July 2nd, 2007

Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

While waiting for a case manager to call back from three pages, which she did only after forty-five minutes, I managed to finish reading another book by Julian Stockwin, a Napoleonic era sea story called Seaflower. This series has been a bit simple, but interesting. Not as good as Patrick O'Brian's books on the same subject, but not as bad as Adam Hardy's.

Home from rounds, I participated in the slaying of an invading rodent, killed by brushette, assisted nobly by Sirius and Wesley. Oddly, forestcats insisted on protecting ME from the rat, by grabbing me, pulling me away from the mortal combat, and promptly hiding behind me. Strange.

Later, we sat down and finished watching Deadwood season three. The next Deadwood disk has just extras on it, no episodes. I found the whole run fascinating, and it's a study in realistic people: the Good aren't entirely good, the Evil aren't entirely evil, Good doesn't triumph over evil, but Evil doesn't completely dominate Good, either. Very much like real life.

And now, off to work; my associate/boss is away for the next 10 days or so, and I get to do EVERYTHING until his return. It should be...overwhelming...
Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

I was listening to NPR today on the drive home and they were discussing the problems with Avandia, a diabetes medication, and how it is associated with an increased risk of heart attack. Interestingly, the FDA had been aware of the data, and hadn't published it. It was discovered by metaanalysis by a doctor from the Cleveland Clinic.

The gist of the story is that it was appalling that the FDA allowed the drug to be released with its problems.

You know, being older helps me look at these things and just shake my head.

See, in the 1980s/1990s, there was a marked outcry against the FDA holding back drugs that were being tested to try to deal with AIDS. There were only a few, and they had problems. Those infected who were dying were fighting hard to have the FDA rush drugs through the approval process, or to allow medications to be released that were beneficial, but might have significant side effects or associated problems, so that they wouldn't die. They were able to get Congress to change the FDA rules and force them to change their protocols to their benefit. However, at the time, there were voices that rose in protest that these changes would lead to drugs being released that were either incompletely tested, or might be inherently dangerous.

Now, over the last few years, we have Vioxx, and Zelnorm, and most recently Avandia, all being pulled off the market due to serious problems. Were they known problems, and ignored because the FDA had been given a mandate to release useful drugs even with certain problems? Or were they failures for poor testing structure? In any case, it seems as if (over the long term) the FDA can't win; on the one hand, they are lambasted for not releasing drugs that might deal with a problem in a new way, and on the other hand, they are stuck with complaints that they were too lenient.

Hey, public, make up your minds! Especially you, NPR; I remember the reports you gave, back in the day, when AIDS used to be described as an epidemic...