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Cures for Just About Everything
Posted: 04 April 2012 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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macgyver - 31 March 2012 05:47 AM
Coldheart Tucker - 30 March 2012 08:33 PM

Well, for starters, I have no idea if you’re a physician or a dog

You’re correct to be a skeptic and careful but you’re new here. The long term participants on this board will back me up on this. I do not bark.

Coldheart Tucker - 30 March 2012 08:33 PM

PBS had a documentary about ebola in Africa and they showed the efforts by WHO to control the outbreak of the disease.  During the course of filming, one of the African nurses came down with ebola.  The African doctors elected to give the nurse a transfusion from someone who’d survived ebola (and thus had antibodies to the disease) in hopes of saving her life.  They were forced to do this in secret, because the WHO doctors were opposed to this and would have stopped them.  The nurse survived, and the African doctors tried the same technique on the other patients who had the disease.  Something like 19 out of 20 of them survived (as opposed to a fatality rate of 50% or so).  The WHO doctors still objected to this, despite being witnesses to its effectiveness.  Again, caution should be the watchword when it comes to something like acne, but a nasty disease like ebola?  I say go at it with everything you’ve got.

Something is clearly missing in this story. Documentaries often report the viewpoint of the filmmaker and not necessarily an unbiased presentation of the facts ( Michael Moore anyone?). It doesn’t make sense that all the physicians involved would completely ignore what appears to be a dramatically effective treatment for an otherwise untreatable and fatal disease. It makes a good story but i guarantee if you are accurately portraying what the documentary said then the documentary was going for emotional effect rather than journalistic accuracy. Were the WHO doctors interviewed? What was their rationale for objecting to the treatment? If the filmmaker didn’t ask those questions then he/she wasn’t doing their job. Do you have a link to the video or at least the title of the documentary?

The WHO doctors were interviewed (the one I recall was from the CDC in Atlanta), and the argument they gave was that because they couldn’t be 100% certain that the patients had ebola or what the risk of death was with the treatment, it shouldn’t have been used.  I don’t remember the name of the documentary, and a quick check of pbs.org (I saw it on PBS in the mid-90s), Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu doesn’t turn up anything.

Coldheart Tucker - 30 March 2012 08:33 PM

I realize that there’s legal litigation issues

Its not just legal issues. Doctors are scientists and as scientists we try to adhere to the scientific method which means you don’t use treatments that are not objectively tested unless there is a good reason. The ebola case you describe above would be a good reason to try an unproven treatment which is why I think some of the facts are missing. In the U.S. there is a program whereby drugs that are still in the investigational stages can be released for compassionate use to patients who are facing a fatal illness and who have no other effective treatments available. That doesnt mean that it’s OK to try anything that anyone asks. Even if a patient has a fatal illness it is still possible to do harm and the physician is ethically obligated not to do that.

Not trying to be nasty here, but what’s “ethical” is a damned slippery slope.  How many doctors objected to lobotomies?  How many doctors objected to the forced sterilization of people deemed “deficient”?  How many doctors objected to for-profit hospitals kicking seriously ill people out because they couldn’t afford to pay for treatment?  How many doctors objected to running medical trials on a drug to completion when it was clear that the drug was dangerous/ineffective?  How many doctors objected to keeping a drug in a trial, even though the preliminary results showed dramatic benefit to the patients with a fatal disease?  The last two, so far as I know, weren’t changed until the ACT UP movement, and the others didn’t change until patients and/or their families filed lawsuits.

There are legal issues of course and the American public can blame themselves for that. I used to blame the lawyers but the fact is that we live in a country where people think that every misfortune perceived or real requires payment. That applies in and outside the medical world. Doctors are justifiably reluctant to offer treatments that can not be supported with studies and support from professional society recommendations.

