Stoked! Weed May Light The Flame For A Roll In The Hay

Many states permit the use of medical marijuana. Now there’s evidence that pot might work as “marital marijuana,” revving up sex drives in both men and women.

The exact nature of the cannabis-coitus connection remains unresolved, but researchers attempted to cut through the haze with a new study published in the November issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

It showed that people who toke up are more likely to get down (and dirty).

It actually doesn’t matter who’s partaking — male or female, single or married, childless and carefree, or busy breeder. Among all demographic and ethnic groups, those who smoke weed reported having more sexual intercourse than those who don’t, the research shows.

“I was surprised,” said Dr. Michael Eisenberg, the study’s senior author and an assistant professor of urology at Stanford University School of Medicine.

The study is based on surveys of more than 50,000 Americans ages 25-45, conducted over more than 10 years by the National Center for Health Statistics.

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Before seeing the results, Eisenberg had been telling his patients that getting baked might be a drag on their sex drive or performance. But now he’s much more confident that marijuana isn’t interfering with sexual behavior. And that’s good information these days, especially in a state like California, which already allows medical marijuana and is preparing to go all the way with recreational sales next year.

Last November, California voters approved Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, making California one of eight states — plus the District of Columbia — to legalize the drug for recreational use. The measure immediately made it legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis, but delayed legal pot sales from licensed retailers until the beginning of 2018.

Eisenberg cautioned against drawing unwarranted conclusions from the study and cited the statistical adage that “correlation does not equal causation.”

“This doesn’t mean that if you want to have more sex, you should start smoking marijuana,” he said. “That’s definitely not what this data supports.”

But Eisenberg said the study could change how he counsels patients who already smoke marijuana. Previously, he’d advised them to quit smoking pot if they were having trouble with libido or sexual performance.

Now he thinks quitting might not be necessary, and that patients can focus on other lifestyle changes to increase libido.

“If somebody is using marijuana to help them for chronic back pain or something like that, there may be other interventions that we can think about targeting, rather than telling them they have to stop, otherwise their sex life is doomed,” he said.

Pot use and sexual activity appear to have a “dose-response relationship.” That means the more you smoke, the more likely you are to have had sex in the past month.

“The daily users, for example, compared to the never-users, reported about 20 more sexual encounters a year. So I think that is a significant difference,” Eisenberg said.

The survey respondents were not asked how much pot they smoked when they smoked. But it did ask about how much sex they had. According to the study, non-users said they had engaged in sexual intercourse between five and six times in the previous month.

But daily pot smokers reported having intercourse about seven times over that same period. The frequency was somewhere in between for people who smoked marijuana less often, on a weekly or monthly basis. They reported having sex more than abstainers, but less than daily users.

“For every group, the more marijuana use that they reported, the more sex they reported as well,” Eisenberg said. “So that … made me think that there could potentially be some biologic explanation here.”

Dr. Holly Richmond, a sex therapist who practices in Los Angeles and Portland, Ore., calls that finding “fantastic.”

“Obviously I’m not going to tell a couple that doesn’t use marijuana to use it,” she said. But “if they were interested, I would offer the information.”

Richmond said she has seen mixed results among her clients who use marijuana. Some couples tell her that they have more sex when they use pot; others have less.

She said those differences are probably attributable to how much pot someone smokes instead of how often they smoke.

“Too much can lead to lethargy and really checking out, which does not facilitate [emotional] connection at all, and definitely doesn’t encourage sexual activity,” she explained.

The results shed no light on what factors drive the association between pot use and sex, according to Dr. Igor Grant, chair of psychiatry and director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California-San Diego.

The simplest explanation might be that the type of person who smokes pot — or is willing to admit it in a survey — also likes sex more. Grant called those people “risk-takers” or “sensation-seekers.”

“Drug use is one type of sensation-seeking behavior, and obviously sex is another,” he said.

Eisenberg said the study also controlled for other risk-taking behaviors, such as cocaine or alcohol.

He suspects marijuana may be stimulating arousal or other neural pathways in the brain. That’s different from Viagra, which works directly on the vascular system to improve blood flow to the penis.

