AARP article misses the boat – DRUG SAMPLES AND DRUG REPS – MAYBE NOT SO BAD – BUT LIMIT THE DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER ADS and LAWSUITS

A recent article in the AARP Bulletin highlighted an email of a drug company's inside commentary on drug representatives and their impact on physicians' practices.  Congress was on this subject of how doctors obtain information years ago, and rather than mandating legislation, the Pharma Industry limited themselves.  Now the irony here is that, all the Pharma Industry now advertises the millions and millions of dollars for their new drugs on television, cable and non-cable, radio, and the print media.  How many ads of erectile dysfunction have you seen or watched in the last few years?  What about allergy drugs?  Those ads seem to be everywhere also.

Meanwhile, most doctors get some of their information from drug company representatives.  The doctors of yesteryear were wined and dined – alot.  But all that has changed.  Company meetings for continuing medical information and education are sponsored for cost.  However, the rules are tight.  No trips to Hawaii have ever been offered to me, in 25 years or so.

Now the medical appliance industry, like the artificial hips, pacemakers, etc., are not included in the Pharma SELF-imposed rules.  This industry works like many others.  Recently my awareness was stretched when a person told me ALL hundreds of employees of a beer industry were wined and dined, golfed, and brought to a city with alot of casinos!  All on the company.  And recently a marketing company took hundreds of employees to another city for 3-4 days, for their needs.

Now, most doctors do like to see drug representatives.  We do get good and current information from the reps.  If the doctor has a brain, he or she will and can challenge the drug rep with his product, his information, and his competition.  This is good information.

Literally, thousands of patients through the years have asked for "Any free samples?" Many times we can accomodate some starter paks of medicines that have been given to us by the pharmaceutical representatives.  Most clinics get some samples for patients.  According to a recent study over 75% of clinics get free samples.  Many times the reps will sponsor quick to the point luncheons.  Some doctors join company panels to discuss the highlights and controversies of new therapy.  So, what is the big deal?

Most pharmaceutical reps are good people.  Most earn their living by providing information currently and timely.  Most doctors are good people.  Most earn their living by providing good patient care.  Most patients are good people.  Most enjoy and sincerely appreciate a "few samples" to start their drug regimen.

Now, with the costs of drugs so high, and the pressure on the drug companies to limit free samples or starter paks, it would seem to be soon – a policy that will be forced out.  This will be a loss for the underinsured, uninsured, family of four parents, and others that look at the costs in general of healthcare and delay or eliminate their prescription all together.

The billions of dollars spent on "direct-consumer-advertising" that is endorsed by the FDA and other federal, state, and societal organizations is the first place to cut drug costs.  Those ads drive the physician by patient requests.  Get rid of direct to consumer advertising.  Next, get rid of the massive class action suits against all the companies.  The U.S. has driven the vaccine industry out of the U.S. and the drug making is not far behind.  If the vaccine shortage concerns did not awaken some fear in you, this should.

So, soon, patients will say good bye to free samples, free starter cost reduction cards, and reduced up to date physician information.

As for me, trips, rock n' roll collections, and tennis racquets have not crossed my desk….And to say they do is just crazy by a biased author.  And some of the doctors will stay "chummy" with professional colleagues in the pharmaceutical representative business.  Some might call that professional interaction and ethical education…

SALT USE AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE AND HYPERTENSION

Stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are linked closely to high blood pressure.  In many studies, hypertension is a strong predictor of these severe problems, including stroke (brain attack), congestive heart failure, and even myocardial infarction (heart attack).

The importance of salt intake (sodium chloride) with regard to high blood pressure is well linked.  Most of these studies have been a type of case control showing high probable causal relationship.  Some other studies have shown that higher salt intake predicted the higher incidence of cardiovascular diseases over time.

But a recent published and peer reviewed study, with randomized NON-hypertensive persons, about 3000 of them, has put a strong lock on this issue.  In the study, persons were given about 2.6 gms or 2.0 gms of salt daily.   Another group of placebo was a control also.  The groups were followed out to 18 months or 36-48 months. Then all the groups (cohorts) were followed over the next 10-15 years!

There was a remarkable 30% (approximate) lower incidence of cardiovascular events during this period.  This finding was controlled for age, body mass, sex, ethnic origin, and initial blood pressure – when compared to the placebo group. 

We have long known this concern of salt and high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.  Even back in about 1985, the World Health Organization recommended the salt intake to be reduced to about 5 grams per day. 

