50,000 reports of malfunctioning heart device hidden by the FDA


Congressional Quarterly

❝ The Food and Drug Administration allowed the maker of a faulty implantable heart device to secretly log 50,000 malfunction incidents, according to a series of investigations by Kaiser Health News.

The device—the Sprint Fidelis, made by Medtronic—consists of a pair of wires and a defibrillator to jolt the heart into a regular rhythm. But doctors found that it was giving patients random, harmful zaps and sometimes failed during actual cardiac emergencies.

❝ Medtronic recalled the device in 2007 but only after it was implanted in around 268,000 patients. Many of those patients have since faced the ghastly choice of learning to live with the faulty device or undergoing an invasive, risky—sometimes deadly—surgery to remove it. According to the KHN investigation, they’ve been making that choice without information from the 50,000 incident reports.

The FDA accumulated over a million reports they “exempted” from reporting requirements which would have aided patients and doctors…and opened the manufacturers of faulty gear to lawsuits. What’s the likelihood of our 2-party government doing something as radical as that, eh?

Generic Drugmakers are the biggest corporate cartel in history

❝ Twenty of the biggest generic prescription drug makers are accused of committing a multi-billion-dollar fraud in the U.S. Forty-three states and Puerto Rico filed a complaint Friday alleging the companies coordinated to inflate prices and reduce competition on more than 100 generic prescription drugs.

❝ “It’s what we believe to be the biggest corporate cartel in history and probably the biggest antitrust price-fixing case in this country, certainly right now and maybe in our nation’s history,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said Monday on “CBS This Morning.”…

❝ “What’s really troubling is it’s clear that they’re just going to break the law as long as they can afford to do so. You know, these are extraordinarily powerful forces that got away with price increases as high as 1,000%, 2,000%. Last night on ’60 Minutes,’ they reported that a drug that I take, doxycycline, saw a price increase of 8,000%. And they’ve gotten away with it for such a long time and that’s why it took more than 40 states coming together and taking them on, on behalf of the people of this country.”

Overdue!

Pharma pimps say: Everyone/No one is raising insulin prices

❝ A casual observer of April’s House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing might think insulin prices just go up by themselves.

After all, the key industry executives filed opening statements to the congressional panel outlining patient-assistance programs, coupons and discounts — a range of price reductions that might make one think this life-or-death diabetes medication is easily affordable to the patients who need it….

❝ In fact, the price of insulin nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016 alone, triggering national headlines about the resulting hardships — sometimes deadly — suffered by people with the Type I-version of the condition who are left to ration insulin because it is too expensive for them to use as prescribed.

❝ The three drug manufacturers that make insulin — Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi — joined three pharmacy benefit managers — CVS Caremark, Express Scripts and OptumRx — to testify before the Oversight and Investigations panel at its second hearing probing the corporate maneuvers behind the skyrocketing costs.

They disagreed a lot. All that counted was whose lies were the most believable. For years, no one has owned more members of Congress than Big Pharma. Giving a minimum of $15,000 a year to anyone elected to Congress. House or Senate. Big enough player? You get more. A lot more.

“In 2009, PhRMA spent about $25 million lobbying the government, Bloomberg said.

The trade association spent $6 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 and $10 million in the third, as it lobbied the Trump administration and federal government over a myriad of policies…”

“CNN said the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector spent $194 million lobbying the government in 2018. That amount does not include the lobbying efforts of PhRMA…”

Top execs of Insys Therapeutics found guilty of racketeering for their role in opioid epidemic


We used this cover when Kapoor was busted in 2017

❝ A federal jury on Thursday found the top executives of Insys Therapeutics, a company that sold a fentanyl-based painkiller, guilty of racketeering charges in a rare criminal prosecution that blamed corporate officials for contributing to the nation’s opioid epidemic.

The jury, after deliberating for 15 days, issued guilty verdicts against the company’s founder, the onetime billionaire John Kapoor, and four former executives, finding they had conspired to fuel sales of its highly potent drug, Subsys, by not only bribing doctors to prescribe their product but also by misleading insurers about patients’ need for the drug…

❝ The verdict against Insys executives is a sign of the accelerating effort to hold pharmaceutical and drug distribution companies and their executives and owners accountable in ways commensurate with the devastation wrought by the prescription opioid crisis. More than 200,000 people have overdosed on such drugs in the past two decades.

Overdue!

Image of muscles and milk ducts goes viral


I think this image is even more beautiful [click to enlarge]

A Twitter user shared an image of these flower-like muscles. The milk-making glands are divided into segments and the narrow tubes – or ducts – carry the milk from each segment to the nipple…

The image went viral in a matter of days and has more than 130,000 likes and counting.

❝ However, it was the act of breastfeeding that broke the ice. Some people managed to see the natural beauty within the flower-like ducts.

Which was exactly my reaction. Not certain what are the reasons for some to be upset about this. This is part of how women evolved. It ain’t porn, folks.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Israeli flight attendant in coma from measles

❝ An Israeli flight attendant has slipped into a coma after contracting measles, according to health officials.

The 43-year-old woman has encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, a well-known and potentially deadly complication of the virus. She was otherwise healthy before getting measles.

She’s been in a deep coma for 10 days, and we’re now just hoping for the best,” said Dr. Itamar Grotto, associate director general of Israel’s Ministry of Health…

❝ “I knew this was going to happen sooner or later,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University and an adviser to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccines. “We have the reintroduction of a serious viral infection with a population that’s withholding the vaccine from their children, and now it’s spreading beyond that population.”

RTFA, please! Learn a little bit more science.

Scrotox! Huh, Wha?

❝ A few years ago, men would have never thought about getting Botox, fillers or cosmetic surgery because they thought they were just for women…

❝ While most of you will think the only place to get the injections would be your face, there’s plenty of other areas and one of those includes your testicles.

❝ Yep, arguably the most sensitive part of a guy’s body is being injected with Botox to make it look more appealing. Let’s be honest, it’s certainly not the prettiest part of a bloke’s body but it seems as though some want it looking better.

The procedure has been dubbed ‘Scrotox’, obviously amalgamating Botox and scrotum, and it costs up to $1,000.

Eeeugh!

Thanks, UrsaRodinia (I think…)