But the study has some limitations. For instance, the study relies on self-reporting — and therefore imperfect memories — from participants who were asked to remember how many times they smoked pot in the past year and how many times they had sex in the past four weeks.

Also, the survey asked only about sex between men and women, so it’s unclear how marijuana affects same-sex encounters.

Still, the results fly in the face of some previous research, such as studies indicating that heavy marijuana use is associated with erectile dysfunction. Plus, research on cigarette smoking shows negative vascular effects that can interfere with male arousal, Eisenberg said.

The results also contradict stereotypes about stoners. Grant summed it up as “people just, you know, not feeling like having sex if they’re stoned all the time.”

Richmond, the sex therapist, agreed that those stereotypes exist, so this study could be reassuring to people who enjoy marijuana and also enjoy sex. At the very least, the study shows smoking weed doesn’t appear to decrease sexual activity.

“Individuals and couples look for additional ways to create novelty in the relationship and have fun, and [in some states] that’s now a legal and accessible way to do it,” she said.

This story is part of a partnership that includes KQED, NPR and Kaiser Health News.

Categories: Public Health

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New Jersey sues OxyContin maker, links marketing to opioid crisis

(Reuters) – New Jersey on Tuesday sued Purdue Pharma LP, accusing the OxyContin maker of contributing to the state’s opioid crisis through deceptive marketing to doctors and patients, including the elderly and the “opioid-naive.”

FILE PHOTO: A pharmacist holds prescription painkiller OxyContin, 40mg pills, made by Purdue Pharma L.D. at a local pharmacy, in Provo, Utah, U.S. on April 25, 2017. REUTERS/George Frey/File Photo

Christopher Porrino, the New Jersey attorney general, faulted what he called a decade-long marketing campaign of ”almost inconceivable callousness and irresponsibility, and said Purdue downplayed the risks of opioids and exaggerated their benefits in the pursuit of profit.

The 103-page lawsuit filed in Essex County Superior Court accused the privately held company of engaging in unconscionable practices, making false claims and creating a public nuisance, while costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars in prescription costs.

“We vigorously deny these allegations and look forward to the opportunity to present our defense,” Purdue said in a statement. “We are deeply troubled by the opioid crisis and we are dedicated to being part of the solution.”

Many state and local governments have filed lawsuits to hold drugmakers accountable for a nationwide opioid epidemic, which President Donald Trump last Thursday called a national public health emergency.

Opioids, including prescription painkillers and heroin, played a role in 33,091 U.S. deaths in 2015, an increase of 16 percent from 2014, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New Jersey said Purdue deceived doctors and patients into believing OxyContin, which is used to relieve pain, and other opioids could treat chronic pain over the long term, as an alternative to over-the-counter pills such as Advil and Tylenol, even though there were no studies showing their safety and effectiveness beyond 12 weeks.

Purdue pushed sales representatives to visit as many as 40 doctors a week in person to promote opioids, and set annual prescription quotas as high as 8,400 for OxyContin alone, according to the lawsuit.

A former sales rep was quoted as saying she knew OxyContin dosages would rise as patients’ tolerances increased, and struggled to meet her quotas because she thought patients should not “go down that road” if they had safer alternatives.

OxyContin was launched in 1996.

Purdue has faced similar lawsuits by at least nine other U.S. states, several cities and counties.

Last Wednesday, Purdue said it was cooperating with a U.S. Department of Justice probe related to OxyContin.

In 2007, the company and three executives pleaded guilty to misbranding OxyContin and agreed to pay $634.5 million to resolve a separate Justice Department investigation.

Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by David Gregorio and Jeffrey Benkoe

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U.S. states allege broad generic drug price-fixing collusion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A large group of U.S. states accused key players in the generic drug industry of a broad price-fixing conspiracy, moving on Tuesday to widen an earlier lawsuit to add many more drugmakers and medicines in an action that sent some company shares tumbling.

