I will once more mention a potential change of paradigms here with educating the public.  Each patient who took the drug is unique.  Do we have any information on other drugs they were taking at the same time?  Groups will continue to advise against the use until the full facts are known, and all we know now is there were 14 people with complications, 12 with liver failures.

Again, it goes back to how and where the medication was prescribed and the consumer/physician knowledge of the drug.  Could this have been given to patients, perhaps some in an ER room where credible information can be sketchy and non existent?  Was there some valuable information missing that could have been used?

Personal Health Records along with electronic medical records used in the office could help with some answers.  The reason I am so high on personal health records from Google and Microsoft HealthVault is that they are a “portal” for information.  Let’s face it, when looking at a drug, the potential side effects, you can get lost going all over the web and the PHR along with your records can bring this information all under one roof.  The YouTube videos that offer information are great, but most don’t even know they are there, Pharma videos, and FDA videos included, so if very few know the exist and find them, what have we done here other than fragment some more information into an already over bludgeoned healthcare information system, very confusing and difficult to mine and deal with. 

We can’t keep diagnosing/treating from the hip as there is just too much information available that should not be overlooked when it comes to pharmaceuticals today.  As consumers, it doesn’t do any good to blame someone else if you are dead because it doesn’t make much different at that point, the damage is done.

So once more some nice grants and big Pharma participating in the education process would really be a good thing and start in house with your own management and employees to understand the value and how it works.  If big Pharma could set themselves aside from just straight marketing and invest in their own employees for a good start, think of what an impression this will make on the public. Do I feel it’s ok to trust Google and Microsoft?  Let me put it this way they both protect the enterprise and server times up are 99.9% and shoot they both give away a lot of software for free, so why not, as neither one owns any interest in insurance companies and both are working towards the goal of better health care without a “risk management” sign hanging on the front door.  I post more security breach stories on government and small entities these days and can’t remember the last time Google or Microsoft were an issue.

So back to the point of this entire issue, do you not think a change in paradigms might be in order here to join the team in the effort of curing cancer and other diseases with promoting better education instead of the television commercials we see day in and day out, perhaps a few less of those and more efforts put where education is needed, at the point of care. 

Use the vendors who are working with the Personal Health Records accounts and get connected so the individual has one place to go when they need specific advice instead of having to spend time mining the web, use PHRs in house to understand the concept first, Kaiser is.  The portals make it simple and easy and one source to find all.  image

Big Pharma may have fewer issues like this and happier consumers all over if they all joined in with education at the point of care and less emphasis on straight marketing, after all their employees are human too and might like the same type of concern and help internally.  The education of personal health records and the value they offer is needed everywhere from the consumer, to the hospital, the physician, and so on.  I go in to physician offices where medical assistants have no idea what a personal health record is, and perhaps the physicians as well.  Hospital personnel too, they have no clue, so this could be one huge jump for big Pharma in joining the team with a focus toward safer and better use of the medications they manufacture, so don’t miss the boat, education is the name of the game and it is free, all that is required is a little time.  BD   

WASHINGTON -- The clouds around GlaxoSmithKline PLC's diabetes drug Avandia darkened, with leading medical groups in the U.S. and Europe calling on doctors not to use the former top-selling drug.

GlaxoSmithKline said it hadn't yet looked at the Public Citizen petition. The company said, "We do not believe there is a connection between liver toxicity and this medicine." It said Avandia is safe and effective when used appropriately.

The FDA said it will carefully review the petition. FDA officials have said there is a split within the agency about whether to pull Avandia off the market or allow it to stay but with stronger warnings.

Leading Medical Groups Advise Against Avandia - WSJ.com


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