Saturday, December 29, 2007

Never Challenge The Power of Doctors

It seems that doctors can never get enough money, enough power or enough control. In Texas the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has filed suit in federal court to stop the Texas Medical Board from even accepting anonymous complaints.

It seems the 4% of complaints that are filed against doctors are anonymous and that's simply too much for doctors to put up with since they know everything about everything and no one should ever question their decisions. The fact that the average person is intimidated by the money and power doctors have in their communities doesn't justify the ability to file an anonymous complaint from the doctor's perspective. They want to know who to retaliate against!

I'm reading "OVERTREATED - Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer" (a Christmas gift) and it's incredible how doctors refuse to admit mistakes no matter how horrific the circumstances. No matter how blatant their errors, no matter how callous they are in taking advantage of patients, they still think they deserve the right to continue at any cost.

I can only hope the courts are beyond the usual political influence of the medical associations and throws the case out of court to protect OUR rights and OUR lives.

If you've ever wondered why most practitioners of complementary and alternative therapies try to keep under the radar, this is the reason. No one wants to become a target of the medical associations, their lawyers and lobbyists. Remember it was only 20 years ago that the federal courts had to protect chiropractors from the American Medical Association.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Upside Down Priorities

One of the main advantages of a government-run medical system (the norm in most industrialized countries) is that it catches problems early when they're most treatable. This saves everyone money, literally saves lives and contributes to a healthier population.

News from the American Cancer Society points out that uninsured in this country die of cancer sooner, probably because they delay getting the tests which might save their lives. Dr. Elmer Huerta wrote: "The truth is that our national reluctance to face these facts is condemning thousands of people to die each year."

Why is this important to complementary and alternative therapies? Because a medical system controlled by the pharmaceutical industry does not want to lose their monopoly and the current system. Government run health care systems prohibit direct-to-consumer drug advertising and control the costs of prescription drugs. Government health care also is more open minded when it comes to utilizing CAM when it can save money and improve the quality of life for its citizens.

In this upcoming political season health care in America is going to be a more important issue than the war because it affects every family in our country.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

California Protecting Patients

California has abolished its 27-year-old program to protect the identities of alcoholic or drug-impaired doctors. Since 1980 a doctor in a treatment program can continue to work and his/her identity is kept secret from the public. A review last summer concluded that the program failed to protect patients or help addicted doctors get better. The current program will end June 30th and unless a new program is put in place the state will probably revert to the previous zero tolerance policy.

There are an estimated 8,000 impaired doctors in this country ... do you have one? I've known some who were courageous enough to admit their problems and become champions for patient protection. The stories they tell are terrifying and only the secrecy-shrouded medical system allows it to continue.

The good news is the trend is beginning to turn as a result of the hideous mistakes by these few bad apples. Slowly there is more transparency coming into the system so patients can learn more about their doctors and protect themselves. It's long overdue.

Friday, December 14, 2007

New Medical Credit System

Hospitals want to know if you're going to pay them so they're developing a new credit scoring system to judge your ability to pay. The new medFICO score could be in use by next summer. There are concerns that a patient with a low score will receive low-quality medical care.

Hospitals claim they'll only check the score after the patient checks out to better evaluate what type of relief may be needed. (This falls into the "check is in the mail" category of fairy tale.)

The Consumer Federation of America says it found that 29% of credit scores in their survey were 50 points lower than they should have been. There are enough problems with the current Fair Isaac credit score system from identity theft and inaccurate scoring that a medical version is a bad idea.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Senior Sales Pressure

It's that time of year again when seniors are almost attacked by insurance sales people trying to get them to buy private Medicate Advantage insurance. The overly aggressive and deceptive tactics have brought warnings by Medicare and state regulators.

One of the problems not explained to seniors is that many doctors and hospitals won't accept private Medicare plans so they should check with their doctor to be sure he'll accept it. These private insurance programs are sold as an alternative to Medicare for better benefits.

In many cases the insurance "salesman" is actually just looking to steal their social security number for identity theft. If you have any questions or concerns contact Medicare at 800-633-4227.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Drugging The Elderly

We've all heard about the problem of over-medicating seniors but the problem has become very serious in America's nursing homes. Today they're using powerful antipsychotic drugs to chemically subdue residents. According to research from the federal government nearly 30% of the total nursing home population in this country is being given antipsychotic drugs. It's an "off-label" use but very common, even though many of the drugs carry "black box" warnings.

Did you know Medicaid spends more on antipsychotic drugs than any other type of medication? Yep, more than antibiotics, more than AIDS drugs, even more than high blood pressure medications. Drug sales last year were $11.7 billion up from $6.6 billion in 2002. Sound like a problem that's out of control to you?

As usual drugs are a fast, simple solution ... much easier than treating the source of the problem or using some type of complementary or alternative therapy.

Interview with Jacqueline Marcell

Had a fun, and very fast, interview with Jacqueline Marcell yesterday afternoon. Her show, Coping With Caregiving, focuses on the needs of the caregiver community in our country. You may have heard of her book Elder Rage or Take My Father ... Please!

Jacqueline has 4 guests on her 1-hour show so it's only a 9 or 10-minute interview but we got a lot of information in about the world of hope called complementary and alterantive medicine. I'll be posting a link to her archive shortly.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Costs of Medicine

For those of us who think an insurance policy with $1 million lifetime coverage makes us safe from financial problems related to health care ... think again. That number was industry standard in the 1970's and treatment costs have soared since then. Today it's not uncommon to max out your insurance and still have huge medical bills.

According to a 2005 study 34% of adults have problems with their medical bills or have debt caused by medical expenses ... and 62% of those people had health insurance.

You've seen or heard about hospital bills that charge $20 for an aspirin, what's called bill padding. Hospitals claim it's their only defense against the aggressive cost-containment efforts of insurers and government agencies. Careful or you can get left holding the bag ... that holds your bill from the hospital.

