Thursday, March 10, 2005

More on the AdderallXR ban and A CARTOON

At Honeycomb Connect there's an interesting Compliance Column by Fiona Jones: May I Have Your Attention Please?

In additional to facts we've gone over here before, Jones provides data about the growth of the ADHD industry:

the ADHD epidemic has grown from 150,000 cases in 1970, to an estimated 3 to 7 percent of school-age children. Some estimates put the rate as high as 15 percent of all school-age children and while it is difficult to get an exact figure what is clear is that the diagnosis of ADHD is on the rise.

Also, the article gives a bit of the FDA's side on the AdderallXR ban. Apparently officials in Canada have the luxury of pulling a drug while safety concerns are investigated, but in the US regulatory framework this isn't an option. Then the article drops this bombshell:

Several US newspapers reported that U.S. Senator Charles E. Grassley alleges that the FDA asked Canadian regulators not to pull the drug because the agency couldn't handle another crisis over drug safety. Grassley indicated his information came from FDA whistle-blowers and the FDA declined comment on the accusation.

Ritalin is the ADD drug that joined other pharmaceuticals Prozac and Viagra in the lazy comedian's quick'n'easy joke bag. Recent research would indicate Ritalin has some painfully unfunny problems, though:

Researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) have just released some alarming results on RitalinĀ®. In a small study on just 12 children taking RitalinĀ® they found that every child experienced a significant increase in their level of chromosome abnormalities - occurrences associated with increased risks of cancer and other adverse health effects.

Finally, we have the cartoon. The Consumers Union, the hardworking folks that tell you which vacuum cleaner or DVD player is the best in their magazine, Consumer Reports, have come out with a cartoon, The Drugs I Need, that is part of their 'Prescription for Change' campaign for greater transparency regarding clinical trial results.


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