Absolutely, the ideal situation is to have a doctor prescribe you medication which has been completely vetted and is safe, but if I’m dying (or suffering from a seriously debilitating illness with no accepted standard treatment), then I fully intend to cram anything everything I think might have a reasonable chance of improving my situation.  If something goes wrong, well, at least I went down fighting, and not like a lamb to the slaughter.  (Mind you, if I’m clearly brain dead, then pull the plug and harvest any of my organs that are still usable.  I’m not one of those people who thinks that one should hang on when there’s no possibility of recovery, and if I’m going to be disabled to the point where I’m little more than a drooling lump, killing me is best for everyone.)

Coldheart Tucker - 30 March 2012 08:33 PM

At least one study has found that people treated with the TURP procedure

Even if true, that’s not reason enough to ever recommend TURP except as secondary treatment for the reasons i originally outlined.

Why?  Because its only one study?  Or because of the risk of incontinence and impotence?  Because if its the latter, then lots of people complained about the those effects from the medication.  Ideally, of course, one wouldn’t neither either treatment, but life is often far from ideal.

Coldheart Tucker - 30 March 2012 08:33 PM

I think that after the news broke about the COX-2 problems, one of the makers was found to have covered up information about problems with the drug during testing.  We clearly need a system with more transparency and better ways of following patients after they’ve been taking a drug for a long period of time.

There is a process in place for post marketing monitoring of drugs. I agree it would be better if there was more transparency although I think overall they do a pretty good job. One of the problems with post marketing analysis is that its all anecdotal with no control group so reports of side effects have to be looked at with a little bit of skepticism. Complaints of things like fatigue, headache, back pain, dizziness and virtually every common ailment often times get reported for every drug after it goes to market. Not because these drugs cause these side effects but because they are common human complaints and the “Nocebo” effect is at least as powerful as the placebo effect.

Its one thing to say there is a problem with the system and quite another to propose a reasonable solution and to come up with a sensible way to pay for it. If you charge the drug companies for the post marketing analysis system that you devise eventually it will come back to all of us in the form of more expensive drugs. Its easy to complain about a problem but much harder to solve it.

Well, you know, given that we in the US pay more for medications (because of prohibitions against negotiating lower drug prices) than anyone else in the world, I think that there really ought to be a way to pay for it without gouging everyone.  Perhaps folks in the rest of the world could pay a few cents more per pill than they do now to fund it?  Just a thought.

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Posted: 04 April 2012 07:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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macgyver - 31 March 2012 05:57 AM
asanta - 30 March 2012 08:30 PM
Coldheart Tucker - 30 March 2012 07:43 PM

]Nope.  I discussed that with two different docs and both of them agreed that the likelihood of it being caused by the doxazosin is overwhelming and that I should just keep swallowing acid reducers.  I’ve noticed some improvement since I started taking them, so presumably its the right course of treatment.

Since H. Pylori also causes stomach cancer in the long term, why wouldn’t they test you? There is no reason why you can’t have an H.Pylori ulcer while taking doxazosin, and it is easily cured with a short course of antibiotics.

I agree with asanta on this point, especially since ulcer disease is not a common side effect of this particular drug.

Two different doctors said that it was a common side effect.  I don’t know, I’m not a doc (or even trained in the medical field), but when I saw the first doc about the problem (he’s the one who put me on doxazosin), he wasn’t the least bit surprised that I had the ulcer.  Given that I’ve generally gotten better care from him than the doc I was seeing when I had insurance, I’m inclined to trust his judgment.  And in this area, there really is a massive problem with over-prescribing antibiotics.  Of course, if the educational system around here were better, folks might be able to understand such things.  (I do like the idea that if you don’t accept things like the theory of evolution you don’t get to benefit from the discoveries its lead to!)

dougsmith - 31 March 2012 05:54 AM
Coldheart Tucker - 30 March 2012 08:53 PM

I have no health insurance and am reliant upon charity to pay for the cost of my meds ...

I’m very sorry to read that. It’s shameful that this should happen to anyone in a country rich enough to provide for all.

Agree completely

Thanks.  So far I’ve been lucky enough to avoid any serious medical issues, but I know that by virtue of being human its only a matter of time before I face something bad.

