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


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.

Members: 9
Latest Activity: Jan 26

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Comment by Chris on May 31, 2017 at 7:13am

Rod of Asclepius.

Like all symbols they take on different meanings.

Like many symbols they get lost in translation.  I thought the rod and staff representing medicine was entwined by the (Dracunculiasis) guinea worm rather than a snake.

Ridding the world from guinea worm is something the Jimmy Carter Center (former President of the U.S.)  has done great work to eradicate.

Comment by Chris on May 28, 2017 at 4:26am

Should We Treat Pharma as a Public Utility?
Thursday, May 18, 2017 By Fran Quigley, Truthout | Op-Ed

Drug prices are skyrocketing in the US, and eye-watering Big Pharma profits are rising right along with them. With millions of Americans skipping medicine doses due to cost, widespread public frustration has spurred lawmakers to propose some good ideas for addressing the crisis. Lifting the ban on Medicare negotiating the price it pays for drugs and allowing prescription drugs to be imported from other countries would be helpful. So would the US government overriding patents and licensing generic manufacture of drugs that were discovered with taxpayer funding.

Another popular idea, featured in pending Congressional legislation and more than a dozen state proposals, is forcing pharma corporations to open up their black box on drug pricing and research costs. At first glance, so-called transparency legislation, which is already the law in Vermont and has passed the Maryland legislature, can seem a bit tame. After all, what difference will it really make, as long as companies remain free to hike up their prices, with the limited requirement that they disclose and explain the increases?...

More Here

Comment by Chris on May 27, 2017 at 6:32am

Link to University of Calofornia - UC San Francisco PDF  file application for body donation.


Comment by Chris on May 27, 2017 at 4:23am

I'm curious how many people have thought about donating organs, body parts, or their entire body to medical research.

Doing so shouldn't be controversial, but apparently it is.

Having a 'donor' stamp on a drivers license allows organ harvesting. Donating specific organs or the entire body to medical research still seems taboo.

I read a case where someone's relative donated their body for medical research. The relatives became angry when body parts were used to teach cadaver dogs to search for human remains.


Comment by Chris on May 27, 2017 at 1:34am

The below link contains the text to the proposal.

Single-Payer Plan’s Price Tag in California: $400 Billion Per Year

It would cost the state of California an estimated $400 billion per year to cover all of its 39 million residents, according to a staff analysis by the state’s Senate Appropriation Committee.  That’s more than twice the state’s total annual budget of $180 billion.

But the main legislative advocate for single-payer, Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), explained the state could get access to half of that amount, $200 billion, by shifting over what it already spends on Medicare, Medi-Cal and other state-run health services. That assumes the federal government would agree to let California re-route federal funds in that way.

“The fiscal estimates are subject to enormous uncertainty,” said Nick Louizos, vice president of legislative affairs for the California Association of Health Plans. “If a combination of assumptions don’t come through, this could be even more expensive than we even think.”

To raise the other $200 billion, the state could implement a 15 percent payroll tax, according to the analysis, which was released Monday during a Senate Appropriations Committee in Sacramento.  It’s unclear how that tax might be split between the employer and the employee.

“Given this picture of increasing costs, health care inefficiency, and the uncertainty created by Republicans in Congress, it is critical that California chart our own path,” said Lara at the committee hearing.

“It will eliminate the need for insurance companies and their administrative costs and profits,” he added. “Doctors and hospitals will no longer need to negotiate rates and deals with insurance companies to seek reimbursement.”

At the hearing, Kyle Thayer, a paramedic who works in San Diego, urged the legislators to move forward with the plan.

“I see every single day the people that don’t have health coverage and the things that happen. Often they choose between one medicine and another, and end up in the back of my ambulance for something as simple as high-blood pressure medication,” said Thayer, a resident of Carlsbad.

His concerns were personal as well as professional, he said.

“My fiancee’s mother was trying to manage her blood pressure, and for a time wasn’t taking her medication, and she ended up with a stroke in the emergency room,” said Thayer. “It cost them all kinds of money.”

Opponents of the plan also spoke, including Karen Sarkissian from the California Chamber of Commerce, who called the 15 percent payroll tax a “job killer,” and a line of representatives from private health insurance companies. These companies would see their business model collapse in California in the face of a single-payer plan, which would be state-administered and not-for-profit.

“We don’t need to go backwards and start from scratch. This bill could have catastrophic implications for the health care system in our state,” said Teresa Stark, the chief lobbyist for Kaiser Permanente in California, which covers 8.5 million Californians.

“We share the goal of health care for all,” she explained, but added that a single-payer system would “dismantle Kaiser Permanente as we know it.”

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,, 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


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.


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