Nachhaltige Pharmazie

Sustainable pharmaceuticals.

Spiegel-Online shared natur magazine’s profile of Lüneburg University’s Sustainable Chemistry and Material Resources professor, who is working on developing versions of drugs that break down into harmless substances rather than accumulate in rivers and lakes. They’ve already managed to create a version of a cancer drug that is both more effective and more biodegradable.

Professor Kümmerer said these criteria could be being taught in drug engineering but aren’t yet. Pharma companies are cautious about supporting the trend because they don’t want to invest more money or invite more licensing requirements to be imposed. Until the new standards and discoveries can be deployed, he said, the filter systems will have to be improved for factory waste water and municipal water treatment plants.

The goal of sustainable pharmacy would be to make drugs that break down into e.g. carbon and water outside the body. Perhaps one way to achieve that could be with coatings: an exterior coating that is broken down only by gastric juices, with the tablet’s core broken down by gaseous oxygen?

(NAH chh halt ig ah   fah mah TSEE.)

„Bad Pharma“ wird besser!

“Bad Pharma” is getting better!

After much debate, Brussels agreed on European drug law changes, effective in 2016. To improve transparency and safety, pharma studies in humans will have to publish all results, including negative findings.

As Ben Goldacre explained so lucidly in Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients, scientists’ and study sponsors’ tendencies to only publish findings that are interesting and/or support certain types of conclusions have skewed drug licensing and killed people.

(Bod   FAW mah   vee awed   BESS ah.)

UAW-Datenbank

 

“Adverse events database” (unerwünschte Arzneimittelnebenwirkungen-Datenbank). BfArM (Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte, the regulatory German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices) has created an online portal providing free access to its database of all suspected side effects reported to BfArM for all drugs since 1995. The UAW-DB is for doctors, patients, scientists and the merely curious.

The suspected side effects were submitted by hospitals, physicans and patients themselves, but not from clinical trials. Unlike the confirmed ones listed in package inserts and expert information sheets, the side effects listed here may or may not have been proven to have been caused by the medications used.

(OO AH VEY dot en bonk.)

Das Crowdsourcing von Umweltanalysen

“Crowdsourcing environmental testing,” including sharing of software platforms used and the data resulting from the tests, for the efficiencies associated with wider availability and to prevent knowledge losses that can occur e.g. when you underfund and then destroy E.P.A. libraries. Many experiments with crowdsourcing chemistry and biology testing are ongoing right now. For example, for the past five years high school kids in Lower Saxony, ~10,000 students so far, have been learning to test food products for GMO’s in high school lab classes, often finding modified products in foods labeled GMO-free. The curriculum includes pro and con discussions that must be pretty interesting.

Silicon Valley companies and other communities are experimenting with creating open source software and hardware kits for crowdsourced environmental testing and pharmaceutical testing, according to an interesting new book by Institute for the Future director Marina Gorbis.

(Doss   CRRROWD sauce ing   fun   OOM veldt on ah LOO zen.)

Kassenvertreter

“Representatives of Germany’s health insurance schemes.” Who have been demanding that a gap be closed in German law, after the German supreme court (Bundesgerichtshof) found six months ago that practicing physicians could not be punished for preferentially prescribing pharmaceuticals from companies that had given them gifts, because the relevant German regulations applied only to employees and not to the self-employed. Germany’s health insurance companies are pushing for this loophole to be closed by new rules, with fines or prison terms of up to three years for culpable physicians. Politicians from opposition parties accused the Ministry of Health (Bundesgesundheitsministerium) under Daniel Bahr (FDP) of not fixing the problem in order to allegedly protect practicing physicians, who are loyal FDP voters. The health insurance representatives estimate that one in five German physicians has accepted money or gifts from the pharma industry.

(COSS en fer TRAY terrr.)

Ein Unding

“An unthing!” An absurdity, preposterous. What Health Minister Daniel Bahr (FDP) called the fact that an IT service provider in the Ministry of Health was secretly selling the ministry’s data to a pharma lobbyist for two years. The FDP is probably Germany’s most business-friendly major political party.

(Eye n   OON ding.)

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