I made up a little website of the who's who list of drug disasters while researching my book on drug safety as a way to entertain myself.
At the time I thought it might offend some people, so I posted it on the internet, but without any links, keeping it my little secret.
However, since my views are pretty well known to everyone at this point, I think it is time to (re) introduce...
Dr. Bremner's Chamber of Horrors!
The work of FDA inspector George P. Larrick led to the passage of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in 1938.
His traveling exhibit was the Chamber of Horrors (seen at left), which chronicled all of the disasters related to drug and cosmetic related adverse events that he, who had responsibility for the nation's health, was unable to prevent.
Unfortunately due to the misguided efforts of some of our politicians, like Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in collusion with vitamin makers, pharmaceutical companies, and various monied interests [e.g., supporters of preemption, we are now...
Back to the Future!
And so in the spirit of Dr. Larrick, J. Douglas Bremner, M.D., brings you his own
Chamber of Horrors!
The pharmaceutical industry has been pretty aggressive about getting their products out to market, including such tactics as manipulative use of expert consensus guidelines to the use of former professional cheerleaders as drug reps.
As noted by the author of a recent book on pharmaceutical marketing "Hard Sell: Evolution of a Viagra Salesman", pharma isn't below stooping to take advantage of the basest instincts of the (mostly male) medical profession. As noted by the author, a whiff of perfume or a pretty skirt is all it takes for a busy doctor to make his patients wait while he gets an armful of doubtful literature and free samples that may be actually increasing the risk and expense to the poor patients who are the most frequent recipients of the free samples.
These drugs are usually new products that are untested and tend to be more risky. For instance, of the 15 medications most commonly given as free samples to children, four of them had black box warnings and unusually risky profiles as I have written about before, including Elidel (eczema), Advair (asthma), Adderall and Strattera (ADHD).
Since TV and the internet has impaired the attention span of most Americans (including the internet addicted waifs and scholars who read this blog), the Chamber of Horrors will be coming in installments, so stay tuned! (logged in, whatever).
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