Vintage ads for doctor-recommended smokes

Back in the good old days of marketing, health care professionals were among the most trusted and convincing shills for cigarette companies.  Let’s revisit some classic ads for smokes that came highly recommended from those is high places . .  .  Continue reading

Avandia: a very short history of a very bad drug

The drug giant GlaxoSmithKline’s controversial diabetes drug Avandia (generic name rosiglitazone) works by helping diabetics balance their blood-sugar levels. But since its inception, it has been found to increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes — and even death.

As many as 100,000 heart attacks, strokes, deaths and cases of heart failure may be directly attributed to Avandia since the drug was launched in 1999, according to FDA scientist Dr. David Graham.  Yet physicians are still prescribing the drug to nearly half a million people, which translates into approximately $900 million in annual sales for GSK.  How has this been allowed to happen? Let’s take a look at the history of this potentially lethal but still-legal drug, courtesy of PBS: Continue reading

What medical researchers mean when they say ____

Just because a scientific paper sounds authoritative, it doesn’t mean we should always take what’s published in journals as gospel. For example, here’s what scientists might really mean when they pontificate:

“It has long been known” . . . [I didn’t look up the original reference]

“A definite trend is evident” . . . [These data are practically meaningless]

“Of great theoretical and practical importance” . . . [Interesting to me]   Continue reading