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Posted: 04 April 2012 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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The WHO doctors were interviewed (the one I recall was from the CDC in Atlanta), and the argument they gave was that because they couldn’t be 100% certain that the patients had ebola or what the risk of death was with the treatment, it shouldn’t have been used.  I don’t remember the name of the documentary, and a quick check of pbs.org (I saw it on PBS in the mid-90s), Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu doesn’t turn up anything.

This is where you really need to hear the original quote. In medicine you always have to consider risk benefit and I don;t blame these doctors for doing that if there is significant doubt about the diagnosis and reasonable doubt about the benefit of the treatment. I would really have to know the facts directly from the doctors on site rather than third hand from a documentary film maker.

Not trying to be nasty here, but what’s “ethical” is a damned slippery slope.  How many doctors objected to lobotomies?  How many doctors objected to the forced sterilization of people deemed “deficient”?  How many doctors objected to for-profit hospitals kicking seriously ill people out because they couldn’t afford to pay for treatment?  How many doctors objected to running medical trials on a drug to completion when it was clear that the drug was dangerous/ineffective?  How many doctors objected to keeping a drug in a trial, even though the preliminary results showed dramatic benefit to the patients with a fatal disease?  The last two, so far as I know, weren’t changed until the ACT UP movement, and the others didn’t change until patients and/or their families filed lawsuits.

You’re dumping a lot of different things together here but the fact that there may be some situations in which doctors have behaved in unethical ways does nothing to change the argument that most doctors don’t and that they are obligated to follow good medical ethical standards when they treat patients. I’m not familiar with the particular case you are referring to in your last example but there are good reasons to fighting the attempts of patients to get drugs released from trials before they have been adequately tested. Such patients have only their own best interests in mind and that is understandable, but the doctors responsibility is to the greater good. If every drug were pulled out of trials before adequate data was collected on its risks and benefits we will never know which drugs really work and which ones dont which means that all future patients will have to make decisions based on less complete data than they should have. The funny thing is that you seem to argue that drug companies release drugs before they’ve done enough research to discover some of the rarer side effects and at the same time in this example you are arguing that they withheld a drug because they were doing too much research. There is no perfect answer to this Its difficult to find perfect balance between access for patients and adequate study to determine risk/benefit. Everyone will never agree on the right answer to that.

Coldheart Tucker - 30 March 2012 08:33 PM

At least one study has found that people treated with the TURP procedure


Even if true, that’s not reason enough to ever recommend TURP except as secondary treatment for the reasons i originally outlined.

Why?  Because its only one study?  Or because of the risk of incontinence and impotence?  Because if its the latter, then lots of people complained about the those effects from the medication.  Ideally, of course, one wouldn’t neither either treatment, but life is often far from ideal.

I treat BPH frequently and I can tell you that most men do relatively well with medication. Side effects such as the ones you are having are extremely rare and thats assuming they are truly side effects of the medication. As i said ulcers are not common side effects of the drugs you were given. Thats really not a matter for opinion. You can look it up. Its not listed among the common side effects of the drug and in 21 years of practice I have never had a patient develop that side effect from the drug. Im not saying it couldnt happen but if it does its rare.

TURP should be reserved for those patients who have symptoms that are severe enough to significantly reduce their quality of life (ie. They are getting up 3-4 ties per night and losing a lot of sleep) and who do not get adequate relief with medication or can not tolerate it for some reason Surgery always has risk. In this case the common risks are impotence and incontinence but all surgery has some risk however remote of very serious side effects including infection and death.

Well, you know, given that we in the US pay more for medications (because of prohibitions against negotiating lower drug prices) than anyone else in the world, I think that there really ought to be a way to pay for it without gouging everyone.  Perhaps folks in the rest of the world could pay a few cents more per pill than they do now to fund it?  Just a thought.

And how would you do that? We have free market economy. How would you force other countries around the world to pay for this? How are you going to stop the drug companies from passing this cost along?

