Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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'Stop using BMI as measure of health,' say researchers

'Stop using BMI as measure of health,' say researchers | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

A new study shows that 54 million Americans whose BMI classes them as overweight and obese are in perfect health according to cardiometabolic measures, while 21 million whose BMI puts them in the normal category are unhealthy.

Altogether, say the authors, an estimated 75 million adults in the US are misclassified as either healthy or unhealthy when BMI is used as the sole health indicator.

The study provides more evidence to support the idea that a person's body mass index (BMI= weight in kg divided by height in m2) is a flawed measure of health.

In spite of this, BMI continues to be used as a yardstick for determining health status. Many employers use it to calculate workers' health care costs, note the researchers behind the new study, who report their findings in theInternational Journal of Obesity.

And soon, if a rule proposed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is adopted, US employers will be allowed to charge employees up to 30% of health care costs if they fail to meet certain health criteria such as not having a BMI in the normal range (between 18.5 and 24.99).

The study, led by A. Janet Tomiyama, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), analyzed the link between BMI and cardiometabolic health using data from the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

The cardiometabolic health data available in the NHANES gives measures of blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose, insulin resistance and C-reactive protein (a marker ofinflammation).


Via Giuseppe Fattori
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Eating habits, body fat related to differences in brain chemistry

Eating habits, body fat related to differences in brain chemistry | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

People who are obese may be more susceptible to environmental food cues than their lean counterparts due to differences in brain chemistry that make eating more habitual and less rewarding, according to a National Institutes of Health study published in Molecular Psychiatry.


Researchers at the NIH Clinical Center found that, when examining 43 men and women with varying amounts of body fat, obese participants tended to have greater dopamine activity in the habit-forming region of the brain than lean counterparts, and less activity in the region controlling reward. Those differences could potentially make the obese people more drawn to overeat in response to food triggers and simultaneously making food less rewarding to them. A chemical messenger in the brain, dopamine influences reward, motivation and habit formation.


"While we cannot say whether obesity is a cause or an effect of these patterns of dopamine activity..." 

Pharma Guy's insight:


Unfortunately, the researchers can't say which causes which: i.e., obesity may affect brain chemistry rather than vice versa! Pharma would prefer former rather than latter :-)

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Billionaire Bets Big on Search for #Pharma's "Unicorn": An Obesity Drug That Works

Billionaire Bets Big on Search for #Pharma's "Unicorn": An Obesity Drug That Works | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Phillip Frost at 78 isn’t your usual Florida retiree. Rather than spending his days playing golf and relaxing, the billionaire former chairman of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. has embarked on his life’s most quixotic quest: a blockbuster cure for obesity.


Many before him have have tried and failed. Medicines currently on the market haven’t sold well. And investors are a little skeptical about Frost’s latest wager.


“It’s kind of like the unicorn of the pharma industry,” said David Munno, head of drug research at Sphera Global Healthcare, a hedge fund in Tel Aviv. “So many companies have tried and had their drugs pulled out of the market or fail miserably.”


Frost believes he can achieve what billions of pharma dollars and decades of research have failed to produce by using the blueprint that allowed him to amass a $4.9 billion fortune: re-engineering an existing product to stifle its flaws.


“The chances of success are extremely high,” he said in a telephone interview from his office in Miami.


Frost figures the drug’s revenue potential could be about $100 billion, leapfrogging the pharmaceutical industry’s all-time bestseller, Pfizer Inc.’s cholesterol medicine Lipitor.

Pharma Guy's insight:


$100 billion return on a $4.9 billion investment? According to a new study by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD), which receives funding from the pharmaceutical industry, the estimated cost to develop a new Rx drug for marketing in the U.S. is  $2.6 billion (see here).

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Beyond Bias: Takeda Invites Me to a Steak Dinner at Morton's Steakhouse in Philly!

Beyond Bias: Takeda Invites Me to a Steak Dinner at Morton's Steakhouse  in Philly! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Dear Healthcare Practitioner,
 
You are cordially invited to an upcoming educational dinner program on Thursday, August 14, 2014. Topic of the program is Beyond Bias and Barriers: Managing the Complexity of Obesity.
 
Please see program details as well as RSVP information at left. Also please feel free to forward this information along to your healthcare provider colleagues.
 
We look forward to having you and your colleagues join us!

Pharma Guy's insight:


Rats! I just read the fine print (see below). I wonder if I could pass as a doctor if I dressed up?


In accordance with Takeda policy, attendance at this educational program is limited to individuals who meet Takeda’s definition of a Healthcare Professional and for whom the informational presentation is appropriate. Admission to this program is restricted to Healthcare Professionals who practice in a specialty that has not been expressly excluded for this product. Accordingly, attendance by guests, family members or spouses is not allowed. This is a promotional program and no CME credits are offered. Takeda’s Compliance Policy on Business Meals prohibits Takeda employees from providing business meals to officials or employees of federal government agencies. State restrictions may affect HCPs licensed in a state irrespective of where they practice or where an event takes place. Any distribution, dissemination, disclosure, or copying of this invitation is prohibited, unless otherwise expressly approved by Takeda.

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