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Peter Jennings spent at least an hour attacking the entire pharmaceutical (well the PMA and research pharmaceutical company types, anyway) and I was both appalled at him and his reportage and also at some of the things he said that were true.

Among the things I thought he was totally uninformed upon:

He dumped on COX-2 inhibitors and hit Pharmacia and Merck very, very hard over the fact that their analgetic effect is no better than over-the-counter Alleve or Motrin. At least the head of Merck had the guts to stand up to him. I was amazed that nobody on the drug industry side or the sharks mentioned that comparable analgetic and antiinflammatory effects, with reduced risk of GI bleeding, were the goals of the COX-2 research.

It was barely glossed over that the COX-2's give hope to people who cannot tolerate regular NSAIDS or they might bleed to death from GI ulceration. The years of research and millions of dollars spent on developing COX-2's was never mentioned, nor was the mechanism by which they work, that differs from OTC NSAIDS, ever explained.

Among the things I think I agree with:

Blatantly obvious mechanisms to keep drugs on patent. Fiorinal with Codeine is a good example, given I've had to take that for years. The drug is what, 1000 years old, yet Sandoz manipulated and connived to keep a generic form off the market for many years.

Schering was slammed for its new green allergy pill, claiming that was another way to keep a generic off the market.

Inaccuracies that were inexcusable:

"The calcium channel blockers are the oldest forms of blood pressure medicine on the market today, and they still have not been proven safe or effective." That almost got a brick through the TV.

Gee, can we say:
HCTZ (Hydrochlorothiazide)?
Mercurial / Xanthine diuretics?

I could go on.

CCB's have proven to be dangerous when administered stat sublingually with an IR form that the Pt is told to chew up and let dissolve. That use was never approved by the FDA.

Anyway, anyone interest in Pharma ought to contact ABC Media and get a copy of the tape.

But be sure to take some blood pressure medication first.

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