I’ve got my outrage in motion and I’m blowing the whistle on one of the dirtiest tricks the big pharmaceutical companies play on us.
They have a technique called “Seeding Trials” that masquerade as drug testing (clinical trials) but are really nothing more than marketing surveys they can use to get around government regulations about promoting their drugs for alternative uses (also know as “off-label” uses).
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Waylon and Willie said it best. “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to play football.” Wait, maybe they said cowboys.
Actually, it was a soccer player who came to visit me regarding chronic pain of the knee and ankle on one side, from soccer injuries. He was only semi-pro, but so loved the game he could not and would not stop playing. I suggested marijuana balm, instead of just knocking himself out with smoking. He did have to work at his customary job as some sort of electrician on most days and could not “medicate” with marijuana until he got home. This produced some pretty painful days. Read more on When Will the Footballers Ever Learn About Concussion?…
When human lives are at stake, there is simply no room for emotional decisions based on pseudo-science. But since when does anybody listen to anything I have to say?
Individuals are being removed from organ transplant lists because they are users of medical marijuana. Most recently, a staffer at a dispensary that is kind enough to refer people to me for medical marijuana prescriptions told me about a 30ish young man who is in renal kidney failure. He’s been taken off the list because –you guessed it – he is a user of medical marijuana. I’m afraid it’s more common that I’d like to admit. Read more on Denied a Kidney Transplant for Taking Legally Prescribed Medicine?…
I’ve got to admit, I must have already been living in the world of alternative medicine by the time the FDA approved Xyrem. As far as I can figure, it’s exactly the same as the street drug GHB. Us pharmacology types call this gamma hydroxybutyric acid. In a stable salt form that people can take as a prescription drug, it can also be called sodium oxybate. Among other sets of cognoscenti with whom I would usually not hang out — read “on the street” — it is known as various other things that those initials can stand for such as “Georgia Home Boy” or “Grievous Bodily Harm,” a lovely term from old British law. There have been a couple of high profile American cases where Xyrem was used as a date-rape drug. The FDA has warned against taking dietary supplements that contain it. It’s the very same chemical as GHB. It is also an FDA approved prescription drug. Read more on Topic: Xyrem and Doctors…
The medicating of Americans for mental illness has continued to grow over the last decade. And while that’s not exactly a news flash, I have seen no approach as fresh as the one taken by the folks at “CrazyMeds”.
They are not doctors. They are presumably patients or potential patients, then, just as some doctors are or should be. Their approach is so fresh that I am amazed to notice the grain of truth in it. This is the same way I felt when I visited the “Psychiatry Kills” Museum in Los Angeles, operated by the Scientology folks. They had a distorted view, but I saw where they were coming from. Read more on Psychotropic Drugs, According to their Users…
Drug company lobbyists still rule this country, even under a president who promised us something different. I am sorry it took me so long to find out about the threats and deals made by the White House to get drug companies on board with Obama’s healthcare overhaul. Apparently, it was released by Republicans at the end of May. Read more on Even Obama is Ruled by Drug Companies…
In the National World War II museum, it is easy and even triumphant and pride-generating to look back and see some of the scientific advances made during World War II. There’s no doubt that science is advancing. But I wonder if our ethics can keep pace.
I am fairly proud of Teflon. And synthetic cortisone is widely used and may have saved plenty of lives. It’s a steroid that knocks down the action of the immune system. When a medical substance becomes cheaper and easier to use and known to the public, then it runs a real danger of getting overused. Most concern about overuse is focused on illegal steroids taken by athletes. Nevertheless, everything that can be helpful and fast may make things worse. One example would be the over-prescribing of steroids to kids with allergies.
Penicillin had been invented before WWII, but its use did not become widespread until WWII. Of course, it took people awhile to find out about the ability of bacteria to develop resistances to antibiotics. This has led to newer and stronger antibiotics, which would not be the worst thing in the world. Unfortunately, the excessive use of antibiotics has led to untreatable infections, such as methicilline-resistant strep and an untreatable strain of tuberculosis. Read more on Science and War (and Ethics)…
Ever heard of capitation? In healthcare, it can mean that a clinic makes more money by following more patients. Payments are per person, rather than per service. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, then, that they refused to dismiss this guy from their care.
He was a 32 year old young man who was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. He had been working independently as a pool cleaner but he couldn’t stand it anymore. He was always nervous. As a matter of fact, this man was nervous about everything he did. Perhaps it was a generalized anxiety disorder, but surely something a great deal more. He wasn’t having panic attacks, and he exhibited far more than the usual one or two things found in generalized anxiety disorder.
I tried to start him on some medications — as much as I didn’t like the medications he had been started upon. He had been given regular Xanax in slowly increasing doses. As nervous as he was, he wasn’t stupid. He said, “It’s really funny. The medication makes me sleep, but it sure doesn’t stop me from being nervous.” Read more on The Nervous Pool Cleaner…
I have spent as little time as possible on the staff of hospitals. The interface between doctors and administrators has always seemed to be dominated by petty politics. People are interested in money, and secondary to that, some vague sort of reputation or power.
A large and prestigious Midwestern hospital used to have a certain kind of meeting every few months. This hospital had only the vaguest of University associations — just enough to make it look academic and research oriented. I knew perfectly well it was neither.
It was a luncheon meeting of the medical staff and a few administrative types — uncommonly well-catered. There were about 25 folks, but only two other women who looked as uncomfortable as I was.
The meeting was to discuss certain hospital statistics, including some case details. As the meeting agenda was passed around, the head of the hospital reminded us of the meeting “rules.” We were gently reminded that no recordings were permitted and neither were extraneous notes. We each received an agenda, which were carefully counted out as they were distributed. We were told that at the end of the meeting they would be collected — and counted — before any of us could leave. Read more on Hospital Accountability Is An Ideal (Not Always Reality)…
As it turns out, this whole bit about the use of antibiotics in livestock and poultry is a complex issue. It’s well beyond anything that anyone would guess at first blush. The best online summary is the position paper put out by Food Marketing Institute. Curiously enough, it doesn’t have a year on it. Based on the references, I’d guess it was probably around 2005.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of therapeutically low doses of antibiotics in feed. However, very few studies were conducted. They decided that giving little bits of antibiotics to animals would help avoid illness. What this means in practical life is that they will grow faster and produce more meat prior to being slaughtered and eaten.
Everybody agrees that using too many antibiotics in humans can cause humans to become resistant to those antibiotics. This has been blamed on everything from patients who want a prescription for an illness that isn’t caused by bacteria to doctors feeling they need to give a prescription to justify their fee. This kind of talk has been around for a long time. Read more on Antibiotics in Livestock Feed Endanger The Entire World…