There is nothing the major pharmaceutical companies fear more than their best-selling drugs going off patent.
That’s when generic versions of popular (and pricey) drugs become available and the drug companies have to kiss their billions of dollars in sales goodbye.
So it’s no wonder that over the years they have figured out more ways to either extend their patents by tweaking a drug (New and Improved!!) or by stalling the release of a competing generic (companies can get 30-month delays if they show the generic drug might infringe on a later patent).
Patients who take the Alzheimer’s … Continue reading
Is anyone else tired of those “Low-T” commercials?
Low-T is the catchy nickname marketers have given to low testosterone levels in men. The ads urge men who are feeling tired or who have a low sex drive to ask their doctors about a testosterone supplement.
Injections, gels or nasal sprays—there’s something for everyone! And they’re buying. Over a billion and a half dollars is spent every year on testosterone supplements.
Well, last week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning against the over prescribing of these products to men. Testosterone supplements have only been approved by the FDA … Continue reading
I’ve posted many times about the problems with the multi-billion-dollar supplement industry, and there was a good Op-Ed piece on Live Science yesterday that supported my own opinion: These 5 Supplements Do Nothing For Alzheimer’s, Despite Claims
The article was co-written by two physicians, both geriatric (aging) specialists.
The Latin axiom “caveat emptor,” let the buyer beware, applies to people of all ages. But in our medical practices, we have witnessed the incredible dependence elderly patients have on herbal supplements to help them (in their minds, at least) prevent and manage chronic illness.
When we see patients, we ask them
… Continue reading
Here’s a link to the PBS Frontline special Being Mortal, based on the book of the same name by the brilliant surgeon/author Atul Gawande.
The hour-long report shows Dr. Gawande talking with patients and colleagues about difficult end-of-life issues. Both doctors and patients have trouble managing their expectations about death and the process of dying. After all, doctors want to fix things and patients believe there is always “something more” that can be done.
But as Dr. Gawande says, “The two big unfixables are aging and dying. You can’t fix them.”
Overall, Being Mortal asks, “What matters to you … Continue reading
I had a good laugh last week when I read the following news story: Ibuprofen adds 12 years to life! Cheap painkillers can slow ageing and fight disease.
The author explains:
In laboratory tests, ibuprofen was found to extend the lives of worms and flies by the equivalent of about 12 years in human terms.
Which means, according to the author:
Regular doses of ibuprofen could allow people to live up to 12 years longer.
Wow, that’s really leaping to a conclusion. But how many people read this article and then ran to the pharmacy to grab some … Continue reading
Use it or lose it
There are several pieces of advice for helping prevent or delay age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Don’t smoke
- Eat healthy, heart-friendly foods
- Challenge your brain
Keeping your brain active and fit can be especially fun and rewarding, as it usually involves learning something new. Examples of good brain-stretchers are:
- Learning a foreign language
- Learning to play an instrument
- Learning to dance, especially a complicated dance such as ballroom or folk dancing
- Playing games
I love to play games. Board games, card games, word games or video games. You can play with others, which also … Continue reading
I’ve reached that age when everything hurts.
Age, overuse, less-than-perfect posture and a family history of arthritis have resulted in a variety of aches and pains: stiff neck, sore knees, carpal tunnel, stiff shoulders, foot pain, headaches, and so on.
Related post: Improve your posture
These are the common miseries to which we all fall victim at one time or another. Occasional use of over-the-counter pain remedies such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen is fine. But when the need becomes more frequent, or chronic, it’s time to start looking for other forms of relief.
Related post: Don’t overdose on acetaminophen!… Continue reading
Start the conversation early
There’s an ongoing joke in health care circles that “Scientific studies continue to show that 100% of Americans eventually die.”
And yet, judging by the amount of money spent on medical care in the last 6 months of life, we make every effort to deny that eventuality.
It seems that no matter how much money you use during that last year/month, if the person is sick enough, the effort makes things worse. A lot of the money being spent is not only not helping, it is making that patient endure more bad experiences on a
… Continue reading
When is a hospital admission not an admission?
Answer: When, for Medicare patients, it’s coded as “observation” status only.
Before the days of discharging patients ASAP (or not admitting them at all), doctors used to frequently admit patients “for observation.” It signified that a patient was not critically ill, but his or her condition warranted careful watching, i.e. observation.
Unfortunately for the last decade or so, that term has come to have a very specific meaning with very specific financial consequences. But most patients still consider it a casual phrase that doesn’t mean much, and that ignorance can end up… Continue reading
Stay healthy – Yoga for flexibility and strength
I believe yoga is a great form of exercise to fend off the loss of strength and flexibility we all experience with age.
When the muscles of our legs, arms and back are strong and flexible, our joints are stronger, too, and less prone to injury.
Related post: Yoga for knee injuries
I’ve tried different yoga classes and styles, but I’m not really interested in yoga fads (hot yoga, anyone?) or mastering a particular style. I just want the basics.
For the last few years I’ve relied on my DVD of Barbara … Continue reading