Category Archives: Big Pharma

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What You Need to Know about Your Multivitamins

What You Need to Know about Your Multivitamins
Discover things that you probably do not know about multivitamins and learn how to choose the right multivitamin brand that’s best for you.

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It does not come as a surprise if almost everyone you know has their supply of multivitamins stored safely in their homes. Since the purpose of supplements is to provide your body with nutrients it needs that you cannot provide with just your regular diet, many people turn to multivitamin capsules to complete their recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals.

Types of Multivitamins

There are various types of multivitamins that caters to a specific preference or addresses the needs of a certain age group.

  • Basic Multivitamins – These are those one-pill wonders that claim to offer 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamins, the guidelines of which are suggested by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Many brands today also include essential minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium but fall a bit short of the RDA because the size of the pill would be too large to swallow if the RDA is to be followed.

  • Food-Based – These types of multivitamins are basically powdered whole foods that are combined with vitamins and shaped into capsules. Since this variety is very much like real food in terms of consistency, they are absorbed much more easily and minimizes the chances of gastric disturbances. They can also be taken on an empty stomach.

  • Adult Chewables – If you are the type that has difficulty swallowing those large multivitamin capsules, then chewables are for you. It also lowers the occurrence of gastric distress when pills are swallowed as a  whole.

The Lowdown

These vitamin supplements are promoted by so many multivitamin manufacturers to be one of the best ways to obtain all the essential nutrients without having to eat so much food. The truth, however, is less than pleasing to the ears, as these compact nutrients are frequently processed using petroleum derivatives or hydrogenated sugars.

Even though they are often called natural, many of these vitamins are made of isolated substances that are crystalline in structure. This characteristic is the exact opposite of those vitamins that are naturally found in food, which are definitely not crystalline and are never isolated.

Vitamins that are naturally found in real food differ in its chemical and structural composition. This is why many naturopaths consider chemically produced multivitamins as imitations and not actual vitamins.

Oftentimes, brand manufacturers place so many ingredients inside a capsule or a pill because there is no regulation that explicitly lists down what kinds of nutrients or ingredients are allowed to be put on these supplements. This is why it is always so important to read between the lines and be vigilant about what you are taking.

When a product lists so many good ingredients, it is naturally tempting to think that you have found your wonder-supplement. The best thing to do is to check the label from the top to the bottom of the list. It is usually the first ingredient that has the most amount. As you start getting to bottom of the list, the concentration of vitamins and minerals diminishes. When you get to the very bottom you would usually find essential herbs listed as a proprietary blend of a particular extract or what not.

Many individuals frequently ask why a conventional one-a-day vitamin is not really a good supplement. The answer is that these one-a-day pills are not as good as the manufacturers claim them to be because all the essential nutrients that a person needs simply cannot be compressed into just one pill. Fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, and E, should be placed in a gel capsule, while other vitamins and minerals are better in capsules because it allows for faster dissolution when ingested.

Since it will be very confusing to determine which exactly is the best multivitamin supplement, it would be better to ask for professional help, particularly a nutritionist, a naturopath, or a pharmacist.

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New Studies Suggest Which Form Of Vitamin E Is Cancer Preventive

Drug Shortages in America: Patients are becoming victims

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Two years ago a scientist and close friend told me there was about to be a drug shortage in the United States. I did not believe him and actually smirked at the idea. In my opinion, the drug industry is a multi billion dollar if not trillion dollar business in the United States. I could see a drug shortage of one or two drugs but I am amazed at what has actually happened. He was right.

Hospitals, pharmacies, and doctor’s offices around the US are finding they have big problems. There are unknown and known numbers of patients dying from the drug shortage.

Click here for an interesting look at drug shortages in America from Fox News.

The American Society of Anesthesiologist reports that seven US anesthesiologist have reported that drug shortages resulted in deaths of their patients. Some of the anesthesia drugs are fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid used to knock patients out and to treat operative and post-op pain. Another is the “Michael Jackson drug”, propofol, which is a intravenous sedative and anesthetic drug that works in just 40 seconds.

