Plavix Revisited

Well last week I was talking about how generic Plavix is available. This part of the post is absolutely true. What isn’t as true is that my prediction that the price might be lower is coming to fruition. After checking prices on the generic Plavix (clopidogrel), I found that the price is still higher than the brand. I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised. Those drug companies love to make themselves some money. Still, I think by the end of the year at the earliest, but most likely by this time next year (I hope) those prices should come down.

CIAO

The Brute

Generic Plavix is now available

Well big pharma has been busy paying penalties earlier this year on patent infringement, but Plavix is now being made as a generic. That’s right, clopidogrel should be out soon at your local pharmacy if it isn’t there already. This comes 6 years after Bristol-Meyer-Squib tried to get Sanofi to delay making the generic version. The full article can be found at the following site:

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Prevention/32758

I do realize that it is a big of old news, but even when drugs go generic, it can take some time for things to move down the pipeline. Atorvastatin (Lipitor) went generic back in November, but unless your insurance covers it, your pocket book is more likely to suffer from the generic than the brand. This I don’t think will be the case with clopidogrel. Let me explain.

Normally when a drug goes generic, only 1 companies gets about 6 months of rights to make the generic available to the public. After that other companies can start getting into the game as well. Because only 1 company has the rights, there are only two forms available; the 1 brand name and the 1 generic. Supply in this case is less than demand. Prices remain high. And those companies usually charge a higher price than the brand as well. This is most definitely the case with atorvastatin. People have been asking me for months now why it is so high when it’s generic. Now it has been 6 months and so I would expect that the price of generic atorvastatin will be going down as the year progresses, but it won’t happen fast. Lipitor was a best selling drug for many years and companies are going to want to maintain some profits. The price will drop though.

Clopidogrel has 8 different companies making generics. Because of some genuine competition that should drive the price down more quickly than the atorvastatin once it hits the market. This will be good news for people that have had stents or are using the drug for stroke prevention or peripheral vascular disease.

Be aware that side effects will be the same regardless of the brand. It can still cause unnecessary bleeding in some cases including hemorrhagic stroke and GI bleeds or ulcers. So if you are already taking Plavix or are planning to change to a generic, please be aware that there are still risks involved.

With all that said, remember that a healthy dose of exercise, rest, and good foods are the best prescription for many ailments.

CIAO

The Brute

Disclaimer: All info on this website is for education purposes only. Any dietary or lifestyle changes that readers want to make should be done with the guidance of a competent medical practitioner. The author assumes no responsibility nor liability  for the use or dissemination of this information. Anyone who chooses to apply this information for their own personal use does so at their own risk.

Sensa: Another Fad diet

I just recently came upon a new type of diet that really just left me shaking my head. As anyone who has read my posts know, I’m not a supporter of any type of fad diet whatsoever. This latest one is definitely more interesting though.

It’s called Sensa. It was developed by one Dr. Alan Hirsch. He has done research to show that certain smells can stall the amount of calories one would normally eat, thus feeling full sooner and creating a caloric deficit. He did some research on this back in the 1990’s.

His study showed that by using inhalers with different scents, people who had good “olfactory ability”, using tests, lost on average 4.7 lbs per month. None of the participants were told to change eating or exercise habits during the study. Other things that correlated with weight loss were eating fewer chocolate bars, not avoiding others and not feeling bad about oneself. (1) There was no mention if subjects increased exercise over the period of 6 months during the study or really changed any other habits. We only have the info presented. Not a great start.

The next study is one that accompanies the Sensa website. The link is here: http://www.trysensa.com/media/pdf/Abstract_Poster_Use_of_Stimuli_for_Weight_Loss.pdf

This study appears to be even more sloppy than the last one mentioned. They compared 1436 people on the Sensa product to 100 control subjects. That’s 14x as many people using the product than placebo. Not surprising, the control group only lost on average 2 pounds while the study group lost on average 30lbs. Again there was no mention of dietary practices nor lifestyle changes that may have occurred. Sketchy.

There was a so called 3rd party study done which looks a tiny bit better at randomization, but again the reporting is as good as what I would come to expect from a junior high student. Again results showed 27 lbs reductions for treatment group and .34 lb increase in the control. There is no mention who actually conducted the study. It can be found here:

http://www.trysensa.com/media/pdf/Abstract_Poster_Double_Blind_Study.pdf

Another problem I have with the studies is a lack of follow up. What happened with all those people who lost weight 6-12 months later? Is this a product that must be continued to show benefit? Is there a safety problem with it long term? I don’t know the answers to these questions. Even assuming all the results are 100% true, there is no guarantee that the weight will stay off if the product is discontinued.  Especially since the studies state that the subjects were told not to change lifestyle habits. If I’m sedentary and eat crap and start using this product and begin eating less crap that is in theory a good thing. Problem is that I didn’t change anything other than my caloric intake. I’m still eating crap and not exercising or just plain being active. So my guess is once I stop sprinkling crystals on my food I’m going to have more to eat and if I’m eating crap, what does it matter?

Body composition is far more important than body weight or BMI

I’m not railing on weight loss per se. On the contrary if a person is carrying around too much fat, that can be a cause of concern for increase risk of a variety of health problems. I think losing weight shouldn’t be as important as changing body composition. If I lose 10lbs and 5 of it is muscle, that’s not good. Likewise if I gain 5 lbs and all of it is muscle, I’m not complaining one bit. It comes back to balance. Be active and make sensible food choices regularly and you will be much happier in the long run with your appearance and self-esteem than on some fad diet that doesn’t change how or what you are.

CIAO

The Brute

1. Hirsch, A.R. and Gomez, R., Weight Reduction through Inhalation of Odorants, The Journal of Neurological and Orthopedic Medicine and Surgery, Vol. 16, No. 1, 1995.

Disclaimer: All info on this website is for education purposes only. Any dietary or lifestyle changes that readers want to make should be done with the guidance of a competent medical practitioner. The author assumes no responsibility nor liability  for the use or dissemination of this information. Anyone who chooses to apply this information for their own personal use does so at their own risk.