The soaring cost of health care today is the reason it's going to be a major political issue in this election cycle ... and the reason more and more people are turning to complementary and alternative medicine.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Standards of Doctors

Interesting study done by Massachusetts General Hospital recently about the ethics of doctors. It seems 45% of those responding admitted they hadn't always reported impaired or incompetent colleagues or significant medical mistakes. And these are the same folks complaining about the safety of complementary and alternative medicine?

1/3 admitted they'd order an unnecessary and expensive MRI scan just to get rid of a complaining patient while 25% said they'd refer patients to an imaging center in which they had a direct financial interest ... and not bother informing the patient of the conflict of interest. Ethics, anyone?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Books For Sale ... Really!

If you've tried to order UnBreak Your Health and been told it's out of stock or unavailable it's because I'm having a problem with Ingram, one of the largest book distributors in the country. For some reason they've coded my book as Out Of Stock from the very beginning and they refuse to change it ... regardless of whether it's in stock or not.

Book stores can actually order it and it'll arrive in just a few days, not the 4-6 weeks that is the standard reply for an Out Of Stock book. How I'm getting any orders for my new book at this point is a miracle.

If anyone knows anybody at Ingram please help me get this situation fixed! For the last TWO MONTHS my publisher and printer both have tried to get Ingram to correct the listing but without success.

If nothing else, Amazon always seems to get the job done.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

More and More Drugs, Nothing But Drugs

Think Americans aren't using enough prescription drugs? Well, the FDA is going to help solve that problem! On Monday, Dec. 3rd they're going to have a public meeting to discuss a plan to allow the pharmaceutical companies to promote off-label uses of drugs.

Courts have been pushing the FDA to not inhibit the free speech rights of drug companies ... gee, can we take a guess at how many high-paid lawyers, lobbyists and consultants were needed to make that happen? What about the rights of consumers to health care that isn't totally controlled by the drug industry?

Meanwhile a group of FDA advisors warned that the agency suffers from "serious scientific deficiencies to meet current or emerging regulatory responsibilities."

And so the show goes on, and on, and on.

Meanwhile the world of complementary and alternative medicine keeps their head down to avoid showing up on the radar of the AMA and the drug companies. You don't want their high-paid gunslingers coming after you!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Dirty Hospitals vs. Dirty Dishes

Why are restaurants inspected for cleanliness more often than hospitals? In New York restaurants are inspected without warning at least once each year. In L.A. it's three times per year and as you know restaurants must post their ratings at the door for all to see. While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 2,500 people die each year from a food-borne illness from a restaurant or supermarket nearly 40x that number or 100,000 people die each year from infections contracted in health care facilities.

We used to inspect hospitals regularly but that changed in 1970 thanks to the CDC and the American Hospital Association. Today hospitals are looked at by the Joint Commission every three years, and that's not enough to guarantee they're clean. A study in California this year found 25% of hospitals surveyed as a result of complaints were unsanitary, even though they'd been accredited the previous year. When do we get to see the cleanliness rating of a hospital at the front door?

Not to make you feel any worse but doctor's offices aren't inspected at all. Think about that the next time you're sitting on that examination table with almost nothing to wear.

Is it any surprise many people feel their lives are being put at risk to protect a doctor's livelihood? Could it be the financial (and resulting political) muscle of the medical community is influencing the regulations which determine how clean our hospitals are today?

Is it too much to ask our elected officials to make our hospitals as clean as our restaurants?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Medical Hindsight

Isn't it amazing how the folks who don't want you to have access to complementary and alternative medicine are the same ones making mistakes that kill people? Today's example is from the wonderful world of medical hindsight, which is always 20-20.

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine predicts that in a few decades up to 2% of all cancers in the U.S. may be caused by radiation from CT scans given today. That's because millions of Americans are needlessly getting dangerous radiation that raises the risk of cancer. Children, the study warns, are especially at risk.

The problem is the increasing popularity of CT scans. There were 62 million scans done last year compared with 3 million in 1980. Since previous studies suggest that 1/3 of all diagnostic tests are unnecessary there are millions of people being put at risk.

Only 1/3 of the facilities doing CT scans are accredited by the College of Radiology and even those that are checked frequently neglect to reset equipment from adult to child to minimize exposure and risk.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Big Brother ... Again

In case you thought the FDA couldn't get more out of control than it already is, today they're having a hearing to begin collecting testimony about the role of salt in our health. They're considering a change of classification for salt (yes, really, old fashioned table salt) from GRAS or Generally Recognized As Safe to a food additive subject to limitations by the FDA.

As usual Big Brother (also known as the Food & Drug Administration) feels that Americans aren't smart enough or capable enough of making their own decisions when it comes to food and our health. Big Brother is going to decide what's safe and proper for you to eat. Since we know government is influenced by big-money lobbyists it will be interesting to see what new restrictions and requirements are created to line the pockets of the special interests.

The first tenet of complementary and alternative medicine is for each person to take responsibility for their own health. Clearly the FDA doesn't agree with that concept.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Rickets In America

Thought diseases like Rickets were a thing of the past in our country? Think again. Not enough sunshine, exercise and milk is leading to the growth of Rickets in kids today. Even worse, it may be a ticking timebomb according to Dr. Laura Tosi, bone health chief at Children's National Medical Center in Washington. Research is underway to determine the increased risk for osteoporosis.

To prevent it kids need simple weight-bearing exercise out in the good, old-fashioned sunshine. A little more milk would help too, but basically kids need to be kids. Turn off the video game and get them outside. Like so many complementary and alternative therapies it's all about being who we're supposed to be.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Different Types of Thanks

While some of us are thankful for good health, the love of family and friends it's also clear that different people have different things to be thankful for at this time of year. Personally I'm also thankful for an award-winning book that's helping others to find their own path to better health and a better life.

Others are thankful there are new and better drugs coming out all of the time. Ladies, now you have a new drug to lengthen eye lashes. It seems this is a side effect of a glaucoma drug called Lumigan made by Allergan. The company faces obstacles with other drug and cosmetic companies and with the FDA. However since this is the company that brought us Botox the odds were seem to be in its favor to get this latest cosmetic drug accepted.

