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Pepin's Pharmaceutical Prattle for 05-11-2009

Quote of the day:  Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.

                      Teach a man to fish and you won’t see him again

                      until he runs out of bait.                                                                    smp 

Good Morning!

Something is Fishy

My brother suggested, during our first fishing excursion of the year, that all of the stimulus money be given to fishers and hunters. The money would immediately be pumped back into the retail economy. A fisher can never have too many lures. I showed my father an artificial lure I had purchased with my paper route money and asked him if he thought it would catch anything. “It already caught one sucker!” he joked. He was a big proponent of live bait (minnows/worms) and had only a few lures in his tackle-box. Come rain or shine we kids would accompany my father “up north” to Aitkin, Minnesota just about every weekend during the summers. His father and mother would spend all season at their small lake place. Originally they had converted an old school bus into their home away from home but with the increasing number of visitors soon built a small cabin. For all of the time that my Dad spent fishing with us and his father I was surprised to find out after his death that he really didn’t like fishing. It was just an excuse for him to spend more time with his father (who REALLY loved fishing) and expose us grandkids to the parents he loved, 

Fishers are generally an optimistic lot. Every wiggle of a bobber or tug on the line is a “Monster” or “record breaker”… at least until it is close to the boat or landed.  Each piece of tackle reeks of possibility, just waiting for the perfect fishing situation. (one never knows when the fish will be going crazy for a yellow flu-flu fly with a white head or a purple and black Fuzzy Grub,) All poles must have fresh line every year or Moby Northern or Bass-Zilla might break it. What good is fresh line on an old-school rod incapable of detecting the tremor of an earthquake in Argentina. That old reel would just plain look silly on that techno rod made of carbon nano tubes and transparent aluminum. Your new “Excaliber” of a rod and reel combo would make you look even sillier driving your a 10 foot Alumicraft boat as pushed by a 3 horse Evenrude motor. It would be like a portrait of Sir Lancelot mounted on a goat. In addition, your present boat will not do because the best fishing will be over by the time you can limp to your favorite spot. Unless the ride to the “honey hole” takes less time than it does to bait your hook then you have to get a better boat. Sure the cost per pound of Walleye would go up to over $90 per pound but no sacrifice is too great for your loved ones.

          Jeff Foxworthy has a video bit in which he totals the cost of all of his hunting paraphernalia to let his wife know how much he appreciates her. Bringing home game at $99 per pound… “the most expensive meat in the world”… even more than lobster show just how much he loves her! How can she possible be upset by his long hunting trips?

Under my NAFTA-ESP (National American Fishing Trophy Angler - Economic Stimulus Plan) the cost per pound of game and fish would go down (as the government pays for the tools). This would have an immediate anti-inflationary effect counteracting all of the new money entering the economy.

          I would be willing to invest the time and energy needed to see this NAFTA-ESP plan through to its triumphant conclusion. Of course I might have to enlist the help of my children and grand children to finish the project. After all, no sacrifice is too great!

Have a GREAT week!



ps. Best answer this week to the question "How are you?" was "I'm fantabulous!"

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) High priced spread

Employers should be reading the fine print in their PBM contracts instead of reacting to this type of “news coverage” in retrospect. It might be a good idea for lawmakers who are calling for the investigation to do their homework first. In reality rebates, network contracts and just about every other aspect of pharmacy benefit management is negotiated or at least spelled out in contracts.  In life you don’t always get what you deserve but you do get what you negotiate.


2) FDA approves digestive enzymes

Pancreatic enzyme potion approved is the first DELAYED RELEASE formulation of these enzymes. Presently patients must take the enzymes with meals so this new formulation could reduce the number of times a day that pills must be ingested. The normal release pills are very large so I wonder if the size of this new formulation will become a factor.


3) Obama wants to increase FDA budget

With the impending approval of his nomination for FDA director the Prez wants to give her agency a ton of new money. He expects that the money will be well spent as generics are pushed out sooner. I hope that the government will not take any role in patent busting. (but then again, I hope to win the Powerball)


4) What’s in a name? About $510 million

Glaxo is selling Wellbutrin to Biovail. The drug has been off patent for over 2 years and just about anyone could make a generic version. Considered a great deal for Glaxo. What is Biovail thinking? In the words of Tom Hanks in the movie BIG, “I don’t get it!”


5) New use for “old” drug in brain cancers

Avastin has cleared FDA hurdles in earning approval for its use in a very invasive form of brain cancer. Generally the drug works by choking off the blood supply to tumor cells which send out signals for more blood. Messages are garbled by new therapy so blood supply does not get enhanced. Having seen the effects of this type of cancer on friends and family I am encouraged by this move.


6) Daddy, what is ED?  Do you have it?

If this proposed rule goes through you might not have to hear the words  from your kids. All ED ads would be banned before 10pm.


7) For young entrepreneurs…15 year old kid with a skin problem, a concoction and a tag line

Rags to spending money story. Just shows how necessity, innovation and a good product can lead to success. I’ll bet that the kid hopes that the FDA doesn’t get involved.





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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