Emergency Rooms are complaining that they have been hit hard. Some of these drugs include epinephrine that helps restart the heart during a heart attack. Others are seizure drugs and who would ever believe that even antibiotics are in a shortage crisis?

Oncologist are complaining they can’t get the chemotherapy drugs they need to prescribe. They are encouraging people not to worry but they are worried. Dr John Maris, Chief of Oncology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia testified on Capitol Hill in the Senate House about the the problem of drug shortages. He stated “ For complicated reasons, many of the drugs that we as physicians rely on each day – anticancer drugs, antibiotics, anesthetics, medicines that go in IV nutrition – simply are just not available.” He continued to say, “ These are generally generic, so called sterile injectable drugs, difficult to manufacture, often very, very commonly used around the world, but for reasons of manufacturing, regulation, and many other issues, many of these are just not available today.”

I was a nurse before I went back to medical school to get my doctorate in Natural Medicine. I have been on both sides of the track and I believe both types of medicine has good parts to it. Traditional medicine is very important for emergencies that can not be effectively handled quick enough by natural medicine. Natural medicine is wonderful and great as a preventive lifestyle. Both, working in conjunction with each other is the best of both worlds.

To get back to this article, I am still amazed there are shortages. My personal belief is that it has to do something with money. If not just because of not being profitable, maybe it is to scare us in order to bring about more profits. My father was the purchasing agent for a large hospital. I worked in the emergency room at the same hospital at the time he worked there. I remember going on break and going downstairs to see him. I was amazed that one shake down thermometer that you could buy at the drugstore for $6. would cost that patient $29. A small aspirin would cost the patient $26. You could buy several bottles of aspirin for that cost. If you have in been in the hospital lately, look over your bill. You may be amazed also.

Yes, I believe health care has gotten out of hand. This is one more reason we should do our best to take care of ourselves before we get sick. Health care is really “sick care”. We need to change that and consider more “preventive care”.

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Testosterone Supplements May Hurt Male Fertility, Study Finds

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This article was originally posted at: www.everydayhealth.com
Author: Randy Dotinga, HealthDay News
May 10, 2013

Testosterone supplements are touted as a cure for low libido, but men who take them may reduce their odds of fathering a child, new research suggests.

Many men who sought infertility treatment at two U.S. clinics reported taking prescription testosterone supplements, according to a new study. And in most cases their sperm counts skyrocketed after they stopped taking the male hormone.

The study, limited to a pair of clinics in Alabama and Kansas, looked at the years 2005 to 2011. The researchers don’t know if testosterone supplements, which continue to gain popularity, are contributing to even more cases of infertility now. Nor is it clear whether the hormone is harming fertility across the nation.

Still, the research suggests that testosterone spells trouble for many American men who want to have children, said study co-author Dr. Peter Kolettis, a professor of urology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “This has become a preventable cause of infertility.”

Use of testosterone supplements — or “T” — is rapidly rising in the United States, and some observers think usage will remain inflated as more men see it as a possible cure for fatigue and flagging sex drive. Critics, however, question whether testosterone treatment is being prescribed to men who don’t need it.

“More men are coming into [doctors’] offices asking for testosterone because they’ve seen the advertisements, and it looks like the fountain of youth: It will reduce fat, make them look sexier,” said Dr. Bradley Anawalt, an endocrinologist and chief of medicine service at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, who was not involved in the study.

But testosterone can cause side effects such as male breast growth and blood clots. And “very few physicians are warning that it will turn off their sperm production,” Anawalt said.

Adding testosterone to the body through supplementation spurs a process that impedes sperm production, Anawalt said. “Men struggling with fertility should not be on testosterone,” he said. “[But] this is not something that most physicians or patients are thinking about.”

The study, presented Wednesday at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in San Diego, aimed to find out how many infertile men take the supplements despite the risks.

The researchers examined medical records of more than 1,500 men with an average age of 35 who sought fertility treatment at the two clinics.

Seven percent of the men were taking supplemental testosterone prescribed by a physician. The study focused on 34 men who agreed to stop using the hormone supplements.

