Showing posts from August, 2010

Physicians know best...but not ex-lieutenant governors

Betsy McCaughey, Ph.D. (make sure you see that big ol' Ph.D. cause it's real important, though it does happen to be in constitutional history, not anything to do with medicine as letter writer Forrest Gatton point out--cf. used to be the lieutenant governor under Pataki during his first term as governor of NY. Remember her? She was the one who insisted on standing up the entire time during Pataki's State of the State speech. You may not also know she was largely responsible for killing the Clinton health plan basing it (falsely, in this writer's opinion: cf. The White House. Analysis of New Republic article on health care reform. Little Rock: William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, January 31, 2004) on a complicated algorithm that highlighted a bewildering bureaucracy. You probably do know her as the author of the so-called "death panel"…

What's your total cholesterol? Who cares?

Caveat: Although after reading this article you may realize there is evidence for questioning the effects of your cholesterol lowering statin drugs, always consult your doctor and have a frank, and open discussion regarding your medication.

So what is your Total Cholesterol? Well, in the article above, Dr. Joseph Mercola makes the case that your total cholesterol number is a "straw man," a number manufactured by, well, manufacturers in order to sell you medication that you probably do not need. The AMA, as the article states in the bottom third of the article:

"Eight of the nine doctors on the panel that developed the new cholesterol guidelines had been making money from the drug companies that manufacture statin cholesterol-lowering drugs."

Dr. Mercola points out that it is the underlying inflammation doing damage to your arteries that is vitally important. The body then makes more cholesterol (by your liver) in the attempt to repair the damage (cholesterol is made t…

First sentences

I am endeavoring to produce a blockbuster, earthshaking, and potentially an academically career-ending theory for literary criticism:

I read the first sentence and judge accordingly.

Witness the following time saving reviews (totally at random):

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.—But can He follow that up?

On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards K. Bridge.—Heck of a sentence. I predict great things from this writer, a Mr. Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Note to Hollywood: Don't change that name.

For a long time I used to go to bed early. —Ok, maybe this loses in translation. (Swann's Way by a M. Proust.)

Look at a map that shows the north Pacific Ocean. —Obviously written by a Neanderthal. (The complete Idiot's Guide to American History, 2nd Ed.)

On my right hand there were lines of fishing stakes resembling a mysterious system of half-submerg…

Death By Handwriting--escripts to the rescue!

Death By Handwriting

About five years ago I read in one of my pharmacy journals about a new fangled fix for doctor's bad handwriting (technically known as "cacography" and is responsible for thousands of hospital admissions each year, billions of wasted dollars, and millions of wasted phone calls from pharmacists, so hey, no laughing matter), utilizing e-scripts, or electronically transmitted prescription which are generated on a handheld PDA by the prescriber then transmitted to pharmacies. The process, besides eliminating illegible scripts, had the additional benefit of potentially alerting MD's to possible interactions and drugs that would require prior authorizations by insurance companies before being transmitted. That way, the doctor would know that the Biaxin script he/she wrote for on a Friday night would need to be changed to something else that the patient could actually pick up.

(I personally like Montana's solution, fining a doctor $500 per illegible p…

The march of the generics!

For those wishing to know, there are many medications slated to lose patent life in the next several months. One caveat: once the patent expires, there is often litigation which results in a prolongation of the legal life of the brand. There are several events that may occur that prolong brand exposure, including litigation, patent settlements (manufacturers will agree to discontinue litigation in exchange for some monetary reward--nice, huh), final FDA approval, submissions of citizen petitions on behalf of brand manufacturers to the FDA, and "at risk launches" which means that once a generic is approved the generic manufacturer can go ahead with the generic but risks further litigation with the brand manufacturer.

That being said here's a list of some drugs going off patent:
Cardene SR
Iopidine eye drops
Combigan eye drops
metadate CD
Elestat eye drops