Thursday, November 18, 2004

Senate Committee - Vioxx Medication Withdrawal

Sen. John Breaux, dem from Lousiana, is asking Dr. David Graham questions. Graham is the Assoc. Dir. of the Office of Drug Safety at the FDA.

Breaus is giving this doctor a hard time.

Now Jim Bunning, Rep Sen from Kentucky, is up to bat.

Graham makes a pretty interesting point: He's saying that there is a conflict of interest when the organization that keeps track of drug safety (once drugs are released) within the agency that decides whether they should be released. Because it means that drug safety then has to tell the FDA that the FDA messed up.

Wow, before Graham said that there are 5 other drugs that he feels need to be looked at. Just to emphasize how bad things are. Now someone just asked which 5, and Graham flinched for a second, and now he's actually listing them. Are the companies that own these stocks going to do worse now? Acutane.

Hahah. Graham goes, "There was this program called SMART. Well, SMART wasn't very fact. In my view, SMART was dumb." heheh.

He just mentioned the asthma medicine Serevent. He said it might make you more likely to die from asthma.

Now they are talking about Beckstra.

Wow, the seats where the doctors are sitting look really intense. You are basically surrounded by questioners.

Now the other doctor is talking, Dr. Bruce Psaty. hahahh, he just said "thromboembolic event." Of course.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R from Iowa is asking people questions. He just asked Dr. Gurkirpal Singh a question, who happens to be joined the sesh bia satellite from Stanford. I can't hear what the hell he's saying. Someone is drinking water at the hearing and I can hear the ice clinking in the glass clear as day. But I can't hear two consecutive syllables of Gurki.

Max Baucus, D from Montana is asking questions.

The way Graham talks, I almost get the feeling like he is a victim of his own integrity. Or in other words, the type of person where doing the wrong thing just doesn't even seem like an option for him. He seems like the kind of person that would commit suicide if forced to do something immoral. For example, he could have made tons of money as a consultant for trial legal firms, but he turned it down to keep on working on "post-market drug safety." You know it, it basically comes down to conscience. Some people have an almost overactive conscience, and some people have almost no conscience.

The problem is that people with an overactive conscience don't tend to end up in power, because they aren't willing to cut corners morally in order to get ahead. (Plus, they are usually squeamish about being the center of attention.) That is one fundamental problem in society, the fact that power too often falls into the hands of the people who least deserve it. It makes sense really: power tends to end up in the hands of the people who want it, more so than the people who deserve it.

I'm really interested in this whole "conscience" trend. You have to imagine that one person in your high school class, or that one person at work, that is really timid and perfectly moral. It's like a specific species of person within the human species, Timidus Moralus Perfectus. But can you boil it all down to sensitivity? Because people who tend towards a big conscience are often socially anxious. Think about it. Nice geeks. I know you know them.

Orrin Hatch, R from Utah, sure is something. I think the treadmill is drowning out Dr. Gurk.

These doctors are so docterly.

There is a girl or woman sitting right behind Sen. Breaux who will occasionally just stare directly into the camera. It's kind of mesmerizing. You don't generally see someone just staring into a camera without saying anything on live television.

Now Graham is mentioning his problems with Crestor.

YO! The company that makes Crestor, Astrazeneca, just went down after this guy said this. I knew it, that's crazy. Look at the price at around noon today.

And check out GlaxoSmithKline , which makes Serevent.

Now I'm checking Beckstra. It's made by Pfizer, which is up for the day but still down since noon.

Now Sandra Kweder, Acting Director of the FDA, is soloing. What's the difference between a Director and an Acting Director?

Ok, I'm going to post this before I accidentally delete this. I'm at like 6 miles and my knee is feeling better.

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