If only Avandia were more like Toyota

Poor Toyota.  The car maker has been forced to recall more than 8 million vehicles worldwide after news that at least 34 deaths have been linked to Toyota vehicle problems going back as far as 2004. But compare those 34 deaths with the more than 1,000 reports of patient deaths linked with the prescription drug Avandia in just one nine-month period last year, a death rate described by an Institute for Safe Medication Practices report as: “more than any other drug we monitor.” John Mack, editor of Pharma Marketing News, warns:

“If people are afraid to buy Toyotas, then based on average yearly death rates, they should be about 400 times more afraid to take Avandia.”   Continue reading

How a new drug gets approved

alarm clock boyPity the poor schmuck who has no trouble falling asleep at bedtime, but is then wide awake in the middle of the night, staring bleakly at those evil green numbers on the clock radio for the next four hours. Have you been there yourself?  What if there were a magical pill we could take in the middle of those nights that would help us drift off to sleep again for just a few more hours until morning?

Enter the drug Intermezzo, a potential treatment for people suffering from this specific form of insomnia that involves difficulty falling asleep after waking up in the middle of the night.  Continue reading