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Pepin's Pharmaceutical Prattle for 06-29-2009

 Quote of the day:

              The fragrance always remains in the hand that gives the rose.
                    Heda Bejar

Good Morning!


Thursday was Jesus’ half-birthday, 6-25. It is also the anniversary of my parent’s wedding. Dad had started a tradition of giving his wife 1 rose for each year they were married. Year one she received a single rose. Year 51 she received 51 long stem red American beauty roses. As you know they had 5 children. I was thinking about mom and how dad hasn’t been around since 2000.

My mind works in ways that others’ don’t (but I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know). I like to use words as play things and numbers as well. When I thought of mom’s 60th I immediately saw that 1 dozen roses times her 5 children would add up to 60 roses. I thought she would enjoy receiving roses again. Dad couldn’t give her roses from beyond but he had given his bride 5 children who certainly could. So I contacted all my sibling to fly the idea past them. Everyone though it was a nice idea. Rather than push the HOW of the gift I left it up to each one to find a way to get mom a dozen roses on the 25th.

I contacted my always-moving-mother and told her that I’d like to come for a visit on Thursday night. She said, “Oh, that would have been our 60th anniversary”. I feigned ignorance and then acknowledged that indeed it was. I wrote to my sibling so that they knew she would be home (for a change) and not to call her to arrange a visit or she would become suspicious.

About noon on the 25th my mother’s neighbor stopped by with some strawberry shortcake. My mother told her that it was her 60th. The neighbor, who was aware of Dad’s tradition said wistfully, “If Len were alive he would have given you roses.  Imagine the sight of 60 roses”. It was serendipitous that she was reminded again of the roses and that encounter would only enhance what was to come.

My sister was the first to arrive, about 6:30, but she left her roses in her car. When I arrived about 20 minutes later I walked in with a dozen roses. Well, mom started to cry at the sight of the dozen roses… happy to have a small remembrance of dad’s tradition. After she composed herself again and thanked me she said, “It isn’t 60 roses but a dozen is very nice!” About that time my sister appeared from behind her with 2 dozen more roses (1 brother could not make it but sent his roses with my sister). Well, as you can imagine, the tears started all over again at the thought that 3 of her children remembered and brought roses. We her trimming and arranging the first 3 dozen flowers when another brother arrived, tapped her on the shoulder and presented her with another dozen roses and an anniversary cake. You guessed it, more water works. About 5 minutes later my youngest brother snuck up on her and presented his dozen. She now had her 60 roses.

After taking some pictures we all sat around for a few hours talking. Mom was in quite a jolly mood. She said that she was glad that I had called ahead or she would have “taken off for the Casino in Turtle Lake (Wisconsin) to lift my spirits.” She is very lucky at the casinos and might have walked away with a few extra dollars but by staying home as the object of our scheme she hit a bigger jackpot… knowing that we all care about her and the tradition started 60 years ago.

Have a GREAT week!



ps. Best answer this week to the question "How are you?" was "I am so grateful for the roses!"

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) You are not just a crazy Dane, you have cancer!

Epidemiological study shows that the risk of brain cancer or small cell lung cancer in patients with a new diagnosis of psychiatric symptoms are huge. Of 4 million Danish patients evaluated for psychiatric illness 209 thousand were diagnosed with cancer within 1 year. Patients were 19 times more likely to have brain cancer than those without new psychiatric symptoms. Lung cancer rates were only 2.61 times that of those without psych symptoms. Just goes to show you, it may NOT be “all in your head.”


2) Caraco company cargo confiscated

The generic drug company Caraco did not remedy deficiencies in their manufacturing process so the FDA has stopped shipments of their 33 generic products. Federal Marshals were the ones to seize the products and shut down all three of their Michigan plants. I guess that it would have paid to read the FDA warning letters and fix the problems, especially after two forced recalls in the last year.


3) Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em

New regulations allowing the FDA to regulate tobacco were signed into law. I’m sure that ATF will stay busy with their enforcement activities (we wouldn’t want to miss out on the tax reveue) but look to the FDA to control the amount of nicotine in cigarettes. The stated goal is to reduce the health risks associated with smoking. Public input will be welcomed. (see next article).


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4) FDA transparency suggestion

The FDA announced on June 23rd that a meeting seeking public input into how the agency can “make information on FDA activities and decision-making useful, understandable, and more accessible to the public.”  The meeting was to begin at 0800 am the day after the announcement at the NTSB building in Washington, DC. Had a member of the public who resided in California wanted to have input on the other coast they would have been completely out of luck unless they had already booked the flight/hotel before the announcement. If you go to the link provided you can watch what ALREADY happened. Suggestion to FDA on transparency… more meaningful notice before meeting. Reminds me of several cases in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe”.


5) Darvocet to be pulled from EU market

Considered to be too dangerous to be left on the market. Responsible for hundreds of deaths in Europe. Withdrawal will be gradual so the docs can find alternatives. I guess that there is no big hurry because the drug has been available for 40 years!


6) So much for that cookie-dough Blizzard

Nestle recalls its Toll House cookie dough due to E.Coli contamination. If you have some of the dough just throw it out… while cooking the little rascals will kill them, some may contaminate hands and/or cooking surfaces.


7) Inflamed Japanese brain? No thanks.

CDC has added to the list of vaccinations that US travelers to Japan should have. The mosquito-borne Japanese Encephalitis can be mitigated by a vaccine called Ixairo. Oringato gozimas.  






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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