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Re: Here's my first and last word(s) SLS

Posted by Tomatheus on September 20, 2006, at 11:04:54

In reply to Re: Here's my first and last word(s), posted by SLS on September 20, 2006, at 4:20:22

> You know, the funny thing is, I never thought of our new drugs as being any better than our old drugs, just sufficiently different to get some people well that had not been made well by the old drugs. I thought everyone thought the same way. I have NEVER heard one of my doctors come right out and say that our new drugs are better than our old drugs. I have had one or two point to certain drugs and deem them as being pieces of sh*t, though. I guess I have been lucky. For the past twenty years, the best the drug companies could do was to bring up from their R&D their SSRIs. That is exactly what they had in their pipelines. It was a cohort of drugs that were developed at the same time 35 year ago. What would you expect? We were lucky to get Wellbutrin, Effexor, Serzone, and Remeron. These were not me-too drugs. Give the pharmaceutical companies a break and look at the timeline. Look at the lack of breakthroughs in the understanding of mental illnesses.


I'm not arguing against the benefits of developing new drugs. I'm not saying that new drugs don't offer benefits over old drugs, and I'm certainly not saying that we shouldn't continue to look for new compounds that can bring relief to those who are currently suffering.

I'm not arguing that some progress in the treatment of psychiatric illnesses hasn't been made. You're right. Drugs like Wellbutrin, Effexor, Serzone, and Remeron aren't "me-too" drugs. I think it's wonderful that the pharmaceutical industry has added these innovative compounds to our arsenal of psychopharmacological treatments for depression, and yes, we are lucky to have them.

But does the fact that new drugs offer benefits over old drugs in a lot of individuals make it acceptable to discontinue an older drug that continued to be the most efficacious drug for some people despite the development of newer drugs? Does that make it acceptable to claim that a film-coated version of a compound is bioequivalent to its enteric-coated version, despite the fact that empirical data show that the compound in question undergoes significant chemical degradation in stomach-like conditions but not in gut-like conditions? Does that make it acceptable for the acting director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research to assert that a pharmaceutical company's report with glaring statistical flaws can provide a "sound scientific basis" for the approval of a reformulated drug? Does that make it acceptable for a pharmaceutical company to claim that a drug formulation's dissolution and disintegration properties were poor without offering any empirical data to back up such a claim? Does that make it acceptable to add an ingredient to a drug formulation and to refer to this ingredient as being "inactive," desipte the fact that its known effects include back pain; bloody urine; cloudy urine; fever; chills; increased thirst; irregular heartbeat; lightheadedness; fainting spells; muscle rigidity; muscle cramps and pain; numbness and tingling in the hands and/or feet; pain and/or difficulty producing urine, and/or an urgent need to pass urine; seizures; skin rash; unusual tiredness and/or weakness; diarrhea; headache; loss of appetite; nausea; vomiting; and stomach pain? Does that make it acceptable for a pharmaceutical company to dismiss the complaints of patients experiencing some of the above side effects from the new formulation of a drug (which happens to contain the "inactive" ingredient that I referred to in the previous sentence) but not the old formulation of the same drug (which does not contain the ingredient referred to in the previous sentence) as a "placebo effect," despite the fact that no study has ever evaluated the side effects of the drug's new formulation in individuals taking more than a single dose of the drug? Does that make it acceptable for a pharmaceutical company to dismiss patient complaints about the effectiveness of the drug's new formulation as a "placebo effect," despite the fact that the effectiveness of the drug's new formulation has never been compared with with that of the drug's old formulation in a scientific study?

I don't doubt that there are a lot of psychiatric patients who benefit from newer drugs in a way that's far superior to the way that they could have benefited from older drugs. I don't even doubt that these patients are in the majority, and I'm in no way contesting the expertise of experienced psychiatrists who can attest to the benefits of newer drugs. However, I think that it's absolutely disgusting and immoral to claim that we've made nothing but progress in the treatment of psychiatric disorders when we have patients suffering today who were helped by the drugs that were available 30 years ago. Is a person's life a waste just because that person happens to be in the minority?

> Go ahead and rant against the researchers. They have no interest in learning new things and winning Nobel Prizes. Go ahead and rant against doctors. They have no moral or ethical constitutions nor monetary investments in their reputations.

I am confused by these statements. Are you accusing me of having ranted against researchers and/or doctors, or are you encouraging me to do so?





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