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Posted: 05 April 2012 04:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Do you know what’s even more dangerous than doctors who are not 100% certain when coming up with diagnosis? Those doctors who are 100% certain. According to Kahneman in “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” in some study where they compared autopsy results with the doctors’ diagnosis prior to the patients’ deaths, those doctors who claimed to be “completely certain” were in fact wrong 40% of the time. That’s a huge number!

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Posted: 05 April 2012 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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George - 05 April 2012 04:55 AM

Do you know what’s even more dangerous than doctors who are not 100% certain when coming up with diagnosis? Those doctors who are 100% certain. According to Kahneman in “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” in some study where they compared autopsy results with the doctors’ diagnosis prior to the patients’ deaths, those doctors who claimed to be “completely certain” were in fact wrong 40% of the time. That’s a huge number!

Its not just doctors. I goes without saying that anyone who is 100% certain of their conclusions is dangerous to others because they are not willing to entertain alternative theories or ideas. That really is why we’re all here in large part. We as a group prefer not to have complete faith in anything as religious people do.

Getting back to your example though, did they say what percentage of the autopsies matched diagnosis in cases where doctors were not so sure of the diagnosis. Its hard to make any conclusions about anything without that as a comparison. It would also be interesting to see how they defined a correct diagnosis. Someone who is hospitalized with metastatic colon cancer who is treated with chemo and then has a drop in blood pressure and dies could have died of bacterial sepsis or from toxicity due to the chemo or simply as a result of the cancer. You could ask three doctors what the patient died of and get three answers and they would all be essentially correct. Alternatively the patient could have died from a stroke or heart attack brought on by all of this and none of the doctors would have known about it if the patient died in their sleep. So if the doctor says he is certain the patient died from colon cancer is he really wrong?

As with many things the devil is in the details. If you remember where you read about the study I would like to look at it.

I agree though George that anyone who is has the arrogance to be 100% sure of themselves is always a bit dangerous.

[ Edited: 05 April 2012 08:37 AM by macgyver ]
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Posted: 05 April 2012 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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I agree with you, macgyver, that anyone who claims to be 100% certain on anything runs a great risk of being wrong; that’s what Kahneman’s book is partly about, after all. The rest of your points is also interesting.

When I wrote my post this morning, I actually had the same thought regarding the results of the study, specifically, what the percentage of the doctors who were right and uncertain was. I’ll see if Kahneman references the study in his book when I get home tonight and will let you know if I find anything.

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Posted: 05 April 2012 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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I’ve often wondered about those who declare themselves to be “100% certain”.  They are letting their ego overwhelm their good sense.  Even when I’m absolutely certain, I’ll usually say something like “It appears at first sight that this is the case, other possibities not withstanding.”  That way, I can’t usually be criticized for making an incorrect statment.  LOL

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Posted: 05 April 2012 06:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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macgyver,

The study Kahneman was referring to is: Eta S. Berner and Mark L. Graver, “Overconfidence as a Cause of Diagnosis Error in Medicine,” American Journal of Medicine 121 (2008).

HERE is the link. Not sure what it says, though, as I don’t want to spend the $30 to buy it. If you can’t access it, let me know and I can get somebody to get me a copy of it. If you do get to read it, let me know what it says.

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Posted: 05 April 2012 09:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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macgyver - 04 April 2012 08:09 PM

The WHO doctors were interviewed (the one I recall was from the CDC in Atlanta), and the argument they gave was that because they couldn’t be 100% certain that the patients had ebola or what the risk of death was with the treatment, it shouldn’t have been used.  I don’t remember the name of the documentary, and a quick check of pbs.org (I saw it on PBS in the mid-90s), Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu doesn’t turn up anything.

This is where you really need to hear the original quote. In medicine you always have to consider risk benefit and I don;t blame these doctors for doing that if there is significant doubt about the diagnosis and reasonable doubt about the benefit of the treatment. I would really have to know the facts directly from the doctors on site rather than third hand from a documentary film maker.

