Concerns about Medical Boards

http://disruptedphysician.com/2015/03/23/us-legal-research-concerns-about-medical-boards/

https://physicianrights.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/us-legal-research-concerns-about-medical-boards/

I am very enthused to learn that an independent organization, US Legal Research, is conducting preliminary research into abuse of physicians by medical boards. I strongly urge all visitors to check out their blog and submit your story…

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American Doctors Are Killing Themselves and No One Is Talking About It

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/23/american-doctors-are-killing-themselves-and-no-one-is-talking-about-it.html

Seems like the only time we talk about suicide is when celebrities are involved.

The last night of his life, Greg Miday was fearful that authorities at the Missouri PHP, which in 2009 had ordered him to 90 days in a 12-step rehab and five years of random drug tests, would make drastic sanctions after he had failed at their forced plan of abstinence...

Suicide, of course, is never rational, and those who can best explain their decision are no longer here…

Of course suicide can be rational, especially for the terminally ill. And if anyone wants to know about the different reasons people try to commit suicide, there are these things called blogs that can be checked out.

Instead, many self-medicate. About 9 percent of the U.S. population suffers from an alcohol- or substance-use disorder. Among doctors, that figure is between 10 to 15 percent…

That percentage for doctors seems a little low, especially when you compare the U.S. population to the number of doctors.

“He liked drinking,” Karen says. “It gave him confidence. He loved being the life of the party.”

There’s a reason why alcohol is called “liquid courage” and a “social lubricant.”  But it doesn’t seem like this doctor lacked confidence, or else he wouldn’t have been described as condescending.  Perhaps where he lacked confidence was in social situations, as doctors spend an awful lot of time alone studying while classmates are partying and continuing their high school popularity contests.  Yet, this doctor seemed to party a lot, so that can’t be it…

Being popular must be a little like being rich or good looking — you’re never really sure if your friends love you or your good looks, popularity, or money.  Some people need to be popular like drug addicts need drugs — I don’t know if that’s true, but it seems like it could be.  I remember Matt’s story (see blog entitled “Matt and Jane”), and how he described the feeling of confidence that Vicodin gave him in social situations.  And I guess if you’re an introvert that really wants to be an extrovert, drugs can help you get there.

But after reading Greg’s story (as told by others, of course), it seems like he just gave up.  Too much pressure.  He was described as being “adored,” and I’m guessing that must be a hard thing to maintain.  Hopefully, Greg’s story will be a catalyst for change.  (Hey, Greg, say Hi to Robin Williams for me, okay?)

Lawmakers propose allowing pharma to share off-label information

http://www.mmm-online.com/lawmakers-propose-allowing-pharma-companies-to-share-some-off-label-information/article/405073/

A proposal under discussion in Congress would allow pharmaceutical companies to legally share what is considered off-label product information for FDA-approved drugs…

Please, this information is already shared and disseminated, whether it’s legal or not.  Maybe what Big Pharma really wants is protection against the FDA for advertising drugs off-label.  After all, doctors read certain magazines, so informing doctors of off-label uses could include advertisements.  Used to be the companies just paid the fines for breaking the law, but maybe they’re now trying a little preventative medicine.

A study published in JAMA in 2006 estimates that 20% of US prescriptions are off-label. Other studies suggest that 80% of prescriptions for children are off-label and that off-label prescriptions tend to be written more in certain categories, such as oncology and pain management, according to an abstract published in the Duke Law Journal in December…

Russia’s heavy drinkers turn to moonshine, cleaning products

http://www.aol.com/article/2015/03/25/russias-heavy-drinkers-turn-to-moonshine-cleaning-products/21157456/

MOSCOW (AP) — As the economic crisis sweeps through Russia, a dangerous trend is emerging in this heavy-drinking country: the rise in consumption of potentially lethal moonshine, medical alcohol or even cleaning products.

Layoffs, wage cuts and price increases are combining to worsen the problem of alcoholism, which has long been a major public health issue, by increasing the mix of dangerous products in the market. Those who can no longer afford store-bought drinks are turning to “under the counter” alternatives that can cause serious damage, even death…

Analysts say falling sales likely don’t mean that demand is falling, simply that it is being pushed into an illegal and dangerous black market…  “Today the share of illegal vodka market adds up to half of the total market,” she said in e-mailed comments, adding that recession will just exacerbate the problem…

Report: Racial Disparities in Arrests Persist with Legal Pot

http://www.hightimes.com/read/report-racial-disparities-arrests-persist-legal-pot

BY KRISTEN WYATT
ASSOCIATED PRESS

DENVER (AP) — Not surprisingly, the legalization of marijuana in Colorado has reduced pot arrests, but a newly released study says it doesn’t solve one of the central goals of drug-policy reformers: ending racial disparities in enforcement…

The total number of charges for pot possession, distribution and cultivation fell almost 95 percent, from about 39,000 in 2010 to just over 2,000 last year. But the report noted continuing racial inequalities…

I’m not the only one having a crappy week in the Q

http://joemonahansnewmexico.blogspot.com/

The full ABQ report here It shows we currently rank 100th out of 100 metro areas in recovering from the economic downturn. The glimmer of good news is the increase in health care jobs.

And if you’re a renter you may know about this. CNN reports that because incomes here have fallen so much the past five years, we are one of the worst places in the USA for apartment dwellers:

In some areas, rents may not have gone up astronomically, but income has actually declined, heightening the disparity. It is particularly glaring in Albuquerque, where rents have increased 10% in the past five years. But income in the metro area declined 12% in the period. It’s a similar story in Providence, RI, Omaha, Tuscon and New Orleans, where income is falling even as rents rise…