I’ve got a whole bunch of mp3’s to post from last year, which I’ll start doing in dribs and drabs. Here’s a talk I gave in Brighton, or rather, here is a recording of my invited “President’s Lecture” at the British Pharmacology Society’s annual conference, which I suspect is a bit of an honour.
The title was “More than molecules – how pill pushers and the media medicalise social problems”, and it’s a romp through tricks and traps which big pharma, quacks, and the media all share. More than that it’s about how attractive we all find it, as a society, to dodge important social, political and personal problems by reducing them to mechanical and sciencey-sounding explanations involving serotonin or fish oils.
One thing to notice – around halfway through – is that I have invented a word, which I’m rather pleased with. You’ve all heard of “me-too” drugs, where pharmaceutical companies (who aren’t coming up with novel drugs much these days) simply copy each other’s new molecules and then produce their own marginally different copyrighted versions (I’m thinking about omeprazole, lansoprazole, pantoprazole, and the rest).
There’s a new game in town, where the company releases one enantiomer of the racemic mixture, as a new pill, just when the old form of the drug is coming to the end of its copyright term. I’m talking about esomeprazole (the new omeprazole) and escitalopram (the new citalopram).
These rarely outperform their predecessors and are now officially called “me-again” drugs, because I have decided so. You heard it here first. Use it widely. The rest of the lecture, I should add, is infinitely more amusing and accessible than this geeky dig.
At some stage I’ll sort out the mp3 podcast feed thing properly but until then you can play or download the files from here manually. One thing I’ve noticed is that people tend not to discuss podcasts as much as posts, although the mp3 files get downloaded and listened to loads. If anyone has any ideas on transcription that’d be great to hear, and if you like to tinker, here are the usual instructions for subscribing.
Subscribe to all audio from the site
This is easy.
If you want to do it manually, just use this link…
…and paste it into your podcast program.
Any problems let me know as the podcast is in testing phase at the mo.