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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Top 10 biggest-selling prescription drugs

The editors of Consumer Reports Health took a very close look at the recently released list of the Top 10 biggest-selling prescription drugs last year. No surprise that most of the drugs to make this list (based on total dollars spent) are expensive and heavily advertised brand name drugs prescribed for common ailments such as heartburn and high cholesterol.

But oddly enough, many would not be the first picks as recommended by the independent medical experts at Consumer Reports Health.  Here’s the list, along with some of their Best Buy Drugs list alternatives:  Continue reading

Six not-so-simple steps toward protecting us from dangerous drugs

This 1960s anti-nausea pregnancy drug was withdrawn from the market for causing liver damage

Is your doctor prescribing dangerous drugs to you? Prescription drugs have in fact become a leading cause of death, disease, and disability in our society. That’s alarming to those of us who are heart attack survivors and must now take a fistful of cardiac meds every day, and to others like investigative health journalist Alison Bass, author of the book Side Effects.

Last month, she warned us yet again of the disturbing influence the pharmaceutical industry has on medical research and doctors’ prescribing patterns. Not a week goes by, she claims, without a new report on the marketing muscle of the industry and the pervasive ties between the industry and the doctors upon whom we rely for supposedly objective medical advice.”

In fact, the number of patients now taking prescription drugs has soared by 72% in just the last decade, with the result that an estimated 46 million North Americans suffer from adverse side effects and 2.2 million are hospitalized every year because of them.   Continue reading