Overall, the sperm counts of most patients bounced back. Average sperm concentration in semen jumped from 1.8 million per milliliter to 34 million per milliliter after supplemental testosterone was discontinued.

But the sperm counts of six of the 34 patients didn’t recover. Testosterone treatments normally don’t hurt fertility permanently, and it’s not clear if they played a role in the men’s continued infertility. The study also did not prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship between testosterone supplements and lowered sperm count.

Anawalt said it typically takes between one and six months for a man’s sperm count to recover after he stops using a testosterone supplement.

Kolettis, the study co-author, said certain men should avoid testosterone supplements. “I tell men not to take it until they’re done having their own biological children,” he said.

The supplemental testosterone in question is prescription-only, and unrelated to over-the-counter supplements marketed to increase testosterone production.

Data and conclusions presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

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Survey: Prescription Drug Abuse Up Among U.S. Teens

This article was originally posted at: www.everydayhealth.com
Author: Alan Mozes, HealthDay News
April 23, 2013

More than 5 million, nearly 25 percent, said they had abused these medications.

The United States appears to be in the throes of a prescription drug abuse crisis among teens, with a new survey showing that 24 percent of high school students — more than 5 million kids — have abused these medications.

That’s a 33 percent increase from 2008, the survey authors noted. They said that 13 percent of teens acknowledged having experimented at least once with either Ritalin or Adderall (normally prescribed for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD) that was not prescribed for them.

What’s more, 20 percent of teens who admit they have abused prescription drugs said their first experience doing so was before the age of 14, with 27 percent mistakenly believing that prescription drug abuse is safer than “street drugs,” such as cocaine or ecstasy.

Compounding the problem: The parents surveyed seemed to share in this misperception, with almost one-third buying into the notion that Ritalin or Adderall can boost a child’s school performance even if the child is not diagnosed with ADHD.

The findings stem from a nationally representative poll launched in 2012 by The Partnership at Drugfree.org, in conjunction with the MetLife Foundation. The survey involved nearly 3,900 teens currently enrolled in grades 9 through 12 at public, private and parochial schools, along with more than 800 parents who participated in at-home interviews.

“From my perspective, one way to look at this is that we’ve got a real public health crisis,” said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO at the Partnership organization. “And it’s not getting better. In fact, it’s getting deeper and more complex,” he said.

“The key here is that kids and often their parents are buying into the myth and misunderstanding that prescription drug abuse is a safer way to get high, a safer alternative to street drugs, and that they can control it,” Pasierb continued. “And it’s very important to note that, on this, kids and parents are in the same place. Kids say that they don’t think that their parents are going to be upset if they know about this, and parents are essentially saying the same thing,” he pointed out.

“Now, if cocaine or heroin use was going up the way prescription drug use is parents would certainly be freaking out,” Pasierb added. “And they should be now, because prescription drug abuse is no better.”

Among the findings: one-third of teens think there’s nothing particularly wrong with the notion of using prescription medications that were never prescribed for them to tackle a specific injury or illness, with almost one-quarter believing that their parents are more concerned about street drug use than the misuse of prescription drugs.

Sixteen percent of parents also said they think prescription drugs are less dangerous than street drugs.

Perhaps this explains another survey finding: While about four in five teens said they had discussed both alcohol and marijuana use with their parents and almost one-third said they had talked with them about crack/cocaine, only between 14 percent and 16 percent said that the topic of painkiller/prescription drug abuse had ever come up.

This was true despite the fact that a parent’s medicine cabinet is the repository for 56 percent of the prescription meds teens say they are abusing, the poll found, with nearly half of parents acknowledging that there are no barriers to access at home.

Indeed, 20 percent of parents actually admitted to willfully giving their teen a prescription med that they had on hand, for which their child had no prescription.

That said, Pasierb stressed that the goal of the survey was to draw needed attention to the misconceptions that are at the heart of a rapidly growing problem.

“We know that kids who start abusing when they are very young are much more likely to have an addiction problem as adults,” he said. “So, parents need to intervene. They need to control supply and demand by locking up their medicine cabinets and throwing out old expired drugs. And they need to constantly weigh in, starting at very young age, even if they think they have the greatest kid in the world. They need to tell their child about the risks, and make clear how upset they will be if their child abuses these drugs.”

