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Medicine, Medical insurance Pharmaceuticals, and Medical Care (CDC and etcetera)

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Medicine, Medical insurance Pharmaceuticals, and Medical Care (CDC and etcetera)

This is a group to discuss the problems with Medicine, Medical insurance, pharmacieuticals, and Medical Care, CDC (Center for Disease Control), Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Boarders), and etcetra.

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Comment by Chris on March 17, 2017 at 4:37am

Personal Health
Proof That the Pharma Business Model Actually Wants People SickPhar...

Comment by Chris on February 4, 2017 at 9:05am

January 12 2017

Cory Booker Joins Senate Republicans to Kill Measure to Import Cheaper Medicine From Canada

Cory Booker Joins Senate Republicans to Kill Measure to Import Chea...

The Intercept featured our data in a story on Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) joining with Senate Republicans to kill a measure that would urge the federal government to allow the importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. MapLight’s database showed that Booker has received more pharmaceutical manufacturing cash over the past six years than any other Democratic senator. This story was also picked up by Jezebel, the Fader, New York Magazine, Mic.com, and Vox.

Bernie Sanders introduced a very simple symbolic amendment Wednesday night, urging the federal government to allow Americans to purchase pharmaceutical drugs from Canada, where they are considerably cheaper. Such unrestricted drug importation is currently prohibited by law.

The policy has widespread support among Americans: one Kaiser poll taken in 2015 found that 72 percent of Americans are in favor of allowing for importation. President-elect Donald Trump also campaigned on a promise to allow for importation.

The Senate voted down the amendment 52-46, with two senators not voting. Unusually, the vote was not purely along party lines: 13 Republicans joined Sanders and a majority of Democrats in supporting the amendment, while 13 Democrats and a majority of Republicans opposed it.

One of those Democrats was New Jersey’s Cory Booker, who is considered a rising star in the party and a possible 2020 presidential contender..."

"...Booker and some of his Democratic colleagues who opposed the Sanders amendment are longtime friends of the drug industry. As MapLight data shows, Booker has received more pharmaceutical manufacturing cash over the past six years than any other Democratic senator: $267,338. In addition, significant numbers of pharmaceutical and biotech firms reside in Booker’s home state of New Jersey. Other Democrats receiving six-figure donations from the industry, like Casey, Patty Murray, and Michael Bennet, opposed the amendment..."

More Here

Comment by Chris on December 10, 2016 at 4:06pm

Pharma Execs Arrested in Shockingly Organized Scheme to Overprescri...

Dec. 9 2016 By Ben Mathis-Lilley of Slate

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data showing that overdose deaths caused by synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—the drug that killed Prince—rose by nearly 75 percent in 2015. On the same day, federal prosecutors in Massachusetts announced the arrest of six former employees, including a former CEO and two former vice presidents, of the Phoenix-based and NASDAQ-traded fentanyl producer Insys Therapeutics. The individuals are charged with bribing doctors and otherwise conspiring to induce the overprescription of a fentanyl product called Subsys.

The indictment details a variety of brazenly dishonest methods by which doctors and insurance companies were allegedly convinced to issue and fund prescriptions of Subsys:

  • Insys paid doctors to give educational lectures about the use of Subsys. That's ostensibly legal, except that prosecutors allege that the company paid said doctors in direct proportion to the frequency with which they wrote Subsys prescriptions, with one Insys employee allegedly texting another that the doctors hired to give lectures "do not need to be good speakers" so long as they were high-volume Susbys prescribers. These "lectures," meanwhile were allegedly often nothing more than dinners at high-end restaurants attended only by the doctors getting paid, the Subsys employees paying them, and the doctor's friends. One Florida doctor is alleged to have made $275,000 in speaking fee bribes in three years.
  • Insys allegedly continued to work with some doctors who prescribed Subsys frequently even after becoming aware internally that those doctors were known for running dubiously legal Dr. Feelgood "pill mills." Wrote one Insys employee in an email about an Illinois doctor that the company would continue to work with and pay speaking fees to: "He is extremely moody, lazy and inattentive. He basically just shows up to sign his name on the prescription pad, if he shows up at all."
  • Insys allegedly hired support staff employees to mislead insurance companies into approving payments for Subsys prescriptions. These support staff employees allegedly misled insurers into believing they were interacting with representatives of doctor's offices rather than representatives of Insys—employees were allegedly instructed to hang up the phone when insurers "pursued the identity of their employer." These support staff employees are also accused of systematically falsifying specific diagnosis information—claiming patients had difficulty swallowing, for example—that they knew would make insurers more likely to authorize Subsys purchases.

