In my previous entry to this blog, I talked about heroin overdoses and how people might be rescued – even if no doctors or EMTs are around.
Due to the timeliness, I mentioned the latest celebrity fatality, Philip Seymour Hoffman. I am usually asked for my take on these things when a high-profile person dies because of drugs – whether legal prescription or illegal street drugs.
I hate doing this – mainly because it is a sad and depressing topic. And yet, I do this not to capitalize on the notoriety of the victim, but with the intent of teaching the public about the dangers, possible solutions and new developments in treatment and education. Read more on Death From Drugs, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Staying Alive…
You know me – Little Miss Skeptical.
I would never give a baby a loaded gun to play with, and I would never give non-medically trained civilians syringes full of drugs with the intent of having them stab somebody directly in the heart and push the plunger.
Okay, let me get this straight.
A study, done by people who at least in part are employees of the CVS pharmacy chain, has established to a wildly impressive level of significance that prescriptions for (cheaper) generic drugs are more likely to get filled than prescriptions labeled “brand name only.”
Brand-name only prescriptions are 50 to 60% less likely to get filled. This is the summary of the article on CVS website.
Of course there is a little more info in the first article linked above — like specialists being more likely to write “dispense as written,” and such. Read more on Brand Name vs. Generics — Again and Again…
I did not really “get” what and who Edith Piaf was until I got to France and first slipped a cassette of her “greatest hits” into what now seems to have been an over sized cassette player. I had heard of her by reputation in eighth grade French class, but had not yet heard a recording of her work. But my discovery of my love for her in France was when I was a first year medical student in the fall of 1973, freezing in an apartment over a cafe and a dress shop, looking for a few minutes of respite from studying in a way that was more compulsive and obsessional than efficient. My Mother-Of-Blessed-Memory had been full of ideas about things that I could do if and when my wild adventure in Europe did not work, and I would come back to Boston and become either an excessively-qualified nurse or an excessively-qualified French teacher who had “tried” medicine in France. Me — I just told her what I had learned ancient Greek soldiers told people when they went off to war: That I would “come back with my shield or upon it.” It meant that I would not be the coward who drops their shield and runs, but if I died they would send back my dead body. She was horrified and yelled at me, right there in the airport, but that was how I felt about being a doctor and how I basically feel about my life now — I have to do what I can do and I am meant to do and is important. I really do not have much better than medicine for that. Read more on The Phenomenal Edith Piaf…
The story of CVS (Caremark) pharmacies no longer selling tobacco products seems to be dominating today’s headlines across the board.
It is true that numerous studies have identified smoking as the single major cause of preventable death in these United States. It is also true that smoking has diminished in recent years. Most of the studies I see show that the numbers have gone down from maybe 25% of the population to maybe 15% of the population, which will surely prolong and increase the quality of the lives of the individuals who have kicked the habit.
Legislation may have helped some. I have heard time and time again that nicotine is one of the most addictive, perhaps THE most addictive substance known to man. I have heard from plenty of patients how an unexpected stimulus or even memory has caused relapse. Read more on CVS Chain Kicks Tobacco’s Butt (Out Of Their Stores)…
Okay, an environmental group based in San Francisco says that 17% of our species are threatened by rising sea levels.
Yeah, I saw “An Inconvenient Truth” when it came out. Al Gore did the best he could but he is not my choice for a scientific spokesman on global warming.
This being said, he had plenty of enthusiasm and seemed to be real. My immediate reaction when I saw the film was “Yeah. This looks like real science.” I mean, when I was in prep school I actually thought Scientific American was more “fun” than “Seventeen”– which my mother of blessed memory actually encouraged me to read, thinking it would somehow make me more socially acceptable or maybe even more “normal.” Read more on Global Warming Is Science Not Politics And It Is Affecting Humans…
Every year, back comes the Super Bowl. It is the closest Americans get to throwing Christians to the lions in a Coliseum.
Of course, since Christians are a majority in our delightful money-worshipping theocracy, we can expurgate the violent tendencies of a beer soaked, unhealthy snack-stuffed populace by throwing two teams of highly paid professional athletes at each other.
The only alternative programming known to me in the media is the Puppy Bowl of the Animal Planet Channel. This is sufficiently important to be covered by Variety, the bible of the entertainment industry. I have an unusually high “cutesy” tolerance, but this canine phenomenon, with its attendant spin-offs and franchises (and extended parodying of professional football) is enough to generate nausea even in me. Read more on Superbowl Every Year…
I talk to a great many people in a great many areas and fields. In California, a lot of the mental health treatment programs are having “Obamacare-it is.”
While consumers who tried to use the official website to get enrolled for insurance had their “challenges” – to put it politely – the facilities expected to treat patients are having to do some major adjustments.
If you aren’t aware (especially you, Rip Van Winkle), “Obamacare” is what people lovingly call The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
I use the term “Lovingly Call” in the same manner people called homeless camps during the Great Depression “Hoovervilles” – blaming President Herbert Hoover for ruining the US economy and leading to the stock market crash. Many feel Pres. Obama has done something similar to health care. Read more on Dual Diagnosis Should Not Be A Reason To Refuse Treatment…
Whatever job I take, my husband says I basically function as a teacher. There probably is some truth in this, and I seem to be forever reminding people that the verb “doceo,” the Latin verb “to teach,” is the word that the English language word “doctor” comes from.
Most of us doctors have little time for the teaching function. This is not exactly what insurance pays for. The internet is an explosion of information that absolutely dwarfs the ancient library at Alexandria. Although I wish more people would be more aggressive about finding and using that information, I understand there is so much information that people don’t know who to believe.
That is the place where people should bombard their doctors with information they want clarified. Read more on Huffing…