A person holds pharmaceutical tablets and capsules in this picture illustration. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic

The lawsuit, brought by the attorneys general of 45 states and the District of Columbia, accused 18 companies and subsidiaries and named 15 medicines. It also targeted two individual executives: Rajiv Malik, president and executive director of Mylan NV, and Satish Mehta, CEO and managing director of India’s Emcure Pharmaceuticals.

Shares of Pennsylvania-based Mylan, also named as a defendant, fell more than 6 percent after the news.

The states said the drugmakers and executives conspired to fix prices and split up the market for generic drugs, which are intended to deliver to consumers lower prices than their brand-named counterparts.

“It is our belief that price-fixing is systematic, it is pervasive, and that a culture of collusion exists in the industry,” Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, who is leading the case, told a news conference in Hartford.

Mylan said in a statement it had found no evidence of price-fixing by the company or any of its employees, and vowed to defend itself vigorously. Malik, the company’s second-ranking official, has received more than $50 million in compensation over the past three years, last year making more than CEO Heather Bresch.

“Mylan has deep faith in the integrity of its president, Rajiv Malik, and stands behind him fully,” the company said.

Soaring drug prices from both branded and generic drug manufacturers have sparked outrage and investigations in the United States. President Donald Trump this year accused pharmaceutical companies of “getting away with murder” with their drug pricing.

Executives like Mylan’s Bresch and former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli have been called in front of Congress to defend the cost of their products.


The original complaint, filed in December, targeted Emcure Pharmaceuticals’ unit Heritage Pharmaceuticals Inc, Aurobindo Pharma USA Inc, Citron Pharma LLC, Mayne Pharma USA Inc, Mylan and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc.

The states are pressing a new complaint that would add Novartis AG’s unit Sandoz, India-based Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, Endo International PLC’s unit Par Pharmaceutical, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Apotex Corp, Glenmark Generics Ltd, Lannett Company Inc, Alkem Laboratories Ltd’s unit Ascend Laboratories and Cadila Healthcare Ltd’s unit Zydus Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Jepsen said the investigation is continuing, and that claims would likely be brought against even more companies, and possibly executives, in the future.

The news hurt shares of companies named in the expanded suit that are traded in the United States, pulling Lannett down as much as 7 percent. Shares of Endo pared nearly 8 percent off a more than 12 percent gain on the day, which followed the company’s earlier estimate it would earn more than expected.

Teva spokeswoman Denise Bradley said the company denied the allegations. Endo spokeswoman Heather Lubeski said the company would vigorously defend itself against the claims. Other companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The expansion of the suit requires the court’s permission.

The original lawsuit centered on just two medicines: a delayed-release version of a common antibiotic, doxycycline hyclate; and glyburide, an older drug used to treat diabetes.

The price of doxycycline rose from $20 for 500 tablets to $1,849 between October 2013 and May 2014, according to U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat who had been pressing for action on high drug prices.

The amended complaint would expand the number of drugs to include glipizide-metformin and glyburide-metformin, which are among the most commonly used diabetes treatments.

Others include: acetazolamide, which is used to treat glaucoma and epilepsy; the antibiotic doxycycline monohydrate; the blood pressure medicine fosinopril; the anti-anxiety medicine meprobamate; and the calcium channel blocking agent nimodipine.

The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a parallel criminal investigation. On Friday, the department asked the Pennsylvania court presiding over the lawsuit to put the lawsuit’s discovery process on hold, saying it could interfere with the criminal probe.

Connecticut Assistant Attorney General Joseph Nielsen said on Tuesday the states would likely oppose that request, which could slow the lawsuit.

Reporting by Karen Freifeld in Washington; Additional reporting by Brendan Pierson and Michael Erman in New York; Writing by Diane Bartz; Editing by Chris Sanders and Will Dunham

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Medicare Open Enrollment: Peace of Mind with Medicare Coverage

Having health insurance with covered benefits that you can count on can bring peace of mind. If you have Medicare, you get benefits like:

  • A host of preventive tests and screenings — including cancer screenings — most at no cost to you
  • A discount of 65% on covered brand-name drugs with Part D if you hit the prescription drug coverage gap (“donut hole”)

Medicare also covers a yearly “wellness visit”. This is a great chance to sit down with your doctor and talk about your needs — and address small health concerns before they become big ones. You can keep track of your preventive services and get reminders for them at

Most people with Medicare also have access to Medicare Advantage Plans. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you will still get all the Medicare-covered services, but you may also get extra benefits like vision, hearing, dental coverage, prescription drugs, or extended coverage when you travel. You may be able to lower your out-of-pocket costs too. Because costs and coverage vary, it’s important to compare plans before choosing one.

