Category Archives: Drugs

Have pharmaceutical companies replaced tobacco companies as America’s number 1 killer?

Did you see the CNN special on prescription drugs (Deadly Dose: A Dr. Sanjay Gupta Investigation)?

Here are just two of the many interesting facts that came out during the segment;

  • 90% of the world’s opiate prescription drugs are consumed in the U.S and
  • between 1997 and 2007 the prescription of opioids increased more than 600%.

For those of you who have followed my coverage of the pharmaceutical industry starting with my 2009 post “Antipsychotic Prescriptions . . . for Children: Is the Medicaid Story Today’s Version of Go Ask Alice?,” in which I discussed the prescribing of these powerful drugs to children between the ages of 3 and 17, you will know that my research points to some pretty shocking revelations.

This being said I have to admit that the rate at which Americans consume painkillers caught me somewhat by surprise.  I am not talking about the fact that America is the biggest user of prescription pills mind you.  What I am referring to is the sheer numbers which tend to show a country that is out of control . . . medically speaking.

However, and eerily similar to a pusher of illegal drugs, the pharmaceutical industry representative that Gupta interviewed did a obvious bob and weave evasion in terms of answering the question regarding the industry’s role in facilitating the epidemic.  I only wish that Gupta had been more direct by putting out the question regarding the commonplace practice of off-label marketing that provides physicians with the incentive to over-prescribe drugs.

In January I will be airing a special in which I will talk with health industry experts about this growing problem.

In the meantime, what are your thoughts?  Has the pharmaceutical industry taken over from the tobacco industry as the biggest threat to the health of Americans?

The old drug of choice . . .

The old drug of choice . . .



According to Hemp News we forgot to include an important group in our poll on the legalization of Marijuana . . . our pets!

Okay, in the now I have heard everything category the Hemp News, which provides its readers with late breaking news on environmental and human friendly hemp, announced today that we are close – and how long have we been waiting for this major medical breakthrough, to having a medicinal pot patch for pets suffering from “arthritis, cancer, and other chronic pain.”

While the Hemp News reports that it is illegal in most states to provide and/or negligently allow a pet access to pot, a new spin on the my dog ate my homework lament, one can only hope that a legislative amendment is in the offing.

Of course, and as part of the process associated with revising current laws, the reported side effects are another possible obstacle to obtaining the prerequisite approvals including; listlessness, uncoordinated physical movements, disorientation, incontinence as well as other possible reactions.  Hmmmm sounds like a guy I know from the US who is now living up here in Canada and sponging off of our welfare system.

The one thing that I can’t figure out is how do you tell the difference between normal pet behavior and the purported side effects of the pet pot patch (say that one three times as fast as you can).  Take dogs for example.

Most of our furry canine friends already do nothing more than eat, sleep, beg for more food, poop, beg for more food, and lick their privates.  I mean, over the years has my dog unbeknownst to me been scoring Mary Jane?!

According to Tamar Love Grande, who writes for the Pets Adviser, I am not alone in my thinking.

Currently dropping a fat wad on Deramaxx for Ernie, a 9-year-old pit-boxer mix who has arthritis, Love Grande contemplates the possible effects of the pooch pot patch (still difficult to say three times fast).

While marijuana represents a more holistic and therefore safer alternative  to pharmaceutical pain management drugs, Love Grande worries because Ernie already acts stoned all the time.  She can’t help but wonder he will be able to “maintain” with a transdermal pot patch?

Ernie acts as if he is already stoned all of the time . . .

Canine concerns aside, I will tell you about which pets I am most worried . . . cats.

Unlike dogs, cats are generally speaking quite active, especially at night given their nocturnal inclinations.  They jump, climb, chase and often times catch anything from a mouse to a fly as well as scratch (including a $700 golf bag . . . but that’s a story for another day).  In short, they have a full and busy schedule.

My point is quite simply this, felines lead a very active lifestyle in which coordination and energy are part of their essential make-up.  Slap a patch on these critters and all you will end up with is a dog with claws and a longer tail.

Kidding aside, something that is a tad difficult to do in this instance, I can only wonder what people in other parts of the world (with the exception of Amsterdam), must think about North American society.  While a good number of our fellow human beings struggle with hunger and a lack of water, civil unrest and political upheaval, here we are discussing the merits of making it legal for our pets to get stoned.

All I can say is . . . only in America DAWG!

PS . . . Here is our poll which asks the question Should Pot Be Legalized?  Be sure to include pets when considering your response.