One parent speaks from experience.

“I had to learn to set real rules for our home,” acknowledged Kat Carnes, a single mom from Houston who has been helping her teenage daughter struggle with an addiction problem that involved a mix of alcohol, street drugs (such as ketamine, ecstasy and cocaine), and prescription meds (including antidepressants).

“She was in 8th grade when all this happened,” Carnes recalled. “[But] as I learned more, I discovered that she had been using for a couple of years already, especially during her 7th-grade year, when I was battling breast cancer and not able to focus as closely on her as I probably should have.”

Yet, Carnes said the mistakes she made as a parent who initially overlooked her child’s growing addiction problem were “pretty common,” despite the fact that she is well-versed in medicine and health issues, through her work as a scientific editor and a manager at a major local cancer center.

“I just sort of counted on her to do the right things,” Carnes added, “and when she didn’t I either tried to minimize it or just hid from it because I didn’t know what to do.”

Carnes explained that her daughter has now been sober for almost 22 months, with the assistance of a local drug abuse 12-step program and the camaraderie of other families struggling with teen drug abuse. Although careful to describe her daughter’s recovery as an ongoing “process,” she suggests that much of the progress has been rooted in open and honest communications.

“We hold each other accountable,” said Carnes, “for our words and actions.”

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Do not leave your doctor’s office until… (part 3)

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Medical records are not created equal. Just as you, your records are unique to you and only you. Medical records are created when you receive treatment of any kind, whether it is a simple look at a mole to see if it’s ok, or if you received a dreaded diagnosis. It’s all in your records and there’s a blueprint of the past. Your records can include personal subjects you trusted your doctor to never tell, like stress you are having because of something you did, and are not proud of or high risk sexual acts. I am just using these examples to explain why your records are important for you to gather instead of someone else doing it for you. Also, it explains the reason why we are glad there are laws to help protect our records from being given out to just anyone.

I need to cover that there are certain diagnoses that law requires the doctor to report to the health department and other government facilities like the CDC. These diagnoses include those like HIV-AIDS, Tuberculosis, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis, Mumps, Shigelloses, and Lyme Disease, to mention only a few. We,as citizens, have no say in this because reportable diseases are diseases considered to be of great public health importance. Reporting helps track potential health problems in communities and keeps us safe.
All states have a “reportable diseases” list. It is the responsibility of the health care provider, not the patient, to report cases of these diseases.
There may be times that you are forced to share your medical records even though you would rather not. An example is when you are applying for Health or Life Insurance. Most insurance companies require you to give them your medical records or they will not issue a policy to you. Insurance companies are considered financial institutions under the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB). Banks, brokerage houses and Insurance Companies must provide you of notice of how they gather and use your information.
A potential employer may ask for your medical records before hiring you as a part of their background check. To learn more on employment background checks and an employer’s obligation to you under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), read PRC Fact Sheet 16: Employment Background Checks and the FTC’s website on background checks.
In part 1, I explained that it is important that you get your records before you leave the office. Most of the time it will cost nothing or less than the normal charge. I do want to mention that if ever a office or medical facility wants to charge you for your records and you do not have the money, They can not refuse your access to them. In some states you are required in your own handwriting to write that you can not afford to pay. Regardless, you can get your records.

Make it a habit to request your records before leaving your doctor’s appointment. I hope now you are better equipped with the knowledge of your patient rights and protection.

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Obamacare’s Impact Uncertain on 84 Million Un- or Under-insured Americans

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This article was originally posted at: www.everydayhealth.com
Author: Amir Khan, Everyday Health Staff Writer
April 26, 2013

Nearly one in two working Americans were uninsured or underinsured in 2012, despite the impact of Obamacare, a new report states. And analysts say it’s unclear how much the program will actually cut the number of those lacking insurance as its major provisions kick in next year.

Obamacare helped hold the number of underinsured and uninsured Americans to 84 million in 2012, — still nearly one out of every two working adults — a new study suggests.