In "Westernized" countries, bread and processed foods account for the great majority of salts in the diet, with personal use being about 15-20 %.  In many developing countries however, the personal use is the burden of salt.  Some countries have tried to "legislate" salt reduction, however most of the time, this effort turns to "voluntary" agreement programs with good intent, rather than hard legislation.  More efforts of education and the reason for limiting salt intake should be forwarded by all the main agencies such as the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and others that take the lead to limit cardiovascular disease, morbidity, and mortality.

So think about it.  Should we legislate the prepared foods, soda and beer, snack, eat 'n run, cafe, restaurant, and bar industries to limit the salt in their products?  Dear ol' Mom probably had it right when she said, "Not so much salt!" 

So next time you pick up the product, do a salt survey.  Remember less that five grams a day is highly recommended, while 2 grams a day really makes a difference in your actual risk.  The debate appears to be over.  Salt can take a toll.  Be a wise shopper and a wiser eater. 

Salty popcorn with butter anyone?  Remember, more fiber, less salt, less trans-fats….Yuk!

USS NEW YORK BUILT TO SALUTE THE FALLEN

 

USS New York

 

It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center.

It is the fifth in a new class of warship – designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, LA to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept. 9, 2003, "those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence," recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was  there. "It was a spiritual moment for everybody there."

 

USS NEW YORK

 

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the "hair on my neck stood up." "It had a big meaning to it for all of us," he said. "They knocked us down. They can't keep us down. We're going to be back."

The ship's motto? "Never Forget"  And we should not !

hpv – save the cheerleader – save the world – vaccinate your daughters – VOTE IN THE POLL

 Cool   Every family should consider the vaccination program for the prevention of HPV induced cervical cancer and HPV induced genital warts.  All females over age 12 should talk with their doctor about this miraculous preventative program which reduces cervical cancer and genital warts risk.    Bye    

 

  http://www.castmd.com/?p=124

 

VOTE IN THE VACCINATION POLL IN THE RIGHT MARGIN BELOW BLOG CATEGORIES

BIOPHARMACEUTICALS AND GENERIC DRUG POLICY – GENERIC SAFETY EFFICACY PURITY – LEGISLATING WHEN A GENERIC IS A GENERIC?

 

Biopharmaceutical “generics” controversy continues on Capitol Hill.  Manufacturers say that the biopharmaceuticals cannot be guaranteed of safety, potency, and purity in the generic sense, since they are proteins and other biological type medications.  This is quite different from the many generic forms of other drugs, such as aspirin, penicillin, and other chemical drugs. 

Why is this such a big deal? 

Biopharm prices are considerable higher than chemical drugs.  Of the $252 billion dollars spent on prescription medicines in 2005, $33 billion was biotech-biopharm types of medicines. All med sales grow about 5-6 % per year, whereas the biopharm group grows about 3 times that rate. The top three selling biopharm meds were neupogen, epogen, and intron A – with costs at about 15, 20, and 22 thousand dollars per patient per year. Imiglucerase, an enzyme drug, will cost about 200,000 dollars per patient per year.  

Large carriers such as Kaiser and others are seeing astronomical increases in these drug costs.    Medicare estimates for drug plans estimated at 395 billion, now is over 650 billion over the ten years initial estimates. 

 In the generic marketplace, drug costs have been reduced about 50-70 percent in general.  However, this truly sensical process may be difficult to add to generic follow-through biotech group of biopharmaceuticals. How will the abbreviated new drug application be changed to allow “generic” or “follow-through” biotech biopharmaceuticals to progress faster to FDA approval?  Certainly, the savings for guaranteeing the purity, safety, and efficacy of the biopharmaceuticals may not be as great.  The big issue still remains whether the profits from “open season” on the off patent biopharmaceuticals will allow for continued research and development for newer and unique and orphan type biotech drugs that will save patients and save money.   

The baby boomers are passing through the biopharmaceutical turnstile now, and with growing numbers. 

How the 1984 Hatch-Waxman Act (Drug Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act) will change and what effect any change will have is to be determined as of yet.  This law allowed rapid development and approval of chemical drugs for generic distribution after patents expired on known brand name drugs. 

 

(Commentary by castMD with adaptation from:  Fuhr & Blackstone's article in Biotechnology Healthcare)  

 

BLURKER ADDICTION AND BLOGGER BEHAVIOR BLURKER ANONYMOUS SCREENING AND CONFIRMATION – NEED A PROFESSIONAL?

BLURKER ANONYMOUS SCREENING (CAGE)

  • Have you ever thought you ought to Cut down on your blog entries or blurking?
  • Do you feel Annoyed at criticism of your blog writing or blurking?
  • Do you feel Guilty about your blog writing or blurking?
  • Do you ever take an Early-morning look (eye-opener) at your latest blog favorite or use blogging or blurking upon awakening  (“a little hair of the dog that bit you”) to start the day or to feel better?

