Mar 15, 2017 Chris Foley

If we could only patent broccoli…

If we could only patent broccoli….                                   Mark Berger MD

Disregarding the fact that dozens of statin trials have shown minimal or no benefit in reducing cardiovascular disease or postponing death, the latest enlightenment for statin treatment comes from the Merck sponsored IMPROVE-IT trial (Cannon, NEJM, 2015) which showed that adding ezetimide (which blocks intestinal absorption of cholesteroll) to simvastatin lowers LDL better than simvastatin alone, with the 2% absolute reduction in combined endpoints hailed as a significant breakthrough in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.  Two percent.  But relative risk falls 40% or more, and this is what the physician and patient public hears.  So an ABSOLUTE risk reduction of 3.6% to 2% is translated into a RELATIVE risk reduction of >40%.  That is deception by any other name. Yet another deceptive statin trial targeting elevated cholesterol as the primary cause of heart disease, when other underlying metabolic — or even infectious — mechanisms are at work and disregarded…

»

Aug 26, 2016 Chris Foley

It’s not my job…

One of the troubling elements in moNot my jobdern healthcare is the degree to which over-specialization can distill common sense out of the complex equation of patient care. It is certainly not rare for a patient to go to prestigious clinics like Mayo, see an internal medicine specialist who notes a complaint of a sore shoulder, and be told that they are being referred to an orthopedist specializing in shoulder surgery.  Extra day(s), new visit schedule, additional extra tests at patient and insurer expense (“But it’s MAYO!”), and not a wit of additional investigation on the part of the original physician. Often, no real exam of the shoulder. How about a simple x ray? Did you fall on it?

»

Aug 21, 2016 Chris Foley

The FDA once again does the bidding of the drug industry…

fda-corrupt

…by now changing the rules of the original Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.  This was designed to allow Americans more access to health freedom and supplements in doses that previously had been very small.  Prior to that vitamin C was only available in doses of 60 mg or less, eg.  Under the guise of providing the patient public with a “greater level of safety”, the whole thing stinks of drug industry collusion with the government agency it essentially owns in order to impair competition and perhaps allow a drug company to patent a supplement.  Care to guess if this will possibly increase the price?  To wit…

»

Aug 20, 2016 Chris Foley

Medical fascism by any other name…

hitler_mussolini

There is often a need to help people out with the definition of “fascism” — a term used quite loosely to describe any politican or party with whom you might disagree (or despise).  But it actually is derived from the Italian “fascimo” which means “bundle”.  Some say that bundling corporate power with government achieves the necessary level of autocracy that can impose the will of dictator on the citizenry.  Others refer to the wrapping of rods around an axe handle to make it stronger and unbreakable.  In any case when the government imposes regulatory burdens that favor only a few (ie, those who have paid someone enough), we have a form of “fascism” if you will.  This works well when it comes to making the American public pay a lot for medications.  It is most definitely NOT a marketplace…. »

Aug 20, 2016 Chris Foley

Denying care with a touch of ignorance….

Imagine being able to take a simple oral swab and analyze a set of genes that would allow incredibly more accurate prescribing for drugs that affect paAmbienin and the brain. A number of new (for profit) companies are offering just that type of information that promises to take a lot of the guesswork out of prescribing antidepressants, pain meds, soporifics (sleep meds), and others. This type of testing is easy now with results available in 3-4 days.

 

 

 

»

Aug 15, 2016 Chris Foley

In Iowa Lyme disease only lasts a few weeks…

Inquisition

…a position which is now so out of touch with reality so as to be “anti-Copernican” in its ignorance.  Recently, an 18 YO girl who had been treated by an Iowa physician for Lyme disease with antibiotics, improved, significantly with this treatment, but now can no longer treat that condition in Iowa.  You read that right… »

Aug 13, 2016 manager

Smart data for whose benefit?

Illumina

 

Dave Racer

 

We are witnessing the transformation of Big Data to “Smart” Data. Will this benefit you or bind you down?  Are you comfortable with data analytics that can peruse your unique medical indicators and predict what ailments await you in the future? Would you agree to abide by medical managers prescribing – or requiring – you to live a certain way to reduce your chance of chronic illness or early death? What would you do if today’s mail included advertisements promoting a cancer treatment center near you, even though your doctor has never mentioned the “C word” to you?… »

Aug 06, 2016 Chris Foley

ObamaCare…sounding the death rattle

ObamaCare signing

It goes without saying that the cataclysmic legislation that very few of our intellectually challenged Congresspeople read — I hope this reminds everyone of Al Franken and Nancy Pelosi — is very likely going to die under the weight of its ill conceived business plan. Aetna is now pulling out, and the reasons are not subtle: $300 M in losses this past year….

»