Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Pharmacists and Scripts?

Today's FDA proposal was to have pharmacists write behind-the-counter scripts for patients who can't afford to see a doctor.

Doesn't that seem to be a bit of a conflict of interest for a profession that has not been trained to diagnose disease?

Another mind boggling idea from the FDA - Big Pharma's godfather!

Prolong Life with Vitamin D

We’re living longer than ever according to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A September, 2007 report revealed that US life expectancy is now nearly 78 years, up from less than 76 years just a decade ago. The higher figure reflects a continued reduction in deaths from heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Part of the reason may be better treatment, but prevention plays a significant part.

A new European study suggests that Vitamin D supplements could prolong your life. Released last month by researcher Philippe Autier, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, and Sara Gandini, from the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy, the results were from 18 trials involving more than 57,000 people.

Vitamin D intake varied from 300 to 2,000 international units. Those who took Vitamin D supplements had a 7 percent lower risk of dying during the trials than those who didn’t. Autier believes people should take Vitamin D supplements daily, in addition to getting a moderate amount of sun each day, since the skin uses sunlight to produce vitamin D.

I’d recommend a multivitamin supplement with between 500 and 1500 international units of Vitamin D.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Big Pharma Cartel

We received a lot of emails asking our opinion on how last week's Drug Reform Bill could have become so watered down before it was sent to Congress. One of the answers: media and advertising lobbyists who convinced a few members of the House (built, inpart, with Madison Avenue, Network and Cable dollars) that media profits were more important than the health and safety of Americans.

These lobbyists realized they could lose a huge cash cow if pharmaceutical direct-to-consumer ads were ever put up to a Congressional vote. The word inside the beltway is that network and cable media created a very expensive targeted campaign suggesting that any restriction on direct-to-consumer advertising would be a violation of Big Pharma's first amendment rights. They were successful because any limits on direct-to-consumer disappeared from the bill before it went to the house.

Considering the first amendment rights abuses the citizens of this country have tolerated in the past few years, this ad campaign would be funny - if it weren't so sad.

The rights of Big Pharma and the FDA to deceive Americans were preserved (but a few bipartisan elected officials did manage to protect the wording on the bill that holds Big Pharma legally responsible for unsafe drug deaths, and Big Pharma will now be required to make ALL of the clinical trial and drug reaction data collected available to the public vs. the creative writing versions that get published in peer-reviewed journals.

The Drug Reform Bill still allows Big Pharma to maintain its monopoly on U.S. drug prices, which are higher than the prices they charge in other countries. And believe it or not, Big Pharma also gets to keep 25% of the FDA drug approval investigators on their consulting payrolls forever, and they have five years to get that number down to 25%.

Hardly a great victory - but new bills will be written and there will always be wantabe congressional members waiting for our votes.

Let's cast those votes wisely!