Thursday, 20 April 2017

Life imitating Art.

    As Oscar Wilde said in 1899, Life imitates art far more often than art imitates life.
When, as a newly qualified physician, I started watching Star Trek, in the sixties, I was naturally particularly intrigued with the character of 'Bones' - Dr. Leonard McCoy, (Deforest Kelley) and his magnificent 'Tricorder', which always revealed the diagnosis promptly and resulted in his life-saving interventions. This was the twenty-third century and the Tricorder as seen in 'Star Trek: the Original Series', is a black rectangular device, with a top that pivots open and a small screen and control buttons. There were varieties for different function, and of course the one that 'Bones' used was the medical variety, which had a removable sensor probe, that was made out of a salt cellar.

The word 'Tricorder' is an abbreviation for "Tri-function recorder". Sensing, computing and recording are the three functions.

The Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize was launched in January of 2012. The $10,000000 prize was to be awarded to the developers of a real life version of the Tricorder. Two and a half of that ten million was won by a team of scientists and engineers from Pennsylvania's Final Frontier Medical Devices with their 'DxtER' machine. A Taiwan group, Dynamical Biomarkers Group, won one million. The DxtER, by the Final Frontier Medical Devices Group is an artificial intelligence based machine that learns to diagnose medical conditions by integrating emergency medical data analysis from actual patients. It gathers the data from a group of non invasive sensors that collect data about vital signs, chemistry and biological functions. The 'Tricorder' then synthesizes the data it has collected to make a diagnosis. One major deviation from the Star Trek Tricorder is that the Tricorder competition aims to take the Tricorder out of the hands of health care professionals and put it in the hands of patients. The objectives of this exercise is to make available to the population the monitoring of systems that would otherwise be difficult for a myriad of reasons, such as expense, location, scarcity of physicians and health care workers and patient time. The transmission of this data will help physicians and nurses determine the urgency or lack of urgency of the situation.

    
 DxtER by Basil Leaf Technologies.
http://cdn4.tech.co/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/final-frontier-DxtER.jpg



































  This is a hand held object that is connected to a tablet which will collate the data collected and hopefully arrive at a diagnosis.

   The DxtER, developed by the Harris brothers, one of whom is an  emergency room physician and their team started with an iPad in the development of their units.  They have applied for a number of patents,including a device that can numerous blood and blood chemistry test without breaking the skin.  Apparently DxtER can diagnose considerably more conditions than the test called for.  The machine also asks patients questions and analyses the answers.  The patient has control and can present the information to their doctor for further interpretation.  Other finalist groups are working on their own 'Tricorder' projects and we will look at them later. 
   Meanwhile,thanks tp Star Trek there is little doubt that we are going to have 'Tricorders' long before the twenty-third century!
 






Friday, 14 April 2017

Second class drugs.

Second class drugs

  The Ministry of Health and its administridiots are not  looking after Canadians the way they should.   They are subjecting us to unnecessary risks to save money, when they may be costing us more as a result of the harm  from ineffective medication.

  I recently had a letter from one of my blog followers complaining that a generic replacement of one of the medications that she had been on for a long time, that had always seemed to be effective was replaced by a generic that not only seemed ineffective, but that actually made her feel worse, due to side-effects that she had never experienced before.  Here is part of her letter:
   "Unfortunately since Teva and other big pharma (but mostly Teva in Canada) has acquired many of our Canadian pharmaceutical companies,many of our generics are no longer made in Canada.  Now they are manufactured in places like India and others. There have been a lot of generic recalls due to poor quality control.  Too much of a dose or too little being delivered and no regulation on what fillers or binding agents are used.  A few years ago in Canada MOST of our generics were made here, but now I believe the quality of some generics is in question and should be investigated further.  I personally have experienced this with two completely different types of medication.  Is this perhaps that they are being manufactured in one of these countries with poor controls.  Health Canada seems to have very lax regulatory standards, the bar is pretty low.  I believe most Canadians are not aware of these changes and assume their medications are still manufactured here..
   Of course the large amount of merger and acquisition activity among the big generic companies has caused this.  Are Big Generic Pharma sacrificing quality and safety  for profits these days?  I think there is a lot of material to cover here.  As an example, the beleaguered Teva is suffering under the weight of it's HUGE debt ,according to the financial experts, and they have had quite a few generic drugs recalled due to poor quality.  Also their CEO stepped down  a couple of weeks ago as he was pressured to resign  and I'm sure there is a lot more to this story."  
   Her allegations are correct; here are some of the facts.
The overwhelming majority of generic drugs are now manufactured abroad, many in India and China. Some Indian pharmacies such as Megafine have been banned from importing to the US, apparently for manipulating the results of required tests.  Forty-five other Indian pharmaceutical and API ( Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients ) manufacturers are currently included on import list alerts and are required to provide evidence of upgrading to meet the standards required by the FDA.  Apparently Health Canada has an even lower bar in screening and arel less restrictive in requiring imported drugs to meet the standard.  Some of these recalled drugs are vital  to  a patient's health and welfare.  Divalproex sodium is an anti-seizure drug (Depakote) the formulation of which was too strong, while a generic heart preparation was not strong enough.  Last year, Dr.Reddy's Laboratories (India) had a major recall of metoprolol, a cardiac drug that many patients are put on after a heart attack.  Their preparation failed to dissolve appropriately.  Other drugs have been recalled, as well as numerous warning letters to companies regarding concerns about their manufacturing process, without actual suspension.  This information is not readily available.
  There are literally hundreds of drug manufacturing companies in India, China, Europe and S.America.  The FDA has very few investigators so it is impossible to thoroughly check even a reasonable cross-section. There have been concerns regarding the Research  organizations testing the products, ranging from outright fraud to incompetence.  GVK Bio-sciences in India conducted many of the studies despite the fact that the World Health Organization discovered major problems with their operation.  Poor as the FDA screening is, Canada's is almost non existent.  Generic drugs are often just as good as the brand names, but before authorizing their use their production and performance must be scrupulously examined.
   Bottom line - the government of Canada is spending extravagantly on all sorts of non essential services.  That money could be directed towards providing safe health care and safe drugs for Canadians.  

