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Posts Tagged ‘Medicine’

Stepping aside from fly fishing for a moment…

Most of what you hear about Medicine and medical research today involve potential revenue and profits for the major players (big pharma, genetic research labs, medical research labs etc…). There has been a push for patents in everything from future pharmaceutical drugs to newly discovered and even yet undiscovered genes. It is refreshing then when true sharing of free data and research occurs with the combined goal of finding a cure to end disease. The end result of this collaborative effort is simple… we need more of it.

‘Rare Sharing of Data Leads to Progress on Alzheimer’s’

By GINA KOLATA, New York Times 8/12/10

In 2003, a group of scientists and executives from the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the drug and medical-imaging industries, universities and nonprofit groups joined in a project that experts say had no precedent: a collaborative effort to find the biological markers that show the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in the human brain.

Now, the effort is bearing fruit with a wealth of recent scientific papers on the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s using methods like PET scans and tests of spinal fluid. More than 100 studies are under way to test drugs that might slow or stop the disease.

And the collaboration is already serving as a model for similar efforts against Parkinson’s disease. A $40 million project to look for biomarkers for Parkinson’s, sponsored by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, plans to enroll 600 study subjects in the United States and Europe.

The work on Alzheimer’s “is the precedent,” said Holly Barkhymer, a spokeswoman for the foundation. “We’re really excited.”

The key to the Alzheimer’s project was an agreement as ambitious as its goal: not just to raise money, not just to do research on a vast scale, but also to share all the data, making every single finding public immediately, available to anyone with a computer anywhere in the world.

No one would own the data. No one could submit patent applications, though private companies would ultimately profit from any drugs or imaging tests developed as a result of the effort.

For the rest of the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/13/health/research/13alzheimer.html?_r=1&hp

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America’s current state of healthcare is beyond the need of a bailout. Healthcare is a right and not a selective, top-down responsibility of government. As a 4 year volunteer at my local community health center I have been witness to an exponential influx of uninsured and working poor families who cannot afford skyrocketing healthcare costs.

 

In last Tuesday night’s debate, Senator John McCain mentioned community health centers as one solution to America’s healthcare issue and a $5,000 tax rebate for people who can find (afford) insurance. The problem with McCain’s ‘plan’ is that it does nothing to address the current state of healthcare in which insurance and pharmaceutical companies and their respective lobbyists wield unprecedented power. In Alaska, one insurance company has an over 80% market share and enjoys a relative monopoly for setting costs. As a result, healthcare costs in Alaska are the highest in the nation. As a double whammy, no physicians other than our clinic in Anchorage are taking on new Medicare patients. None.

 

The sad reality is that Alaska is bulging with oil tax revenue from record oil prices. In fact, Governor Palin and the state just gave every Alaskan a $1,200 Energy Rebate along with the yearly Permanent Fund Dividend of $2000.

 

Sarah Palin on Healthcare: ADN October, 9th, 2008:

 

…“Palin, however, ignored the council’s recommendation to extend state health insurance to more children and pregnant women in poor and middle class families. She spurned that idea even though the federal government pays more than half the cost. In Alaska, only children in families earning 175 percent of the federal poverty level, or less, are eligible. For a family of three, that’s a maximum of $38,500. Most states offer such insurance to families with earnings at 200 percent, or double the federal poverty level — $44,000 for the family of three.

 

If Palin had supported the move, legislators pushing to cover more Alaska children might have succeeded. But Palin was simply absent from that discussion in this year’s Legislature. Palin also did not take a stand on ambitious legislation that would have improved health care coverage — a bill to ensure that all residents have health insurance, without disrupting the coverage that many Alaskans already have. Supporters of the bill knew it wouldn’t pass, but they would have appreciated some support from Gov. Palin.”

 

http://www.adn.com/opinion/story/549081.html

 

In a time when Alaska is enjoying a record budget surplus, the satellite community health center located in the poorest neighborhood in Anchorage was forced to close due to a lack of funding. The now lone community health center which serves over 12,000 patients in Anchorage is overcrowded, underfunded and overworked. As a volunteer in the type 2 diabetes department (consisting of a staff of 2 including myself), we serve over 1,200 type 2 diabetics.

 

Health clinic for poor, uninsured to close Published: January 23rd, 2008

 

http://www.adn.com/anchorage/story/291684.html

 

Many conservatives mention the term ‘socialized’ when mentioning Obama’s healthcare plan. McCain is a product of ‘socialized’ medicine. The son of a military admiral, McCain also served in the military enjoying government provided healthcare.

 

One of the main complaints some conservatives repeat ad nauseam is that government programs promote a hand-out society. In my opinion this backward mentality is one reason why we are in such a desperate state. George W. Bush’s tax cuts for corporations, insurance companies and the wealthy have reversed the progress and budget surplus enjoyed during Clinton’s presidency. John McCain’s tax plan not only mirrors Bush’s plan but further reduces taxes for the wealthiest individuals and corporations. The free market mentality of health insurance and medicine embraced by Bush and McCain have opened the doors for insurance and pharmaceutical companies to lobby and monopolize a ridiculously lucrative business which is bankrupting hardworking American families and small businesses.

 

The McCain Healthcare Plan: Designed to Fail

 

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/7/231021/923/1007/623449 

 

The patients of our community health center represent the failure of our society and of our leaders. The close to 50 million uninsured Americans are not looking for hand-outs. The millions of American children without health insurance and proper healthcare represent just how severe the situation is. There is no excuse for this blatant neglect. There is no reason to justify this abuse of America’s future. 

 

The patience and savings of Americans have dried up under a failed healthcare system. A John McCain/Sarah Palin leadership would further worsen the American healthcare crisis beyond the unimaginable mess of the Bush era. Couple this with the current global economic crisis and Americans cannot even tread water let alone afford the status quo.

 

‘Alaska Medicare patients rejected by doctors’ Oct. 21, 2008

http://www.adn.com/life/health/story/562445.html

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