Important 60 Minutes Episode

lethal-medicineThis Sunday, March 10th, CBS 60 Minutes will air a segment called Lethal Medicine (@7PM ET).  I strongly urge you to watch this segment.  Scott Pelley will investigate New England Compounding Center (NECC).  Last fall it was determined a steroid injection medication manufactured by NECC was the source of the fungal meningitis outbreak that so far has killed 48 and sickened over 800 people around the country.  My friends in Michigan – your state has the second highest number of deaths reported.

Why is this piece so important to you and me?  Because NECC is a drug compounding pharmacy.  This type of pharmacy is becoming commonplace as the major drug supplier to hospitals, surgery centers and clinics around the country.  Ameridose, another pharmacy linked by ownership to NECC, was shut down last fall pending investigation by the FDA and Massachusetts State Board of Health.  They failed many parts of the investigation but their owner has plans to re-open the facility.

Why do I care?  Because I worked for another company linked by ownership to both pharmacies.  I wasn’t a pharmacist.  Because of the extended shutdown of Ameridose, more than 750 of us were laid off last November.  I have wanted to write a piece on this story for quite some time but haven’t because of pending litigation, lawsuits, etc.  I can tell you this, though – you will learn a lot about where the drugs come from that are administered to you at a hospital.  This broadcast will open your eyes to the big money being made by these pharmacies and the shortcuts that are taken to achieve maximum profits while putting YOUR life in potential danger.

60 Minutes will probably spend only 20 minutes on this piece but I will let them tell you the story.  You will most likely hear from a few former NECC employees as whistleblowers, possibly an interview or two with FDA and Department of Health investigators.  You will hear how pharmacies like NECC have found legal loopholes in the state and federal regulations that govern them.

Most importantly, though, I think you will be appalled at what you see, possibly enough to contact your government representatives, state board of health, or the FDA.  After viewing this episode, if you have an urge to contact the people or organizations I just mentioned, I encourage you to do so.

Here is a preview of the segment.

The Epic Battle: Frowney Faces Vs. Smiley Faces

happy-face-sad-face-by-Diddo-ChanPeople sure seem to be unhappy these days.  Upside down smiles seem to be the norm no matter where you are except for, maybe, if you’re packed into a comedy club and the comedian is half good.  Most of the posts I see on Facebook are pretty positive, though, and it seems that is one of the few places I visit nowadays where there is any sort of an upbeat vibe going on.  But most places you go, like work, out and about in the car, in front of your TV or just walking around town, seem to have some dark, ominous cloud hanging overhead.  It seems like many people are mostly stuck in this semi-bad mood for some reason.  I don’t know if it’s the gloomy economy, the lack of daylight because it’s winter, the overall feeling of helplessness when it comes to how the country is run or what, but it just seems to be there.

That’s why when even the tiniest rays of sunshine find their way through those dark clouds of doom, I stand up and take notice.  I thought the Coke “Security Camera” ad during the Super Bowl last night was a nice thing.  But someone had to go and ruin it.  Many people missed the gist of that spot, instead taking it as a reinforcement that security cameras are everywhere, with Big Brother watching our every move.  It never fails, there is always someone or some organization that has to put a negative spin on something intended as a positive. (more…)

Random Thoughts

randomthoughtsIf auto makers really wanted to produce a quality vehicle they would make a car or truck that lasts forever.  Unfortunately this would cause all auto manufacturers to change their business and production models to rely only on selling new vehicles to new populations of drivers as they become old enough to drive and buy their product.  If you sell each vehicle for $150,000 to each new driver, assuming the vehicle would last forever, wouldn’t the car companies be profitable?  Instead they insist on making products that last, if you’re lucky, for five years.  It’s quite obvious their current business model isn’t working.  Let’s try mine instead.

Is it really better to have loved and lost than never loved at all if you end up committing suicide because your girlfriend broke your heart into 128,000 tiny pieces when she gave you the heave-ho? (more…)

Pandemic Hall of Fame

Oh My GOD!Remember when we were all afraid of this so-called H1N1 pandemic several months ago?  Do you remember when you actually had concerns about your safety and your health when the top story in every newscast outlined in detail the looming dangers of a global outbreak of the Swine Flu?

Have you also noticed that since the WHO declared H1N1 a pandemic in June we haven’t heard a whole lot about it?

I’ve been riding the train to and from work since last March.  In doing so I am shoulder to shoulder with a lot of people every day and I don’t notice anybody caring one way or another if someone sneezes or coughs up a hefty phlegm ball.  Oh sure, I see an occasional over-cautious moron wearing a surgical mask, but I just consider them to be stupid-looking paranoid freaks who probably have some sort of excessive compulsive disorder in the first place. (more…)