Comment if you care! 
   
 
Forty-five other Indian pharmaceutical and API manufacturers are currently included on the import alert list, including Ranbaxy, Wockhardt and Ipca Laboratories. - See more at: http://www.raps.org/Regulatory-Focus/News/2015/10/15/23406/FDA-Bans-Imports-From-Major-Indian-API-Manufacturer/#sthash.zS5jc4wl.dpuf



Forty-five other Indian pharmaceutical and API manufacturers are currently included on the import alert list, including Ranbaxy, Wockhardt and Ipca Laboratories. - See more at: http://www.raps.org/Regulatory-Focus/News/2015/10/15/23406/FDA-Bans-Imports-From-Major-Indian-API-Manufacturer/#sthash.zS5jc4wl.dpuf

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Child Abuse - Normalization of abnormality by the liberal government.

Normalizing abnormality.  The devious social engineering of the Liberal government. 

   A short time ago I posted a note on face book regarding the outrageous sex education program for children proposed by the Left Wing Luneys of the provincial government and ultimately implemented by the government of the province.  The man under whose direction the curriculum was written is presently in jail for child pornography and pedophilia related crimes.
   I started talking to folks I know about this flagitious situation and to  my great surprise they had little or no knowledge of this situation at all.  Some looked askance at me, as though I had made the  whole thing up or as if I was some  sort of bigoted chauvinist.  Some knew there was some sort of sexual education in schools, but if I  inquired further, none had really looked into the situation.  As one person who had no idea of the content of the program said, "well I  suppose it is better than nothing, which is what I got."  But no, it isn't, misinformation is more dangerous than no information at all.
  So, let's take a look at the content of the program that our incompetent premier and her lwls think appropriate for our youngsters.
   
   Grade 1- age six: genitalia, naming the penis, vagina etc.  This is okay, though I certainly think it would be more appropriately taught by parents than by strangers whose background and qualifications are frequently questionable for one reason or another.

   Grade 3- age eight: GENDER IDENTITY THEORY.  
This is DEFINITELY not alright.  This is a political agenda supported and put forth by the the premier and those close to her, like the deputy minister of education, Benjamin Levin, now behind bars for child pornography and pedophilia related crimes.  Not quite the sort of curriculum developer for sexual education that most parents would approve of.  The content of the gender identity theory suggests that whether you are male or female is unrelated to your anatomy and is just an imagined "social construct", so you can chose what you want to be. This is a theory for which there is no scientific basis whatsoever. My opinion is that teaching this sort of unsubstantiated theory and the consequences that it gives rise to, is child abuse, an opinion shared by the American Pediatric Society.  As a physician with close to sixty years experience I have no doubt that the treatment some of these children is criminal abuse and I am distress that there are some of my colleagues who are so indoctrinated as to facilitate such pseudoscience.  They truly fall into the category that the great George Bernard Shaw described as "pseudo-scientific simpletons". 
   A Swedish study revealed that ten to fifteen years after sexual reassignment surgery the suicide rate was twenty times that of their peers.

   Grade 6- age eleven, seems designed to encourage masturbation, something for which most folks didn't need much encouragement.

   Grade 7- age twelve.
Devoted to teaching about anal intercourse, oral sex and general sexual pleasures!

   Grade 8- age thirteen.
Children are instructed in making a personal sexual plan.
 There is no discussion of love or marriage.