Medicare Open Enrollment is the time to think about and decide what benefits you need to meet your health care needs. Use the Medicare Plan Finder to look at all of the health and drug plan options in your area.

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Timeline: Insulin Market Under Scrutiny

The price of lifesaving diabetes drugs has skyrocketed over the past decade. And patients aren’t the only ones who have noticed. Five states and a federal prosecutor are demanding information from insulin manufacturers and the pharmaceutical industry’s financial middlemen.

Below, we detail when legal action related to insulin drugs began, with links to documents.

March 2016

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York launches the first of several civil investigative demands (CIDs), beginning with Sanofi and Novo Nordisk.

The note, like those of Eli Lilly and Sanofi, establishes that the federal prosecutor is interested in the company’s business relationships with pharmacy benefit managers and demands information on specific insulins.

  • The federal prosecutor’s demand of Novo Nordisk specifies information is needed regarding insulins Novolog, Novolin and Levemir, according to the company’s annual report; Sanofi reports the request for information is also in relation to pharmacy benefit managers and regarding top-selling insulin drug Lantus as well as Apidra since 2006, according to the company’s annual 20-F filing.

July 2016

  • Eli Lilly discloses that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York issued a CID also for information related to pharmacy benefit managers, according to its July 2016 quarterly filing.

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August 2016

  • Express Scripts receives a CID from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. It too notes the federal prosecutor is asking for information about relationships. No specific drugs are named, according to the company’s 2016 annual report.

November 2016

January 2017

  • Minnesota’s attorney general launches what appears to be the first state investigation, issuing civil investigative demands to Sanofi and Novo Nordisk.
Minnesota’s State Attorney General’s office appears as the first state to issue a civil investigative demand in federal filings.

February 2017

  • Berman’s lawsuit is transferred to New Jersey and combined with a related case filed by attorney James Cecchi, representing patients against the insulin makers.

March 2017

  • Washington’s attorney general issues a CID to Sanofi echoing Minnesota’s request and specifying the request is for insulin drugs Lantus, Toujeo, Apidra and Soliqua from 2005 to present, according to the company’s half-year financial report.
Attorneys allege that the relationship between drug manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers harms patients and allows for rising insulin prices.

  • Julia Boss, the Type 1 Diabetes Defense Foundation and other patients file suit on March 17 in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey against the three big insulin manufacturers as well as the pharmacy benefit managers.

April 2017

  • CVS Health receives a CID from Washington’s AG seeking information regarding pricing and rebates for insulin and epinephrine products connected to a pending investigation. Under the bullet item “Insulin Products Investigation,” CVS states that the Washington attorney general’s office will share information with the attorneys general of California, Florida and Minnesota, which filed a CID in July.
  • Scott Christensen and other patients file suit April 20 in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey alleging violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Defendants include Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, Sanofi, Express Scripts, CVS Health, UnitedHealth Group with its PBM division OptumRx.

May 2017

  • Eli Lilly does not specify drugs but confirms it has a received a CID from Washington’s attorney general about the “pricing of our insulin products and our relationships with pharmacy benefit managers.” It also states New Mexico’s attorney general issued a CID related to “the pricing of our insulin products,” according to its quarterly financial filing.

July 2017

  • CVS Health receives a CID from Minnesota’s AG seeking information regarding pricing and rebates for insulin and epinephrine products connected to a pending investigation, according to a quarterly filing.
  • Eli Lilly says it has received a CID from Minnesota’s AG “relating to the pricing and sale of our insulin products.” California and Florida’s attorneys general requested information related to pricing of insulin products,  according to its quarterly filing.
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) sends letters to insulin manufacturers asking for “an explanation of the extreme price increases” of insulin.  Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Novo Nordisk each respond.

