Hot Topics: Pharmaceuticals
by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.
Like others in our WebMd culture I often go to the internet to research my symptoms, looking for possible solutions.…Full Article
by Amy Reese, PharmD, MA
Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is a neuraminidase inhibitor which decreases the viral spread of Influenza A and B.…Full Article
Last month, I was honored to be named one of the BBC 100 Women of 2019, which is a list they compile each year of inspiring and influential women. The list includes women from around the world of all ages (from teenagers to nonagenarians) and various professions. People from around the world will be familiar with the names of some of the women, such as Alexandria of Ocasio-Cortez, Megan Rapinoe, and Greta Thunberg, while other women will be new to the world stage.
This year’s theme was the female future and some of the 100 Women were invited to London or Delhi to answer the question, “What would the future look like if it were driven by women?” In my talk, I claimed that a future driven by women would engender more male contraceptive options. Currently, women are responsible for the vast majority of contraception and have over a dozen contraceptive options, whereas men have only 2 options – condoms and vasectomy – and under 10% of women worldwide rely on male methods. The introduction of “the pill,” which was the first long-acting, reversible contraceptive and the first hormonal contraceptive, was a significant milestone in women’s rights since it allowed women to effectively control their reproduction without their partners’ knowledge or involvement. It is important for women to have a variety of contraceptive methods available so they can control their fertility yet being the main ones responsible for contraception also comes with a variety of disadvantages, including physical, emotional, social, financial, and time-related burdens. Additionally, the lack of male contraceptive options inhibits men’s reproductive autonomy.
The goal of my talk was to enumerate the factors that have led to our current contraceptive arrangement so that we can figure out how to move towards a future with more male contraceptive options. I discussed three factors that have led to the disparity in contraceptive options for women and men. First, we tend to overlook men's reproduction. When people think of reproduction they typically think of pregnant people and that generally means women. The conflation of women and reproduction reinforces the alignment of contraceptive responsibility with femininity. Second, there is not sufficient funding to bring male contraceptives to market. Pharmaceutical companies aren't interested in male contraceptives because they assume that men aren't interested in contraception and that women won't trust men. Third, side effects common in new male contraceptives, which are similar to the side effects in female hormonal methods (e.g. weight gain, diminished libido, etc.), are considered emasculating and therefore unacceptable.
In order to have a future with new male contraceptives, we need to change gender norms. I discussed three areas where we are moving towards more gender equality, but need to continue to head down this path in order for new male contraceptives to become reality. First, we need to continue to make more progress on unpaid household labor: although women still do more household work like taking care of children, doing laundry, and cooking dinner, men today are doing much more than they did even a few decades ago. Taking the male pill is a natural extension of men's increased household and childcare involvement. Second, we have to change gendered perceptions about contraception. Contraception is typically thought of as “women's work,” but we need to reframe it as something that men can and should participate in too. Third, we also need to do a better job teaching about sex in general and specifically regarding LGBTQ rights and consent. Shared contraceptive responsibility fits in with a more comprehensive approach to sex education that values inclusivity and benefits all types of couples, not just those in the heteronormative paradigm. Shared contraceptive responsibility reinforces consent by conceptualizing sex is a joint endeavor that both parties need to contribute to and be responsible for.
I am hopeful for future with more male contraceptive options because I think it will decrease unmet contraceptive need worldwide, unburden women from bearing most of the responsibility for contraception, increase men's reproductive autonomy by giving them more options and, overall, it will advance gender equality.
For more on this topic, see my recent article in BBC Health News, “Are We Ready for Men to Take the Pill?”
by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.
Wednesday and Thursday nights this week saw a gathering of twenty candidates pursuing the Democratic nomination to run for President of the United States in 2020.…Full Article
by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.
Federal kickback rules state that a pharmaceutical manufacturer or medical device producer cannot pay providers or patients to recommend or prescribe their products.…Full Article
by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.
“Exploring ethical issues in TV medical dramas”
Jump to The Resident (Season 2; Episode 5): Buying Thought Leaders and Handsy Docs; Jump to New Amsterdam (Season 1; Episode 5): Gun shootings; Jump to Chicago Med (Season 4; Episode 5): Genetic secrets and duty to inform
Bell negotiates a deal with a new start-up medical device company: For a substantial discount, he will make the company the sole source of medical devices at the hospital.…Full Article
by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.
Jump to The Resident (Season 2; Episode 2): Rising drug costs Jump to New Amsterdam (Season 1; Episode 2): Cultural accommodation; medicating schoolkids Jump to Chicago Med (Season 4; Episode 2): Withholding support; withdrawing support
In its sophomore year, this show seems to be shying away from ethical issues and the gross incompetence of its fictional hospital and exchanging it for hope; hope that hospitals can cover their costs and meet patient needs.…Full Article
by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.
Last week, I was interviewed by an academic news serviceabout antimicrobial resistance (AMR) after a study reported that giving antibiotics to children in selected African towns led to a decreased mortality rate. …Full Article
Attitudes Toward Cognitive Enhancement: The Role of Metaphor and Context
To report or not to report: Exploring healthy volunteers' rationales for disclosing adverse events in Phase I drug trials
Undisclosed conflicts of interest among biomedical textbook authors
Ethical Guidance for Selecting Clinical Trials to Receive Limited Space in an Immunotherapy Production Facility
The Ethics of Advertising for Health Care Services
In rural Carter County, Tenn., health officials have embraced a strategy for stemming addiction: Teaching children as young as 6 how to reverse an overdose.Full Article
In October 2019, Dr. Janet Woodcock, the director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, testified before Congress that the United States “has become a world leader in drug discovery and development, but is no longer in the forefront of drug manufacturing.” The use of foreign-sourced materials “creates vulnerabilities in the U.S. supply chain,” Woodcock concluded.Full Article
The lottery that began this week was not about money, or about choosing a school, or about obtaining a visa. It was about a child’s life. In this case, the children selected would receive a drug that otherwise was not available.Full Article
Former billionaire and pharmaceutical executive John Kapoor has been sentenced to five years and six months in prison. His sentencing is the culmination of a months-long criminal trial in Boston’s Moakley U.S. Courthouse that resulted in the first successful prosecution of pharmaceutical executives tied to the opioid epidemic.Full Article
The U.S. is approving new drugs so fast that companies are now preparing for a green light months in advance of the scheduled decision date, a pace that’s helping patients with rare or untreatable diseases but raising alarm among consumer advocates.Full Article
Rosemary Gibson, author of China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine, discussed the shortage of essential lifesaving drugs in U.S. hospitals.Full Article
Biogen’s top scientist offered unflinching support Thursday for the efficacy of the company’s controversial Alzheimer’s drug called aducanumab, shrugging off outside skepticism and almost daring regulators not to approve it.Full Article
Companies that make genetic tests for psychiatric drugs claim to save patients and doctors from prolonged searching for the right medication and save insurance companies from paying for ineffective drugs. But many researchers say the tests don’t have enough evidence backing them up.Full Article
A critical chemotherapy medication is in short supply, and physicians say there is no appropriate substitute.Full Article
Last March, Canada’s department of health changed the way it handles the huge amount of data that companies submit when seeking approval for a new drug, biological treatment, or medical device — or a new use for an existing one. For the first time, Health Canada is making large chunks of this information publicly available after it approves or rejects applications.Full Article