The question has to be: What are people doing to their bodies in the name of beauty? And at what price?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Upcoming Radio Interviews

My thanks to Amy for reminding me to put upcoming radio interviews on my blog so folks can listen live. On Monday, November 26th I'll be on The Health & Beauty Revolution Internet radio program with Patty Kovacs at 10:30 a.m. Pacific.

On Wednesday, Nov. 28th Dr. Joe DiPrima will have me on Health Talk on WYSL-AM 1040 in Rochester, New York from 7:30 - 8 p.m. EST.

In the meantime, have a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Different Strokes

Did you know 10% of India uses homeopathy exclusively to treat illness? Homeopathic Medicine is the 3rd largest of the government's 7 medical departments. Since arriving 200 years ago with German missionaries it's become the favorite among the poor because it's cheap, convenient and free of side effects. Today even the wealthy view it as a fashionable and effective method of treatment.

The problem is coming frm homeopaths adding pharmaceutical drugs to their mixtures and promoting new miracle cures more and more often. The long arm of the drug companies reaches every corner of the planet today.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lopsided Battle

The battle between complementary and alternative medicine and the prescription drug/medical complex doesn't even qualify as one-sided. All of the money, all of the lobbyists and all of the media coverage are controlled by the drug companies and medical powers.

Today's illustration is Amgen which spent over $10 million lobbying Congress last year but has already spent over $9 million so far this year. It seems a couple of their cash cow drugs, anemia drugs called Epogen and Aranesp, are in trouble and they're spending whatever it takes to get Medicare to change their new rule which limits payments. After all, the drugs represent 48% of their profits last year. The fact that Congress has only overturned one of 41,000 such rules in the last decade would make normal folks think twice about such a task, but not a drug company.

Their lobbying efforts have already produced results. Majorities in both the House and Senate have sent letters to Medicare protesting the change. Anybody want to place a bet that Amgen is going to get what it wants?

This is only one recent example of drug company money buying what they want in our Congress. If Americans don't wake up and pay attention they're going to discover they've lost the freedom to choose their health care because medical and pharmaceutical interests have bought them.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Confusing The Doctors

Don't you just love it when doctors get confused and can't explain their own research findings? Case in point is the recent discovery that a few extra pounds really aren't a big deal after all. Being up to 25 pounds overweight doesn't appear to raise your risk of dying from cancer or heart disease according to the latest research.

In fact, being a little overweight actually seemed to help some people survive certain illnesses, perhaps giving the body the extra fuel it needed to handle the situation. That really confuses the experts!

Now before you have another slice of pie you have to remember extra weight isn't going to do you a lot of good either. It is going to lead to increased chance of diabetes and kidney disease.

Bottom line: taking responsibility for your health is still the bottom line and that begins with watching your weight.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A Billion Here, A Billion There ...

How can I not say something about Merck agreeing to pay $4.85 Billion to settle thousands of lawsuits over their drug Vioxx? After all, it's one of the largest civil cases in history. The deal only works if 85% of the plaintiffs agree to drop their cases and there are 47,000 plaintiffs in 26,000+ lawsuits. The company still faces state and federal investigations.

When problems first came out analysts thought the liability could go as high as $50 billion so this probably looks like a deal.

Question is: how much is a life worth in today's court? How much are we willing to pay for our national drug addiction? How much harm can one company cause before people pressure their elected officials to change health care in our country?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Fewer Family Doctors

One of the problems with America's healthcare system is it's focused on acute care, the most expensive stage, rather than prevention and early detection which is the least expensive phase. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians only about 8% of medical school seniors are choosing family medicine today compared to 17.3% just ten years ago. The reason is they can make as much as $100,000 less than their more specialized counterparts.

We need to change our financial rewards for doctors for the benefit of society as a whole. It's the only way we're going to reduce our cost of healthcare which is the most expensive in the world.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Longest Interview

On Monday this week I had the pleasure of talking for an hour with Nancy Lee on her "Lights On" Internet radio program. This was the longest interview I've done yet and it was also the most delightful. Rather than being rushed to try and make a few points we had the time to discuss a wide range of topics at leisure, it was wonderful!

If you missed it on it should be coming up as an archive shortly at NANCY LEE.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Size DOES Matter

When you have a $2.2 Trillion industry you work very hard to protect the status quo, and that's exactly what the medical and pharmaceutical industries are doing right now. (Remember the 1950's military-industrial complex? Today it's the medical-pharmaceutical complex or MPC.) One of their favorite tactics is to discredit the opposition.

There is a new book on the market designed to do just that and the sad fact is it's probably going to influence millions of people. By looking through the wrong end of their telescope they'll convince people not to try complementary and alterantive medicine and instead continue to suffer or use even more prescription drugs. It's an audacious enterprise to discredit ALL types of CAM, not just one or two types.

The arrogance is that they think they can discredit therapies that have been used successfully for thousands of years and billions of people around the world. How stupid do they think people are in this country? Everybody knows somebody who's had a successful experience with CAM, sometimes miraculous, so the cat is already out of the bag. They can't claim that all of us are simply delusional or suffering from a placebo effect.

Isn't it interesting that this new book would come out during an election cycle where health care changes are the most important topic for voters? Money talks ... and right now it's talking loud and clear about protecting its market share. It's not going to change without a fight.

Unfortunately size does matter so when you have power and money behind you, your book gets the best placement, top reviews and will in the coming weeks get lots and lots of media attention. When you see all of these reviews and interviews just remember there is a small book from a small press called UnBreak Your Health presenting the other side of the story, the real-life experiences of people who've found better health and a better life with CAM.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Protecting Us To Death

Today's Dallas Morning news has a front-page article about the "pseudoscience" of environmental medicine, one of the listings in UnBreak Your Health. This is another example of doctors walking on water and claiming they know what's best for us. Translation: Even if we can't help you, you don't have the right to try anything else. We'd rather you suffer and die.

Mainstream medicine is aggressively trying to protect us to death from the evils of complementary and alternative medicine, even when it's being practiced by other doctors. This would seem to be a repeat of all other other episodes of trying to prevent the inevitable, like the "pseudoscience" of antibiotics when Pasteur announced his findings.