September 2017

KHN’s coverage of prescription drug development, costs and pricing is supported in part by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

Categories: Cost and Quality, Health Industry, Pharmaceuticals

Tags: Drug Costs, Prescription Drugs

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Investor group presses U.S. drug companies on opioid controls

BOSTON (Reuters) – U.S. shareholder activists are addressing a soaring death toll from opioid drug abuse, asking companies that make and distribute the painkillers to review the risks their businesses could face from their role in the sector.

FILE PHOTO: A used needle sits on the ground in a park in Lawrence, Massachusetts, U.S., May 30, 2017, where individuals were arrested earlier in the day during raids to break up heroin and fentanyl drug rings in the region, according to law enforcement officials. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

Leaders of a 30-fund group that includes state pension officials and religious and labor organizations plan to reveal on Monday they have begun filing shareholder resolutions at 10 companies, including distributors AmerisourceBergen Corp (ABC.N) and Cardinal Health Inc (CAH.N) and manufacturers Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) and Insys Therapeutics (INSY.O).

In resolutions aimed at annual shareholder meetings to be held in 2018 and in letters to the companies, activists are urging independent directors to review and report on how the boards are managing the legal, financial and reputational risks their enterprises face from their involvement with opioids.

They also seek corporate-governance reforms such as allowing more grounds to claw back pay from executives who inappropriately promote the drugs, or creating independent board chairs to provide better oversight.

Representatives of Cardinal and Insys did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Johnson & Johnson spokesman Ernie Knewitz said the company was preparing a response to the investors, and that the company had acted responsibly.

“Opioid abuse is a serious public health issue that must be addressed, and doing so will require collaboration among many stakeholders, and our company is committed to working with federal, state and local officials to help find meaningful solutions,” he said in an emailed statement.

In a statement emailed by AmerisourceBergen spokeswoman Keri Mattox, the company said it “welcomes a productive dialogue with all shareholders. The issue of opioid abuse is a complex one that spans the full healthcare spectrum, including manufacturers, wholesalers, insurers, prescribers, pharmacists and regulatory and enforcement agencies.”

The statement said the company worked closely with officials “to combat drug diversion while supporting appropriate access to medications.”

At an annual meeting on Nov. 8, Cardinal Health will face a resolution calling for an independent board chair in order to improve oversight.

“These considerations are especially critical at Cardinal given the potential reputational, legal and regulatory risks Cardinal faces over its role in the nation’s opioid epidemic, including its history of compliance challenges concerning the distribution of controlled substances,” the resolution’s sponsors, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said in a supporting statement. The statement cited Cardinal’s payment of tens of millions of dollar to settle various federal and state charges related to opioids.

In a securities filing, Cardinal calls the change unnecessary, noting it already has an independent lead director and “state-of-the-art controls” over its pain medications.

Officials at all levels of government in the United States are struggling to respond to a surge in deaths from opioid abuse, which hit 33,000 in 2015, the last year for which there is complete federal data.

In many cases patients prescribed opioid painkillers become addicted to them and then move on to acquiring the drugs illegally, or turn to heroin or fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opiate.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency.

State attorneys general have also taken on opioid manufacturers, with lawsuits charging that deceptive marketing practices helped fuel an epidemic of abuse. Federal prosecutors on Thursday charged the founder of Insys, John Kapoor, with participating in a scheme to bribe doctors to prescribe a particularly potent opioid.

A lawyer for Kapoor said in a statement that Kapoor is innocent and will fight the charges.

Shareholder activists said healthcare providers may have underestimated how addictive the drugs were, but said the crisis points to a need for stronger oversight within drugmakers.

“We believe these companies have played an important role in this epidemic,” said Donna Meyer, director of shareholder advocacy for Mercy Investment Services, an investment fund for Roman Catholic nuns. It is leading the resolutions push, along with the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, which oversees benefits for about 700,000 retirees of the United Auto Workers.

Reporting by Ross Kerber; Editing by Leslie Adler and Bernadette Baum

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Cancer-drug setback sends Merck shares down again

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A setback for Merck & Co’s (MRK.N) key cancer drug sent the drugmaker’s stock swooning on Monday for a second straight session, putting the shares on track for their biggest two-day decline in more than eight years.