IF YOU ANSWERED ONE OR MORE “YES” TO THE  ABOVE SCREENING TEST – CONTINUE TO THIS CONFIRMATORY EVALUATION . 

BLURKER ADDICTION CONFIRMATION SYSTEM ®

Eating meals alone while blurking or blogging

Rereading your blog or your latest entries

Rereading your favorite blogs

Trying to stop reading blogs

Considering group meetings for bloggers

Realizing your world is centered on your favorite blogs

Wondering repeatedly what writing an entry would be like

Time with family and friends are limited

Sneaking away to check your favorite blogs

Do you check your blog stats over once per day

Do you wonder in moments of calm who might be seeing your blog

Not owning up to the problem of the continuous blurker

Family members want to call a “confrontation” meeting

Limited showers and shaving while eating at the computer

Occasional outbursts of solo-laughter discussed by others in your life

Anxiety and panic arrive when you cannot blurk

Anxiety and panic arrive when you cannot hit “submit”

Anxiety and panic heightens when reading the submit “verify code” letters

Computer failure makes you go to the public library to “check out a book”

Computer server failure makes you just sit in disbelief

Now realizing you have blogger-buddies, you want a festive gathering to touch and appreciate them  

Your children ask your spouse or significant other who the stranger is while looking at you

Your complete social circle has changed

And your only means of conversation must be in blog format. 

GRADING SYSTEM 

0 – 2                             LOW RISK

3 – 5                             MOD RISK

6 – 10                           HIGH RISH

11 – 15                         EXTREME RISK

> 15                         COUNSEL/INPATIENT  
         

www.blurkeranonymous.com

SUPER BOWL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE — C.A.G.E. THIS HOP’S FOR YOU

THE DEBATE OF SUPER BOWL ASSOCIATED EVENTS RAGES ON.  THE DEBATE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RAGES ON.  WHERE AND WHEN THE TWO MEET IS CONTROVERSIAL.  EXAMINATION OF THE DATA IN MANY PLACES DOES NOT EQUATE TO A HIGHER RATE.  AGENDA AND POLITICAL ACTIVISM RAISES THE RELATIONSHIP MOSTLY.  HOWEVER…..

AND YEARS AGO, EVERYTHING WAS LINKED TO THE "FULL MOON CONSPIRACY" OF ILLNESS, INJURY, PSYCHIATRIC MALADIES, AND JUST PLAIN WEIRDNESS IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM…..AND SHOWN TO BE DATA INSUFFICIENT TO PROVE THE POINT…..CAN'T BLAME THE MOON THIS SUPERBOWL, AS THAT WAS A DAY OR TWO AGO….. 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DOES OCCUR AS WELL AS ALCOHOL OVERUSE AND ABUSE – ALL HAPPEN ON SUPER BOWL SUNDAY.  BUT THESE EVENTS HAPPEN ON NON-SUPER BOWL SUNDAYS ALSO, AND MONDAYS, AND TUESDAYS, AND WEDNESDAYS, AND THURSDAYS, AND FRIDAYS, AND SATURDAYS.  SO…..

WHAT MATTERS IS THAT ALL THOSE SUPERBOWL COMMMERCIALS SPONSORED BY THE BEER INDUSTRY CERTAINLY ENCOURAGE THE "FUN" OF THE ALCOHOL OVERUSE AND ABUSE.  WHAT THEY DO NOT ADVERTISE IS THE DARK SIDE OF THE ALOCHOL OVERUSE AND ABUSE…AND THE SUBSEQUENT POSSIBILITIES OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, CRIME, DUI, CHILD ABUSE, AND FAMILY DISCORD – NOT TO MENTION JOB LOSS, WORKPLACE INEFFICIENCY, FINANCIAL RUIN, AND HIGH PERSONAL RISK.  SO…..

TAKE THE TEST ON THIS SUPERBOWL SUNDAY:

Screening Test Questions:

  • Have you ever thought you ought to Cut down on your drinking or drug use?
  • Do you feel Annoyed at criticism of your drinking or drug use?
  • Do you feel Guilty about your drinking or drug use?
  • Do you ever take an Early-morning drink (eye-opener) or use drugs upon awakening  ("a little hair of the dog that bit you") to start the day or to feel better?

SOME SAY AT LEAST ONE-THIRD OF ALL WOMEN WILL BE INVOLVED IN SOME FORM OF DOMESTIC PARTNER VIOLENT BEHAVIOR IN THEIR LIFETIME.