But the prospect of higher insurance costs and the refusal by some states to expand their Medicaid programs may keep Obamacare from actually cutting the number of uninsured by as much as proponents hope it will next year, when the law’s major provisions go into effect.

After a decade-long rise in the number of uninsured or underinsured Americans, the number plateaued last year, according to a new report by the Commonwealth Fund, a private healthcare research foundation. Between 2010 and 2012, the number of Americans lacking insurance grew by 1.8 percent annually — less than half as fast as it had grown over the previous seven years.

A reduction in the number of young adults between the ages of 19 and 25 helped bring about the plateau, according to the report, likely because of a provision of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, that required insurers to allow children to stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26.

“The early provisions of the Affordable Care Act are helping young adults gain coverage and improving the affordability of health care during difficult economic times for American families,” Sara Collins, Ph.D., Commonwealth Fund vice president and lead author of the report, said in a statement. “It will be critical to continue to monitor the effects of the law as the major provisions go into effect in 2014 and beyond to ensure it achieves its goal of near-universal, comprehensive health insurance.”

Experts acknowledged that it’s unclear how much Obamacare will actually reduce the number of uninsured going forward, however.

As many as 30 million people across the country have incomes low enough to allow them to qualify forexpanded Medicaid insurance programs for the poor, said Daniel Ehlke, PhD, assistant professor of health policy and management at SUNY Downstate.

However, 13 states, including Texas, Louisiana, Maine and Idaho have said that they will not participate in the expansion, an important Obamacare provision, which will likely cause at least some of the 84 million uninsured or underinsured Americans to stay that way.

“This could have a very large effect, depending on which states continue to oppose the expansion,” Ehlke said. “Large states refusing to participate could result in 5-10 million fewer insured Americans.“ A number of the uninsured are illegal immigrants, Ehlke added, making them ineligible for Obamacare’s various provisions. Overall, “we would see about 30 million covered, but it would leave a good 20-25 uninsured,” Ehlke said.

The cost of insurance could further minimize Obamacare’s impact on those who don’t qualify for Medicaid. About 86 percent of people who are currently uninsured or underinsured will be eligible for subsidized coverage, according to Thursday’s report, but how much subsidy you receive is based on your income — and the practical value of the subsidy will depend on how much insurers charge for coverage.

Obamacare requires Americans to buy insurance or else pay a penalty of $285 per family or 1 percent of their income, whichever is greater. In 2015, the penalty rises to $975, or 2 percent of income and by 2016, the penalty reaches $2,085 per family of 2.5 percent of income, according to FactCheck.org. For many people, says Ehlke, paying the penalty may be cheaper than buying even the subsidized insurance.

“I think there will be a select population that will opt to pay the penalty rather than pay annual premiums, which can go well over a $1000 per person,” he said. “It would make financial sense, but the question is just how many people will actually do so.”

Michael Mahoney, Vice President of Consumer Marketing for the insurance brokerage website GoHealthInsurance.com , expects rates to increase in part because Obamacare mandates that insurance companies no longer deny coverage to those with preexisting health conditions.

“The current system is based around denying risky people,” he said. “Now you can’t, the venture becomes much more risky. Insurance companies are going to raise the premiums to cover this risk.”

Some insurance companies have said that the premium rise could be as much as 40 percent, said Ehlke, though the Affordable Care Act gives states the power to regulate cost rises.

“Invariably, for some healthy individuals, there will be an increased cost,” he said. “However, states are being called upon to regulate insurance companies in a much tougher fashion.” States can crack down on premium rises that seem to be unreasonable, but since everyone’s idea of “unreasonable” is different, Ehlke added, “a lot will depend on how serious insurance regulators take their role.

Ehlke predicts that the impact of Obamacare will be a “net positive” on the number of Americans with health coverage/

“Many of the faults in the ACA arise from the fact that it tries to overlay reform on top of an already flawed system,” he said. “I tend to think that the entire system is broken in many ways, even once ACA reform goes into effect. But I am aware that we live the realm of the politically possible, and given the strength of healthcare lobbies and the insurance industry, it’s a good start.”