The arrogance of doctors claiming that Americans don't have the right to know about other therapies is incredible in this day and age of the Internet. People are learning just how shallow and narrow-minded mainstream medicine can be. After all, it was only 20 years ago the federal courts had to make the AMA stop attacking chiropractors!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Parade Magazine Ignores The Obvious

Today's Parade magazine has an article by Dr. Isadore Rosenfield about "New Help For Stomach Pains" focusing on IBS which affects 40 million Americans. Being incredibly old school Dr. Rosenfield completely ignores the mind-body connection of this condition even though there are several books on the subject. If there isn't a pill for it apparently he's at a loss.

IBS is what drove me to the Mayo Clinic a few years ago and even though it's the finest medical facility in the world they didn't have any answers. Fortunately I discovered that when doctors say there isn't anything more they can do, it doesn't mean there isn't anything more that can be done! Several therapies from the world of complementary and alternative medicine reversed what had been a downward-spiraling disaster and returned my life to a level I didn't think was possible. Yet Parade magazine completely ignores anything outside mainstream medicine preferring to let millions of people continue to suffer.

This reminds me of the situation with ulcers just a few years ago when American medicine refused to accept the research from Australia that ulcers were caused by bacteria. Instead they chose to let patients suffer for another ten long, miserable years before changing their ideas. The narrow-mindedness and stubborness of doctors today continues to be astounding.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

An Ounce of Prevention

The cost of the top seven chronic but preventable diseases is expected to rise at an increasing rate over the coming years. Nationally these diseases cost $1 billion in 2003. In Texas alone the cost currently is estimated to be $75.3 billion annually and will rise to $332 billion a year by 2020 according to a study by the Milken Institute (yes, that Michael Milken). In 2003 nearly 12 million Texans suffered from chronic, preventable diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.

One of these days mainstream medicine has to change its priority from acute care (and its financial rewards) to prevention or someone is going to have to change it for them.

Monday, October 22, 2007

No Big Surprise

It probably isn't going to come as a shock to you that a new study reports almost 2/3 of the academic leaders at medical schools and teaching hospitals have financial ties to industry, frequently drug companies. This type of personal financial relationship with pharmaceutical firms and manufacturers of medical devices are used to influence doctors, so now they can pass on their prepaid bias to the next generation of doctors.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Super Bug Kills More Than AIDS, On The March

Federal health officials admitted that MRSA is killing more people every year in the U.S. than AIDS. You probably saw the news reports of the recent death of a Virginia student and the subsequent closing and cleaning of all area high schools. The excessive use of antibiotics is causing this problem to escalate all across the country.

On a similar note, researchers have found a strain of bacteria that causes ear infections in children has become resistant to all antibiotics approved for use in children. The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association notes that the shift in the bacteria known as serotype 19A occurred following the introduction of Prevnar in 2000.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wave The Red Flag

If you've been concerned about the interaction between drug companies and doctors (with good reason) then you'll probably be very concerned over a new plan by Pfizer to partner with a social networking site for physicians. It's a great deal for Pfizer because it gives them an effective new way to monitor and communicate with the doctors who prescribe their drugs, especially with so many falling to generics. Doctors apparently are embarrassed to have drug reps in their offices all the time and want a more discreet method of communication.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Pay for Performance for Drugs?

Some pharmaceutical companies are trying pay for performance in Europe as a way to avoid price cuts, especially for expensive new treatments. While North America is still the Land of Opportunity for drug companies with 47% of global pharmaceutical sales, Europe is in second place with nearly a 30% share. Problem is the government health programs tightly control costs. They're rather old-fashioned in their attitude, expecting evidence that new drugs improve the health of patients and are really better than older, more proven medications.

In the U.S. Aetna and other insurance companies are also exploring this process to cut costs of the latest and most expensive medications. Too often newer isn't necessarily better, especially at the higher price. Cigna and other companies say they simply want the drug companies to put their money where their mouth is ... for a change.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

America Has The Best Health Care?

How can anyone believe that America has the best health care in the world when pregnancy kills 1 in 4,800 American women? Our country ranks #41 in motherhood mortality, and this isn't a case of a small difference. Ireland has only 1 death in 47,600 pregnancies. Italy has only 1 in 25,900. Germany 1 in 19,200. Sweden 1 in 17,400. Spain 1 in 16,400.

America has 1 pregnancy death in every 4,800. We're tied with the East European country of Belarus.

The report was issued by the World Health Organization.

I continue to bring up the state of health care in America to open your eyes to the world of CAM, complementary and alterantive medicine. American doctors don't walk on water and health care in our country is not the best in the world even though we spend more on health care than any other nation on the planet. It's time to consider other options, to think about changes.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Safety of Health

The first question I'm often asked is "How safe are these complementary and alternative therapies?" My first response is that none of them kill 100,000 people every year but that's how many people die from hospital infections.

Today I have a better answer because according to the New England Journal of Medicine report most children don't receive proper care. While 68% receive proper care for acute medical problems only 53% receive the correct care for chronic health problems and just 41% get the right treatment for preventative care.

In radio interviews I often tell the story/joke about the two fishermen saving drowning people and how they represent mainstream medicine. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) looks for the source of the problem, the maniac on the bridge upstream throwing innocent pedestrians into the river. The latest report demonstrates that the story isn't far from the truth.

Medicine in America does a great job of treating acute problems but fails at preventative care. It's almost like the medical system doesn't want to lose any customers, isn't it? More and more doctors are becoming specialists to treat the acute problems leaving America with 1/3 fewer general practitioners than other industrialized countries to offer preventative care.

Every news report about failures in the current medical system should open the eyes of every person in the country to other, often better, options called complementary and alternative therapies.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Drugs and More Drugs

Where to begin? The FDA is now considering Black Box warnings on ultrasound medications called anthracyclines because of increased risk of heart disease among breast cancer survivors.

As if the $279 billion spent each year on drugs isn't enough in the country now the FDA is working on a plan for a new class of "behind-the-counter" drugs to take doctors out of the loop. Apparently the money spent on "educating" doctors about drugs isn't producing enough sales so now the drug industry wants to remove them from the equation so you can deal with your local drug dealer ... er, pharmacist.