I don’t know where you’re getting the idea that the doctor was not on camera, because he most certainly was on camera.  Nor did there appear to be any editing to make his comments seem more inflammatory than what he had said (to do so would have required edits in mid-sentence, not an easy thing to do, nor something a PBS program is likely to do).

Not trying to be nasty here, but what’s “ethical” is a damned slippery slope.  How many doctors objected to lobotomies?  How many doctors objected to the forced sterilization of people deemed “deficient”?  How many doctors objected to for-profit hospitals kicking seriously ill people out because they couldn’t afford to pay for treatment?  How many doctors objected to running medical trials on a drug to completion when it was clear that the drug was dangerous/ineffective?  How many doctors objected to keeping a drug in a trial, even though the preliminary results showed dramatic benefit to the patients with a fatal disease?  The last two, so far as I know, weren’t changed until the ACT UP movement, and the others didn’t change until patients and/or their families filed lawsuits.

You’re dumping a lot of different things together here but the fact that there may be some situations in which doctors have behaved in unethical ways does nothing to change the argument that most doctors don’t and that they are obligated to follow good medical ethical standards when they treat patients. I’m not familiar with the particular case you are referring to in your last example but there are good reasons to fighting the attempts of patients to get drugs released from trials before they have been adequately tested. Such patients have only their own best interests in mind and that is understandable, but the doctors responsibility is to the greater good. If every drug were pulled out of trials before adequate data was collected on its risks and benefits we will never know which drugs really work and which ones dont which means that all future patients will have to make decisions based on less complete data than they should have. The funny thing is that you seem to argue that drug companies release drugs before they’ve done enough research to discover some of the rarer side effects and at the same time in this example you are arguing that they withheld a drug because they were doing too much research. There is no perfect answer to this Its difficult to find perfect balance between access for patients and adequate study to determine risk/benefit. Everyone will never agree on the right answer to that.

What all those things have in common is that they were deemed “ethical” until they weren’t.  Even the Hippocratic Oath has changed over the years (with various parts, including those about payment) being added or dropped depending upon the mood of the era.

Nor am I arguing that drug companies release medications before they should.  I am pointing out that it took pressure from patients to create significant changes in the manner in which drugs were tested, changes which, overall, benefit the patients.  The medical community didn’t come up with these, which isn’t what one would expect, after all, the health professionals are concerned with helping people and are highly trained in their respective fields, so you’d think that they’d be pushing the changes to the programs long before the patients were, but then again, most of the health professionals weren’t sick, while 100% of the test subjects would be.  As someone once put it, “Nothing focuses your attention like having a gun pointed at your head.”

Coldheart Tucker - 30 March 2012 08:33 PM

At least one study has found that people treated with the TURP procedure


Even if true, that’s not reason enough to ever recommend TURP except as secondary treatment for the reasons i originally outlined.

Why?  Because its only one study?  Or because of the risk of incontinence and impotence?  Because if its the latter, then lots of people complained about the those effects from the medication.  Ideally, of course, one wouldn’t neither either treatment, but life is often far from ideal.

I treat BPH frequently and I can tell you that most men do relatively well with medication. Side effects such as the ones you are having are extremely rare and thats assuming they are truly side effects of the medication. As i said ulcers are not common side effects of the drugs you were given. Thats really not a matter for opinion. You can look it up. Its not listed among the common side effects of the drug and in 21 years of practice I have never had a patient develop that side effect from the drug. Im not saying it couldnt happen but if it does its rare.

Well, the first doctor who saw me is in his early 50s, is attached to Vanderbilt Medical Center, and has been my PCP for the past 3 years.  He has examined me in person, has a full medical history on me, and knows all the medications I’m on, and have been on in the past (as well as the dosages).  The second doctor was in his early 70s, is also attached to Vanderbilt, had access to my complete medical history, and saw me in person.  By contrast, you have had only a few interactions with me on the internet, I think that we can both agree that taking advice from someone, no matter how well qualified they might be, when they have little to no specifics on something as complex as human health isn’t necessary the best.

