Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A yummier, more informative drug dinner

Now ordinarily I don't attend two of these in a year. Three in one week is at least two too many, and not just because restaurants do not serve their usual fare to drug-sponsored groups.

The Avandia event was interesting though the food inscrutable. As a result of the information presented, I convinced one man with congestive heart failure and diabetes to register ASAP for Medicare Part D in order to afford this worthy drug that can actually reverse atherosclerosis AND improve diabetic control.

The Acomplia event was dull, the food appalling. I guess when the centerpiece drug du jour is designed to control risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, the accompanying dinner must be sugar-free, low-fat, and fish-filled. As in dried up salmon with a side dish of undercooked asparagus wrapped in some nasty fishy flesh complete with scales intact, thinly topped in dry, whole wheat, tasteless dough. Disgusting. The speakers were just plain dull, as is the promise of Acomplia. It remains in FDA limbo without any particular promise of approval in the near future.

The grand finale dinner was at Cherry Creek's Mirepoix who delivered a dinner worthy of their best paying customers. Glaxo Smith Kline presented an informative dinner program that had almost nothing to do with their drug Advair. As a result of last night's dinner, I know:

1. Women are more susceptible than men to lung damage from cigarettes.
2. Chronic lung disease is the fourth most common cause of death in the US, and soon will be the third leading cause of death worldwide.
3. Women now surpass men with respect to incidence of chronic lung disease.
4. All smokers over 45, symptomatic with cigarette-related troubles such as cough or shortness of breath or not, should be screened with spirometry, a simple test administered in the office that measures lung function.
5. A significant number of asymptomatic smokers have a measurable decrease in their lung function.
6. Persons with asthma who reach for their rescue inhalers more than twice weekly risk suffering irreversible remodeling of their airways if they don't use a disease modifiying therapy.

And now I'm going to eat home for awhile and get my up-to-date information from medical journals.

No comments: