Posted on Sunday 23 December 2012

Midwinter Soltice at Stonehenge
 Mayan Calendar
No matter how you measure it, the longest night has passed once again without cataclysm, and it looks as if the sun is on its way back for yet another year; and so no matter what you think it means or how you celebrate it, best wishes for the holiday season…
    December 23, 2012 | 11:20 PM

    Nobody saw THAT coming.

    Nick Stuart
    December 24, 2012 | 8:34 AM

    Best wishes to you too. Thanks for all your fascinating work this year. Cheers!

    December 24, 2012 | 10:23 AM

    i hope you have a merry and a happy holiday season

    thanks for the time and effort you put into the public dialog


    The Independent on Big Bad Pharma – by Kathryn Abel

    “Another approach is not to branch the molecules, but to branch the ‘indication’, or potential market, for an existing compound. The psychotropic drugs, in particular perhaps second generation anti-psychotic (SGA) medications, have been spread far and wide in this way and further away from their original indication for schizophrenia-like psychosis.

    These SGA medications are now not only used in adults with schizophrenia but in children, adolescents, in eating disorder, in people with personality disorders, in those who self-harm, in people with bipolar disorder and in a whole range of non-psychotic behavioural presentations. Pregnant women and fetuses are more likely than ever to be exposed to an anti-psychotic compound. Of course, optimising the money generated for a product which is so expensive to develop is not in itself wrong, or indeed a bad idea. The problem, it seems to me, is that finding a new market for a drug, can mean finding a new problem or a new disease. Innovation is no longer necessarily driven by a health need; rather a commercial one.

    Antidepressants for all

    The antidepressant group of medications, the SSRIs or serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are a similar case in point to the SGAs. Their tentacles have reached far beyond the treatment of depressive disorder. Indeed, some suggest that company strategy has been to invent ‘need disorders’ like the controversial female sexual dysfunction disorder (treated with SSRIs). Critics suggest that clinicians are encouraged by the pharmaceutical industry to develop new diagnostic categories in which to test efficacy of their compounds and develop a new market need. This kind of approach seems to be a change in business model for the pharmaceutical industry, a result, perhaps, of modern business practice generally, but also of the creation of a handful of powerful pharma giants.

    So where does that leave us and our relationship with an industry, which, whether we like it or not, we have grown to rely on as a species? My personal view is that we need to change the focus from pharmacological intervention to positive lifestyle changes. In big picture terms, this means more resources should be diverted to global public health and consequently less money will be spent on treating illnesses and disease.”

    December 24, 2012 | 3:52 PM

    Best wishes for the new year to you, Dr. Mickey.

    December 24, 2012 | 8:07 PM

    Thank you for your dedicated work, Dr. Mickey. Peace to you for the year ahead. Peace and the strength to persevere.

    December 28, 2012 | 11:47 AM

    Wishing you a happy new year Mickey.

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