Last month we brought you news (and humble perspective) on the pharmaceutical industry’s off-label marketing practices. Just a couple weeks after the fact, what before our wondering eyes should appear? News that a glaucoma drug (Lumigan) was just approved by the FDA for off-label use as an eyelash enhancer. Call us suckers, we know, but we couldn’t resist taking the bite. Finding new uses for existing poor selling drugs has become a cottage industry. Reminds me of the old SNL skit, “Shimmer. It’s a dessert topping AND a floor wax!”
What can we say? We’ve got Pharma on the mind this week! On Monday Mark offered commentary on the latest “study” being spun to further promote statins to the general population. It seemed like an opportune time to bring you news of a recent report on the “unofficial” business of off-label pharmaceutical marketing and the clever manipulation of drug approval rules and research dissemination.
Two researchers with significant experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D., an associate professor in the GUMC Department of Physiology and Biophysics, and Douglas Melnick, M.D., a preventive medicine physician in the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health have published a report in the free online journal PLoS Medicine shedding light on risky and legally questionable practices that have become commonplace in the industry.
“A New Front on Heart Disease: Stain drugs can cut cardiac and stroke risks in people with normal cholesterol levels, researchers say.” Wow! As I predict Dr. Michael Eades will say, “Jesus wept.” As I say, “here we go again digging a hole to place the ladder in so you can wash the basement windows.”
We first introduced you to the Heart Attack Grill – home of the Double Bypass Burger – back in December 2006 and again in March and April of last year (what can we say, we’re really just couldn’t believe it). This ridiculous “concept” eatery is up to the same old nonsense, but a reader sent in some absurd images that just we had to share.
Located in Chandler, Arizona, the Heart Attack Grill was founded in 2005 by Jon “Dr Jon” Brasso (who, incidentally, also wears a white lab coat to work) as a means to provide patrons – or as he calls them, patients – with food that is “so bad for you it’s shocking.” The menu boasts single-, double-, triple- and quadruple-bypass burgers.
As you’ve likely noticed, we’re getting back in touch with our more surly, snarky side this week. It can be fun now and then to channel one’s inner Fuji…. (Frankly, we can’t imagine MDA without it, and we hope you agree.) From energy drinks, we turn to one of our more popular objects of exasperated investigation and sarcastic commentary. What would we do without you, Big Pharma? Suffice it to say, there’s never a dearth of material with you around. And we thank you for that.
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