Ehlke cautioned that all of his predictions are just speculation, as the effects of the Affordable Care Act will remain unclear until it goes into effect.

“It’s very much a mixed picture right now,” he said. “We’ve seen quite a bit of benefits already when it comes to the many new people who are now covered by their parents.” But there are still a lot of unknowns because most of the act doesn’t go into effect until 2014. A lot of it relies on how states and the government get along.”

Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You

Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You

Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You

Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You

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Every so often, you hear how someone gets a message out to the public and you wonder, how did they do it without getting fired, black balled, or sued. Martin Makary, M.D., M.P.H. is just one such person. He works with John Hopkins hospital and is the author of several books on public health, surgery, patient safety, quality of care, and different health policies.

Dr Makary is a full time surgeon specializing in advance laparoscopy, gastro-intestinal tumors, pancreas surgery, and special problems with the elderly population.

His latest book entitled Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care.

This makes for an interesting read. Click here to check it in Amazon.Com

The following is a video where he was interviewed on The Doctor’s show by Dr Travis Stork.
[vimeo 60118673 w=500 h=281]

Many doctors will tell you, if you want to get sick, just hang out around a hospital that does not have a good record for cleanliness, and which has a lot of reports for MERSA.

Keep your immune system up.

image c/o: SM Mcroberts

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There Goes The X-ray!

There Goes The X-ray!

There Goes The X-ray!

There Goes The X-ray!

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A news release by McKesson Speciality Health to physicians just came out today, January 21,2013, concerning health care budget cuts for oncology practices. Their team stated that “Our innovative Practice Services team wants to make you aware that with the recent passing of the Biden-McConnell compromise by Congress that averted the fiscal cliff, there are many changes that will affect oncology practices.”

I’m sure you are wondering what that means to the patients. We were all excited we did not fall off the cliff but knew we were not off the ledge yet. The bill did delay the 2% sequestration cuts to Medicare and did implement a one-year freeze to the Medicare physician payment rate, which helped prevent the 27% cuts that were scheduled to take place on January 1, 2013. Whew, I know, it’s hard to understand. However, McKesson reports that the 25 billion dollar fix will be paid by working on additional healthcare spending cuts.

This means if you are on Medicare, your doctor may think twice if you will get an advance diagnostic imaging (an x-ray like a CT scan, MRI or PET scan). If your doctor performs the x-ray in his/her office, they may lose revenue tied to the procedure.

In the past, I have seen many times where the insurance companies have already refused to do a PET scan or one of the other x-rays because of the cost. I do not believe that the x-ray companies should be the one to say what is or is not needed to help see where the patient is in their journey of wellness or sickness. That should be left up to the doctor. It is my opinion that we are going to see a lot more of the insurance companies saying what treatments can be done or not. After all, it’s going to take a lot of the government’s money to enforce the Obama Care so the budget will have to be watched.

As I have always said, at least Obama is trying, but Obama Care in my opinion is not the answer. We need good health care system which starts at a different level.

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Be Careful When Taking Drugs With Grapefruit

Be Careful When Taking Drugs With Grapefruit

Be Careful When Taking Drugs With Grapefruit

 

Be Careful When Taking Drugs With Grapefruit

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Warning! People are trying to lose weight with many different methods. One way is by ingesting a lot of grapefruit. This information came to me and I felt I needed to share it with you.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal has recently published findings that a number of drugs can be detrimental to our health when eating or drinking grapefruit. Apparently, this is due to an influx of new medications and chemical formulations.

It is believed that grapefruit contains furanocoumarins which blocks an enzyme that usually breaks down certain medications for the body to use. If the medications are not broken down correctly, the medication levels can grow toxic in the body. This can cause an overdose and possibly death. Some other foods that contain furanocoumarins are Seville oranges, limes, and pomelos.

Prescription drugs that interact with grapefruit are taken by mouth and the degree of the grapefruit effect can vary. Just one serving of grapefruit with some drugs can make it seem as if the person is taking multiple doses of the drug. This could be very dangerous especially if one is taking several of these type drugs.