The logo of Merck is pictured in this illustration photograph in Cardiff, California April 26, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake/Illustration/File Photo

Late on Friday, Merck withdrew an application for European use of its flagship drug Keytruda as an initial, or first-line, treatment for advanced lung cancer in combination with chemotherapy, raising questions about future sales.

The Keytruda/chemo combination is already approved in the United States based on initial promising data. But the company determined that a similar European first-line approval without more mature late-stage data was unlikely.

Lung cancer is by far the most lucrative oncology market with first-line approval providing access to the most patients.

In the wake of the news, at least three analysts cut their ratings on Merck’s stock, a component of the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI, while other analysts lowered their target prices for the stock.

“We are downgrading MRK shares to Equal Weight from Overweight based on diminished upside potential from Keytruda, which is by far Merck’s biggest value driver,” Barclays analyst Geoff Meacham said in his downgrade note.

Aside from the European withdrawal, Meacham and other analysts also cited delays for another Keytruda study, revealed on Friday morning. Merck said a decision to make overall survival a main goal for a large, pivotal lung cancer trial of Keytruda plus chemotherapy would delay those results until February 2019.

Merck shares fell 5.6 percent to $54.95 on Monday, touching their lowest point since May 2016. The stock had dropped 6 percent on Friday following the company’s third-quarter results.

The drugmaker said that the cost of a June cyber attack that temporarily crippled manufacturing coupled with lower sales of off-patent products caused its third-quarter revenue to fall 2 percent to $10.33 billion, even as Keytruda sales topped $1 billion for the first time.

The combined, roughly 11-percent two-day decline for Merck shares would be the biggest since February 2009.

Merck’s setback boosted shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY.N), which sells a rival cancer therapy. Bristol-Myers shares were up 1.6 percent.

Pharmaceutical stocks have endured a rocky month so far as earnings results have poured in. The NYSE Arca Pharmaceutical index .DRG is down 2 percent in October against a 2.1 percent rise for the overall S&P 500 .SPX.

Pharmaceutical heavyweight Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) is set to report results on Tuesday.

additional reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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Could marijuana be an aphrodisiac?

By October 29, 2017

A new study is the first to show that regular use of marijuana or cannabis is linked to having more sex. The study by the Stanford researchers assessed the use of marijuana and frequency of sexual intercourse among participants in the United States. Results were unprecedented.

The study was published online on the 27th of October 2017 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Cannabis / Marijuana Leaves. Image Credit: OpenRangeStock / Shutterstock

Cannabis / Marijuana Leaves. Image Credit: OpenRangeStock / Shutterstock

The researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine find that despite earlier beliefs that marijuana could affect libido or sexual performance, this study shows that those who smoke pot are getting more sex. The study involved over 50,000 Americans between ages of 25 and 45 years.

Michael Eisenberg, assistant professor of urology, one of the authors of the study said that the use of marijuana frequently did not “impair sexual motivation” and on the opposite it increased the frequency of sex. Andrew Sun, the lead author of this study is a resident in urology. According to Eisenberg the study showed that both men and women of this wide age range showed that same results.

Further race, ethnicity, educational status, socioeconomic status and income as well as health did not affect the results. Even religion did not change the results he noted. Married, single, with or without kids, all individuals studied showed same rise in frequency of sex with frequent marijuana use he said.

Eisenberg explained that cannabis use is fairly common in the United States and there have been no large studies that look at the effects of marijuana use and sex. National Institute on Drug Abuse statistics has shown that nearly 20 million American adults use marijuana currently. The drug is being legalized for medicinal use in 29 states and this has contributed to swelling number of users. There have been reports of erectile dysfunction among users of marijuana. Studies have also shown that regular use can reduce the sperm counts. However no large scientific studies connecting the use of this drug and sex have been done previously.

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For this study the team looked at the data from the National Survey of Family Growth that is funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC. The survey gathers data from a wide variety of participants regarding their families, children, sexual habits and practices along with other population features.

