Saturday, September 28, 2013

first exam DOWN (ethical questions)

We had our first exam this week! In pharmacology. This exam was more about principles of biotransformation and drug interactions. We’ll be moving onto memorizing drug names (=LOTS of notecards!!!!) for the subsequent exams.

2013-09-22 23.52.03Typical pre-pharm exam conversations

Some interesting things I learned:

- Should we be vaccinated against cocaine? Kim Janda of Scripps and Ronald Crystal of Weill Cornell are working on attaching a cocaine-looking molecule to an adenovirus to prompt bodies into making cocaine antibodies. If cocaine got into your system subsequently, your body would recognize it as an “invader” and attack it efficiently. No baby gets born hoping for a lifetime of cocaine addiction but it still feels wrong…

- There is a black market for Buprenorphine (or Suboxone)! The guy interviewed about this NPR piece gives his name as “Mystery Man”. The way he says it, is too funny. When the government or the system cannot keep up with demands like this (and those who need Suboxone are heroine addicts- not a population of patients you want gathering at your clinic), is this okay? To hand these out to those who want to quit but cannot get the drug, under the table?

- FDA’s Orphan Products Grants Program with the Orphan Drug Act of 1983, U.S. provides funding for orphan drugs (diseases affecting less than 200,000 in the U.S.). The fact is, pharmaceutical companies- even with the wonderful ability to change or save someone’s life- are businesses. They need the money to get going.

Next week’s exam parade: three in one week!