There is supposed to be more than 85 drugs on the market that can interact with grapefruit. Some of the drugs are statins that lower cholesterol such as lovastatin, atorvastatin, and simvastatin. There are some antibiotic, cancer drugs, heart drugs,  cardiovascular drugs, and hormonal type drugs.

It is better to be “safe than sorry”. Double check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if you have one of the drugs that could react with grapefruit. You can also try checking on the internet. Prevention is very important!

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How Much Money And For Whom?

How Much Money And For Whom?

How Much Money And For Whom?

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I’m sure you as I have always heard how much the Pharmaceutical companies are making. We all gripe and complain that our medications are too expensive and we can’t really afford the high cost of healthcare. We all agree that we have a broken healthcare system and a band aid is not going to heal it.

If you look at the World Charts and the news breaking reports, it’s clear that our great country is no longer the leader in healthcare. Our quality of care has fallen. However, the United States is still the leader in healthcare costs.

This morning I received one of my newsletters that goes out to doctors and healthcare professionals. Never before have I ever actually seen the numbers in black and white till today. I want to share this with you so you can see for yourself and come to your own conclusions as to how to respond.

 

It appears that healthcare organizations and physicians are major forces behind campaign contributions. According to the nonprofit Center
for Responsive Politics (CRP), the healthcare industry has spent over $147,136,594.00 for the 2012 political events. Now, those numbers were posted the first of September so we know it is probably more than that now. Also, the CRP mentions that not all money is posted.

The CRP is a non-profit, non-partisan research group based in Washington, D.C.. This company tracks the effects of money and lobbing on elections and public policy. Their data base can be found on www.opensecrets.org.

Below is the top 20 healthcare-sector contributors to Federal candidates, parties, and outside groups.

Rank

Organization

Amount

1 Adelson Drug Clinic $22,040,800.00
2 Cooperative of American Physicians $2,699,245.00
3 American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons $1,467,800.00
4 American Dental Association $1,343,649.00
5 P?zer,Inc. Pharmaceutical Company $1,287,136.00
6 Select Medical Corp $1,132,450.00
7 American College of Radiology $1,127,134.00
8 American Society of Anesthesiologists $1,109,150.00
9 American Health Care Association $1,093,695.00
10 American College of Emergency Physicians $1,060,500.00
11 American Hospital Association $1,051,122.00
12 Amgen Inc $1,017,312.00
13 McKesson Corp $991,325.00
14 Abbott Laboratories $878,980.00
15 Medco Health Solutions $833,120.00
16 Stryker Corp $819,464.00
17 American Physical Therapy Association $816,600.00
18 AstraZeneca PLC $795,075.00
19 American Medical Association $785,437.00
20 Merck and Co $763,935.00

 

The next table gives the percentage each company gave to each political party.

Rank

Organization

Democrats

Republicans

1 Adelson Drug Clinic
2 Cooperative of American Physicians 2% 2%
3 American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons 25% 75%
4 American Dental Association 40% 60%
5 P?zer,Inc. Pharmaceutical Company 52% 48%
6 Select Medical Corp 5% 7%
7 American College of Radiology 29% 71%
8 American Society of Anesthesiologists 37% 63%
9 American Health Care Association 44% 55%
10 American College of Emergency Physicians 41% 59%
11 American Hospital Association 58% 42%
12 Amgen Inc 51% 47%
13 McKesson Corp 40% 60%
14 Abbott Laboratories 39% 61%
15 Medco Health Solutions 47% 53%
16 Stryker Corp 7% 1%
17 American Physical Therapy Association 54% 46%
18 AstraZeneca PLC 44% 55%
19 American Medical Association 45% 55%
20 Merck and Co 51% 49%

 

I am thankful that we live in a country where there is Free Speech. That being said, I would like to say that in my opinion, a lot of that money could have been used to support people who are struggling with no money or insurance and need assistance in their health care. Instead, it appears that it went to the political parties and to lobbying efforts. Are most of this money spent to influence government, and for what reason? Why can’t the pharmaceutical companies and health care providers lower their cost for the true American, their customers? It is now obvious that there is a surplus that can be given away to the government. Yes, I’m sure there must be a tax break for them somewhere.

 

 

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