Thursday, May 29, 2008

Risperdal goes generic soon

Drugmakers’ Me-Too Medicines Face Tough Customers:Big Pharma’s pitches for new and improved versions of old drugs aren’t working the magic they used to.

Posted by Scott Hensley

Johnson & Johnson still hopes for better sales of Invega (AP)
New York psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman has heard Johnson & Johnson’s spiel for schizophrenia medicine Invega, a derivative of the company’s blockbuster Risperdal, that was launched last year. And he’s not buying it.

Invega is “basically a me-too drug, and the company hasn’t done the studies that would be required to really distinguish it,” Lieberman, chairman of the psychiatry department at Columbia University’s medical school told Peter Loftus of Dow Jones Newswires.

Dan Carlat, a psychiatrist and a tough critic of Invega, wrote that J&J’s “marketing team apparently missed the fact that the word in the English language that sounds most like “Invega” is “inveigle,” meaning “to entice, lure, or ensnare by flattery or artful talk or inducements.’ ” He asked doctors: “Will you be doing your patients a favor by taking the plunge? Or will you simply be giving them the same wine in a fancier bottle?”

The psychiatrists’ skepticism, Dow Jones reports, is shared broadly by health insurers and points to a rising challenge for drug makers: a tougher market for follow-on drugs. Cheap generics abound to treat a broad assortment of illnesses these days. What’s the point, the critics ask, of paying more for drugs that are at best only slight improvements over tried and true medicines available at bargain prices?

The tougher landscape is bad news for J&J. Risperdal goes generic in the U.S. next month. For the four months ending in April, U.S. sales of Invega were $85 million compared with $810 million for the oral form of Risperdal, according to data from Wolters Kluwer Health.

Following this article in the Wall Street Journal is a lively discussion between (what I call) realists and what I can only assume are investors.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A little something personal

I so wanted to get off medication as I am beginning to show the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease. I showed my psychiatrist the problems with my quivering tongue and she suggested tongue exercises! (And they think we should respect them). On the Bonkers Institute site, Ben Hansen has this accurate quote (forget who said it and too lazy to look it up): "Psychiatry is to medicine as Astrology is to Astronomy."

I have to have gall bladder surgery on Friday and I am hoping they give me too much anesthetic and I can exit this cruel world before I am a jerking fool who cannot think of enough words to string together a sentence. I would never commit suicide, but I would welcome some quick, painless death...the last fifth of life is just a saga of deterioration anyway. I am not depressed, just being realistic...hell, I even have a new goal in life (proves I am not hopeless). Why just today it occurred to me that I should start a non-profit organization for people who like creeping Charlie ground cover instead of grass lawns - hardy, grows short and doesn't need mowing or watering, covers solidly, cute purple bloom. Have you ever seen the money that directors of non-profits make?

Weight-loss drugs may harm developing brain

Weight-loss drugs may harm developing brain: study| Markets News | Reuters

Sanofi-Aventis' weight-loss pill rimonabant, also known as Zimulti and sold under the brand name Acomplia in Europe, is the first in this new class of drugs. A U.S. expert panel rejected it last June because of fears it might trigger suicidal thoughts.

Other drugmakers, including Merck & Co Inc, are working on similar drugs.

A study last month of the drug in obese heart patients found more than 40 percent of patients who took the drug developed psychiatric problems.

But last month the drugmaker Sanofi said it still believes Acomplia can be a winner and reiterated plans to submit the drug worldwide as a treatment for type 2 diabetes in 2009.

I often wondered if there is a relationship between the ballooning autism rate and diet drinks made with aspartame. Dr. Janet Starr Hull wrote a book called Sweet Poison about it.

Also stumbled on this this today:
The federal government's new advice to doctors for helping smokers quit recommends the drug Chantix, which has recently been linked with depression and suicidal behavior.

The new guidelines mention the psychiatric risks but also say the popular Pfizer Inc. (PFE) drug is the most effective at helping people get off cigarettes. The guidelines mention other options, too, and highly recommend combining counseling and medication. But doctors are encouraged to talk to all smokers who want to quit about trying medication...Another issue with the quit-smoking guidelines, released this week by the U.S. Public Health Service, is the lead author's past connections with Pfizer. Dr. Michael Fiore, an expert on smoking and health issues, was a consultant to the maker of Chantix. But he said he cut those ties in 2005.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Sunday, May 04, 2008


You better Hope Your Counselor Likes You.

Since I moved and had another breakdown, I have a new psychiatrist. Disappointing to say the least. I have tried to go off medications but after about a month of pleasant living, I become manic with all that involves. The only way to get prescription renewal is to go through the motions and pretend that THEY want to help me. What a waste of time and money to have my opinions ignored yet again.