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July 25, 2012 / Admin

Avanir Makes Laughing and Crying a Thing of the Past

Ever wonder how to get rid of that pesky crying and laughing that was wearing out your facial muscles? Well you don’t need to wonder anymore, Avanir Pharmaceuticals has  developed a drug that was approved by the FDA on October 29, 2010 that will treat that condition.   Hopefully the sarcasm is obvious.

The drug is called Nuedexta and it will be used to treat patients who develop symptoms known as the pseudobulbar effect, which can usually be found in patients with neurological disorders and brain injuries.  The pseudobulbar effect has been called emotional incontinence where one has no control over laughter or tears. Sounds like a fake problem , well Avanir thought so and they unsuccessfully tried to change the name of the condition to involuntary emotional expression disorder.

Not to take anything away from patients who suffer from something like this but when did it become the norm to treat “conditions” that are essentially harmless and out of one’s control. I mean, this drug is going to be marketed to people with serious underlying medical conditions to treat an uncontrollable action that poses no serious health risks.  Besides being driven by the profits that could be made from targeting this population, what other incentive would the pharmaceutical company have? I understand that uncontrollable crying or laughter may have an impact on ones social life or lead to embarrassment but is that outweighed by the known cardiac and hepatitis risks associated with taking the drug?

I previously wrote about the “condition”  that women go through and how pharmaceutical companies have found a way to help cure us. This too reminds me of how big pharma will find a way to help us deal with all of the “conditions” we may go through or “suffer” from in life. Is uncontrollable laughing a serious health risk, not really, but how about if there is a medication out there to treat it? Then people start looking at it as more than just an inconvenience, and now it is a condition that can be treated.  Perhaps one day prescriptions will only be used to treat serious ailments or at least provide measurable health benefits to the users……but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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