Is fen-phen safe?

Discussion in 'Health and medical' started by Dave, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. Dave

    Dave Guest

    Copied from http://www.prwatch.org/spin/index.html

    Alicia Mundy writes that "I was about to go live on the Today show to
    discuss my book on the fen-phen scandal when the host, Maria Shriver, leaned
    forward and very kindly said, 'I'm really sorry about the way we're doing
    this interview and the questions I have to ask. You understand, don't you?'
    .... It seems that the pharmaceutical company, Wyeth-Ayerst, had been
    calling. Wyeth, a major conglomerate, makes Dimetapp and Robitussin, as well
    as hormone replacement products and other drugs, and was a huge advertiser
    with NBC. They'd apparently been in negotiations with NBC's counsel over my
    pending appearance. ... I left satisfied, but remained curious about the
    dynamics behind the scenes. The answer came this summer in an
    extraordinarily revealing panel at the annual convention of Investigative
    Reporters and Editors, in Washington. ... The panel, titled 'PR Attacks and
    Counterattacks,' was moderated by Mark Feldstein of George Washington
    University. With him was a former local TV news colleague, Kent Jarrell, who
    went over to the dark side to P.R. and 'crisis management' in 1996, and is
    now a senior vice president for litigation communications at APCO Worldwide.
    Jarrell was joined by Don Goldberg, a survivor of the Clinton White House,
    who toils for the government relations firm Navigant Consulting." Source:
    Columbia Journalism Review, September/October, 2003
     
    Tags:


  2. Hawki63

    Hawki63 Guest

    >Subject: Is fen-phen safe?
    >From: "Dave" [email protected]
    >Date: 10/22/2003 1:24 PM Pacific Daylight Time
    >Message-id: <[email protected]>
    >
    >Copied from


    ahhhh...Davey...you are a bit beyond the times....

    Fen Phen WAS pulled from the marketplace about 5 years ago...as SOON as the
    heart valve problems began to appear....another example of "CONVENTIONAL
    medicine" doing the right thing...

    the article you are copying has to do with a book a gal wrote about her
    experiences...

    so no fen phen is not safe....we have known it for years (BTW I took it for a
    year...still have my heart valves!!)


    hawki
     
  3. toolz toolz

    toolz toolz Guest

    "Hawki63" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > >Subject: Is fen-phen safe?
    > >From: "Dave" [email protected]
    > >Date: 10/22/2003 1:24 PM Pacific Daylight Time
    > >Message-id: <[email protected]>
    > >
    > >Copied from

    >
    > ahhhh...Davey...you are a bit beyond the times....
    >
    > Fen Phen WAS pulled from the marketplace about 5 years ago...as SOON as

    the
    > heart valve problems began to appear....another example of "CONVENTIONAL
    > medicine" doing the right thing...

    AFTER their drug hurt folks.
    >


    >
    > so no fen phen is not safe....we have known it for years (BTW I took it

    for a
    > year...still have my heart valves!!)
    >
    >
    > hawki
     
  4. In <[email protected]>, toolz toolz wrote:
    > "Hawki63" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]


    >> Fen Phen WAS pulled from the marketplace about 5 years ago...as SOON as the
    >> heart valve problems began to appear....another example of "CONVENTIONAL
    >> medicine" doing the right thing...


    > AFTER their drug hurt folks.


    Yup -- do you know of a better way to tell what's safe and
    what isn't? As long as you're consistent in applying your
    standard, I promise to take you seriously.

    --
    | "Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a |
    | completely unintentional side effect. " -- Linus Torvalds |
    +--------------- D. C. Sessions <[email protected]> ----------+
     
  5. toolz toolz

    toolz toolz Guest

    "D. C. Sessions" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In <[email protected]>, toolz toolz

    wrote:
    > > "Hawki63" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]

    >
    > >> Fen Phen WAS pulled from the marketplace about 5 years ago...as SOON as

    the
    > >> heart valve problems began to appear....another example of

    "CONVENTIONAL
    > >> medicine" doing the right thing...

    >
    > > AFTER their drug hurt folks.

    >
    > Yup -- do you know of a better way to tell what's safe and
    > what isn't? As long as you're consistent in applying your
    > standard, I promise to take you seriously.
    >

    Well, one might think that spending millions, and the "finest" research,
    that the testing would eliminate bad drugs before they are pushed on sick
    and desperate people. Why should I know of a better way? I'm not trumpting
    the supereorty of the "scientific" research. Why spend all that money? Why
    not just put any old thing on the market, make a lot of money, and pay a few
    lawsiuts? Oh hell, that is fairly well how they do it. Do you think that
    Alt. should copy the conventional method? If so, at least the Alts. would
    have enough money to buy FDA approval.
    > --
    > | "Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a |
    > | completely unintentional side effect. " -- Linus Torvalds |
    > +--------------- D. C. Sessions <[email protected]> ----------+
     
  6. In <[email protected]>, toolz toolz wrote:
    > "D. C. Sessions" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]


    >> Yup -- do you know of a better way to tell what's safe and
    >> what isn't? As long as you're consistent in applying your
    >> standard, I promise to take you seriously.
    >>

    > Well, one might think that spending millions, and the "finest" research,
    > that the testing would eliminate bad drugs before they are pushed on sick
    > and desperate people. Why should I know of a better way? I'm not trumpting
    > the supereorty of the "scientific" research. Why spend all that money? Why
    > not just put any old thing on the market, make a lot of money, and pay a few
    > lawsiuts? Oh hell, that is fairly well how they do it. Do you think that
    > Alt. should copy the conventional method? If so, at least the Alts. would
    > have enough money to buy FDA approval.


    By definition, a test can only determine risk to approximately
    the order of the number of people in the test. Something that
    happens to 1 person in 1,000,000 is unlikely to show up in a
    test involving 100,000 people -- and that's a honking /huge/
    test.

    On the other hand, a risk of 1/10,000 is well down in the
    "we live with risks like that every day" level, at least
    compared to any serious condition. So the tests tend to
    run with groups of several thousand and watch them pretty
    closely. If that doesn't turn anything up, then it's
    time to release it to the general public -- but there's
    still surveillance. That's what happened to Fen-Phen:
    the problems were rare enough to not show up in the tests,
    only after the stuff was in wide use.

    Then it was pulled. Mathematically, there's really no
    better way to do it. It's impossible to "prove something
    safe;" at most you can prove to a high degree of confidence
    that the /risk/ is less than some set level. The lower
    you set the level, the larger the test needs to be; at
    some point it gets ridiculous.

    --
    | "Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a |
    | completely unintentional side effect. " -- Linus Torvalds |
    +--------------- D. C. Sessions <[email protected]> ----------+
     
  7. Tsu Dho Nimh

    Tsu Dho Nimh Guest

    "toolz toolz" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Well, one might think that spending millions, and the "finest" research,
    >that the testing would eliminate bad drugs before they are pushed on sick
    >and desperate people.


    There are two things that normal drug testing can not spot:

    1.) "idiosyncratic reactions" ... the one person in hundreds or
    thouands whose metabolism just can'[t handle the drug. Some
    useful antibiotics (such as the whole sulfonamide clan) and
    anaesthetics fall into this category.

    2.) Extreme long-term side effects. If you want to make
    absolutely SURE a drug is safe for long-term use (15-20 years),
    the clinical studies would have to be that long, and we'd still
    be waiting to see if Erythromycin is safe.

    >Why should I know of a better way? I'm not trumpting
    >the supereorty of the "scientific" research. Why spend all that money? Why
    >not just put any old thing on the market, make a lot of money, and pay a few
    >lawsiuts? Oh hell, that is fairly well how they do it. Do you think that
    >Alt. should copy the conventional method?


    Yes. For one, they would be having to show that their remedies
    do better than random chance.

    Tsu Dho Nimh

    --
    When businesses invoke the "protection of consumers," it's a lot like
    politicians invoking morality and children - grab your wallet and/or
    your kid and run for your life.
     
  8. toolz toolz

    toolz toolz Guest

    "D. C. Sessions" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > In <[email protected]>, toolz toolz

    wrote:
    > > "D. C. Sessions" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]

    >
    > >> Yup -- do you know of a better way to tell what's safe and
    > >> what isn't? As long as you're consistent in applying your
    > >> standard, I promise to take you seriously.
    > >>

    > > Well, one might think that spending millions, and the "finest" research,
    > > that the testing would eliminate bad drugs before they are pushed on

    sick
    > > and desperate people. Why should I know of a better way? I'm not

    trumpting
    > > the supereorty of the "scientific" research. Why spend all that money?

