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 Amazon.com 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.