Is there ever any medical news about anything other than drugs? Is there ever any news about complementary and alternative medicine?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Once A Best Seller

The rankings on Amazon are slipping a little, not a surprise since they update them at least hourly. The good news is just like the New York Times Best Seller list, once a book makes it to the Top 10 and is labeled a Best Seller, it will always be considered that way. Yes, it would've been nice to stay up there for a year or two but since it's the first official week of publication I'm very thankful!

Friday, October 5, 2007

UnBreak Your Health Becomes Amazon Best Seller

Yesterday (Oct. 4th) was the "official" kick-off for UnBreak Your Health on Amazon, and what a launch! The publisher wanted to wait for Health Literacy Month to release the book and it turns out to have been the right move.

Sales kept climbing all day long and by last night this brand new book had become a Best Seller, reaching #9 in the Alternative Medicine category! It's doing great in the general book sales category too for a brand new book.

Thanks to everyone who's helped bring this book to the marketplace. Friends telling friends and organization passing news to other organizations has made it possible to launch this new book as a Best Seller in its field. It probably didn't hurt to have one of the best book reviews picked up by the online services of iVillage, Reuters and Fox News last week either!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Media Coverage

What wonderful synchronicity! The day before my big kick-off promotion on one of the best reviews of UnBreak Your Health gets picked up by Fox News, Reuter's and iVillage.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Kickbacks in Orthopedic Medicine

To settle criminal and civil probes into kickbacks four makers of orthopedic devices have agreed to pay $311 million. A fifth company voluntarily cooperated with the Justice Department investigation in exchange for not being prosecuted. The companies represent nearly all of the huge market for replacement knees and hips. The kickbacks were paid directly to surgeons to use their products.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cold Medicine is Dangerous for Kids

The FDA said prescription and even over-the-counter cold medications can be harmful, even fatal, for children under 6 years old. They said the medications are not intended for kids under 2 at all. Even the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a group that represents drug makers, supports labeling products "Do Not Use" in children under 2.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Health Care is Top Concern For Good Reason

Politicians are paying close attention to new polls which show health care is the top domestic concern among voters. There's a good reason it's our top priority! The percentage of companies even offering health insurance dropped to 60% this year from 69% in 2000 and the trend is accelerating.

According to a survey released this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation 38% of workers last year had deductibles of $500 or more and that's up from 14% in 2000. Even then the amount of coverage continues to shrink too.

Maybe America is reaching the "perfect storm" of circumstances to make changes in health care. Perhaps it will even be enough to bring complementary and alternative therapies in to the health care mix. After all, most of us turn to CAM only after we've run out of options with traditional medicine. Maybe it'll be the same for our health care system too. When it's run out of options maybe it'll open the door to better ways to heal and to be healthy.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Health Care Cost Turning Point

The new contract between GM and the UAW may be the turning point in health care costs in this country. In case you've been under a rock this week the deal turns over the liabilities for the health care of all GM retirees to a new trust that will be funded with $35 billion from GM. The catch is that it will be up to the trust to set and manage the health care benefits.

This is a radical break from the UAW's reliance on job-based insurance and it will be very interesting to see how this plays out in the future. It's a great deal for GM since it gets out from under a huge and growing liability so it can become more competitive. For UAW members, especially aging retirees, it may be the dawn of an unpleasant new day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Insurance Costs Rise

This isn't going to come as a surprise to anybody but the cost of health insurance is going up next year ... again. The best guess seems to be between 7% and 9% and the expectation is that workers will continue to pick up a larger share of the expense. The average is for employers to pay 78% and workers 22% in addition to co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance they must pay. Oh, and you can expect coverage to continue to decline too.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Medicine In The Papers

Two interesting tidbits in the papers lately caught my attention. They seem to be two different facets of the same problem. First was the Letter To The Editor in the WALL STREET JOURNAL on Sept. 19th from J. David Gaines, M.D. FACP, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Yale University. He said that 31% of the health care costs in America are for administrative salaries and advertising. In other words out of the 16% of America's GDP that goes for health care 4.96% has nothing to do with medicine.

The other article is from the DALLAS MORNING NEWS today (Sept. 24th) about Dr. Cyrus Peikari. He previously was chief of staff at Baylor Medical Center in Garland, TX but he was so caught up in the money-making process that once saw 51 patients in one 7-hour shift. Now he's the first physician in North Texas to open his own "micropractice" meaning he sees fewer patients and is able to spend more time with each one. He has only an office manager, no nurses, so if a patient needs a shot he gives it himself. In case you're worried he's going to grow poor as a result of this radical change, don't. The doctor says it looks like he's going to make about 1/3 more while working 1/3 fewer hours.

According to Dr. Peikari: "Big industries have interspersed themselves between the patient and the physician and the whole system is collapsing. By doing this I can actually know my patients as people. I can be a friend."

I'm glad to see him join about 500 doctors nationwide in this trend back to sanity in the medical profession.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The FDA Reich

The Food & Drug Administration's (FDA) march towards total control and domination continues. Now they're putting "legacy" drugs under new controls. These drugs have been used for years, in many cases prior to the FDA being created in 1962, but now the FDA is demanding they be subjected to full (and costly) FDA review.

FDA reviews can cost between $5 million and $10 million even for a legacy drug and since they're manufactured by small to medium companies who don't have that kind of money to invest, these drugs will either disappear or have new, higher costs as a direct result of FDA red tape.

The FDA admits it is being "aggressive" and promises to become even more so in the future so hold on to your wallet. This move only benefits the big drug companies who have the money and practice to go through the FDA approval process.

Meanwhile I notice how the FDA is going soft on consumer drug advertising. The U.S. is one of only two countries in the world that even allow it and thanks to the just-passed FDA bill the attempt to tone down and retrict ads has been killed. The advertising, media and drug industries worked together to gut legislative attempts to kill their current cash cow. Drug companies spend over $5 Billion in advertising to consumers, 55% on TV.

