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Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Oswego County, New York
Home country: USA
Current location: Lake Ontario Snow Belt
Member since: Fri Apr 23, 2004, 11:56 PM
Number of posts: 35,031

About Me

I've been a female working a "man's job" (mechanical engineer), stay at home Mom (6 kids), working Mom (6 kids to put through college), unemployed, underemployed, temporarily employed and now working from home! We live on an old, small farm with 2 dogs and 2 cats in the house, variable number of chickens out in the yard.

Journal Archives

My pharmacist is not worried about Ebola, he's worried about this:

Rapid Price Increases for Some Generic Drugs Catch Users by Surprise

Large price increases in the United States for vital medicines for the young, such as vaccines, have been mirrored by similar rises in some of the most basic treatments for older patients, like digoxin. Though there are many newer types of drugs to treat heart disease, for some patients there are no effective substitutes; digoxin is on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines.

In recent years, generics have curbed the rise of drug prices, saving the American health care system billions of dollars. After the patents for Lipitor, the cholesterol drug, and Ambien, the sleeping pill, expired in the last few years, for example, generics entered the market and prices plummeted.

But increasingly, experts say, the costs of some generic drugs are going the other way. The prices paid by pharmacies for some generic versions of Fiorinal with codeine (for migraines) and Synthroid (a thyroid medicine) as well as the generic steroid prednisolone have all more than doubled since last year, EvaluatePharma found. In January, the National Community Pharmacists Association called for a congressional hearing on generic drug prices, complaining that those for many essential medicines grew as much as “600, 1,000 percent or more” in recent years. The price jumps especially affected smaller pharmacies, which do not have the clout of big chains to bargain for discounts.


An older story, but one that is still relevant.

Much of the panic over Ebola is generated by information originally in the book,

The Hot Zone, by Richard Preston,


which was written in 1994 as a non-fiction thriller. He went on to write a fictional account of a bio weapon, Cobra Event and a non-fiction discussion of smallpox, The Demon in the Freezer. I read these books and interpreted them as an attempt to alert people to the need to have a well funded government agency studying emerging diseases and preparing against bio-warfare. It was to Mr. Preston's advantage to select the most horrifying facts to make his point. (Not that there is anything wrong or unusual with that - look at other recent books by other authors about say, the meat packing industry.) The film Outbreak was loosely based on the Hot Zone and of course we've had the recent movie Contagion as well.

That said, Mr. Presto's book was written in 1994. Here is a cell phone from 1994:

I would suggest that the information in The Hot Zone does not reflect the results of the 20 years of research since it was published.

We're fighting Ebola here because Republicans cut the budget for fighting it there.

Will we be shutting down schools now every time a little kid barfs?

My husband just solved the Ebola crisis: get Republicans in Congress to retroactively

fund the CDC and NIH.

Can someone tell me how to send this link to Texas Presbyterian?



When's the best time to get a flu shot?

It's not gridlock - "gridlock" implies that all parties are

equally at fault, and that all parties are trying to get somewhere. What we have is one party determined that no one goes anywhere - except maybe in reverse. So what do you call that?

"Firestone Did What Governments Have Not: Stopped Ebola In Its Tracks"

Harbel is a company town not far from the capital city of Monrovia. It was named in 1926 after the founder of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, Harvey and his wife, Idabelle. Today, Firestone workers and their families make up a community of 80,000 people across the plantation.

Firestone detected its first Ebola case on March 30, when an employee's wife arrived from northern Liberia. She'd been caring for a disease-stricken woman and was herself diagnosed with the disease. Since then Firestone has done a remarkable job of keeping the virus at bay. It built its own treatment center and set up a comprehensive response that's managed to quickly stop transmission. Dr. Brendan Flannery, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's team in Liberia, has hailed Firestone's efforts as resourceful, innovative and effective.

Currently the only Ebola cases on the sprawling, 185-square-mile plantation are in patients who come from neighboring towns.


Forgive me if this story has already been linked here, but in light of some of the comments I'm reading here on DU, this story bears repeating. No Level 4 containment, no quarantine, just money to hire enough people to do the job.

Serious question, just out of curiosity -

can someone explain the difference to me between a virus spread by coughing or sneezing, and a virus that goes airborne? Or is that what going airborne means? Does it have anything to do with how long a virus can survive outside of a warm body?

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