Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Big Pharmaceutical Interpretation of Ethics

When they think of "Ethics" most people think of the traditional definition: "a system of moral principles governing the appropriate conduct for a person or group". Normally we think "appropriate conduct" is conduct which is "good" or "helps" or is "honorable", etc. But it seems the executives of the pharmaceutical company Merck have a different way of looking at "appropriate conduct". To Merck executives conduct is "appropriate" if it leads to making billions of dollars no matter the cost in human lives:

New England Journal of Medicine accuses Merck of deleting important Vioxx information from study

Friday, February 10, 2006

ADHD Drugs are no longer "safe and effective"

An FDA Advisory Panel has finally come out and recommended that ADHD drugs such as Ritalin, Concerta, Methylin, Metadate, Adderall and Adderall XR should have a "black box" warning - the strongest kind. The reason? The drugs kill people. Aside from the usual side-effects of psychiatric drugs, such as suicide and murder, these drugs also cause cardiovascular problems. On a first look at the data that only covered a couple of years, they found 25 deaths and it is estimated that only a small percentage of adverse reactions to drugs are reported so the actual number of people who've died from these drugs is much, much higher.

Here is one of the articles: FDA panel urges strong, ‘black box’ alerts on ADHD drugs

Some people have been pointing out the dangers of these drugs for many years: Citizens Commission on Human Rights: ADHD & Learning Disorders.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Google Desktop - Privacy Warning

Here's a scary article: Google Desktop 3 Raises Privacy Concerns. Is Google intending to send text versions of your documents across the Internet encrypted or just as plain text? It's bad enough having your private documents uploaded to their site, but uploaded in a plain text format? Hackers are going to have a field day trying to intercept this stuff. What kind of data will they be able to gather? Social Security numbers? Credit Card numbers? User ids and passwords if you've been incautious enough to put them in a document?