Big Pharma Sucks!

My wife has an illness that requires one particular medication.  Not a medication similar in compound.  Not a medication somewhat comparable in it’s benefits.  Zyprexia provides her with the only relief.  How do we know?  Well, up until 10 years ago, her ‘team’ of doctors were still scratching their heads about her med regime.  In and out of different hospitalizations and different cocktails of pills: Were going to be a way of life for Megan.

Fortunately, as a last resort, Zyprexia was administered.  And, since then, she has had fewer and fewer inner conflicts and hospital stays.

Her medication cost about $500. each month!

My question is simple:  How much money is too much money?  Big Pharma, let us face it, has a strangle hold on society.  If one does not need medication to live.  They know someone that does.  We are a captive audience.  Where are elected officials?  Why is this not a disgrace to the nation as a, whole?

 

http://chng.it/hrdwkHvgMd:Stop Big Pharma’s Plot to Keep Drugs Unaffordable!

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jezebel.com/disability-rights-advocate-carrie-ann-lucas-dies

On Sunday, long-time disability rights activist and attorney Carrie Ann Lucas died from complications from an infection after she went into cardiac arrest, which resulted, according to her friends and family, from her insurance company’s denial of a necessary medication. She was 47.

Lucas, who had a rare form of muscular dystrophy and used a wheelchair as well as a ventilator, spent her life fighting for the rights of people with disabilities, from working to expand and protect the rights of parents with disabilities to advocating for increased health care access. She grew up in Windsor, Colorado and was a teacher and a pastor before becoming a lawyer. She founded the group Disabled Parents Rights, with the goal of assisting parents with disabilities, work that was informed by discrimination she experienced when she attempted to go through the adoption process. She also fought against passing physician-assisted suicide laws. In 2017, as a member of the disability rights group ADAPT, she was one of several people with disabilities who were arrested during a sit-in held in protest of Republicans’ planned cuts to Medicaid.

A February 24 post on her Facebook page states that Lucas “died after an arbitrary denial from an insurance company caused a plethora of health problems, exacerbating her disabilities and eventually leading to her premature death.” More details from the post:

Because Carrie Ann worked for the state, she had use state insurance which was primary ahead of her Medicare and Medicaid. In January of 2018 she got a cold which turned into a trach and lung infection. Her insurance company UnitedHealthcare, refused to pay for the one specific inhaled antibiotic that she really needed. She had to take a less effective drug and had a bad reaction to that drug. This created a cascade of problems, loss of function (including her speech). United Healthcare’s attempt to save $2,000 cost over $1 million in health care costs over the past year. This includes numerous hospitalizations, always involving the Intensive Care Unit which is par for the course for ventilator users.

In her final blog post from January, Lucas wrote about the impact of spending a significant portion of the past year in the hospital:

In the last nine months, I’ve spent a total of eight weeks in the hospital. Some hospitalizations were shorter, 2 and 3 days, and over a weekend. Others have been longer 8-, 9- and 10-day long grinds like this one. In these nine months, I left one hospital against medical advice to transfer myself to another hospital because of inadequate care, acquired additional infections from the hospital, and suffered more medical mistakes than I can count.

When confronted with these realities time and time again during hospitalizations, the trauma builds. One can only be told you are incorrect, only to have someone come back later and confirm you were correct so many times. One can only correct medical mistakes so many times. One can only handle the disruption in any sort of routine so long. The loss of autonomy and uncertainty in the hospital is trauma inducing. Each hospitalization is worse because I have not had enough time between hospitalizations to allow my emotions to recover. This trauma is unacknowledged by physicians, and they fail to understand how their actions and patterns are creating trauma which simply exacerbates the situation. Instead we patients are left in a puddle of tears with few tools to help ourselves because we have no control, and face only uncertainty.

In a remembrance from the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, which gave Lucas an award in 2016, the group wrote: “Carrie may have been the only wheelchair-using Latina with a bumper sticker reading ‘just another disabled lesbian for Christ,’ dressed in camo, driving her trak-chair into the wilderness in search of the perfect photo.” The group added: “We are very grateful for all Carrie has taught us about disability rights and intersectionality, and for being a brilliant and hilarious colleague and friend.”

Lucas is survived by her four adopted children and her partner Dr. Kimberley Jackson. “She was an amazing person who dedicated her whole life to helping other people and I just miss her so much and so will the disability community,” Jackson told the Coloradoan. “We have a similar disability and she understood me like no one has before.”

A February 24 post on her Facebook page states that Lucas “died after an arbitrary denial from an insurance company caused a plethora of health problems, exacerbating her disabilities and eventually leading to her premature death.” More details from the post:

Because Carrie Ann worked for the state, she had use state insurance which was primary ahead of her Medicare and Medicaid. In January of 2018 she got a cold which turned into a trach and lung infection. Her insurance company UnitedHealthcare, refused to pay for the one specific inhaled antibiotic that she really needed. She had to take a less effective drug and had a bad reaction to that drug. This created a cascade of problems, loss of function (including her speech). United Healthcare’s attempt to save $2,000 cost over $1 million in health care costs over the past year. This includes numerous hospitalizations, always involving the Intensive Care Unit which is par for the course for ventilator users.

In her final blog post from January, Lucas wrote about the impact of spending a significant portion of the past year in the hospital:

In the last nine months, I’ve spent a total of eight weeks in the hospital. Some hospitalizations were shorter, 2 and 3 days, and over a weekend. Others have been longer 8-, 9- and 10-day long grinds like this one. In these nine months, I left one hospital against medical advice to transfer myself to another hospital because of inadequate care, acquired additional infections from the hospital, and suffered more medical mistakes than I can count.

