How About Those Lower Drug Prices?

**This draft was written several weeks before the elections….it got lost in all the news that swirled around the airways**

This is a question I ask as someone who has to take pain meds as well as other forms thanx to old age…..but I ask because time after time I have heard Our Dear Supreme Leader tell the country that our health care will be better and that drug prices will be lower…..and after two years I have seen NO lowering of prices, at least on my drugs……

But wait!  All the bomb stuff the media was focusing overshadowed the news the Trump has a plan to lower drug prices…..

Less than two weeks before the midterm elections, in which health care has been a major issue, President Donald Trump on Thursday announced a plan to lower prices for some prescription drugs, the AP reports, saying it would stop unfair practices that force Americans to pay higher prices than people in other countries do for the same medications. “We are taking aim at the global freeloading that forces American consumers to subsidize lower prices in foreign countries through higher prices in our country,” Trump said in a speech at the Department of Health and Human Services. But consumers take note: The plan would not apply to medicines people buy at the pharmacy, just ones administered in a doctor’s office, as are many cancer medications. Officials said the complex proposal could take more than a year to put into effect.

Under the plan, Medicare payments for drugs administered in doctors’ offices would gradually shift to a level based on international prices. Prices in other countries are lower because governments directly negotiate with manufacturers. Drugmakers immediately pushed back, arguing the plan amounts to government price-setting. “The administration is imposing foreign price controls from countries with socialized health care systems that deny their citizens access and discourage innovation,” lobbyist Stephen Ubl said in a statement, calling the plan a “detriment.” HHS says overall savings to Medicare would total $17.2 billion over five years. Beneficiaries would save an estimated $3.4 billion through lower cost-sharing for physician-administered drugs. The proposal is structured as an experiment and would apply to half the country. Officials said they’re seeking input on how to select the areas of the country that will take part in the new pricing system. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said politics would have nothing to do with it. (This $69 billion deal may reshape health care as we know it.)

So the drugs that doctors give out….the drugs that doctors get paid by drug companies to give out….how does this help anyone that does not get their drugs from a doctor’s office?

The answer is….. not one goddamn bit!

So much for a better health care with the Trump tea…..another pile of steaming bovine fecal matter…..there seems to be more and more fecal matter accumulating around this president.

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Saturday–08Sep18

I try to make IST something for everyone and a good source of FYI…

As the weekend begins news comes that my state has the second highest incidents of sexual transmitted diseases (STDs)……another list that my state should be embarrassed of ….if it is a “Good” list we are at the bottom, if it is a “Bad” list we are at the top and it has been that way for a very long time.

http://backgroundchecks.org/these-are-the-most-sexually-diseased-states-in-the-us.html

All that comes with more terrible news about STDs…..

A record has been set in the US, but not one to celebrate: Almost 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were diagnosed last year—more than 200,000 over the record set in 2016, per the CDC in a report released Tuesday. One CDC director says there have been “steep and sustained increases” in sexually transmitted diseases over the past five years, a “very concerning” trend that hasn’t been seen in two decades. Experts suspect that with newer drugs lowering the risk of HIV infection and making the virus itself less lethal if it is contracted, condom usage has declined, leading to the rapid rise in STDs. But experts tell NBC News that other factors likely contributing include less funding for agencies focused on STD prevention, doctors failing to test patients for STDs, and a general lack of awareness about sexual health—including the need to get tested even if no symptoms are present.

These are the estimates of the number of people with new and existing cases of eight STDs in the United States. The estimates are based on 2008 data.

Another fact is the Deep Red South has 10 out of the top 15 states with the highest cases of STDs.

Sad that in the 21st century that this health issue should be in the news…..and as an aunty of mine use to always say…”keep in your pants and you will always smile”…..

As long as sex is the subject of this post…..there is another aspect of the exercise…..this study is one that I would never have considered…..some of this is not news that is uplifting….actually it is kinda sad.