This survey is carried out yearly now.

The survey asked the participants the number of times they had had sex with a member of the opposite sex in the previous four weeks and also the frequency of their smoking marijuana over the last one year. All answers from the respondents were compiled since 2002.

Men women and people from all backgrounds were included in the survey. Less than 3 percent of the respondents did not answer key questions and were thus excluded from the analysis. Finally 28,176 women with an average age of 29.9 years and 22,943 men with an average age of 29.5 were included in the analysis of the results. Results revealed that 14.5 percent of women and 24.5 percent of men were using marijuana.

These percentages of individuals were indeed having more sex. Women not using marijuana over the previous year were having sex an average 6 times in the previous four weeks. this number went up to 7.1 among women who were cannabis users find researchers.

Among men non-users got sex 5.6 times while marijuana users got sex 6.9 times in four weeks on average. According to Eisenberg there is a 20 percent rise in frequency of sex among users. Eisenberg said the reason behind this could be the reduced inhibition with marijuana. But this could be a minor reason. The main reason could be the effect of marijuana on brain and sexual activity that was contributing to these results he explained. The study does not however advocate marijuana use for more sex he added.


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Celltrion Healthcare announces results from phase III CT-P13 switching trial in patients with Crohn’s disease

October 30, 2017

Today at the 25th United European Gastroenterology Week Congress, Celltrion Healthcare presented data from the phase III, randomized controlled, switching trial comparing CT-P13 and reference infliximab. The data showed comparable efficacy and safety between all treatment groups (maintained and switched) in patients with moderate to severe Crohn’s disease (CD) up to one year.

The trial investigated the efficacy and safety of CT-P13 throughout a 54-week treatment period, following a switch from reference infliximab at week 30. 220 patients were randomly assigned to four groups (maintained groups [CT-P13 and reference infliximab] and switched groups [reference infliximab to CT-P13 and CT-P13 to reference infliximab]) in a double-blinded manner. Efficacy, pharmacokinetics (PK) and safety were comparable among all treatment groups up to week 30.The Crohn’s Disease Activity Index – 70 (CDAI-70) response, clinical remission and the Short Inflammatory Bowel Disease questionnaire (SIBDQ) score, a measure of quality of life for people with inflammatory bowel disease, were similar among all groups at each measured time point up to week 54 too.

The safety profiles among all treatment groups, including adverse reactions, serious adverse events, infections, and immunogenicity were similar throughout the one year treatment period.

Professor Stefan Schreiber, Director of the Clinic for Internal Medicine at Kiel Campus of the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, commented on the study, “This is the next randomised controlled trial following the NOR-SWITCH study in patients with inflammatory bowel disease using CT-P13 infliximab that shows positive results. All treatment groups in this study, including reference infliximab maintenance, CT-P13 infliximab maintenance, and switching in both directions (reference to CT-P13 and CT-P13 to reference) groups showed comparable efficacy and safety. As a gastroenterologist, I find these data reassuring and hope they help my fellow physicians make informed treatment decisions to ensure the best outcomes for their patients.”

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Improving patient treatment experience of CT-P13

Celltrion Healthcare also presented data from an initial phase I open label study of a subcutaneous (SC) form of CT-P13 in healthy volunteers. The study was designed to evaluate the safety and PK of CT-P13 SC. Results showed PK profiles after a single SC injection were linear by dose levels. Subcutaneous administration of CT-P13 was found to be feasible in terms of bioavailability and safety profile and could provide patients with a more convenient and accessible treatment administration option.3

Man Hoon Kim, President and CEO of Celltrion Healthcare, said, “Active switching to biosimilars could have a significant impact on the financial sustainability of healthcare systems by generating budget savings for biologic treatments. This switching study in Crohn’s disease is important in showing clinical evidence of the comparable safety and efficacy when switching to biosimilars. Adding to the wealth of data for CT-P13, Celltrion Healthcare is confident that these results should help physicians to feel even more confident in switching between reference products and biosimilars and is committed to continuously providing more convenient treatment options, including the subcutaneous form of infliximab to patients.”


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