Hits and Misses

electronic-medical-recordCall your doctor: CMS says telehealth services should cover annual wellness visits, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.

A remote control for your birth control.

A simple blood test for Alzheimer’s.

Weight loss: The best medicine for osteoarthritis.

And you thought you were a hoarder: CDC finds smallpox vials from 1950s in FDA storage room.

Poop in a pill: Fecal transplant drug nearing Phase 3 clinical trials.

A problem that self-identifies: Microwave oven that counts calories as it nukes.

Comments (14)

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    Fecal transplant drug nearing Phase 3 clinical trials.

    This is an example of what is wrong with the FDA. Fecal transplants have been tried numerous time. They have been found to work (anecdotally). We all are living proof they work — our GI tracts are full of this bacteria (which is necessary to survive). Yet, I suspect that tens of millions will be spent in the process of bringing this drug to market. Possibly hundreds of millions. Once the firm obtains FDA approval to market, the price will be high due to a lack of competitors.

    This drug is literally human GI tract bacteria. It’s not unlike yogurt bacteria grown in a vat. I recently ordered some yogurt bacteria that was shipped in from Bulgaria. I’m not suggesting we buy freeze dried gut bacteria and make yogurt out of it. But, the process isn’t rocket science; it involves packaging freeze dried bacteria in capsules that will not release their contents until in the GI tract. For that matter, the yogurt culture (that bacteria) I bought from Bulgaria would work even better as a probiotic if it were in capsule form. Yogurt cultures have to contend with stomach acid when consumed. Most of the cultures don’t survive. That’s also a problem with fecal transplant bacteria — the cultures must currently be delivered in such a way they bypass the stomach. I don’t see why gut bacteria could not be packaged in a capsule and sold as a supplement rather than a drug. THE FDA disagrees.

  2. Steve says:

    The remote-controlled birth control product is a great example of innovation in the marketplace. But what would happen if trial lawyers or the government began to sue or place burdensome regulations on the B&M Gates Foundation as they have on the major drug companies? Yep, the same effect it always has…costlier and delayed medical products and fewer of them.

    Check out this blog’s recent post on the suing of drug companies: http://healthblog.ncpa.org/oxycontin-abuse-stopping-the-dealers-helps-suing-the-drugmaker-does-not/

  3. Steve says:

    “the chip is to be inserted under a woman’s skin and can be activated and deactivated by remote control.”

    That’s an awful lot of trust to be placed in those batteries!

    • Frank says:

      Haha, I was thinking the same thing! Or what if someone else got a control of that remote…

    • Buster says:

      I’m having a hard time figuring out why the decision to deactivate a contraceptive should be taken with such haste as to need a remote control?

      The device is inserted and kept active until the woman wants to conceive. It’s then reactivated until the women wants to conceive again. It lasts 16 years. Do you really want to trust a birth control device to last 16 years? It would be impossible for the designers to actually test it to verify that it consistently works for 16 years. What if it breaks down in year 10? You wouldn’t know until it failed.

      • Studebaker says:

        Many families wait to have children until they’re well into their 30s. Can you imagine the conversation when the wife notices the remote is missing…

        “Honey, have you seen the remote control for my birth control?”

        “Why no, I thought you had it last!”

        “What do you mean I had it last?”

        “When was the last time you say it?”

        “Oh, I think it was in the box with the remotes for the old Sony Trinitron TV and VCR when we moved here.”

        “Oh Geez, we gave those old electronics to the Goodwill down the street!”

        “Oh NO!”

        “What if one of the neighbors buys it thinking it’s a universal remote?”

        “Go to Goodwill and see if you can buy it back.”

  4. Big Truck Joe says:

    So if she’s on a remote control, can I change the channel and get a different woman?

  5. Big Truck Joe says:

    Does the remote come with a mute button?

  6. Jay says:

    “Microwave oven that counts calories as it nukes.”

    So if I heat up a TV dinner, will it also tell me the amount of calories of the plastic tray my meal is in?

  7. Bart I. says:

    “Just 20mm x 20mm x 7mm”

    Wow. I guess it’s not injected like Norplant.

  8. Bubba says:

    How come nobody has mentioned anything about the Fecal Transplant clinical trial? The FDA is set to approve a drug that consists of little more than swallowing a time-release capsule full of poop bacteria. A $30 million investment will result in a return on investment of billions. What I want to know: how can a company patent poop bacteria?