    Why
    > > not just put any old thing on the market, make a lot of money, and pay a

    few
    > > lawsiuts? Oh hell, that is fairly well how they do it. Do you think that
    > > Alt. should copy the conventional method? If so, at least the Alts.

    would
    > > have enough money to buy FDA approval.

    >
    > By definition, a test can only determine risk to approximately
    > the order of the number of people in the test. Something that
    > happens to 1 person in 1,000,000 is unlikely to show up in a
    > test involving 100,000 people -- and that's a honking /huge/
    > test.
    >
    > On the other hand, a risk of 1/10,000 is well down in the
    > "we live with risks like that every day" level, at least
    > compared to any serious condition. So the tests tend to
    > run with groups of several thousand and watch them pretty
    > closely. If that doesn't turn anything up, then it's
    > time to release it to the general public -- but there's
    > still surveillance. That's what happened to Fen-Phen:
    > the problems were rare enough to not show up in the tests,
    > only after the stuff was in wide use.
    >
    > Then it was pulled. Mathematically, there's really no
    > better way to do it. It's impossible to "prove something
    > safe;"

    Oh! Like Chiropractic, or several other "Alternative" therapys?
    at most you can prove to a high degree of confidence
    > that the /risk/ is less than some set level. The lower
    > you set the level, the larger the test needs to be; at
    > some point it gets ridiculous.
    >
    > --
    > | "Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a |
    > | completely unintentional side effect. " -- Linus Torvalds |
    > +--------------- D. C. Sessions <[email protected]> ----------+
     
  9. In <H%[email protected]>, toolz toolz wrote:
    > "D. C. Sessions" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]


    >> Then it was pulled. Mathematically, there's really no
    >> better way to do it. It's impossible to "prove something
    >> safe;"

    > Oh! Like Chiropractic, or several other "Alternative" therapys?
    > at most you can prove to a high degree of confidence


    In the real world (as distinct from mathematics) you can't
    "prove" anything absolutely. Even physicists are stuck with
    "so far we haven't found anything that breaks the theory."

    Originally, the word "proof" referred to "tested," in the
    same sense that "100 proof" liquor is tested for strength
    and "armor of proof" is armor that has withstood a crossbow
    shot. "Proven" doesn't mean "absolutely beyond doubt," just
    "has survived testing."

    --
    | "Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a |
    | completely unintentional side effect. " -- Linus Torvalds |
    +--------------- D. C. Sessions <[email protected]> ----------+
     
  10. Eric Bohlman

    Eric Bohlman Guest

    "D. C. Sessions" <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > Originally, the word "proof" referred to "tested," in the
    > same sense that "100 proof" liquor is tested for strength
    > and "armor of proof" is armor that has withstood a crossbow
    > shot. "Proven" doesn't mean "absolutely beyond doubt," just
    > "has survived testing."


    As in "the exception that proves the rule."

    I believe it was Isaac Asimov who said that pseudoscience was always going
    to have a wider appeal than real science because the former *claims* to
    offer absolute certainty whereas the latter denies the possibility of being
    absolutely certain. To which I'd add that mysticism has a wider appeal
    than rationality because the former puts the believer at the center of the
    universe whereas the latter puts him/her anywhere but there.
     
  11. "Eric Bohlman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > "D. C. Sessions" <[email protected]> wrote in
    > news:[email protected]:
    >
    > > Originally, the word "proof" referred to "tested," in the
    > > same sense that "100 proof" liquor is tested for strength
    > > and "armor of proof" is armor that has withstood a crossbow
    > > shot. "Proven" doesn't mean "absolutely beyond doubt," just
    > > "has survived testing."

    >
    > As in "the exception that proves the rule."
    >
    > I believe it was Isaac Asimov who said that pseudoscience was always going
    > to have a wider appeal than real science because the former *claims* to
    > offer absolute certainty whereas the latter denies the possibility of

    being
    > absolutely certain.


    Look at Heisenberg. He was so uncertain, he made it a law.

