Sunday, July 27, 2008

Slow Enforcement of Off-Label Drug Use

Even after federal investigators find a drug company selling products for uses that are not approved by the FDA it can take up to 7 months for them to issue a warning. Then it can take the drug companies another 4 months to stop the practice. Yes, you're right in thinking that millions of prescriptions can be written in that amount of time resulting in lots of profits for drug companies.

As always, it's all about the money when talking about the drug industry, and it's never enough.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Meditation Fights AIDS

There is a new study out on Mindfulness Meditation and how it boosts the immune system to fight AIDS in just a few weeks. There was a direct correlation because the more often the volunteers meditated, the higher their CD4 T-cell counts. Those are cells are a standard measure of how well the immune system is fighting the AIDS virus. The CD4 counts were measured before and after the two-month program.

Following on the footsteps of Dr. Dean Ornish's research that the Ornish Program can switch our genes to help fight cancer it's clear there is a new trend beginning. There are better options than prescription drugs!

Now if we could only get the news media to cover CAM as well as they cover their friends in the pharmaceutical industry.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ailing Drug Industry

Strange as it sounds the drug industry is sick. You see the number of prescriptions dispensed by pharmacies in America is growing at the slowest rate in a decade. Consumers are being squeezed by an ailing economy and it shows.

In May namebrand medicines were less than 31% of prescriptions, down from nearly 46% in 2003. The health care industry has always thought it was immune to economic conditions but the current results are clearly show otherwise.

The cause of the problem is that more of the cost burden is being shouldered by consumers. In 2000 the average co-pay was $15 but in 2007 it had risen to $25, a 67%increase. Insurance premiums were $3,281 last year, up 84% from 2001. It's an attempt to control the $2 trillion health care system in America.

As I've said before, all of this is actually good news for people interested in real health because it's forcing them to consider new, non-drug alternatives. The world of complementary and alterantive medicine offers hundreds of incredible therapies to help everyone find better health. The easiest way to start is to read the award-winning book UnBreak Your Health - The Complete Guide to Complementary & Alternative Therapies (Loving Healing Press 2007).

Friday, July 18, 2008


As the suggestion of my publisher, Loving Healing Press, I've added podcasts to the website at UnBreak Your Health Podcast.

My first interview on July 17th was with Dr. Philip Slocum, Dean of the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, the first school of osteopathy in the world founded in 1892. We talked about what osteopathy is, what it can do for patients, and its growing future.

Each week I'll bring add another interview with a leading authority in the field of complementary and alternative medicine to build a podcast version of UnBreak Your Health.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rising Medical Costs

The fight between doctors and insurance companies continues. Five years ago 700,000 physicians and state medical and specialty societies sued the largest health insurers in the country and won multimillion-dollar settlements and changes in how their claims are processed. That settlement is reaching the end of its 5-year term.

Health care costs in America nearly doubled between 2000 and 2007 with lots of finger pointing going on. Insurance company profits continue to climb with Health Group reporting a 12% increase in net income last year, Aetna reported an 8% increase and Human came in with a whopping 71% increase. The CEOs of these companies earned $13 million, $23 million and $10 million.

Doctors point out shrinking reimbursements and a jump in denied claims which are reducing their incomes. One way they've been attempting to correct the situation caught the attention of the Federal Trade Commission which has ruled against them saying they're trying to fix prices.

Meanwhile it's the patients who continue to get caught in the squeeze. Our insurance rates continue to climb, our deductables go up and coverage goes down. And the medical world and insurance industry wonders why there is such growing demand for a single-payer system in America?

And why more people are turning to complementary and alternative medicine?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Gene Therapy

The research confirming the new science of Epigenetics continues to roll in. The journal Science reported on a international study on Autism that 3 of the 6 genes identified as being connected to autism are regulated by activities like thinking, feeling and doing. In other words, early treatment that stimulate thinking, feeling and doing can "switch" the genes and reduce the effects of autism.

This study about how thinking and feeling can turn genes on (or off) follows the recent announcement by Dr. Dean Ornish that a small study with men who have prostate cancer using The Ornish Program "switched" 500 genes in only 90 days, increasing genetic activity to fight cancer and decreasing genes supporting cancer growth.

Epigenetics is the science of changing our genetic activity based on the energy of our thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Early research by Dr. Bruce Lipton demonstrated that the energy of our thoughts is another environmental factor that can alter our genes. Research continues to demonstrate that our genetic functions are not carved in stone but adjust to the environment as needed. This cutting-edge science is showing how many complementary and alternative therapies have managed to improved health.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported last year that 1 in every 150 children has an "autism spectrum disorder" making it one of the most urgent health problems today.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Don't Worry, Be Happy

According to a recent report Denmark, with its democracy, social equality and peaceful atmosphere, is the happiest country in the world. Zimbabwe, torn by political and social strife, is the least happy. To illustrate that money can't buy happiness the U.S., the world's richest nation, ranks 16th.

Overall, the world is getting happier. It found increased happiness in 45 of 52 coutnries studied from 1981 to 2007.

So don't worry about rising oil prices, food prices and other problems. Be happy!

Seriously, it's not what happens to us in life, it's how we react to it that matters. Take time for yourself each day. Live in the moment. Meditate and find the peace within. Not only will you be happier but your health will benefit.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Medicare Progress

Recently, Medicare agreed to provide coverage for the Ornish Program, the only medically-proven therapy to reverse heart disease without drugs or surgery. This is the first time that Medicare has covered a program of comprehensive lifestyle changes, something insurance companies aren't even doing yet.

Way To Go Medicare!

It's good to see government health care leading the way, especially when it involves saving money and avoiding drugs and surgery. Dr. Ornish and his colleagues are now training and licensing health professionals from around the world in his program for reversing heart disease for free in an open source model ... a radical new trend in medicine.

You may have read about Dr. Dean Ornish in the news lately. Dr. Ornish has expanded his research and recently directed the first randomized controlled trial demonstrating that comprehensive lifestyle changes may stop or perhaps even reverse the progression of prostate cancer. The initial results demonstrated that 500+ genes were modified by lifestyle in only 3 months, basically turning on more cancer-fighting genes and turning off genes that support cancer growth. For those of you familiar with Bruce Lipton's work or UnBreak Your Health you recognize this is the new science of Epigenetics.