Daniel Noah Halpern checks in on the state of the world’s sperm in a lengthy piece for GQ, and the upshot at its worst is that there is “the possibility that we will become extinct.” That line comes from Hagai Levine, who co-authored a 2017 Hebrew University/Mount Sinai meta-analysis of 185 studies that involved more than 40,000 men’s sperm and found a worsening picture, and sharply so: In 1973, sperm counts were about 99 million sperm per milliliter of semen; by 2011, that count was down to 47 million per milliliter, and it’s still dropping. “We are producing half the sperm our grandfathers did. We are half as fertile,” writes Halpern, and the numbers prod him to ask: “Would 40 more years—or fewer—bring us all the way to zero?”

Halpern explores a number of other questions, among them, why haven’t we noticed such a drastic change, and what’s the cause? In his view, the answer to the latter question is clear, and “the scientists I talked to were less cautious about embracing this explanation than I expected”: chemicals, which we’ve been ingesting since the industrial revolution but even more so since WWII. He offers a primer on endocrine disruptors like phthalates and BPA, which are found in more obvious places like water bottles, less obvious places like grocery store receipts, and far, far less obvious places like pasta and eggs. He also talks about the significance of a man’s anogenital distance (that’s the distance between the genitals and anus) and how it interrelates with those endocrine disruptors. What’s the solution? IVF, perhaps ultimately. Read his full piece for more.

The “Anogenital” distance?

chuq is out….I will relax today and tomorrow…..there is a “honey do” list waiting…..a really long list……have a good day.

View From Lenin’s Tomb

Recently I had a hospital stay…..well it was a bit more critical than that…..after many years of smoking I had bad circulation in my right leg and when I got a cut on my foot it went gangrenous and I lost 4 toes and I am still recovering from the surgery…..nurses, doctors, therapists, you name it…if it is medical then I am dealing with it.

Let me explain the title.

Many years ago I was in Moscow and visited Lenin’s tomb.  The hero of the Russian Revolution was put in an air tight glass tomb so the masses could get closer to their hero.

Part of the healing process after the amputation was hyperbaric treatments…..40 to be exact.

In case you missed my announcement……because I was a heavy smoker my circulation was impaired in my right leg so when I cut my foot I got gangrene and had four toes removed because of it….eliminated my wearing beach throngs…..and tap dancing is out of the question.

In case you are not sure what this treatment is…..you are put into a glass chamber and massive amounts of oxygen are pumped into the chamber for 100 minutes per visit.  This is suppose to help amputees heal better……healing is accelerated but anxiety is rampant.

Sounds fairly simple right?

It is not!

Let me stress!

You are stripped naked and placed into a glass tube, very similar to a torpedo tube and you lie there trying to think about anything other than you are trapped for over an hour and a half where you lie perfectly still trying to contemplate the universe…God forbid that you need to pee or take a crap….you are trapped in a glass sarcophagus for all to see your predicament.

Then there is the fact that if you are not claustrophobic when you enter you are by the time you are removed.

To begin with you remove all your clothes, jewelry I was allowed to keep my glasses so that I could see the TV through the tube…..and the TV sucked.

The best thing to do is fall asleep.  That is easier said than done without the help of some sort of aid.

Me?

It was soothing to take a Xanax before I entered the tube of torture….most of the time….but not always.

Need more information?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized room or tube. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a well-established treatment for decompression sickness, a hazard of scuba diving. Other conditions treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy include serious infections, bubbles of air in your blood vessels, and wounds that won’t heal as a result of diabetes or radiation injury.

Your body’s tissues need an adequate supply of oxygen to function. When tissue is injured, it requires even more oxygen to survive. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. An increase in blood oxygen temporarily restores normal levels of blood gases and tissue function to promote healing and fight infection.

After 40 treatments you are released to live life without the “Tube”….but after that period you have become use to the routine and are a bit disappointed that you will not be humiliated any longer.

Did the treatment help?

I am saying yes it did….doctor is pleased with the healing of the wound from the removal of four toes…..my better half is pleased that she no longer has to get up at 4 AM to take me for my treatment…..I am pleased that I am “Tube” free and learning to walk with only 6 toes.

I now have a particular knowledge of what Lenin must see in that glass coffin……

Just a snapshot in the life of the Old Professor.

Thanx for visiting……be well…..chuq

Where Is That Health Care?

Enough international stuff now let us turn to the domestic…..

We all are well aware that the GOP has been having a stroke until they could get rind of the ACA (Obamacare for the slow amongst us)……now that they have successfully crapped on the health care how is the new and improved health care doing?