    To which I'd add that mysticism has a wider appeal
    > than rationality because the former puts the believer at the center of the
    > universe whereas the latter puts him/her anywhere but there.
     
  12. Hawki63

    Hawki63 Guest

    >Subject: Re: Is fen-phen safe?
    >From: Tsu Dho Nimh [email protected]
    >Date: 10/24/2003 5:21 AM Pacific Daylight Time
    >Message-id: <[email protected]>
    >


    >There are two things that normal drug testing can not spot:
    >


    actually there is a third..and probably way more important issue

    and this is "drug interactions...or combining drug A with drug K"

    which was the problem with phen/fen....

    phenteramine the phen part is still available...and still considered "safe"..

    let's say there are 5000 available meds....the drug research simply CANNOT test
    every conceivable combination of those 5000 meds...it is a mathematical
    impossibility

    so whereas they may say "avoid X when taking this med"...they cannot say "avoid
    a,b,c,d...etc"

    so..actuallly phen by itself and probably fen by itself was tested safe...but
    it was the combo that proved dangerous..

    BTW I don't have the stats...but I think the cases of documented valve
    damage,,or PPH was quite low..in comparision with the millions that took
    phen/fen....yet the combo was pulled...


    hawki
     
  13. David Wright

    David Wright Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Hawki63 <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>Subject: Re: Is fen-phen safe?
    >>From: Tsu Dho Nimh [email protected]
    >>Date: 10/24/2003 5:21 AM Pacific Daylight Time
    >>Message-id: <[email protected]>
    >>
    >>There are two things that normal drug testing can not spot:
    >>

    >
    >actually there is a third..and probably way more important issue
    >
    >and this is "drug interactions...or combining drug A with drug K"
    >
    >which was the problem with phen/fen....


    Well, not exactly. Unexpected interactions are impossible to test
    for, because there are so many possible interactions. However, when
    two drugs are deliberately marketed in tandem, that becomes a much
    weaker excuse. As Steve Harris has pointed out more than once, there
    were already reasons to suspect that boosting blood levels of
    serotonin might be bad for the heart, but the fen-phen pushers went
    ahead and sold it anyway.

    -- David Wright :: alphabeta at prodigy.net
    These are my opinions only, but they're almost always correct.
    "If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants
    were standing on my shoulders." (Hal Abelson, MIT)
     
  14. Hawki63

    Hawki63 Guest

    >Subject: Re: Is fen-phen safe?
    >From: [email protected] (David Wright)
    >Date: 10/24/2003 12:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time
    >Message-id: <[email protected]>
    >
    >In article


    >However, when
    >two drugs are deliberately marketed in tandem, that becomes a much
    >weaker excuse. As Steve Harris has


    ahhhh...never considered that...


    hawki
     
  15. Tsu Dho Nimh

    Tsu Dho Nimh Guest

    "toolz toolz" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Oh! Like Chiropractic, or several other "Alternative" therapys?
    >at most you can prove to a high degree of confidence


    Well, I have yet to see testing of chiropractic* and other
    alternative therapies that provides any level of confidence at
    all. Lots of anecdotes and claims, no clinical studies.

    *as an alternative for certain back problems, the massages done
    by chiropractors have been shown to be effective for many
    patients ... but it's not been shown to affect anything like
    cancer, diabetes, etc.



    Tsu Dho Nimh

    --
    When businesses invoke the "protection of consumers," it's a lot like
    politicians invoking morality and children - grab your wallet and/or
    your kid and run for your life.
     
  16. Tsu Dho Nimh

    Tsu Dho Nimh Guest

    [email protected]ospam (Hawki63) wrote:

    >>Subject: Re: Is fen-phen safe?
    >>From: Tsu Dho Nimh [email protected]


    >>There are two things that normal drug testing can not spot:


    >actually there is a third..and probably way more important issue
    >and this is "drug interactions...or combining drug A with drug K"
    >which was the problem with phen/fen....


    DUH - yes. You can make generalizations, if you know the mode of
    action of the drugs, but it's impossible to test them all.

    And you have interaction with foods, herbs, and OTC meds ...

    Tsu Dho Nimh

    --
    When businesses invoke the "protection of consumers," it's a lot like
    politicians invoking morality and children - grab your wallet and/or
    your kid and run for your life.
     
Loading...