More here

Comment by Chris on December 6, 2016 at 6:59pm

Daraprim drug's key ingredient recreated by high school students in...

For $US20, a group of high school students has created 3.7 grams of an active ingredient used in the medicine Daraprim, which would sell in the United States for between $US35,000 and $US110,000.

Pyrimethamine, the active ingredient in Daraprim, treats a parasitic infection in people with weak immune systems such as pregnant women and HIV patients.

In August 2015, the price of Daraprim in the US rose from $US13.50 per tablet to $US750 when Turing Pharmaceuticals, and its controversial then-chief executive Martin Shkreli, acquired the drug's exclusive rights and hiked up the price.

Since then, the 17-year-olds from Sydney Grammar have worked in their school laboratory to create the drug cheaply in order to draw attention to its inflated price overseas, which student Milan Leonard said was "ridiculous".

"It makes sense that if you're putting billions of dollars into research for a drug like this, you should be able to reap some profit, but to do something like this … it's just not just," he said.

Milan described the moment he realised he and his classmates had been successful.

"It was ecstatic, it was bliss, it was euphoric," he said.

"After all of this time spent working and chemistry being such a high and low, after all the lows, after all the downs, being able to make this drug, it was pure bliss."

Fellow student Brandon Lee said he could not believe the result after a year of work.

"At first there was definitely disbelief," he said.

"We spent so long and there were so many obstacles that we, not lost hope, but it surprised us like 'oh, we actually made this material' and 'this can actually help people out there'.

"So it was definitely disbelief but then it turned in to happiness as we realised we finally got to our main goal."

Turing Pharmaceuticals continue to sell the only FDA-approved form of the drug in the US, and last year, said federal and state health schemes answered questions of access and affordability.

Following backlash, the company lowered the cost by 50 per cent for hospitals.

University of Sydney research chemist Alice Williamson supported the boys' work through an online research-sharing platform Open Source Malaria, and said they had done "fantastically well".

"The original route that we got, so the original recipe if you like to make this molecule, was from a patent that was referenced on Wikipedia," Dr Williamson said.

"Now of course we checked to see if it looked reasonable … but the route that was up actually had one step that involved a really dangerous chemical.

"The boys had to navigate a difficult step and do this in a different way, and they've managed to do that, and they've managed to do that in their high school laboratory."

In most countries, including Australia, Daraprim is sold for between $1 to $2 per pill.

A second US-based company, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, made an alternative compound to Daraprim — sold for US$1 a dose — but the drug is not FDA-approved.

More above.

Comment by Chris on December 2, 2016 at 4:53am

Sugar.

Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes

Bewildered by the variety of sugar substitutes available these days? Understand the pros and cons to make an informed choice.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you're trying to reduce the sugar and calories in your diet, you may be turning to artificial sweeteners or other sugar substitutes. You aren't alone.

Today artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes are found in a variety of food and beverages; they're marketed as "sugar-free" or "diet," including soft drinks, chewing gum, jellies, baked goods, candy, fruit juice, and ice cream and yogurt.

Just what are all these sweeteners? And what's their role in your diet?

More in the above link.

Fat and oils have been marketed as being bad for one's helth. Eggs for example were though of as causing heart disease.

Olive oil , Almonds, and Avacado  - ie the medeteranian diet shows that essential fat is benificial. 

