Cancer is a devastating disease, with approximately 40% of men and women facing a diagnosis of cancer at some point during their lifetimes (based on 2010-2012 data). In addition, cancer is a costly disease, with national expenditures in the United States reaching nearly $125 billion in 2010 and a projected $156 billion in 2020.
Over 23.5 million Americans are afflicted with autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease affecting approximately 1.3 million Americans. In a case of mistaken identity, the body’s immune system mistakes its own tissues for foreign invaders, such as bacteria or viruses and develops antibodies to destroy the “invaders” in the synovium. Currently, there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis and the treatments are often saddled with a variety of side effects, some as severe as the disease.
The pharmaceutical industry is currently in an era of change and in some senses is being upended by these changes, thanks to the development of new technology. Patients are rapidly becoming more empowered to do their own research and make decisions about their healthcare. One of the recent technological developments in the healthcare industry enabling this is the rise of the ‘health app’. Apple products have their own integrated health app that tracks statistics such as weight, heart rate, significant medical dates and other information.
Mississippi and Ohio are two states that have been hit hard by the recent opioid crisis affecting the nation, with over 200,000 Ohioans addicted to opioids. Mike DeWine, the Attorney General, filed a lawsuit in May of 2017 against 5 separate pharmaceutical companies alleging that the companies “helped unleash a health crisis that has had far-reaching financial, social, and deadly consequences in the state of Ohio”. This makes Ohio the second state to file suit against pharma companies, with Mississippi the first state. They allege that the manufacturers knowingly marketed opioids while minimizing the risks of addiction, while simultaneously overstating the benefits.
Benzodiazepines are a commonly prescribed medication for anxiety, seizures, and a myriad of other medical conditions. However, this medication doesn’t come without its faults, of which there are many serious ones. Benzodiazepines such as Ativan and Xanax are potentially addictive after only a short period of
In 2017, advertising and promoting products is a minefield. The availability of detailed and extensive information on consumer spending habits provides countless ethical pitfalls that are only magnified when the product in question is a drug. In the past only magazine ads and TV commercials were utilized for drug advertising, now we have an array of choices that don't always feel like marketing, but more like a conversation with a good friend.
Why do old men have big ears? Can smiling at a crocodile affect your desire to gamble? And most importantly, can cats act as both a liquid and a solid?
These are the questions that keep us awake at night. Fortunately, there are scientists working diligently on these puzzles, as well as many other weird and curious questions. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed, and most recently were celebrated at the 2017 Ig Nobel Awards, a scientific recognition of the strangest and most obscure scientific experiments or studies done in that year.
You're feeling under the weather, with a cough that just won't go away, so you decide to visit your doctor. After a few minutes of one-on-one time, with some poking and prodding, you may be walking out of the office with a prescription in hand and on the way to feeling better. How much more personal does it get? Perhaps not surprisingly, it can get a lot more personal, and it has nothing to do with your doctor, and everything to do with science.
In our current system of medicine, your treatment plan has very little to do with you specifically; most likely it is the exact same treatment your doctor would give to anyone with the same condition. Medicine today is based on “standards of care,” the most prudent course of prevention or treatment for the general population. With medication treatment for depression, for example, those standards may mean treatment with an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), followed by a second trial if the first one fails. If the second treatment fails, doctors and patients move on to the next one and the next in a trial and error approach.
Artificial intelligence is more than just a concept for the newest blockbuster movie, it is moving into mainstream science and the pharmaceutical industry as well. The Korea Pharmaceutical and Bio-pharma Manufacturers Association has recently announced the launch of a team focused on purchasing artificial technology for drug development. Artificial intelligence computing systems can be used to analyze molecular interactions, and predict drug efficacy and side effects. The technology can be utilized to guide and optimize clinical trial planning, greatly reducing the timeline for new drug development.