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lquadland10 (< 20)

And the Drug Companies and FDA Try to Kill Us Again in the name of Profits.

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March 13, 2009 – Comments (6) | RELATED TICKERS: AUY , GLD , SLV

Psoriasis turns deadly

Dear Friend,

Leave it to the FDA to wait until the last minute to finally sound the alarm a drug with deadly side effects. By now, I'm sure you've heard that Genetech's psoriasis drug Raptiva not only might cause a brain infection, but it could even kill you. That's a heck of a risk to be taking to clear up your skin.

As usual, the FDA issued a warning — but still left the drug available on the marketplace for those who are brave enough to take the drug (or whose doctor is stupid enough prescribe it). Apparently, the FDA doesn't think the fact the four patients who took Raptiva were soon after diagnosed with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in the brain – three of whom have died – is enough to pull the drug off of shelves.

According the FDA, October's advisory prompted Genetech to develop a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) to include a medication guide to educate patients about the drug's risks. And yet here we are, a few short months later with at last three deaths pinned to this drug.

It's sickening.

Psorasis is a chronic, autoimmune skin disorder that causes unsightly, scaly red patches to appear on the skin. It can be devastating to the self-esteem of the people afflicted with it. Psoriasis can also affect the joints. But that's mild compared to PML, a disease that kills a whopping 80 percent of those who contract it within just six months. Survivors of the disease usually have severe, lifelong neurological damage.

I'm the only one who thinks that the FDA is slacking. Even the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended a ban on issuing any more prescriptions for Raptiva, and advised anyone on the drug to immediately find an alternative treatment. This recommendation has since become law.

The EMA stated that "the benefits of Raptiva no longer outweight the risks because of safety concerns, including the occurrence of PML in patients taking the medicine."

I don't understand why anyone would risk the side effects of this treatment when there are plenty of natural medicines out there that can help combat psoriasis. I've also told you in the past about a psoriasis treatment from Spain called zinc pyreithione (which was banned by the FDA from over-the-counter sales, and soon after patented by Big Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline, surprise surprise, and made available only by prescription under the brand name Temovate).

But they haven't patented licorice yet. It's been used for centuries for its medicinal properties and has been shown to be an effective treatment for skin issues like psoriasis and eczema.

6 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 13, 2009 at 11:51 AM, devoish (98.56) wrote:

lguadland10,

No, I had not heard.

Thanks.

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#2) On March 13, 2009 at 11:58 AM, tfirst (33.45) wrote:

I've found that a good sunburn, along with a swim in the ocean will clear up mine within a day or two....

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#3) On March 13, 2009 at 12:32 PM, GNUBEE (25.25) wrote:

Lquadland, Pyrithione Zinc is found in anti-dandruff shampoos. Here in the US. It may not have been approved in cream form for psoriasis though.

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#4) On March 13, 2009 at 1:05 PM, IBDvalueinvestin (99.68) wrote:

The FDA is not always looking to approve drugs for profits.

They also approve tests which can detect cancer or other diseases as well before they become untreatable.

For example today it approved a test for early detection of cervical cancer in women with 100% specifictivity. That is above the percentage of those out in the market currently.

So this shows its not just for profits, because Hologic will now be taken away market share (Profits) from other companies with similiar weaker tests for cervical cancer. 

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#5) On March 13, 2009 at 1:33 PM, Gemini846 (50.01) wrote:

His point that the drug lobby has WAY too much say in healthcare (and its costs) to allow the FDA to be objective. As someone who considered a career doing this type of Pharmacology you have to consider all the angles. There are a lot of them.

1) Medicine is NOT an exact science. Even routine treatments can have side effects when mixed with rarer diseases or abnormalities.
2) Patients are often either desperate for treatment, or are desperate for cheeper alternatives.  Samples offer drug companies a way to do "long term" follow ups on lower income patients since they know the doctors will give thier drugs away.
3) Side effects may not show up for years after treatment so they are hard to evaluate.
4) The costs of developing drugs is high. Sure you have situations where a company may have gone under or a drug may have been "re-manufactured" to treat something else, but every business has costs. Getting those drugs approved by the FDA is one of those costs.
5) 4 deaths out of how many is unacceptable? Were we able to prove that this drug caused/aggrivated the disease? This is the question I couldn't bring myself to answer which is why I decided to NOT persue this kind of work. I understand asking the company who developed it to do this research is a little biased, but how much would a third party study cost? (Maybe the FDA needs to get some Obama money. Even I'm not opposed to spending in the "Public Health" realm.)
6) With all that, how do you keep costs down and keep new treatments flowing to the market?

I hate to play devils advocate here, and I know there is a lot of big pharma money running around, but I don't think the FDA is the evil conspiracy you're making it out to be.

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#6) On March 17, 2009 at 1:02 PM, KereRemle (< 20) wrote:

This guy is useless and knows nothing about the use of this product; this is simply an attempt at chic, anti-establishement  ranting for rantings sake.

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