Fake sugar is a false economy.  Diet sodas tend to create hunger.

Comment by Chris on November 21, 2016 at 12:00pm

Dietary Supplements can be beneficial to your health — but taking supplements can also involve health risks.

Because dietary supplements are under the "umbrella" of foods, FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) is responsible for the agency's oversight of these products. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, which amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, created a new regulatory framework for the safety and labeling of dietary supplements. FDA is not authorized to review dietary supplement products for saf...

The following are resources and important information for you and your family about dietary supplements.

More in the link above.

Holding homeopathis drugs to the same standard as other OTC is a worthless gesture.

For example there are over the counter supplements that contain vitamin C and Zink marketed to shorten the lengh of colds  There is no scientific evidence that it helps.

Glucosamine and Chondrotin is marketed to help with joint pain.

Both of the above are at best placebo.s

The Federal Trade Comission is for marketing, not for medicine. Snake oil companies from the 1800's aren't much different than they are today except maybe they can't sell strychnine as vitamine D.

I wonder if lipstick no longer contains lead under the cosmetic act.

Are lipsticks dangerous?

Every day millions of women apply lipstick without a second thought. What many don't know is that lipsticks may contain lead, the notorious metal that can cause learning, language and behavioral problems. Lead is a neurotoxin and can be dangerous even at small doses.
So what's lead doing in lipsticks?
Not all lipsticks contain lead, but a number of studies in recent years show that the metal is more prevalent than previously thought.
In 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics conducted a study -- "A Poison Kiss" -- that detected lead in 61% of the 33 lipsticks tested, with levels ranging from 0.03 ppm to 0.65 ppm. Parts per million (ppm) is the measurement of lead in the environment.
More in the lipstick link above.
According to CNN it's okay to put lead in lipstick perhaps it's also okay to put strychnine in vitamin supplements.
Way to go Federal Trade Comission.
Junk bonds forever as long as companies make money.
Comment by Chris on November 20, 2016 at 11:22pm

Fake news?

http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/homeo.html

Homeopathy: The Ultimate Fake
Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Homeopathic "remedies" enjoy a unique status in the health marketplace: They are the only category of quack products legally marketable as drugs. This situation is the result of two circumstances. First, the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which was shepherded through Congress by a homeopathic physician who was a senator, recognizes as drugs all substances included in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States. Second, the FDA has not held homeopathic products to the same standards as other drugs. Today they are marketed in health-food stores, in pharmacies, in practitioner offices, by multilevel distributors, through the mail, and on the Internet.

Basic Misbeliefs

Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), a German physician, began formulating homeopathy's basic principles in the late 1700s. Hahnemann was justifiably distressed about bloodletting, leeching, purging, and other medical procedures of his day that did far more harm than good. Thinking that these treatments were intended to "balance the body's 'humors' by opposite effects," he developed his "law of similars"—a notion that symptoms of disease can be cured by extremely small amounts of substances that produce similar symptoms in healthy people when administered in large amounts. The word "homeopathy" is derived from the Greek words homoios (similar) and pathos (suffering or disease).

Hahnemann and his early followers conducted "provings" in which they administered herbs, minerals, and other substances to healthy people, including themselves, and kept detailed records of what they observed. Later these records were compiled into lengthy reference books called materia medica, which are used to match a patient's symptoms with a "corresponding" drug.

Hahnemann declared that diseases represent a disturbance in the body's ability to heal itself and that only a small stimulus is needed to begin the healing process. He also claimed that chronic diseases were manifestations of a suppressed itch (psora), a kind of miasma or evil spirit. At first he used small doses of accepted medications. But later he used enormous dilutions and theorized that the smaller the dose, the more powerful the effect—a notion commonly referred to as the "law of infinitesimals." That, of course, is just the opposite of the dose-response relationship that pharmacologists have demonstrated.