President Donald Trump handed an influential business advocacy group what should have been a historic lobbying victory when he recently rolled out new rules encouraging small businesses to band together to offer health insurance.

Trump, who’s touted the expansion of so-called association health plans as a key plank in his strategy to tear down Obamacare, even announced the rules at the 75th anniversary party of the National Federation of Independent Business last month, claiming the group’s members will save “massive amounts of money” and have better care if they join forces to offer coverage to workers.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/19/trump-health-care-better-cheaper-693362

So he LIED!….but that is some how okay because he can appoint judges…..that is a pathetic way of looking at our nation.

Let’s look at the way that health care can be fixed….well sort of…..

Nobody knew health care could be so complicated,” was Donald Trump’s now famous pronouncement on the issue. The Congressional Republicans were struggling too. Not only did they fail to reach a legislative solution, but, even worse, they were confused about where to even search for a solution. All told, health care begins to look insoluble. But is it really that complicated? Actually, no.

Some progressives claim that they have an easy solution, one that proceeds from their belief that more government it is often the answer: Medicaid or Medicare for all.1 What is the easy solution of classical liberals? There are two sets of reforms: one on the demand side and one on the supply side. On the demand side are a surprisingly simple combination of out-of-pocket payments, a new type of event-based health insurance, traditional care-based health insurance for some, and, perhaps, judicious subsidies. A later article will deal with reforms on the supply side.

https://www.econlib.org/library/Columns/y2018/HooperHendersoncure.html

That is a lovely article but sadly for them Medicare For All is the easiest answer and the best answer….but if you need it explained yet again…..

Democrats across the country are running on three simple words, recognizable to every American: Medicare for all.

“There’s no more popular brand in American politics than Medicare,” says Adam Green, co-founder of the lefty Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC). “Our hope is that Democrats wrap themselves in the flag of Medicare in 2018.”

In Democratic primaries around the country, Medicare-for-all candidates are winning — from Kara Eastman in Nebraska to Katie Porter in Orange County, California, to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Bronx, the message is resonating.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/7/2/17468448/medicare-for-all-single-payer-health-care-2018-elections

Need more info?

http://www.medicareforall.org/pages/Home

But Wait! There Is Yet Another Diet

Today is Sunday and Fathers Day….I wish all my visiting fathers a good day with your loved ones……..

If your Fathers Day plans calls for a BBQ with all the fixings…… if so I have a post for you…….There is always another diet for your consideration……

If you are watching your weight (after all it is Summer and bathing suit season) then you have seen or read or heard about the numerous diets that will return you to health and make you slim and svelte (now there is a word that is under used these days)……the Mediterranean diet, South Beach, Paleo, and on and on…..since it is the weekend I thought I would help the confusion by throwing yet another diet out there for your consumption ( pun intended)

The new diet is …..wait for it…..the Nordic Diet……

You already know the basics of healthy eating are pretty darn simple: Fill your plate with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein; skip the crap.

You also know that the best diets aren’t really diets, but lifestyle choices that, over time, allow you to become a walking, talking picture of health.

The most famous one out there is the Mediterranean diet, which is mainly composed of plant-based foods as well as some lean proteins like fish and chicken. But another contender is starting to make headlines recently: the Nordic Diet.

https://www.menshealth.com/health/a21050605/nordic-diet-benefits/

Now that I have given you something to think about…I will go to the garden and feast on fruit, nuts, cheese and wine…..enjoy your day…..chuq

Health Alert

I try to be an FYI blog when I need to……especially when it comes to possible health issues…..

The weekend and I have a health alert I need for my readers to now about…………

Spanish Flu……Bird Flu…..what do these have in common?

One was a pandemic and the other had the possibility to becoming one also….

I touch on this because of something I read the other day about another disease that could become a problem……

The Nipah virus has now killed at least a dozen people in southern India and health workers fear it could become a global epidemic if it isn’t tightly monitored. More than 40 other people have been infected with the virus, which has a mortality rate of around 75%, Fox News reports. Health officials believe the outbreak in Kerala state began with an infected fruit bat, with later infections coming from human-to-human contact. There’s no known cure or vaccine for Nipah, which causes symptoms including fever, vomiting, and convulsions. To avoid being infected by fruit bats, citizens have been urged to ignore fallen fruit on the ground, especially if it has claw or tooth marks.