And who's representing the health and well-being of Americans?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Radio Interview

For those of you who might be interested my next radio interview will be on Saturday, Sept. 22nd at 9:13 a.m. EST on Talk Star Radio and it will be streamed live on the Internet at

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Medicare Changes

Tough new restrictions are being proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to basically ban payments for "self-referred services". When doctors refer a patient to their own diagnostic clinic for tests it's referred to as "self-referral" since the money goes into their pocket ... and it's a lot of money today.

A recent McKinsey & Co. study estimated doctors' profits from this practice at $8 billion per year.

The new rules are scheduled to go into effect as early as January.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Radio Perspective

Called in to a local Dallas talk show this week since they were talking about Hillary's new health plan. It was an opportunity to throw out the idea that WHAT we're paying for should also be part of the debate.

As our conversation developed I offered several statistics such as the recent report that the U.S. has fallen to #40 in longevity in the world. To my surprise the talk show host said this was a good thing! It was a sign that our country still had the freedom to smoke, to drink, to have guns and engage in dangerous behavior. I didn't bother to mention that we had all of those freedoms decades ago when we ranked in the top 10 nations for longevity, he clearly didn't want to be bothered by the facts.

In fact he responded to my litany of information with "figures lie and liars figure" which is probably as clear an indication of the intelligence level of the discussion as anything.

After the show I offered to send the show a free copy of my book so we could have a better discussion but the producer bluntly replied that they probably wouldn't be interested.

Hillary Care 2.0

I guess I should say something about Hillary Clinton's newest health care proposal since it's what everybody is talking about lately. OK, so she's learned a few lessons on the health care issue. This effort is opposed by both extreme left and extreme right and supported generally by the middle. The big difference is the climate of the country has changed. Insurance rates have gone up for a decade and coverage has declined. Today we have 46 million people uninsured which taxes the entire health care system.

What is interesting is that Hillary accepts a lot of money from the drug and medical industries now. In fact, she's the #2 recipient of donations from the pharmaceutical lobby, which has to make you question her goals and priorities.

I don't know if this is the right plan or not. We spend more on health care than any other nation at 16% of GDP. Perhaps if Britain (8%) or France (9%) spent more then they wouldn't have the long waits and other problems with their systems. With the aging Baby Boomer population it's clear that something has to be done and this political race is an opportunity to air a lot of ideas to begin building a consensus.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

U.S. Rank Continues Fall

The Associated Press has reported the classic "good news/bad news" story. The U.S. life expectancy at birth for 2005 rose to 77.9 years, an increase of a full year since 2000.

The bad news is that we rank #42 in the world. In other words while we're doing well more than 40 other countries are doing better. When you consider that the U.S. spends more on health care than any other nation on earth, 16% of our Gross Domestic Product, you appreciate that we're not getting a good return for our investment.

Other countries don't rely on prescription drugs and they capitalize on prevention.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Rising Insurance Costs

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation the cost of insurance premiums has gone up 78% since 2001, much more than the 19% increase in wages and 17% jump in inflation. This year the amount went up 6.1% while wages went up 3.7% and inflation rose just 2.6%. Kaiser estimates that 1 to 2 million people join the ranks of uninsured every year.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Confusing Medical Bills

There are several new tools to help you unsnarl the confusing pile of medical bills. Anyone who's ever had major treatment with allopathic (mainstream) medicine knows how the bills pile up from every facet of treatment and insurance companies until it's hard to know which end is up. Most of these new services are web-based except for Quicken which is software for your home computer.

SmartMedicalConsumer is free and features automatic error detection.

MedBillManager charges a $25 annual fee but also lets you see what others in your area are paying for services.

Quicken Medical Expense Manager is a $50 software program you load on your computer to manage medical bills and maintain a family medical and prescription history.

Revolution Health is the premium service started by AOL founder Steve Case. It charges $129 annually but in addition to managing medical bills it also offers personalized telephone service for medical and insurance questions. They'll even fight for disputed insurance claims on your behalf.

In any case, GOOD LUCK.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Health Care Costs Escalate

The cost for health coverage is expected to increase 6.7% next year, the most since 2004. As usual, employees are expected to shoulder the biggest share. Costs have gone up more than 6% for the last 3 years which is DOUBLE the rate of inflation and wage increases.

America already spends 16% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on health care, how long can these increases continue before it breaks the bank? We need to look at what we're paying for because it directly impacts how much we pay. Then we can worry about who's paying. Complementary and alternative therapies have a lot to offer Americans, if the drug companies and medical establishment aren't successful in taking away our freedom to choose.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Gold Standard Human Genome

J. Craig Venter may have lost the race to decode the human genome but he has managed to set the bar a little higher by completely decoding his own genome. The government-financed consortium finished the genome in 2003 with then state-of-the-art technology. Today after nearly five more years and $10 million he completed the new diploid version that is entirely his own DNA. This more complete sequence has become the new gold standard in genetic research.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Living To 100

Big front-page article in today's Dallas Morning News about how there were nearly 80,000 people 100 years old or more in the U.S. in 2006. The number has been doubling about every 10 years and is expected to continue to rise.

Sounds great until you contrast that with the fact that the lifespan of a child born in our country in 2004 ranks #42 in the world.

More important is the quality of life at extreme old age. The U.S. healthcare system does a great job of keeping people alive but a poor job of maintaining life. We need to focus more on the quality of the years instead of the quantity.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

KOA Interview

Rick Barber at KOA radio in Denver asked me to be on his show this morning to talk about UnBreak Your Health and it was great fun! Early ... but fun. Most of the show was about how the drug companies are dominating health care in this country but we also talked about some of the different therapies available today.

To listen to the interview visit my website ( or simply click on KOA Radio.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Drugs Out Of Control

The U.S. has 4.3% of the world's population but consumes 42% of the prescription drugs in the world. Clearly something is terribly wrong with this situation! Only the U.S. and New Zealand allow TV advertising direct to consumers and New Zealand is already considering changing their laws.

