Bohemian polypharmacy – with a nod to Queen

Bohemian Polypharmacy

Sit back for six minutes or so and enjoy every line of Bohemian Polypharmacy – a parody of Queen’s classic, Bohemian Rhapsody. This time around, it’s a song all about polypharmacy – which is what we call it when we are taking more medicines than we need to.  This is yet another brilliant gem from Canadian pharmacist and professor Dr. James McCormack, with lyric help from David Scotten and creative input from Pete McCormack.  Great vocals are by local Victoria band Aivia members Liam Styles Chang (lead) and Shae Scotten (background).

Dr. James McCormack is half of the brains behind Therapeutics Education Collaboration (TEC), home of the highly entertaining (and educational) BS Medicine podcast (the BS stands for, of course, Best Science). His partner in crime is family physician Dr. Michael Allan. Here’s how they describe TEC:

“The best way to describe us is that we are the ‘mythbusters’ of drug therapy.”
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Seven diseases Big Pharma hopes you get in 2012

Until recently, drug companies selling blockbuster drugs were the darlings of stock market investors. But of course, not all diseases are blockbusters, warns Martha Rosenberg in a recent AlterNet essay. Supply-driven marketing, also known as “Have Drug – Need Disease and Patients” – not only turns us into pill-popping hypochondriacs, she claims, but it distracts from Big Pharma’s drought of real drugs for real problems.

She reminds us that, in order to be considered a true blockbuster disease, a condition must:

  • really exist but have huge diagnostic “wiggle room” and no clear-cut tests
  • be potentially serious with “silent symptoms” said to “only get worse” if untreated
  • be “under-recognized,” “under-reported” with “barriers” to treatment
  • explain hitherto vague health problems that a patient has had
  • have a catchy name — ED, ADHD, RLS, Low T or IBS — and instant medical identity
  • need an expensive new drug that has no generic equivalent

Martha suggests the following conditions that just might turn into potential blockbuster diseases – the ones that Big Pharma hopes you get this year:   Continue reading