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Healthy Skepticism Updates

Update 2008-04-09

HS Publications
Recent Healthy Skepticism News issues include an update from Janne Larsson about reports of harmful effects from the ADHD drug Strattera (atomoxetine) and the response of regulatory authorities so far. Joel Lexchin has also argued that the priorities of Health Canada are skewed in favour of rapid approval of new drugs at the expense of the postmarketing surveillance in a submission to a Canadian House of Commons standing committee. Both pieces are at: http://healthyskepticism.org/news.php

A slew of interesting new books:
  • Boston Women's Health Book Collective
    Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth
    Touchstone; Mar 2008
    “… will help you sort fact from fiction, giving you the most accurate research, up-to-date information, and the firsthand experiences of numerous women who have been exactly where you are today.”
  • Orla O'Donovan and Kathy Glavanis-Grantham (Eds.)
    Power, Politics and Pharmaceuticals: Drug Regulation in Ireland in the Global Context
    Cork University Press; Feb 2008
    “Public concerns about the regulation of the pharmaceutical industry have intensified in recent years … Paradoxically, these concerns centre on the over-consumption of medicines of dubious benefit in Western societies, and lack of access to essential medicines in the Global South…”  (Several chapters written by Healthy Skepticism members.)
  • Barton Cobert and Pierre Biron
    Practical Drug Safety from A to Z
    Jones and Bartlett Publishers; Jan 2008
    "... guide to drug safety monitoring (pharmacovigilance), covering literally, the "A to Z" of maintaining drug safety..."
  • Joanna Moncrieff.
    The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment
    Palgrave Macmillan; Dec 2007
    “This book exposes the traditional view that psychiatric drugs correct chemical imbalances as a dangerous fraud. It traces the emergence of this view and the way it supported the vested interests of the psychiatric profession, the pharmaceutical industry and the modern state…”
  • Alan Cassels
    The ABCs of Disease Mongering: An epidemic in 26 letters.
    Emdash Publishing; Dec 2007
    “Alan Cassels, co-author of the international bestseller Selling Sickness: How the World's Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are Turning Us All into Patients, returns to his favourite topic armed with outrageous humour and even more outrageous facts…”
  • Kimberly Cheryl
    Escape From The Pharma Cartel
    Outskirts Press; Oct 2007
    “… takes the reader on a shocking, revealing, and provocative tour of the pharmaceutical industry of America as only an insider can.”

    New resources from PharmedOut
    Two new free, pharma-free, web-based CME modules are accessible via the PharmedOut web-site. Drug Approval in the US provides a brief history of the FDA and describes the process by which new drugs are approved in the US, and Generic Drugs: Prescribing Sensibly describes how generic drugs are approved, and how they compare to branded drugs. “We want to educate doctors about the fact that generic drugs are held to exactly the same standard as different batches of branded drugs,” says Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, director of PharmedOut and Associate Professor of Physiology & Biophysics at Georgetown University.

    Also on offer at PharmedOut are a power-point presentation titled The Physician-Pharma Relationship suitable for grand rounds, and a guide developed in conjunction with the American Medical Students Association, called How to Hold Pharma-free Meetings. All well worth a visit to: http://www.pharmedout.org/index.htm

     

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    Next Update: Update 2008-08-09

    Previous Update: Update 2008-03-16

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    There is no sin in being wrong. The sin is in our unwillingness to examine our own beliefs, and in believing that our authorities cannot be wrong. Far from creating cynics, such a story is likely to foster a healthy and creative skepticism, which is something quite different from cynicism.”
    - Neil Postman in The End of Education