TURP should be reserved for those patients who have symptoms that are severe enough to significantly reduce their quality of life (ie. They are getting up 3-4 ties per night and losing a lot of sleep) and who do not get adequate relief with medication or can not tolerate it for some reason Surgery always has risk. In this case the common risks are impotence and incontinence but all surgery has some risk however remote of very serious side effects including infection and death.

I worked in a foundry, pouring molten steel at 4000F, I have to say that I think the risks of serious problems developing from TURP are a lot lower than they were at the foundry.

Well, you know, given that we in the US pay more for medications (because of prohibitions against negotiating lower drug prices) than anyone else in the world, I think that there really ought to be a way to pay for it without gouging everyone.  Perhaps folks in the rest of the world could pay a few cents more per pill than they do now to fund it?  Just a thought.

And how would you do that? We have free market economy. How would you force other countries around the world to pay for this? How are you going to stop the drug companies from passing this cost along?

Nobody on the planet Earth has a “Free Market” economy.  Nobody.  And if governments in rest of the world can negotiate with drug companies, then the US government should be able to as well.  Yes, if the US government negotiates lower drug prices in the US, the rest of the world will, no doubt, have to pay slightly higher costs, but if you can slash US costs by 25%, while the rest of the world sees theirs increase by 1% (after all, in the US, there’s only 300 million potential customers for a drug, but in the rest of the world, there’s a potential 6.7 billion potential customers, so they should be able to make up their losses without cause too much pain to everyone else), then I’d say it was a very good thing.  Heck, even a 10% savings would have a huge payoff for folks in the US.

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Posted: 06 April 2012 11:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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I don’t know where you’re getting the idea that the doctor was not on camera, because he most certainly was on camera.  Nor did there appear to be any editing to make his comments seem more inflammatory than what he had said (to do so would have required edits in mid-sentence, not an easy thing to do, nor something a PBS program is likely to do).

What I am saying is that I would prefer to hear the physicians comments first hand rather than via your interpretation. Don;t take offense but the manner in which something is said can make a difference and people often hear what they expect to hear so that when they repeat what they heard it may not be exactly what was said. The conversation you are referring to has subtleties that could easily be misinterpreted. if the doctor really felt the diagnosis was in doubt and the benefits of the therapy were only documented by word of mouth or not at all then I could certainly understand their reluctance to participate in such treatments.

What all those things have in common is that they were deemed “ethical” until they weren’t.  Even the Hippocratic Oath has changed over the years (with various parts, including those about payment) being added or dropped depending upon the mood of the era.

Nor am I arguing that drug companies release medications before they should.  I am pointing out that it took pressure from patients to create significant changes in the manner in which drugs were tested, changes which, overall, benefit the patients.  The medical community didn’t come up with these, which isn’t what one would expect, after all, the health professionals are concerned with helping people and are highly trained in their respective fields, so you’d think that they’d be pushing the changes to the programs long before the patients were, but then again, most of the health professionals weren’t sick, while 100% of the test subjects would be.  As someone once put it, “Nothing focuses your attention like having a gun pointed at your head.”

I still don’t understand your point. I was talking about doctors trying to do the ethical thing and your argument against that is that doctors have had different opinions about what is ethical at different times. So what are you trying to say, that doctors and society in general shouldn’t try to do what they believe is ethical because that concept may change over time? That makes no sense.

Well, the first doctor who saw me is in his early 50s, is attached to Vanderbilt Medical Center, and has been my PCP for the past 3 years.  He has examined me in person, has a full medical history on me, and knows all the medications I’m on, and have been on in the past (as well as the dosages).  The second doctor was in his early 70s, is also attached to Vanderbilt, had access to my complete medical history, and saw me in person.  By contrast, you have had only a few interactions with me on the internet, I think that we can both agree that taking advice from someone, no matter how well qualified they might be, when they have little to no specifics on something as complex as human health isn’t necessary the best.

