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Molecules to Medicine

Molecules to Medicine

Demystifying drug development, clinical research, medicine, and the role ethics plays

Hurricanes, Poverty, and Neglected Infections

This week, the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, is always a time for me for reflection on poverty and justice in America. Katrina brought focus to our country’s disparities and the response—or lack thereof—to disasters...

August 30, 2012 — Judy Stone

The NIH Superbug Story a Missing Piece

Considerable attention has been given to this week’s news about hospital (healthcare) acquired infections (HAI) at NIH with a “superbug.” *There has been probably misplaced criticism of NIH for not making its finding of transmission of a bacteria between patients public, as well as wonder at the high-tech tools that enabled NIH to track down this killer organism.These articles all overlook the more basic underlying problems, which I am aware of because of my practice as an Infectious Disease physician.These relatively new, highly resistant strains of bacteria—carbapenem resistant Gram negative bacteria as Klebsiella and Acinetobacter—are not just at NIH...

August 24, 2012 — Judy Stone

Counterfeit Drugs: a Deadly Problem

Counterfeit drugs appear to be “all the rage.” For some time there have been problems with counterfeit antimalarials, as I learned when I studied in Bangkok at the Asian Tropical Medicine Course in 2006...

August 20, 2012 — Judy Stone

Hospital merger d j vu

For past decades I’ve vacationed in mid-coast Maine, an enjoyable respite from sweltering Washington, D.C. weather. When I returned to Boothbay Harbor last week, I was dismayed to learn that local St...

August 13, 2012 — Judy Stone

Diet drugs vs. Healthier lifestyle

As expected, the FDA recently announced approval of a second drug for obesity within a month, Vivus’ Qnexa, now renamed Qsymia. This approval is less of a surprise, as the data appeared somewhat stronger than that for Arena’s lorcaserin (Belviq)...

August 3, 2012 — Judy Stone

Over-the-counter OraQuick HIV test: What does this mean for you?

The FDA has just announced approval for the OraQuick In-Home HIV test, by OraSure Technologies. That’s great news on some fronts, but the test raises new questions, as well.As I’ve just been catching up on my vacation reading with Marya Zilberberg’s helpful new book, “Between the Lines,” the first thing that caught my eye were the statistics on the test’s accuracy...

July 9, 2012 — Judy Stone

A Glut of Obesity Drugs?

On June 27, the FDA approved the first new weight-loss drug in 13 years, Arena’s lorcaserin (Belviq). The track record for anti-obesity drugs has not been very good—each has been withdrawn from the market, after approval, due to safety concerns...

July 2, 2012 — Judy Stone

Clinical Trials for Beginners: Recipe for a new drug

Sometimes it seems like new drugs suddenly appear like magic. Have you ever wondered if there was something special going on behind the scenes? Earlier in Clinical Trials for Beginners, we looked briefly at why drug studies came into being, then at how a drug is developed, from test tube to your tissues...

June 26, 2012 — Judy Stone

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