Search this site

ppp- Current issues

Contact Us



Pepin's Pharmaceutical Prattle for 09-14-2009

 Quote of the day:

This country has come to

feel the same when

Congress is in session as

when the baby gets hold of a hammer.

           Will Rogers (1879 - 1935)    

Good Morning!

Mule Head Stew

I was passing by my wife’s open cookbook before sitting down to dinner last week and the title “Mule Head Stew” jumped out at me from the top of page 84.

The ingredients included:

         1 large stringy mule head

         6 lbs old black tater (the ones you forgot to throw out)

         2lbs slick brownish orange carrots (the bag that got lost behind the lettuce)

         1 large can of Dinty Moore beef stew

         1 box salt

         5 qts of dirty dish water.

         (Feeds 8 hungry relatives or 50 regular folks)

The cook was instructed to combine the 1st 3 ingredients with the box of salt in a large Dutch oven and cover with the dirty dish water. “Boil 2 hours until the hair floats. Serve to company”. We were then instructed to “Open Dinty Moore beef stew and heat in separate saucepan, eat yourself.” According to the folklore surrounding this hard times delicacy the “riff-raff” and “company” will be gone back home before you have to open the can of stew.

I believe that there are a few “mule heads” in Washington trying to cook up a variation of this same stew and pass it off as health care reform. If you take the time to read the proposed bills you will see that the ingredients are about as palatable as those listed in the cookbook. By the time the stew is completed and passed into law (don’t think for a moment that any amount of public backlash will stop the desire to pass this bill) it will reek. When we “riff-raff” are hungrily gobbling up their stew Congress simply has to open their can of Dinty Moore (aka Congress’ separate and pretty sweet health insurance plan.) I might be able to get behind the “health insurance reform” if Congress would agree to be covered ONLY under the plan they pass. I would expect a different set of ingredients but understand that we all will be handed the bill (with 20% gratuity already added).

My dinner? It turns out that my bride of almost 35 years had made Reyes Mexican Zucchini Stew from page 85. I was still a little apprehensive until after the first bite… I had noticed that we were all out of mule heads.

Have a GREAT week!



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

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) Decay drug dope

Lawsuit claims that the sugar in Actiq, the pain killing narcotic sucker, lead to tooth decay. While the package insert does mention this, I guess that they should have either used ALL CAPS or the words “very, very” If your narcotics are giving you tooth decay do you think you might need to back off a bit?


2) One shot H1N1 vaccine instead of 2

Good news for those who fear needles but still want to avoid the H1N1 (swine) flu… researchers have shown that a single shot of a “regular dose” of the new vaccine is enough to provide protection. The use of a 2 shot regimen would have lead, of necessity, to rationing. Things will still be tight but only half as bad as previously thought.


3) Who gets Tamiflu?

According to the CDC, only HIGH RISK patients should receive the antiviral drug used against influenza. HIGH RISK patients are those with asthma, diabetes or lung disease, or are pregnant. I’m sure that somewhere in the fine print there is an exception for the privileged in Congress (you don’t think I’m too cynical do you?)



 Click picture to learn about

     Hook or Crook

   Upscale, one-of-a-kind handbags accessories





4) Not just for thick mucous anymore!

Mucomyst (n-acetylcystine) is used via inhalation to break up thick secretions. It is also used in Tylenol overdoses. Now it appears that the drug has protective effects against the kidney damage seen with the contrast media used for many x-ray examinations.  I suspect that this will double the drug’s use in the short run. Time will tell if this really works as well in clinical practice.


5) Here’s a not-so-hot flash

Gabapentin (Neurontin), an anticonvulsant, found to help women with hot flashes sleep better. The drug also reduced hot flashes as much as “the gold standard”, estrogen.


6) Pharma (84%) second only to health insurance companies (90%) in blame

A recent Harris poll asked who was responsible for the country’s health care woes. I was surprised that pharma ranked so high since they developed all of the drugs now available to treat or mitigate disease, give away so much to the poor and we now have a Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. I suspect that politicians will rise in the rankings from their lowly numbers in the 69% to 74% range. The good news is that only 30% feel that blame should be anything but mildly attached.


7) Avoid the “white death”

Billions of dollars could be saved in healthcare if Americans would heed warnings about the amount of table salt that they consume. Too much can lead to hypertension, stroke, kidney and cardiac disease. (Did you know that the word SALARY was derived from the practice of paying workers with salt?)






Welcome| |Contact Us| ||Shopping| |Privacy| |Corey Nahman Link|

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