The basis for inclusion in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia is not modern scientific testing, but homeopathic "provings" conducted during the 1800s and early 1900s. The current (ninth) edition describes how more than a thousand substances are prepared for homeopathic use. It does not identify the symptoms or diseases for which homeopathic products should be used; that is decided by the practitioner (or manufacturer). The fact that substances listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia are legally recognized as "drugs" does not mean that either the law or the FDA recognizes them as effective.

More is available through the link at the top of this post.

Comment by Stephen on November 20, 2016 at 6:57pm

A new ruling finally requires homeopathic 'treatments' to obey the same labeling standards as real medicines

The Federal Trade Commission issued a statement this month which said that homeopathic remedies have to be held to the same standard as other products that make similar claims. In other words, American companies must now have reliable scientific evidence for health-related claims that their products can treat specific conditions and illnesses. 

Read more=  http://uk.businessinsider.com/new-ftc-homeopathy-rules-2016-11?r=US...

Comment by Chris on November 12, 2016 at 5:55am

Most new drugs are incredibly expensive.  Sometimes they have advantages but sometimes the added expense can ruin someone's life.

Not only the monetary cost  often the side effects of new pharmacuticals  make them less worthy than medicine tha'ts been around for a long time and has been 'tested'  proven valiuable and effective.

Comment by Chris on November 12, 2016 at 5:41am

How twising information becomes. Here's a report about the Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi embeded in TPP.

The Final Bill for TPP May Include Trump
WSJ: Obama Makes a Long-Shot Bid for TPP Trade Deal
In the final days of the campaign, President Obama was still pushing the TPP deal (Wall Street Journal, 11/1/16)...

However, even against this backdrop, the election was still incredibly close, with states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan certainly well within Clinton’s reach. There were many factors that depressed Clinton’s vote, most obviously the endless drumbeat about emails, which were amplified in the last days of the campaign by FBI Director James Comey’s bizarre intervention into the race.

While many of these factors were beyond the control of Clinton and the Democrats, one factor that was under their control was the decision to push the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Needless to say, there is little public knowledge of the details of the TPP. But the TPP symbolized a pattern of trade that cost millions of manufacturing jobs in the prior decade, and put downward pressure on the wages of the workers without college degrees more generally.

EPI: Productivity vs. Compensation
Source: Economic Policy Institute, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis data

This pattern of trade has been an important factor in the wage stagnation of the last four decades. If the wages of workers without college degrees had kept pace with productivity growth since 1980, they would be more than 40 percent higher than they are today. This is a big deal to these workers and their families. Even if trade was not the whole story of income inequality, working class people are certainly correct to see it as a big part of the picture.

The TPP probably would not have substantially contributed, at least directly, to further depressing wages. We already have trade deals with six of the 11 countries in the pact, and have extensive trade relations with the others. Rather, the TPP was about putting in place a business-friendly structure of regulation. It also increased patent and copyright protection, with the goal of increasing the profits of the pharmaceutical, software and entertainment industries. In other words, the TPP was about further extending a pattern of trade aimed at redistributing income upward.

It is important to understand that this is not some natural process of globalization. We deliberately placed our manufacturing workers in direct competition with low-paid workers in the developing world. The predicted and actual effect of this policy is to lower their wages. At the same time, we have left in place or even increased protections that benefit those at the high end. Our doctors earn on average more than $250,000 a year, twice the pay of their counterparts in other wealthy countries. This gap is in large part because we prohibit foreign doctors from practicing in the United States unless they complete a US residency program. There is a similar story of protectionism for dentists who must graduate a US dental school (or, recently, Canadian).

In addition, making patents and copyrights longer and stronger, both here and around the world, redistributes income from the bulk of the population to those in a position to profit from these protections. This is the story of the Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, which has a list price of $84,000. The free market price is a couple hundred dollars. We will pay more than $430 billion this year for drugs that would sell for 10–20 percent of this amount in a free market.

There was nothing natural about the upward redistribution we have seen over the last four decades; it was deliberate policy. And the TPP was a symbol of this policy. It was a trade pact that was crafted by and for major business interests.

 

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