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Pepin's Pharmaceutical Prattle for 02-15-2010

 Quote of the day:

Nothing takes the

 taste out of peanut butter

 quite like unrequited love.

   Charlie Brown in "Peanuts"

Charles M. Schulz (1922 - 2000)





Good Morning!

Four Flavors of Love

English is a great language. We are able to describe in intricate detail all of the technical and scientific processes required to make our “things” work. Pharmaceutical science has a language all of its own and nothing could send my bride into a coma faster than pharmacy talk at a party. Pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, pharmacoeconomics, were terms that reached her ears but all she heard was pharmaco-balh-blah-blab. Bless her, she has tried.

The Inuit people are reported to have hundreds of words for snow. This is really more of an urban myth. It is based upon a passage in The Handbook of North American Indians (1911) by linguist and anthropologist Franz Boas: “...just as English uses derived terms for a variety of forms of water (liquid, lake, river, brook, rain, dew, wave, foam) that might be formed by derivational morphology from a single root meaning 'water' in some other language, so Eskimo uses the apparently distinct roots aput 'snow on the ground', gana 'falling snow', piqsirpoq 'drifting snow', and qimuqsuq 'a snow drift.”  I wonder how the Inuit would describe the light flakey type, floating ice crystals of ice-fog, or the soggy-wet-powerline breaking type that fell in Dallas in the last week. I doubt that they had any words to describe palm trees, toaster ovens, or pharmaco-anything. They do have words for what they experience or encounter.

The Greeks who gave us the Olympics had 4 words for love while we are stuck with just one for Valentine’s day (and the rest of the year). Storge is the love that is felt for parents, children and family.  Philia is the type of love that friends share, Eros is the passionate, sexual desire that so many feel is the “only” type of love. Finally there is Agape, the sacrificial love that places the object of affection “on a pedestal” and is the true, unconditional love that is most frequently described in the Bible. This year I wrote I love you 4 times on the Valentine card to my bride of 35 years, each time substituting a different Greek word. My valentine’s words for the rest of you are Philia and Agape when I say… 




ps. Best answer this week to the question "How are you?" was "I'm better than yesterday... not as good as tomorrow!"

pps. Please note that some of the links may not be up for very long and that

     you should capture or print anything that you may wish to keep.



1) Pharmaco-geek-etics?

Pharmaceutical companies are enlisting the help of many other disciplines to get their message out. Linking kids glucose meters to their Nintendo machines to encourage testing, IPhone apps for recording and sharing data, and web browsing of pharmaceutical databases are just 3 examples. The author thinks that these types of cooperative deals will replace the mergers and acquisitions of the last 10 years.


2) Putting the CARE in CareMark?

Congressional investigations and FTC investigations into the merger of CVS and Caremark continue. Seems that unions and legislators still don’t understand the pharmaco-what-cha-ma-call-it of generics. While generics do provide a higher profit margin to pharmacies and PBMs, they also cut costs for employees and the companies (or government entities) that employ them. Some objections in the article may have merit such as warning about using multiple pharmacies.


3) MBAs discover new love interest… healthcare

With 20% of the economy based on healthcare and a purported surplus of people with an MBA the marriage appears to have been made. With all of the proposed legislation and regulation on the horizon I hope that SOMEONE can apply good business practices. Other industries will continue to sop up the “best and the brightest” new grads but it is nice to know that all will likely find jobs in this economy.


 Click picture to learn about

     Hook or Crook

   Upscale, one-of-a-kind handbags accessories


4) FDA news for the heart.

Crestor was given a nice Valentine by the FDA… a new indication. Now patients with elevated C-reactive protein levels but no other cardiac risks will have access to the drug. (Don’t believe that this was a gift… it is hard work to produce the type of evidence that leads to a new indication.)


5) Not feelin’ the love

Depressed patients, even though treated, are more likely to have lower productivity than non-depressed workers. Disabilty claim costs were triple those of other workers. Even less productive would be those who have depression but go untreated.


6) Four ways to generically say “I love you”

The 4 top generics manufactures in the world accounted for 47% of the US market in 2009. See a pie chart of the players at


7) To pharma, with love, from the FDA.

The FDA has “given” and extension to pharmaceutical companies to submit paperwork that was due the week of the snowstorm that shut everything down in DC for the last week or so. Good thing that Presidents Day holiday is 2-15 so that workers get even more time to rest up and be even more productive when they return 2-16.






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Disclaimer: "Pepin's Pharmaceutical Prattle" (AKA "The Prattle") is the property of PHARMWORKS, LLC and Steven M. Pepin, Pharm. D, BCPS. The opinions expressed are those of the bald-headed author. To start or stop any drug without the advice and supervision of your physician would be stupid. So don't do anything based upon what you read here without professional advice.  To be added to or removed from the distribution list please e-mail your request to . All insightful comments from readers are thoughtfully considered (the rest are callously discarded). Copyright 1998-2010 PHARMWORKS,LLC all rights reserved.

Copyright 1998-2010 PHARMWORKS, LLC all rights reserved