The U.S. has permitted drug companies to advertise to consumers since 1997 and recently the New England Journal of Medicine reported on how the FDA's drug-ad enforcement has steadily declined. One of the concerns is that audio warnings about safety are being overshadowed by the peaceful scenes and relaxed people in the ads. The FDA responded by saying it plans to study how 2,000 people react to TV drug ads.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fewer Americans Read Books

Disturbing news for those of us trying to get a new book recognized. A recent AP-Ipsos poll has found that 1 in 4 adults read NO books last year at all. A similar question in a 1999 poll found that only 1 in 10 didn't read a book. Non-readers tend to be older, less educated, lower income, minorities, live in rural areas and be less religious.

Hopefully people looking for better health are still reading books!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

YouTube CAM Program

Some folks here in Texas are producing pilot episodes about complementary and alternative medicine. You can see the first program, a basic introduction to CAM, at

Perhaps if we had more TV about CAM to balance out Grey's Anatomy, House and all of the other medical shows Americans would have a more balanced view of their health options.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dr. C. Norman Shealy Review

Got another great review in recently, the latest is from C. Normal Shealy, M.D., Ph.D.: "At least 85% of the time Complementary and Alternative approaches are far safer and more effective than drugs or surgery. UnBreak your Health provides a terrific source for those interested in real health!"

As one of the leading experts on pain management and the author of many books on health his opinion is appreciated. He's also on the Board of Directors of the national Health Freedom Coalition, an organization working to protect the rights of every American to choose their own health care.

To see all of the reviews that have come in so far from advance copies of my book please visit my website at

Monday, August 13, 2007

U.S. Life Expectancy Drops Again

The latest news is that a child born in 2004 will live an average of 77.9 years. Sounds pretty good until you realize that life expectancy ranks 42nd in the world. The U.S. has dropped from 11th two decades ago according to information from the Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics.

Dr. Christopher Murray, head of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington says, "Something's wrong here when one of the richest countries in the world, the one that spends the most on health care, is not able to keep up with other countries."

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Positive Reviews Rolling In

The book reviews are starting to roll in and they're GREAT! Got one this morning from Dr. Eric Robins, co-author of Your Hands Can Heal You. Got one earlier this week from Cherie Fisher for Reader Views which said in part: "UnBreak Your Health is the most comprehensive and reader-friendly guide for alternative health solutions that I have ever read...I am amazed at the number of alternative therapies that are available to a person... UnBreak Your Health would complement any home-based or business library." You can read the full book review on my website at Reviews.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


My publisher has a new website where authors read from their books so I just posted a few chapters of UnBreak Your Health at AUTHOR AIRWAVES.
I won't tell you how long it took me to produce that 40-minute program but it certainly wasn't 40 minutes! It was fun though and I've discovered it's a useful editing technique. Reading words aloud gives them new meaning, helps to make a book easier to read if it sounds right in your head.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Drug Mania

Did you know that America spent $270 BILLION on prescription drugs in 2006? Sales of antidepressants alone were $13.5 BILLION. The frontpage of the WALL STREET JOURNAL (Friday, July 13th) features "Pill Push - Industry Fights Switch To Generics for Epilepsy" explaining how the drug companies want even more, or at least not to lose what they've got. It seems four major brands of antidepressants will probably lose their patent protection by the end of 2010 so the drug industry is spending to lobby every state legislature to get laws passed restricting the move to generics. They're delighted they can get bills passed in as little as 90 days at the state level when it can take years to accomplish anything at the federal level.

Fortunately in the same issue there is a great story about the trend away from prescription drugs called "The Unmedicated Mind." It seems people are choosing to go to naturopaths and use more traditional, holistic therapies instead of popping pills with very positive results.

THANK YOU WALL STREET JOURNAL for the best reporting in America, especially on the world of complementary and alternative therapies. It's great to see that drug industry money hasn't tainted all of the media today.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Difference Between Medicine and Alt Med

There's a great story that explains the difference between mainstream medicine in America today and the world of complementary and alternative medicine.

There are two fisherman on the bank of the river and they spot a man flailing his arms and drowning out in the middle of the river. The first fisherman swims out and brings him back to shore, saving his life. No sooner do they things under control than they spot a woman in trouble floating in the river so the second fisherman swims out to rescue her. Again they see another person drowning in the river so the first fisherman swims back out to save them. This goes on and on and eventually a crowd gathers to congratulate the fisherman on the outstanding job they're doing saving people. This is modern medicine today.

No one thinks about going upstream to stop the maniac on the bridge who's throwing folks off into the river. This is the attitude of complementary and alternative medicine - to stop problems at the source.

Which one do you think makes more sense?

First Review Notice

Just heard from Well Being Journal that they'll have a short write-up of my book in their Nov/Dec issue. Hopefully this is the first of many reviews!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Letter to the Editor - Dallas Morning News

The Dallas Morning News published my Letter To The Editor about the new Michael Moore movie but as usual they edited it down to support their viewpoint. By taking out the facts and figures in my original letter supporting the premise that America spends more on health care than any other nation on earth but with diminishing returns they made me sound like an opinionated jerk. OK, so at least they spelled my name right (this time) but it's still sad that our local media can't accept that complementary and alternative therapies have a lot to offer.

Belo covers every new drug and every hospital in the area like it was sacred ground. Strange that a group with roots in the Baptist Church doesn't open their eyes that prayer and spirituality are considered forms of complementary and alternative therapy. I guess they're just kissing up to their advertisers, not an uncommon situation today with declining newspaper readership.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

First Book Signing

Just back from my first book signing in Denver, what great fun! I stood off to the side of the New Leaf Distributing podium waiting for the 4 - 5 author to finish up and a couple of gals came up to talk. Then a few more lined up. When I was told they were ready for me to begin my first official book signing there were 25 people lined up around the booth! What a wonderful experience, I really enjoyed it!

Talking with the book store owners was very educational, I learned more about what they want from an author. They also were thrilled to hear about my book and they all thought it's going to be a huge success when it's published in October. They were delighted to hear of my marketing efforts to coincide with national Health Literacy Month.