Previous outbreaks of Nipah were recorded in West Bengal and Bangladesh, more than a thousand miles away from the current outbreak. Experts aren’t sure how it ended up in Kerala, especially since no cases have been detected elsewhere in southern India and even migratory bats don’t travel that far. Some experts believe it was spread through infected figs and dates, while others say pressures on fruit bat populations may have activated the virus. “This is why it is so important to find the source of this outbreak,” a medical officer tells FirstPost. “Only if we answer the question of how the virus came to this part of the world can we put in place scientific measures to ensure that such an outbreak does not happen anywhere close by again. Otherwise, we cannot be sure of how and in which way this virus would spread in the future.”

The one good thing is there are few fruit bats in the skies of America but that does not preclude some infected person from getting on a plane and spreading the disease worldwide.

Sorry to be a downer…..but it is better to know than be caught flat footed. right?

Like I said originally….FYI.

That Big Drug Deal

Just what we have been waiting on for a year or more….that big drug deal……this will be our biggest deal yet for affordable medication, right?

Bullah*t!

Trump and Sec of the mundane announced their new “blueprint” for lower drug prices……

Drug policy experts and price advocates on Friday panned a long-overdue speech by Donald Trump on drug prices.

As part of the speech, the US health secretary, Alex Azar, suggested drug companies should be required to disclose pharmaceutical prices in advertisements as an incentive to set lower prices.

Along with the speech, the president released a “blueprint” to lower drug prices. However, many proposals had already been made public in the administration’s budget and most were technical rule changes which can be accomplished without Congress. Drug policy analysts said most the proposals would be unlikely to “materially harm industry”. Following Trump’s speech, health stocks rose.

The administration’s blueprint also proposed lifting the pharmacist “gag” rule, so pharmacists can tell consumers when a drug is cheaper without their health insurance. Such provisions are written into contracts between pharmacists and benefit managers, who act as middlemen between the consumer and the health plan.

(theguardian.com)

Did you read that stocks soared because of this announcement?  If this did not benefit the drug industry massively would their prices have soared?  I think not!

President Trump’s long-awaited plan to bring down drug prices will mostly spare the pharmaceutical industry he previously accused of “getting away with murder” and instead focus on increasing private competition and requiring more openness about costs, per the AP. In Rose Garden remarks at the White House, Trump called his plan the “most sweeping action in history to lower the price of prescription drugs for the American people.” (The plan is here.) But it does not include his campaign pledge to use the massive buying power of the government’s Medicare program to directly negotiate lower prices for seniors. The Washington Post notes that the idea was the one feared most within the industry. The Wall Street Journal reports that drugmakers and pharmacy-benefit managers “suggested privately they were relieved to avoid harder blows from the plan.”

Instead, the administration will pursue a raft of old and new measures intended to improve competition and transparency in the drug-pricing system. Those include a proposal requiring drugmakers to disclose the cost of their medicines in their TV advertisements. Health Secretary Alex Azar said the Food and Drug Administration would immediately examine requiring that information in TV ads. The proposals also include banning the pharmacist “gag rule,” which Trump said prevents druggists from telling customers about lower-cost options so they can save money, and speeding up the approval process for over-the-counter medications so patients can buy more drugs without prescriptions. It’s an approach that avoids a direct confrontation with the powerful pharmaceutical lobby, but it could also underwhelm Americans seeking relief from escalating prescription costs.

Just another con job for the ignorant and lazy…..one good question to ask……”How the heck is this going to lower drug prices in this country?”

Officially ditching his campaign promise to challenge the pharmaceutical industry head-on and allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices—a betrayal that may have something to do with the fact that the White House is currently occupied by former Big Pharma executives in key posts—President Donald Trump on Friday formally unveiled a plan ostensibly aimed at cutting medicine costs that analysts and progressive critics are already slamming as wholly inadequate and “pharma-friendly.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/05/11/trumps-pharma-friendly-drug-plan-denounced-doing-little-or-nothing-lower-prices

This is the same as it ever was…..A Huge Con Job By A Con Artist!