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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…

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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…

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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)…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Huffing

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…

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It gets pretty evident pretty fast, to any psychiatrist who deals with the general public, that depression is daily bread.  I mean, with current estimates at 19 million patients per year coming down with a depression — even with less than one half of them seeking treatment — it is a pretty sure bet that depressed people are common.

This in no way diminishes the anguish I have seen in patients having that disease. The anguish is real and dramatic.

I remember one of my earlier newspaper columns written for the Wichita Eagle-Beacon — the largest daily newspaper in Kansas — asking this simple question:

Why — when someone broke their leg — a salt-of-the-earth next-door neighbor would never fail to bake a pie.  But when someone had a depression, nobody would bake anything.

The depressed person was basically treated like someone with a contagious disease. Read more on Why Some Get Depressed And Some Do Not…

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Some rumors are bouncing around and I’ve already made announcements to my inner circle of newsletter subscribers, but now it’s time to make it public –

I’ve moved and changed. This is nothing new.  Those who have known me for years and those who have read my CV (that’s a fancy academic word for resume’) know that I’m always seeking new things and especially trying to pin down the truth. Read more on Don’t Be Surprised…

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Polystyrene foam has been around for a long time; I mean, it is part of my early educational life and memories.  The most popular brand-name for this material is Styrofoam ™.

I cannot say for sure whether it was officially my first science fair, although it might have been.   My parents, ever since they actually purchased retail a book entitled “1001 things you can get free,” got me free samples from some representative of the oil industry of, well, oil in various stages of refinement.

They usually tried to write or rewrite my school projects to make them “better,” and wrenching things away from them was virtually impossible, and they did “help” with my descriptions and diagrams of the “cracking” process.   Of course, I had memorized articles from every encyclopedia I could get my hands on.  This was my standard modus operandi for pretty much everything in those days. Read more on Save Us From Styrofoam Already…

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