I wasn’t advising you on how you should be treated. You had made a blanket statement that you didn’t understand why doctors put patients on drugs that affected their mood and made their lives horrible when they could do a TURP instead. I was simply responding to that by saying that doctors try to give patients the treatment that has the best risk benefit ratio. TURP does not meet that criteria for first line treatment in most patients. This is a general statement and apparently your doctors agree because that is what they did in your case. Nothing on this forum should ever be regarded as personal medical advice. That is something you should only take from your own physician.

By the way, the fact that you may have worked in a dangerous occupation does absolutely nothing to alter the recommendation a doctor would make regarding the best treatment for you. If we used that rationale then we could make the argument that anyone coming home from the Iraq war could be given the riskiest treatments available because nothing is as dangerous as what they went through. I really don’t get this logic

Nobody on the planet Earth has a “Free Market” economy.  Nobody.  And if governments in rest of the world can negotiate with drug companies, then the US government should be able to as well.  Yes, if the US government negotiates lower drug prices in the US, the rest of the world will, no doubt, have to pay slightly higher costs, but if you can slash US costs by 25%, while the rest of the world sees theirs increase by 1% (after all, in the US, there’s only 300 million potential customers for a drug, but in the rest of the world, there’s a potential 6.7 billion potential customers, so they should be able to make up their losses without cause too much pain to everyone else), then I’d say it was a very good thing.  Heck, even a 10% savings would have a huge payoff for folks in the US.

Now we’re just being silly. If you want to argue semantics we’re going to get nowhere. Yes there is no such thing as a pure free market economy.. big revelation. The fact is that in our economy in many ways is still governed by the law of supply and demand. If you increase a companies costs they are going to pass those costs on unless there is some mechanism by which you can freeze prices or create enough competition that they don’t have the ability to raise their price. Neither of those things seem to apply in the pharmaceutical industry. you can’t create competition when the company makes a unique and patented drug. The government could place a freeze on prices but that has been tried in other areas of the economy in the past with disastrous results.

I agree with you that the US government should be able to negotiate prices like other governments do but you have to talk to your legislators about that. They seem to have rolled over and given in to the pharmaceutical industry on that one.

[ Edited: 06 April 2012 01:18 PM by macgyver ]
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Posted: 15 April 2012 03:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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I have a system of health that has worked for me since 1994.  It’s not god for GDP, but it is great for my health, for my insurance company, and for government deficit reduction.

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Posted: 05 January 2013 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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Wow…....had not heard of that yet.

Gene therapy reprograms scar tissue in damaged hearts into healthy heart muscle January 4, 2013 in Cardiology A cocktail of three specific genes can reprogram cells in the scars caused by heart attacks into functioning muscle cells, and the addition of a gene that stimulates the growth of blood vessels enhances that effect, said researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College, Baylor College of Medicine and Stony Brook University Medical Center in a report that appears online in the Journal of the American Heart Association. google_protectAndRun(“render_ads.js::google_render_ad”, google_handleError, google_render_ad); “The idea of reprogramming scar tissue in the heart into functioning heart muscle was exciting,” said Dr. Todd K. Rosengart, chair of the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at BCM and the report’s corresponding author. “The theory is that if you have a big heart attack, your doctor can just inject these three genes into the scar tissue during surgery and change it back into heart muscle. However, in these animal studies, we found that even the effect is enhanced when combined with the VEGF gene.”

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-01-gene-therapy-reprograms-scar-tissue.html

[ Edited: 05 January 2013 12:24 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 05 January 2013 01:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Write4U - 05 January 2013 12:22 PM

“The theory is that if you have a big heart attack, your doctor can just inject these three genes into the scar tissue during surgery and change it back into heart muscle. However, in these animal studies, we found that even the effect is enhanced when combined with the VEGF gene.”

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-01-gene-therapy-reprograms-scar-tissue.html

The problem with stories like this is that some unethical person with just enough training to make a sloppy attempt at this will convince someone that this nascent technology is ready for prime time when in fact its not. The story will give the lay reader the impression that if not today, within a very short time they can go to their doctor and ask for this treatment. The truth is such treatments are still years away from use outside of study protocols.

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For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

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