When confronted with these realities time and time again during hospitalizations, the trauma builds. One can only be told you are incorrect, only to have someone come back later and confirm you were correct so many times. One can only correct medical mistakes so many times. One can only handle the disruption in any sort of routine so long. The loss of autonomy and uncertainty in the hospital is trauma inducing. Each hospitalization is worse because I have not had enough time between hospitalizations to allow my emotions to recover. This trauma is unacknowledged by physicians, and they fail to understand how their actions and patterns are creating trauma which simply exacerbates the situation. Instead we patients are left in a puddle of tears with few tools to help ourselves because we have no control, and face only uncertainty.

In a remembrance from the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, which gave Lucas an award in 2016, the group wrote: “Carrie may have been the only wheelchair-using Latina with a bumper sticker reading ‘just another disabled lesbian for Christ,’ dressed in camo, driving her trak-chair into the wilderness in search of the perfect photo.” The group added: “We are very grateful for all Carrie has taught us about disability rights and intersectionality, and for being a brilliant and hilarious colleague and friend.”

Lucas is survived by her four adopted children and her partner Dr. Kimberley Jackson. “She was an amazing person who dedicated her whole life to helping other people and I just miss her so much and so will the disability community,” Jackson told the Coloradoan. “We have a similar disability and she understood me like no one has before.”

 

 

Pot and Prohibition

Beginning’s of Prohibition-

After 112 holiday revelers are hospitalized or killed by poisoned alcohol, New York City’s first scientifically trained medical examiner, Charles Norris issues a harshly-worded public statement on Dec. 28, 1926 denouncing the government:
“The government knows it is not stopping drinking by putting poison in alcohol… The United States government must be charged with the moral responsibility for the deaths that poisoned liquor causes…

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Charles Norris/1926

1966?…

One of the consequences of the marijuana laws is that an unknown number of Americans, estimated variously from 12 to 20 million people are, by law, felons. Those felons include not only the young, but an increasing number of business and professional people who other wise lead conventionally productive, crime‐free lives. Even the forces of “law and order”— perhaps that group especially— might wonder, as John Kaplan does, whether a second crime is easier to commit than the first:

“The wisdom of a law should be determined in pragmatic terms by weighing the costs It imposes upon society against the benefits it brings. The purpose of this book is to apply this principle to the laws criminalizing marijuana.”

…one frequently finds those opposing changes in the marijuana laws connecting use of that drug with a life style emphasizing immediate experience, non-competitiveness, disinterest in wealth and dis regard for traditional conventions. Alcohol and marijuana prohibition have in common then the widespread and in creasing use of an illegal drug, association of the drug with a definite life style, and an era of unprecedented lawlessness.

 

‘My lifestyle consist of wanting a Domino’s pizza, taking a toke off the pipe to alleviate severe arthritis, binge watching, Ozark…And, eventually forgetting what it was I wanted for dinner.’

The big winners?  Big Pharma and in due course, our corrupt government.

2017?…

Arrests for possessing small amounts of marijuana exceeded those for all violent crimes.

…a disproportionate number of those arrested are African-Americans!

Drug Take Back

My portrait…is a Popsicle beginning to melt.

Even if left untouched on a dusty shelf.

If  my  delusional image were turned and stared…pitifully.

My only response would be what it has always been,

“Never feel sorry for me.”100_1238

I came here to this crossroad…willingly.

The pain is the same as it had been before pills came along.

And, though I swallowed…stubbornly,

a team of high authority…felt they knew my psyche…better than me.

I have become a medical casualty.

 

 

One Toke Over the Pain…Sweet Jesus!

Due to age, injury and heredity…I have degenerative arthritis.  It is what it is.  Everyday for me is a ‘act as if day.’

Act as if there is no pain.  Act as if the zen like walk outside isn’t, on occasion, interrupted by searing pain.  Act as if…all the pain medication…produces relief.

Yet, Big Pharma, and, the doctors would rather see me on chemicals to which…we really do not realize what their repercussions…will be.

Further still, when I inquire about the healing use of medicinal marijuana…I am just encouraged to keep on popping!

Jim Belushi is far from the first celebrity to get into the legal pot game. Stoned luminaries like Willy Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Tommy Chong, and the Marley family are selling pot with their names on it in multiple states across the country, but Belushi’s doing something different. These other celebrities have simply created a brand that they then license to pot farmers, whereas Belushi is actually growing the pot on his own property, often with his own hands.

Belushi started slowly, first with a small medical grow three years ago and then transitioning into a full recreational farm with multiple outdoor and indoor gardens. He’s been selling his carefully curated set of strains for two years but only recently decided it was time to put his name on the label. Pot shoppers in Oregon can now buy weed from Belushi’s Farm.

I caught up with the former Saturday Night Live (SNL) star by phone a few weeks ago. The actor and musician’s voice was hoarse from singing at a community party he throws on his farm every year. We talked about what it’s like growing legal pot, working with David Lynch, a vape pen of his that’s been making the rounds in Beverly Hills, and how he thinks medical marijuana could have saved his brother John Belushi’s life.

Do you think if medical marijuana was around then it could have helped him?

I think what we know about marijuana today, if we knew in the ’70s, a lot more people would be alive, including my brother. Danny Aykryod said, ‘If your brother John was a pothead he would be alive today.’

The medicine of marijuana will help prevent the collapse of families. I came from a collapsed family and the trauma of John’s death, you could imagine, and I’ve always been in search of family because of it. And this family of marijuana cannabis people is a terrific family. They’re all being led by the plant.

But the wellness of cannabis is not just for Alzheimer’s, headaches, anxiety—it also enhances the sound of music. It sparks creativity. It enhances the taste of food. It enhances the touch of your lover’s skin. It also gives you euphoria, a sense of joy, and a higher consciousness. So there’s wellness all across.

lester black/thestranger.com

 

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