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Pepin's Pharmaceutical Prattle for 07-13-2009

 Quote of the day: Whoso neglects learning in his youth,

                  Loses the past and is dead for the future.

                    Euripides (484 BC - 406 BC), Phrixus

Good Morning!

Evolutionary Psychology

One of the many Roman emperors listened for years to the experts of his day as they debated which was the prime language; Greek of Latin. He devised a study of sorts to see whether Greek or Latin would be spoken as the first language if no outside force pushed one way or the other. Twins were to be raised together but were not to hear one word of either Greek or Latin. All caregivers were not to speak even one word. As the children grew they spoke neither Greek nor Latin but developed their very own language; one not spoken by any before nor since.

Several weeks ago I saw something in the newspaper that piqued my interest. Some scientist were using the fact that children are now able to learn faster than ever as evidence that man is evolving. Each generation seems to acquire language skills at an accelerated pace but to claim that the genetic makeup is changing is, well, unbelievable. I suspect that they have been drinking whatever Caesar was drinking. We write down what we learn so that others may build upon those lessons for which we paid dearly. It is a whole lot easier to use fire than to have to discover it ourselves. In addition to building on the acquired knowledge of society I believe that the following are more likely factors in the educational prowess of modern offspring:

1. Nutrition. Adequate supplies of calories, protein, minerals and vitamins are likely responsible for better learning as deficiencies in any can cause developmental problems. (Lack of iodine in the diet lead to hypothyroidism and mental retardation in some but society responded by switching to iodized salt).

2. Exposure to a veritable cacophony of words is likely to produce better vocabulary skills. (electronic media may play a part),

3. Educational research and the development of new teaching techniques are likely to speed the learning process as we find out what works and what does not.

4. Economic factors allow children to be in school (for free) instead of a sweat shop or the farm.

5. Social stability. A stable family unit that provides for the physical, economic welfare of the child and provides discipline, routine and responsibilities offers each child a “leg up” on his/her peers.

 As each of the above 5 items are addressed in 3rd world countries I expect that we will see them “evolve” as well. Do what you can to support the humanitarian efforts of others.

Have a GREAT week!



ps. Best answer this week to the question "How are you?" was "I could be a little better... actually I could be a little better that a little better today."

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) Some not-so-sweet news for Glaxo

Avandia (an oral drug used against diabetes) did not produce any benefits against Alzheimer’s disease.  While is may seem like being surprised that wart remover doesn’t work against depression, there was a scientific reason to try a drug that regulates blood sugar. It is known that glucose metabolism in the brain appears disrupted in Alzheimer’s patients. Nice try but no cigar.


2) Propxyphene prescription prevention plan

FDA is requiring new black box label warnings on Darvon and other preparations containing propoxyphene. Big concern over unintentional overdoses. This drug has seen declining prescription volume for quite a while so I don’t see the urgency. It was about to die of natural causes.


3) We are mad as “heck” and we aren’t going to take it anymore

Proposed Democratic plan to tax direct to consumer marketing ads are opposed by… (are you ready?)… the media! It is a given that the drug companies would have to pay billions more in taxes if they kept up their present pace of DTC ads. However, the media knows that the net effect will be less DTC ad revenue for them.



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4) Heavy Teenage (Norwegian) drinkers more likely mental cases

Higher rates of depression, anxiety and behavioral problems seen in the heavy drinkers. Study was a one-time snap shot and no cause and effect were proven. Unknown which came first; the mental health problems or the boozing.


5) Middle class afraid of health care overhaul

Many feel that Congress can not be trusted to get it right. Don’t fear Obama, keep squeezing and there will no longer BE a middle class to question your actions.


6) … and some Democrats fear healthcare reform as well.

Fifty congressional democrats express reservations, especially with the proposed cost. They want to make sure that all provisions are openly discussed before the bill go to the floor for a vote. Pelosi won’t stand for any delay and will have the government run health care bill passed before the August recess. (of course the Congressional Health Care perk package would remain unscathed)


7) Porcine patients + pig pflu = plot perchant

Patients with a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 40 (which is pretty fat) have more respiratory problems, morbidity, and a greater mortality risk. when they contract the H1N1 (swine) flu.  The morbidly obese are more likely destined for a cemetery plot than other, thinner patients who get H1N1.





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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