   If you are at all interested in this topic and in knowing what action responsible parents are taking, go to: www.StopRadicalSexED.ca.  We are allowing the liberal government to do great damage to normal children.

Comment if you care. 
  

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Snake-oil Salesmen. "Quack-quack!"

Snake-oil salesmen (or should I say salespersons ?) continue to thrive in the twenty-first century. It looks to me as though they are more prolific than ever. False claims and false or misleading advertising are greatly facilitated by the internet with its wide dissemination and relative anonymity. In the last week I have had several such communications in my email. Take the one below, for instance:

You will no longer be diabetic, 14 days from now...
Doctors are STUNNED that a new $47 diabetes treatment works so well at lowering blood sugar, controlling insulin, and even helping you drop pounds of fat.
They say this should be -medically impossible"... (sic)
Especially since there are no insulin injections or prescription drugs required.
Theyre even more OUTRAGED that in a just-published report involving thousands of diabetics...
Virtually every participant claimed a dramatic improvement in their diabetes symptoms within 14 days.
Check here to see the inexpensive diabetes treatment thats making some of Americas most highly trained doctors look like fools.
That link will take you to a special video report detailing exactly what this $47 medical protocol is...
And will even show you the specific steps you need to take if you want to try this bizarre diabetes treatment for yourself.
Doctors Baffled By This $47 Diabetes Treatment:


   I tried to follow the trail to find out what this miraculous cure could be and I found that someone calling himself Dr. David Pearson has a downloadable eBook called  Diabetes Free that you can buy on line for $37.  Any attempt to find out more about Dr. Pearson is difficult if not impossible, made even more frustrating by the fact that his name is not uncommon and that there are numerous entries that are not likely this individual.  I couldn't even verify that he has any medical qualification.  Looks like a quack, but I'll keep on looking.

  And then there's the next one It starts off with the remarkable statement:
   "Your doctor is wrong, Alzheimer's can be reversed!"
    The reader is then directed to a video presented by the alleged husband of an Alzheimer's patient, who makes the claim that Alzheimers is "100% curable".  He himself, (not a physician or a scientist) decided he would have to research this matter himself because none of the physicians or specialists could cure it. It took him two years to come up with the cure! This is achieved by using 'natural products' that the diabolical drug companies want to keep secret so that it would not impact upon their profits.  His remedy, he informs us, was supported by an eminent specialist who didn't want to be named.  He wanders on at great length about combinations of food that reverse Altzheimer's and that totally reversed his wife's disease.  The money grubbing doctors and pharmaceutical companies do everything in their power to keep this cure from the public.  Their only interest is in the fortune they are making from the disease. On and on it goes, anecdotal fairy-tales, one after the other, without a grain of proof
   The bottom line? You can buy the book,"Alzheimer's Defense Program" only $67, regularly $199. 
"Quack-quack!"

  I have a few more snake-oil stories to tell you.  If you have any to tell me, I would be glad to share them with my readers!   

   

Friday, 24 March 2017

Marijuana! Keep the dopes doped!

   Keep the dopes doped or How to get your doctor to prescribe Marijuana!
   Someone mentioned to me the other day that there is now a whole category of youtube presentations teaching the dopeheads how to get a nice legitimate marijuana medical card.  He even mentioned to me that there were several generated right here, in the second biggest London in the world!
   Slightly skeptically, I fired up my old desk top to take a look. I type in "cannabis prescription cards -Canada".  I got three thousand hits!  Now, they weren't all Canadian and they weren't all dealing with medical prescription cards, but a lot were.  There were numerous tutorials about how to find and  manipulate dumb or crooked physicians into providing a certificate.  A few, very few, dealt with how to get a medical card for someone who actually has a medical condition that could benefit from pot.  Most of them didn't even pretend there was a medical issue.  There were some interesting titles, like "How to get your medical marijuana card in five minutes", or "How I got my medical marijuana card without leaving my couch!"  Then there was "Getting a medical marijuana card - tips  and tricks", presented by a young woman who was obviously a little stoned and "Getting my weed card," by a man who had such pressured speech and was so excited that I have little doubt that he was manic. (This was the London guy!)   A few presenters were so stoned as to be unintelligible. There was one presenter who spoke very clearly with measured words and, under the circumstances, relatively good advice. I suspect he was a paid tout for a cannabis company.
   Just in case you decide you would like a med marij card so that you can indulge legally, the steps are relatively simple.
        1.Call your family doc and ask to be referred to a cannabis clinic.  (If think you have a real problem then you could ask you regular physician if they could prescribe it.  Personally, I never prescribed cannabis because I believe it to very rarely to be the drug of choice for anything. 
        2. Even if your doc won't refer you the clinics will but will require you to see one of their docs.  You will need some documentation such as a drivers license or passport and your medical history.
(One advisor suggested just by-passing your doc and taking to the secretary and requesting a copy of your medical records. "They are your records, they have to give them to you!")
        3. Go to the Cannabis clinic, their doctor will see you and have you fill in a questionnaire and talk to you for a few minutes.  
        4. Pay their fee.
        5. Voila! Get your card. 
Feel free to comment on this scandalous state of affairs that our government promotes.   

