Bart Stupak's Health subcommittee Feb 13th, joining other luminaries such as David Graham to trash the FDA.

I post a response from Dr. Joseph Biederman from Mass General Hospital, one of the nation's expert on treatment of ADHD and use of stimulants for treating the disease to Nissen's nonsense. I have sent it to members of the Health subcomm so they have an idea of what the facts about the risks and benefits of ADHD meds really are.


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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