I simply could not have asked for a more warm and inviting group of people for my first experience as an author. Their positive thoughts and good wishes made it an amazing event and gives me great hope that my message will reach all of the people who need to hear there are many ways to find health without prescription drugs.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Book News

June 24 - If you're attending the International New Age Trade Show (INATS) West in Denver please visit the New Leaf Distribution booth on Sunday at 5 p.m. for the first author signing of UnBreak Your Health™! Visit the website at

May 20
- Just heard from my publisher that the first orders for UnBreak Your Health have come in from one of the distributors. It's a small order but since it's sight-unseen we're both pleased, to say the least.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Texas Back Step

The State of Texas just returned to the dark ages with the signing of HB 2644 which outlaws any physical contact without at least a massage license. In other words dozens of complementary and alternative therapies will become illegal in this state by September 1st. In my case the fact that I've been trained by nationally certified instructors who've been trained by the creator of the PSYCH-K process isn't good enough for Texas. Even though my use of kinesiology (better known as muscle testing) is only minimal contact of an extended arm I will have to spend thousands of dollars and probably at least a year to earn a massage license if I want to continue doing PSYCH-K.

The freedom of choice for health care is rapidly becoming a critical issue for our country. We spend more on health care than any other nation on earth and have little to show for it (we rank #28 and #30 in longevity for women and men). It was only 20 years ago that federal courts had to order the AMA to stop trying to kill chiropractic care. The fight to limit our health choices continues ... and is getting worse.

Join the national health freedom coalition or your local state chapter to protect your rights!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Dead End Drugs

Interesting article in WALL STREET JOURNAL'S Science Journal today about Evolution At Work. Scientists have identified the genetic changes that occur in Staph bacteria as it develops drug resistance in a living person. This is the problem that's killing 90,000 people each year in hospitals and increasingly is becoming a problem out in the real world where infections have risen 7x from 2001 to 2005.

The bottom line is Staph bacteria can produce 35 evolutions and become completely drug resistant in as little as one week. In other words the more drugs are given, the more the organism evolves to resist and flourish in a living host. After the patient died from Staph scientists were able to study the molecular evolution of the infection from his blood samples.

We have to evolve to a different type of medicine that doesn't rely on the dead-end (literally) use of drugs. Whether it's homeopathy, some type of energy therapy or some new combination or variation, there has to be a change in perspective and attitude in medicine before the bugs win the drug war.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Review Copies Mailed

Today was a milestone because the first advance reading copies (called ARC) were mailed to reviewers and magazines all across the country. Most of them need at least 4 months lead time so in order to have reviews coming out when the book is published, they needed to go out right now. It really is exciting to be making such progress!

Friday, June 1, 2007

First ARC

The very first copy of my book arrived in the mail today from my publisher. It's an advance copy but it's still a copy! There is nothing quite like seeing all of the hard work land in your hands as a REAL book. GREAT!!!


You might enjoy checking out the BBC's page on Happiness at It's on their show scheduled for June 2nd but also has other information. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Healthcare is Popular Topic

Seems like health care in America is a popular topic right now. Last month Jonathan Cohn, the senior editor for the New Republic, published his book "Sick: The Untold Story of America's Health Care Crisis-and The People Who Pay The Price". Michael Moore will release his latest docu-diatribe against the American medical establishment "Sicko" shortly. In June Regina Herzlinger, a Harvard Business School professor, adds her voice to the discussion with "Who Killed Health Care? America's $2 Trillion Medical Problem-and the Consumer-Driven Cure".

So far the subject of complementary and alternative therapies and how they're being blocked has been completely ignored. Texas just passed HB 2644 which will further restrict many types of CAM by requiring anyone who touches a client to have a massage license. While designed to help the fight on prostitution in Dallas it's effects will ripple across Reiki, NLP, PSYCH-K and many other modalities. So much for freedom of choice!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Holistic Chamber of Commerce

Made it to the D/FW Holistic Chamber of Commerce meeting last night. It may be impossible to make the breakfast meetings and challenging to make the luncheons but I'm pretty good at the evening get-togethers!
As usual an interesting discussion about the potential for my book to "raise the lake" of public awareness and acceptance of complementary and alternative therapies. Expectations are for it to sell well on both coasts but have an uphill challenge here in the South.
One of the folks told the story about how her pastor asked her for a private meeting. Seems that a few of the members of the church were concerned that she was practicing witchcraft ... because they don't understand what acupuncture is all about. In this day and age it's still considered something unnatural and foreign.
Hopefully my book will enlighten a few folks about complementary and alternative medicine!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Another Day, Another Drug Headline

Once again there is a front-page story about a dangerous drug on the market. This time it's for Avandia, the most popular drug for treating diabetes. Only problem is that it also can kill you since it has been shown to increase the risk for heart attacks 43%. It's so bad the New England Journal of Medicine posted the story on their website immediately instead of waiting for their next publication. The FDA approved it in 1999 and in 2005 the drug sold $3.1 billion worldwide.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Texas Health Freedom Bill

May 19 - It looks like the Texas Health Freedom Act (#3056) has died in committee for this session. The good news is the anti-Health Freedom bills also died in the same committee so nothing changes at this point. I'd like to thank San Antonio Rep. Frank Corte, his able policy advisor Kathi Seay for their courage and leadership by introducing a model bill so that Texans would have been able to take advantage of the benefits of complementary and alternative therapies. Now that we know who supports the idea of patients having health freedom and who listens to the medical establishment we can plan better for next session!

Try, Try Again

OK, so it's taken several days for me to figure out a way to do a Blog on my new website for UnBreak Your Health. Since it's a FrontPage site there aren't a lot of options so I've opted to use You'll simply close the blog page to return to the website this way.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

FDA Policy Failure

May 15 - This week the FDA turned down two new experimental immunotherapy treatments for prostate cancer and a rare form of children's bone cancer because they were 1% short of the required level of performance. FDA rules require 95% effectiveness and the human trials were producing results of only 94%. Check out the editorial in the Monday, May 14th WALL STREET JOURNAL by Dr. Mark Thornton. Once again the bureaucrats running the FDA put rules by tiny minds ahead of the lives of real people. No wonder so many Americans have to go to Mexico, Europe or Asia to get the treatments they need today.