How did this heart drug get approved in the first place?

In case you believe that the medicine you’re taking has been adequately tested on real live patients before being legally approved, you might want to consider research published recently in The New England Journal of Medicine*. A heart drug called nesiritide that for the past 10 years has been given to hospitalized patients with acute heart failure has failed to show any improvement compared to placebo.

But the drug had somehow received FDA approval in 2001 for use on these patients – after initial non-approval. Continue reading

Cardiologists accused of implanting cardiac stents that weren’t needed

I now sport a shiny stainless steel stent implanted into my left anterior descending coronary artery that was 99% blocked when I survived a heart attack two years ago. Stents are like tiny chicken wire mesh tubes inserted inside the obstructed coronary arteries of your beating heart and then expanded using a small balloon to open blocked arteries that prevent blood flow to heart muscle.

But it appears that some cardiologists like these miraculous little devices so much that they are implanting stents into patients who don’t need them.   Continue reading