Wednesday, April 1, 2009

emerging merck / vioxx news: intimidated opposing views re: heart risk

"Vioxx maker Merck and Co drew up doctor hit list" -Milanda Rout.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25272600-23289,00.html

With a bit of websearching, I discovered a pdf of a bit of this communication:
http://dida.library.ucsf.edu/pdf/oxx03j10

-from UCSF drug company document archive. wow, what a source to discover.

Basically, it is old news now that Merck deliberately and knowingly covered up the cardiovascular risk associated with the painkiller Vioxx.

This emerging story indicates that, along with recruiting (paying) "thought leader" physicians to get the word out about Vioxx, as a marketing strategy thinly disguised as "dissemination of knowledge," or "CME," Merck was also working the other direction: trying to figure out how to intimidate-into-silence any reputable critics.

Great news for all of us as we try to figure out whether we should trust the Merck / trust the Gardasil marketing-through-state-mandates activity. Who knows what Merck might be doing currently to quiet opposition to mandated Gardasil shots for teens.

What have we lost, with the withdrawal of Vioxx? Yes, it worked well, but folks, it was just another non-narcotic pain killer. There remain plenty pain management options.

Pills generally win over psychotherapy strategies for pain, although psychotherapy techniques can have some effect - some ppl are able to benefit from hypnotism. Clinically, I have had a little experience trying to hypnotize ppl for pain reduction. It worked with one person, so I believe it can work. I am pretty sure, though, that it is either just some ppl and some cases that can benefit, or it takes a very good hypnotist/clinician (and for some combo of events, this one client may have believed I knew what I was doing).

Becoming mentally calm seems to let the body turn down the sensitivity meter for pain signals, so when pain does flare up, it is only a one-alarm fire versus two- or three-alarm.

Life managment strategies are important for chronic pain: manage stress, do some good stretching such as yoga pilates etc., get decent sleep, and don't 'over-do' it (hard to tell chronic-pain ppl who for some reason seem to be driven ppl who don't like to tackle plans in bite size pieces, but like to work until they drop. Just my observation. Meds really wins this one. Fortunately, plenty of meds besides Vioxx.

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