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Pepin's Pharmaceutical Prattle for 02-23-2009

 Quote of the day: You must give some time to your fellow men.

                 Even if it's a little thing, do something for others

                 - something for which you get no pay but the

                    privilege of doing it.

                              Albert Schweitzer (1875 - 1965)


 Good Morning!

Early St. Patrick’s Day?

The economy is in tough shape. You would have had to have been under a rock for the last 4 months to have that fact escape you. Many have lost their jobs. I suspect that all of you are feeling the pinch in one way or another. Have you stopped looking at the value of your retirement account? Are you cutting out dining out? Have you turned down the thermostat? Not going to the movies but renting DVD’s instead? Avoiding unnecessary trips in the auto? Are you trying to stretch your drug supply by skipping a dose now and then or finally switching to generics. Many of you have stopped giving to charities.

          In the Depression era movies Mickey Rooney and company would be in desperate straights. Eventually they would come up with the answer, “Let’s put on a show!” The gang would all get together a put together a great show of music, song and dancing. The people would buy tickets, see a great show and have a wonderful time… forgetting their own plight for at least the duration of the production.

          Imagine how hard this is on those who started out in the edge. Women in troubled pregnancies are not too concerned about a 401K but where they can sleep or if they will have a crib for the baby. While you switch to Pappa Murphy’s as a way to cut your budget many of these women would love to have a box of Mac and Cheese. Prenatal care and prenatal vitamins are a dream. Where would you turn in times like this if you were pregnant and in need?

Cradle of Hope has been helping women in troubled pregnancies for 35 years. They provide financial assistance to women all over the state of Minnesota. They have decided to “put on a show” to help these moms out of their financial problems. Leahy will perform at Bethel University (about 5 miles North of the State Fairgounds) this Thursday even at 7:30PM. Leahy is a performing family, “Canada’s Celtic Powerhouse”,  and is “ a whirlwind triple threat of fiddle-driven, music, dance and song…”.  I have seen “River dance” and “Lord of the dance” in Las Vegas and I have seen “Leahy” once before. I had more fun and pure enjoyment from the Leahy performance. So give some joy to yourself, a tax break for next year (the ticket price, less $20 can be written off as a donation on your taxes) and some much needed support to needy women by attending the concert. The sooner you call the better the seats you can secure. (Box office number is 651-638-6333 or 866-424-4849   or go online to  for tickets.) If you can’t make it this Thursday and still want to help then you can go the Cradle of Hope site. Don’t expect to see Mickey Rooney but do expect a great show and a chance to forget some of YOUR problems for awhile.

 Have a GREAT week!



ps. Best answer this week to the question "How are you?" was “I’m not winnin’ no foot races but I’m ok."

pps. Please note that some of the links may not be up for very long and that

     you should capture or print anything that you may wish to keep.



1) What’s a doc to do with free samples?

At least one place is accepting free drug company samples from physician offices and redistributing them to the poor. Anti-cholesterol and antidiabetic drugs are the most sought after.


2) Buffet bails on pharma

Berkshire Hathaway, under the successful hand of Warren Buffett, is pulling out of pharmaceutical drug stocks and into fixed return assets. It is hard to argue with his success.


3) Obsessive compulsive button pushers

Medtronic has received approval for an implantable device to combat OCD. This thing could take MONK off the air. Will only be available to those who are most debilitated and have failed drug treatment.


4) Super bugs hit Kryptonite?

Intensive care units in 600 hospitals have seen a DECREASE in the number of MRSA infections. In 1997 there were 43 such infection per 100,000 ICU patients but this has decreased to 21 per 100,000. I believe that we should not be complacent and keep up the fight.;_ylt=Ap.e0InIPI.dOD9jTTBiKoxZ24cA


5) Embryonic stem cell treatment

It appears that the use of embryonic stem cells have caused tumors in the brain and spinal cord. Despite the evidence, those that want to believe that embryonic stem cells are the answer will continue.;_ylt=AkMEZP609.16BhNGnRR0v8BZ24cA


6) Warfarin dosing by computer?

Genetic tests on humans and a computer program may predict whether individual patients require high doses or low doses of Coumadin (warfarin). I suppose that a more practical approach would be to treat with low doses and increase as needed. This would avoid overdosing the slow metabolizers at the expense of a few days delay in treatment doses in the fast metabolizers. (The delay might be less that the amount of time it takes to get the genetic tests back)


7) The truth about cats and dogs

Fido and Max the cat get many drugs. With few exceptions of pet health insurance, these are all cash and carry transactions. Most pet owners treat their pets like their own children sparing no expense… and the pet pharma companies are cashing in. We will have hit bottom when these drugs decline. Article includes a list of the top drugs for cats and for dogs.





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Disclaimer: "Pepin's Pharmaceutical Prattle" (AKA "The Prattle") is the property of PHARMWORKS, LLC and Steven M. Pepin, Pharm. D, BCPS. The opinions expressed are those of the bald-headed author. To start or stop any drug without the advice and supervision of your physician would be stupid. So don't do anything based upon what you read here without professional advice.  To be added to or removed from the distribution list please e-mail your request to . All insightful comments from readers are thoughtfully considered (the rest are callously discarded). Copyright 1998-2009 PHARMWORKS,LLC all rights reserved.

Copyright 1998-2009 PHARMWORKS, LLC all rights reserved