AN ESTIMATED 5 MILLION INCIDENCES OCCUR ANNUALLY.

AN ESTIMATED 1500 WOMEN DIE YEARLY FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

EMPLOYEES MAY REPRESENT 20-25% OF VICTIMS OF THIS TYPE OF LIFESTYLE.

IMPACT ZONE:  INTERVENE WITH A FELLOW EMPLOYEE, ASSOCIATE, FRIEND IF YOU THINK THE QUESTION IS APPROPRIATE.   "ARE YOU SAFE?"  "CAN WE HELP?"  "HOW CAN WE HELP?"

FIELD BURNING REVISITED – ILLEGAL ON APPEAL * EPA TO STEP IN – AGAIN – WILL THE CDA TRIBE and THE ELECTED OFFICIALS STEP UP TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL “PATIENT ADVOCACY” PLATE?

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declared that the field burning practice since 1993 has been illegal.  The unanimous decision by the Court forces a reconsideration of events that allowed the practice to continue despite widespread opposition. The EPA federal laws overpower the lobbyist-generated state laws.  An environmental plea must go out to the owners of the lands where field burning is conducted.  www.castMD.com has been writing about this issue for months – where has the EPA been?  Where have the protectors of the land, water, and air been?  To lease or rent, knowingly for the practice, is like knowlingly leasing a house for meth making or meth distribution.  All the parties know that this practice pollutes.  All the parties know that this practice is unsafe for patients.  All the parties know this is harmful to the people of the earth.  Isn't it time for leadership by the elders, officials, elected few, and, as "Country Attorney" Jerry Spence would say:  "Faceless corporations?"   Which leaders will be strong, bold, and sincere to tell the truth AND do the right thing? It is time to "walk the environmental talk."

 

SEE PREVIOUS ENTRIES:

http://www.castmd.com/?p=53

http://www.castmd.com/?p=47

http://www.castmd.com/?p=46

http://www.castmd.com/?p=48

http://www.castmd.com/?p=24

http://www.castmd.com/?p=8

SUBLIMINAL EVIL LURKS IN BLOGOSPERE WWW.CASTMD COMES TO THE IMMEDIATE RESCUE “CAUTION: ENTERING THIS UN-SPUN ZONE”

 

Bloggers beware.

 

Bloggers beware

Of pen’s fiery flare.

Bloggers beware

Of hateful glare.

 

Bloggers beware

Of gifts they bear.

Bloggers beware

Of tempting dare.

 

 

Bloggers beware

Of laughter’s stare.

Bloggers beware

Of limited care.

 

Bloggers beware

Of  legal snare.

Bloggers beware

Of snake-eye pair.

 

Bloggers beware.

 

gonzales denies constitutional rights of habeas corpus in senate committee

Medicine dominates www.castMD.com, however, this news must be told, from all sides of any isle, current time, any bias, any blog.  As watched days ago:

Alberto Gonzales the U.S. Attorney General,  seemed to summarize a reversal that the U.S. Constitution grants habeas corpus rights to a fair trial to every American.  Arlen Specter a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, listened to Gonzales arguing that the Constitution doesn't explicitly endow habeas corpus rights.  He commented that when Great Writ can be suspended. Gonzales said."There is no expressed grant of habeas in the Constitution; there's a prohibition against taking it away."  "Wait a minute," Specter amazing replied to Gonzales. "The Constitution says you can't take it away except in case of rebellion or invasion. Doesn't that mean you have the right of habeas corpus unless there's a rebellion or invasion?"  "The Constitution doesn't say every individual in the United States or citizen is hereby granted or assured the right of habeas corpus. It doesn't say that. It simply says the right shall not be suspended" except in cases of rebellion or invasion. Specter quickly retorted: "You may be treading on your interdiction of violating common sense." 

DENYING CITIZENS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO HABEAS CORPUS seems to be on the line here!

With his basis in this apparent illogical and confounding premise – that since the U.S. Constitution "only" guarantees that Habeas Corpus cannot be taken away except in times of invasion/uprise – it then follows that everyone does not have an inital right.

From that scary monstrosity of a proposition, does he believe justification of the illegal and unconstitutional Guantanamo "infinite-detention-without-charge" program?  War on terror or war on citizen rights?

This is one of the most unique testimonies ever stated, like, "I never had sex with that woman." that a previous President made – one which goes against not only common sensical argument, but one which may become TRULY Anti-American and works to undermine the very foundations of our Constitution and legal system.

Has America seen such Founding Father "stomping" in other areas?  How about the right of Eminent Domain expansion…squish the  little person or business…big boys don't cry!