Archive for August, 2010

Who’s Against Embryos?

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

“A misdirected zeal in matters of religion befogs the truth most grievously.”

Charles Mackay

Same old story, might as well call any cell in the body an embryonic stem cell, for what the old laws are hoping to accomplish. We’re back in the midst of theological dysfunction now with a Federal District Judge, Roce C. Lambert ruling that President Obama’s 2009 executive order that expanded embryonic stem cell research  violated a ban on federal money being used to destroy embryos.Of course, private industry can still invest in this area, but massive Federal money for supporting this vital research which may ultimately pave the way to success from everything for organ replacement to a cure for Alzheimer’s, is for the moment at least, dead in the water.  The decision of Judge Lambert, originally appointed by Reagan, means that the health institutes had to resume using harsh Bush administration rules for future grants.

Dr. George Q. Daley, director of the stem cell transplantation program at Children’s Hospital, Boston , referring to culture fluid given to cells, said, “This ruling means an immediate disruption of dozens of labs doing this work since the Obama administration made its order.”

Stay tuned.

Drug Trials, Bribery, and Probably Fraud

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Are you surprised to learn that more than 80 percent of the drugs approved for sale in 2008 involved trials in foreign countries, and 78 percent of all people who participated in clinical trials were enrolled at foreign sites? This, according to a recent investigation the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services. Medical authorities, especially ethicists, have long worried that many of these trials are in countries that federal auditors rarely visit and where research controls are questionable.According to the New York Times, at least a dozen major drug and device makers are under investigation by federal prosecutors in a broadening bribery inquiry into whether the companies made illegal payments to doctors and health officials in foreign countries.

Last month, a federal drug official reported repeated instances in a foreign clinical trial of Avandia, a controversial diabetes medicine, in which patients appeared to suffer serious heart problems that were not counted in the study’s crucial tally of adverse events. This “landmark” study is a main reason that Avandia remains on the market in the United States. So far Government officials have not accused GlaxoSmithKline, the trial’s sponsor, of fraud.