Free Cannabis Seeds

After reading that article in Consumer Affairs about like-farming on Facebook, I am wary of a website that claims to give away free seeds.  In my experience, nothing is free. But if all you have to do is pay for the postage…

New Cards for Medicare Recipients Will Omit Social Security Numbers

Medicare officials have up to four years to start issuing cards with new identifiers. They have four more years to reissue cards held by current beneficiaries. They intend to replace the Social Security number with “a randomly generated Medicare beneficiary identifier,” but the details are still being worked out…

Service Members Are Left in Dark on Health Errors

“I raised T. J. as a single mother on little income for 19 years, and kept him safe. They had him for nine days and sent him home to me in a box,” said Ms. Holmes, who called the report “garbage.”

“No one,” she added, “has really given me good answers about why.”

Tens of thousands of serious medical mistakes happen every year at American hospitals and clinics. While a handful of health care organizations have opted for broad disclosure amid calls for greater openness, most patients and their families still face significant obstacles if they try to find out what went wrong. But as Mr. Moore’s case illustrates, the nation’s 1.3 million active-duty service members are in a special bind, virtually powerless to hold accountable the health care system that treats them…

Tens of thousands?  Isn’t it more like hundreds of thousands?  Geez, even the New York Times can’t get their facts right.

Ms. Garner was 35 in 2007 when she saw a physician assistant at the Langley Air Force Base hospital three times for breast pain and other symptoms she feared might point to cancer. The physician assistant not only dismissed her fears as irrational, she said, but threatened to place a note in her file that could have damaged her career if she came back again.

Nine months later, Ms. Garner was able to switch her care to a Navy hospital. A doctor there speedily ordered a mammogram — and discovered Stage 2 invasive breast cancer. Her persistence, he told her, had saved her life. A double mastectomy and chemotherapy followed.

After she recovered in late 2009, Ms. Garner filed a complaint against the physician assistant, hoping, she said, to protect other patients. But while sympathetic, the hospital’s chief of medical services told her that she had not been mistreated. Not long afterward, the physician assistant was promoted…

Dr. Hamburg Leaving FDA

Margaret Hamburg, M.D., who became the 21st commissioner of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) almost six years ago, is reportedly leaving the agency. The Washington Post reported on February 5, 2015 that Stephen Ostroff, the FDA’s chief scientist and a former official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will take over as acting commissioner…

But everyone wasn’t gracious in bidding the Commissioner adieu. If industry liked her, she must be suspect. “I’m pleased to see her go,” said Andrew Kolodny, president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing and the head of an addiction treatment center in New York. The Post said Kolodny clashed with the FDA over its failure to curb abuse of the powerful drugs. “Her administration consistently put the interests of the drug companies ahead of public health.”

Tell me, Mr. Kolodny, which interests are you putting first?  Your own?  The DEA’s?  Wouldn’t want to risk all those federal dollars that end up in your bank account, right?  Your interests are causing a lot of suffering in the pain patient population, many of whom cannot find a doctor to treat them.  I wonder how many suicides your “advocacy” is ultimately responsible for?

And wouldn’t it be nice if reporters actually investigated their own stories?  Mr. Kolodny is not just “the head of an addiction treatment center in New York.”  How many Phoenix Houses are there now?  I’ve lost count.

Before she arrived, the agency had failed to warn of the dangers of the pain drug Vioxx. In 2005, then commissioner Lester Crawford, who had hidden ownership of stock in companies the agency was regulating, abruptly resigned…

Andrew Kolodny makes money while pain patients suffer

National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

2015 Annual Luncheon

Keynote Speaker: Andrew Kolodny, M.D.
“Responding to the Opioid Epidemic”

Hey, Mr. Kolodny, are you going to talk about how pain patients in New York can’t find a doctor? How they’ve been abandoned, partly due to your “advocacy” work?  And by the way, how much do you get paid for these speaking engagements?

Why Supposedly Abuse-Proof Pills Won’t Stop Opioid Overdose Deaths

Oral pain pills containing opioid have become a big business, drawing in companies including Purdue Pharma, Pfizer, and Zogenix. But they’ve also become a huge public health problem, leading to record numbers of drug overdose deaths. In 2013, more than 16,000 people died of opiate analgesic drug overdoses, up from 4,000 a decade ago.

So when Purdue, the maker of the category-defining Oxycodone, asked to come by to show me the abuse-resistant technology in its new Hysingla pill, I was game: I hit it with a hammer, squeezed it with wire cutters, and soaked it in water. The pill was almost impossible to make into anything that you can snort or inject.

Hey dude, have you heard of the internet?  Of drug websites?  A microwave?  Did you think it might be considered responsible reporting to look up this information before you wrote this article?  You know, in case you were wrong?

But critics of these narcotic pills say that most patients take the pills by mouth, and that many who overdose initially got the medicines from their doctors, not from the black market. So is this new technology enough? Probably not.

Watch me try to destroy Hysingla, and talk to David Haddox, a Purdue executive, and Andrew Kolodny, who runs addiction treatment facility Phoenix House, in the video below, and watch to the end for my summation of why these new abuse resistant technologies, though neat, are not enough of a step to deal with what has become a giant public health problem.

A “huge public health problem.”  A “giant public health problem.”  Hey, Matthew Herper of Forbes, have you ever considered that when the media distorts this issue, it is part of the freaking problem?  Have you considered talking to pain patients to get their input on how the drug war is affecting them?  Of course not, why should you care?

Carlsbad campaign encourages people to take pictures of bad roads

CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – Eddy County officials are saying the roads there are so bad that they are asking residents to start taking pictures that can be sent to legislators. The campaign is called “This is My Carlsbad”. City leaders say the wear and tear is being caused by the oil boom, which has brought in more people and vehicle traffic…

Gee, I wonder if the oil boom is to blame for the freaky weather…

Climate change is real — better get used to it.