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Pepin's Pharmaceutical Prattle for 08-10-2009

 Quote of the day: No one means all he says,

                    and yet very few say all they mean,

                    for words are slippery and thought is viscous.

                          Henry Adams (1838 - 1918)

Good Morning!


The Senate just approved another $2 BILLION for its CASH for CLUNKERS program. The program that further curtailed car buying as soon as it was announced and created pent up demand for new cars until the dust settled. The program was out of money after 4 days! They expect that the refinanced program which offers me the chance to help others buy new cars will last until Labor day.

I have a new twist on the Clunkers program when this one runs out. In this new clunkers program anyone driving an old clunker would be offered new parts. The parts would be taken off of new cars just rolling off of the assembly line. No guarantees would be made that any of the parts from the brand new cars would fit the old clunkers even with the help of an adapt-o-kit. The new parts could even cause the clunkers to stop permanently before their natural death by rust. If any of the clunkers would benefit from the new parts they would be unlikely to go another 200,000 miles but they might get another 10,000 miles. The new cars taken off of the assembly line would be completely scrapped.

I can just about hear you all say (in unison), THAT IS THE STUPIDEST IDEA I HAVE EVER HEARD! I would have to agree with you but it is EXACTLY what is being done with embryonic stem cell research. We are scrapping the new models (of humans) as they come off of the assembly line (before birth) in order to keep old clunkers on the road for a little longer. There is no guarantee that the cells from embryos will offer ANY benefits and evidence from some of the research already performed that, for Parkinson disease, embryonic stem cell implants actually make things worse.

This old clunker will keep going down the road of life until he finally and totally wears out from natural causes. I’ll keep up on the scheduled maintenance including oil changes and try to keep the load on the light side but when my time comes simply haul the empty shell away… but watch for the supped up version me on the streets of gold.

Have a GREAT week!



ps. Best answer this week to the question "How are you?" was "I'm just a hair above subterranean."

(the most truthful although not the most uplifting)

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) We’re number 1… we’re number 2… we’re number 3….

Ranking of the top pharmaceutical companies by sales. Also shows the percentage increase or decrease over the previous year. Pfizer is pfirst (pfor now).


2) FDA changes the rule on generic drug testing

FDA will not require clinical testing of generic vancomycin before the drug can be marketed. Expect additional pressure on the price as at least two more companies enter the market. Vancomycin is about 5% of the cost of Zyvoxx (which is used to treat similar infections) but drug resistance to vancomycin is increasing. I expect that vancomycin use will be rare in 5 years. This ruling may also open the flood gates for additional generic drugs in most other therapeutic areas.


3) Another type of terrorism…

Novartis’ CEO summer home was fire-bombed, family graves were desecrated, and threats of personal further attacks continue. Why? The animal rights terrorists want to stop animal testing. Group may garner more attention but I expect that they will receive less sympathy.



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4) Layoffs (aka Buy Outs) likely to hit some of my former neighbors…

Eli Lilly (AKA Uncle Ely) was largely responsible for the growth on Indianapolis. When I lived there they were the largest private employer in town. Appears that they will offer a “buy out” to about 4000 employees. Who knows how many positions will be eliminated but the guess is in the 300 to 400 range. May be like the CASH FOR CLUNKERS… first come are served and the rest lament their inaction. Sad to say, I expect many to be pharmacists because Uncle Ely hired only pharmacist for it sales force until only recently.


5) New FDA chief after scalps already.

After only 8 weeks on the job the new FDA commissioner speaks on enforcement. No more delays, obfuscation, smoke, mirrors, or other tactics will keep the FDA from laying fines, collecting fines, and generally making all accountable to the agency. You go girl!


6) “Anothow Watson wecall?!!!” exclaimed Elmer Fudd.

Yet another leaky fentanyl patch recall. This time by Watson (Watson is not in the top 20).


7) Fool me once…

The saying goes “Fool me once: shame on you. Fool me twice: shame on me!” Pharma is going to back Obama care to the tune of $150 MILLION dollars in promotion of his health care plan. This on the heals of being tagged for $80 BILLION a few months ago and then being told that they will have to kick in twice as much as that in the last few weeks. (Maybe I should spell "fool" with a "Ph")  






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Disclaimer: "Pepin's Pharmaceutical Prattle" (AKA "The Prattle") is the property of PHARMWORKS, LLC and Steven M. Pepin, Pharm. D. 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 1998-2009 PHARMWORKS,LLC all rights reserved.

Copyright 1998-2009 PHARMWORKS, LLC all rights reserved