Aww, thank you. I appreciate the recognition.
And yes, you can go back to bed if you haven’t already - I consider one thing learned per day to be sufficient justification for a nap.
[quote=“JoelUpchurch, post:16, topic:615015”]
I’ve looked into this matter.
[li]The term for a patent is 20 years. Anything that has been on the market before 92 should be in the public domain. Drug companies constantly tinker with their recipes and get new patents, but the original formula is still in the public domain. [/li][/quote]
I am definitely not an expert on this at all, but I’m not sure it’s quite that simple. If a drug is found, once it’s on the market (or information/studies are deliberately delayed) to have a use to treat another disease entirely without making changes to the formulation at all, it is possible to obtain a patent extension for that purpose, but I’m not sure of the details. This is something that happened with Wellbutrin and Zyban - the initial drug approvals for use as treatment for depression gave a certain amount of patent protection with an extension granted when it was launched as a smoking cessation aid (or vice versa, I’m going by memory here!)
[li]There are countless anecdotes about how this birth control or that has terrible side-effects, but I haven’t found a single peer reviewed double blind study documenting these problems. This makes perfect sense, since drug companies have no incentive to help woman find cheaper birth control. One double blind study on anti-depressants found they where no more effective than placebos except in cases of severe depression.[/li][/quote]
Most drugs aren’t approved for use on the market based on their performance in comparison to another drug, they are approved based on their ability to treat the medical condition in question as compared to no treatment or a placebo. There are comparison studies out there - and manufacturers, particularly brand name ones - are interested in the results for marketing purposes, but they aren’t reflective of the process to get a drug on the market in the first place. (Does that make sense?)
Anecdote != data. Some people will experience side effects that others don’t, some will experience positive effects, some will experience worse effects. Human biochemistry is actually rather variable - diet, disease, genetics, random factors come into play when seeking to understand how the body reacts to a drug. When side effects and efficacy of a drug is studied in clinical trials, the data is collected over a statistically significant population, not just in single individuals. So while I avoid taking Midol, for example, because it makes me weirdly woozy, it’s fantastic for many people and my reaction to it doesn’t actually mean there is anything wrong with it and that it ought to be avoided.
As with all science, it comes down to good experiments and a good statistical understanding of the data obtained. There is an enormous amount of data that is examined before drugs even get close to approval. Generally speaking, I trust the process.