Prescription of Benzodiazepines Continues to Decline in Germany

This year again I want to publish some comments on the development of the pharmaceutical market in Germany.  The figures for 2012 were presented recently in the Drug Prescription Report 2013 (Arzneiverordnungsreport 2013, edited by U. Schwabe and D. Paffrath, Springer-Verlag 2013). Continue reading

Suvorexant: The Perfect Hypnotic?

In the issue of Science Translational Medicine published on April 3, 2013, Uslaner et al.  of the American pharmaceutical company Merck report on a new class of hypnotics, which are characterized by a completely new mechanism of action (Uslaner et al., Sci Transl Med 2013). It is called DORA (dual orexin receptor antagonists). In an editorial in the issue of Science published on April 5, 2013, Emmanuel Mignot of Stanford University in California asks the question whether a DORA could be “The Perfect Hypnotic?” (Mignot, Science 2013). Continue reading

Benzodiazepines in Surface Waters: Important Questions Remain

A publication in the latest issue of the journal Science (15 February 2013), in which Tomas Brodin and colleagues at the University in Umeå, Sweden, report on the effects of traces of the benzodiazepine oxazepam on the behavior of perch, excited not only in the lay press quite a stir (Brodin et al, Science 2013, 339: 814-815). The authors report that the concentrations of oxazepam, which are usually found in river waters, lead to significant, potentially ecologically relevant behavioral changes in fish which is exposed to these waters. Continue reading