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Health care priorities in Canada.

Former Guantanamo prisoner has 19-hour surgery in Canada 

Washington Post. Associated Press.

This was a recent headline in the Washington Post.
   In a country where citizens are suffering  (and sometimes dying) on obscenely lengthy waiting lists  Khadr, who sustained a shoulder injury in the process of a confessed involvement in the murdering of a U.S. Army Medic was allowed to usurp services in a declining, second rate, health care system that hard working Canadians have worked for and paid for all their lives. The nineteen hour surgery cost many thousands and deprived people with life threatening conditions. It is an embarrassment that this man was allowed to retain Canadian citizenship and to come back to Canada and an outrage that Canadians are forced to pay for non life threatening and non emergency surgery resulting from his crimes.  We desperately need some sane guidelines as to where our grossly inadequate health care resources should be spent. 
   His lawyer said, "it would be great for him to get in to Medicine of some sort! 
Personally, I think Law would be a more suitable sort of profession for him!

   Because most of my acquaintances are well aware that I spent a lifetime in medical practice, (no matter how hard I try to conceal the fact ), they frequently bring their health care system problems to me and many of them are truly unconscionable.   I am horrified at the indifference of the administridiots and others to their suffering and their preoccupation with political correctness.  This is at the expense of social justice to Canadians who have contributed all their lives to make the system work and to have appropriate care when  they are ill or disabled.  It is very nice to be generous and charitable to everyone, but the old trope about charity beginning at home contains more than a grain of truth.     Unfortunately, until an individual or a member of their immediate family is affected, most people don't give it a thought.  Someone awaiting an MRI for a potentially serious condition should not have to wait while Khadr and his ilk are getting Cadillac health care.  I have worked in the Corrections Canada system and the same rules apply there.
   Decent hardworking law-abiding citizens do deserve preference in the handing out of health care resources than convicted criminals.  Sounds like common sense to me.  Political correctness be damned!

   Time for Canucks to wake up!! 

It's hard to  believe the world is so full of snowflakes that no one will have a comment to make on this.


    

Monday, 13 March 2017

Sexual Abuse and Bill 87.

"Ontario has introduced legislation that would, if passed, further protect patients in Ontario and keep them healthy, including strengthening and reinforcing Ontario's zero tolerance policy on sexual abuse of patients by any regulated health professional. 
The Protecting Patients Act, 2016 includes legislative amendments that would, if passed:

  • Expand the list of acts of sexual abuse that will result in the mandatory revocation of a regulated health professional's license
  • Remove the ability of a regulated health professional to continue to practice on patients of a specific gender after an allegation or finding of sexual abuse
  • Increase access to patient therapy and counseling as soon as a complaint of sexual abuse by a regulated health professional is filed
  • Ensure that all relevant information about regulated health professionals' current and past conduct is available to the public in an easy-to-access and transparent way." 

       Sexual abuse, within or outside medical practice is outside the pale and never to be tolerated.  Within the profession the safeguards against it and the measures that have been set up to detect and deal with it have been rigorously enforced and due process has been followed.  The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons has been charged with the responsibility of monitoring medical malpractice of any kind and of investigating and dealing with any breaches of proper professional behaviour.   For the most part the system has worked well, though as with most regulatory bodies there are occasional failures.  There are also false allegations made on occasion that can irrefutably damage a health care professional who is entirely innocent.  Nevertheless, both patients and physicians have had access to due process and been treated fairly and for the most part the punishment has fitted the crime.  That any accused be given a fair hearing and not massacred by the media, has been the bedrock of a  civilized society, but that seems to be under attack in many ways in contemporary society.  The government of Ontario now intends to change this structure in a fashion that would give them complete control of how individual cases would be disposed of  and of defining what comprises an infringement and how it should be dealt with.  It is allocating to itself the defining of the committee structure and penalty for alleged infringement of any rules they legislate.   It is undermining a system implemented by the College of Physicians and Surgeons composed of both physicians and non physicians, that has worked well in Canada in the fifty-five years I have practiced here and plans to replace it with a department of health dictatorship.  Because the risk is so high for any physician frivolously, maliciously or mistakenly accused of such an offense, I would advise no physician to do an intimate examination of a patient without a family member present and if still in practice I would so inform my patients.
       How many pelvic, rectal, prostate or breast exams will remain unperformed if this bill passes is hard to assess.  Ultimately, it is the patient who loses out.
       Meanwhile, the administridiots continue to destroy health care in Canada.
    Comment if you have any view on whether Bill 87 will help or harm health care.