On November 16, 2021 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had authorized marketing of EaseVRx, which they described as “a prescription-use immersive virtual reality (VR) system that uses cognitive behavioral therapy and other behavioral methods to help with pain reduction in patients 18 years of age and… read more "Virtual Reality Therapy"
Generic Drugs and Global Deception
Generic drugs are supposed to be equivalent to brand-name drugs, but all too often they are defective. Katherine Eban’s book shows that corrupt overseas manufacturers have committed intentional global fraud. The system is broken and the FDA lacks the power to correct abuses. I always thought generic drugs were the… read more "Generic Drugs and Global Deception"
The Elephant in the Compounding Pharmacy
Compounding pharmacies create medicines specifically designed for the needs of an individual patient when those needs are not met by products available on the market. They may eliminate an ingredient the patient is allergic to, they may prepare a liquid version of a pill for patients who have difficulty swallowing,… read more "The Elephant in the Compounding Pharmacy"
“Female Viagra?” Misleading Headlines and Regulatory Dilemmas
The FDA recently approved flibanserin (brand name Addyi) for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in pre-menopausal women. The story of flibanserin illustrates several of the issues we have confronted on this blog: It was hyped in the media. Misleading headlines called it the female Viagra. It was initially rejected… read more "“Female Viagra?” Misleading Headlines and Regulatory Dilemmas"
Kudos to a Journalist
Many SBM readers will remember the late, great Barry Beyerstein, a luminary of the skeptical movement and author of a classic article that has been cited many times on SBM, an explanation of why bogus therapies seem to work. One of his greatest personal accomplishments is not as well known: he produced an exceptional daughter,… read more "Kudos to a Journalist"
Is Tylenol Safe?
Tylenol (acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol outside the US) has been in the news recently. Most of the stories I’ve seen have been accurate, but I’ve run across a couple of people who misunderstood what they read. I thought I’d try to put the record straight. An FDA advisory panel… read more "Is Tylenol Safe?"
Tactless About TACT: Critiques Without Substance Should Be Abandoned
In May 2008, the article “Why the NIH Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT) Should Be Abandoned” was published online in the Medscape Journal of Medicine. The authors included two of our own SBM bloggers, Kimball Atwood and Wallace Sampson, along with Elizabeth Woeckner and Robert Baratz. It showed that… read more "Tactless About TACT: Critiques Without Substance Should Be Abandoned"
Mercury Must Be Bad – If Not in Vaccines, In Teeth
Those of us who are baby boomers or older can remember playing with mercury when we were young. The thermometer broke, and you pushed the little globules around. Or you fooled around with the stuff in science class. My husband says he used to get mercury to flow over the… read more "Mercury Must Be Bad – If Not in Vaccines, In Teeth"