Monthly Archives: October 2018

Brand-Name Drugs, Generic Drugs

If you’ve thought about buying prescription drugs on the internet you may have found the whole experience rather confusing. Here are some questions you might have wondered about.

  • Are generic drugs as good as brand-names?
  • Are drug copies such as “generic viagra” safe to use?
  • Does it matter if a drug is not “FDA approved”?
  • Are you breaking US law if you buy non-FDA-approved drugs on the internet?

These are just some of the questions many people have about online pharmacies and online drugs. The purpose of this article is to answer some of these questions

1. What is a Generic Drug?In the US and many other countries, a “generic” drug is a copy of a brand-name drug. It has identical active ingredients as the brand-name version, and so it is the same as the brand-name version in dosage, safety, strength, quality, performance, and intended use.

A generic version of a brand-name drug is not just similar to its brand-name counterpart. It is identical in all its important characteristics. It must not look like the brand-name version, and it may have a different flavor. But the amount of important active ingredients is the same,and therefore it has the same therapeutic characteristics as its brand-name counterpart.

2. Does every Brand-Name Drug have a Generic Counterpart?

No, every brand-name drug does not have a generic counterpart. This is especially the case with newer drugs such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. These brand-name formulations are patent-protected for 20 years from the date of the submission of the patent. That means that no other drug company can introduce a “generic” version of any of these drugs while its patent is in effect. This allows the original developer of the brand-name drug to recover research and development costs.

When the patent for a specific drug expires, other companies — including the original developer of the brand-name drug — can apply to the FDA to sell generic versions.

This also explains why legitimate generic drugs are cheaper than their brand-name counterparts. A generic manufacturer does not have to recover research and development costs and can therefore sell them for less. This also has a tendency to drive down the price of the brand-name version as well.

3. Do Generic Drugs have to be FDA-Approved?

Yes, all prescription drugs, including all generic drugs must be FDA approved. In order to be sold to the public, generic drugs must pass the same FDA inspections as their brand-name counterparts. They must be manufactured to the same high standards, and the facilities where they are produced are subjected to the same inspections. In fact, an estimated 50 percent of all generic drugs are produced by the same company that produces the brand-name version of the drug.

4. Is there such a thing as a Non-FDA-Approved Generic Drug?

No, technically speaking, there is no such thing as a non-FDA-approved “generic” drug.  As outlined above, legitimate “generic” drugs must have the same characteristics as their brand-name counterparts, and must pass through the same FDA approval process in order to be sold to the public.

When an offshore company copies a brand-name drug before its patent expires it cannot get FDA approval because it is breaking US law.

5. Problems with Offshore Copies of Brand-Name Drugs

There are two major problems with so-called “generic” drugs that are not FDA approved.

  • It is illegal to sell these drugs in the US (and other countries) because they are ignoring US and international patent laws
  • It is dangerous to buy and use these drugs, because they are not subject to inspection and regulation. According to some sources, “many of these generics are created in unsanitary, make-shift labs and over half of these medications tested are cited for being unsafe for onsumption.” In many cases they are found to contain “little to none or too much of the active ingredient.”

6. How Can You Be Sure You are Buying FDA Approved Drugs?

  • The website should say “FDA Approved” or “FDA Approved Pharmaceuticals”
  • Websites offering “generic” versions of newer drugs such as Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, and Propecia are selling non-FDA-approved versions of these drugs. These drugs have not been around long enough for their patent to have expired, so the “generic” copies are illegal copies.
  • Never buy from a website that has no phone number to call or physical address you can verify.
  • The online pharmacy should have knowledgeable licensed consultants able to answer your questions.

Jack Off Drugs And Island Bound

As if we needed any further reason to plant our asses on the couch for additional hour per week, Lost has come back for it’s 5th and penultimate season. The 2 hour premier, made up of two episodes Because You Left and The Lie did supply quite a bang to jump start my enthusiasm for the show again. While I don’t classify Lost as a television program as much as I do “digital crack” I think it managed to fulfill the fix more efficiently than Jack taking a trip to the hospital pharmacy.

One of the major successes that Lost has had over its run is how it’s managed make a slow transition from intense character drama with a touch of fantasy and mystery to a full blown sci-fi/fantasy program without losing a beat.

One of the major shortcomings of any fringe genre is when the focus is on the events, the technology, the magic and the fantasy rather than the drama itself. With Lost, so much time has been spent developing the characters over the past several seasons we can now enter this next phase of the program with a built in “I actually care” factor.

While the shift in genre was cause for the loss of some of the early fans, those that have stuck with it are being rewarded as all of the intense background study on our island castaways over the last several years comes full circle to bring us to a pay off over these final 2 seasons.

While it’s certainly debatable, I believe we can officially proclaim that season 5 is giving us a sharp change in the format of the program. The flashbacks/forwards are now gone-well, sort of since we’re basically now following two story arcs happening 3 years apart. Confident that we know these characters, it can now begin to generate intrigue and action around them at a breakneck pace without fear of losing our interest.

I did have a substantial concern going into the premier that this new direction, taking so much of the show’s focus to the characters’ struggles on the mainland, was going to start to dull the edge and possibly break the entire show down. This is obviously not the case. We did get an outstanding 2 hours to start season 5.

I was afraid the entire “move” of the island in the finale of season 4 was going to be a cheap plot device. Now we see that this was only the start of a major development that is driving the story forward. The care with this show has been built is letting us swallow whatever craziness the writers are prepared to throw us at this point.

So what did we really get in these two hours?

o A series of unfortunate events: almost all the characters have now been given a monkey on their back the size of King Kong which serves to give them motivation to return to the island. While the specifics are different for all of them, it simply comes down to, as episode 2’s title puts it, “The Lie.” Per Locke’s warning at the end of season 4, the lie is destroying their lives seemingly to the point of no return. Now they all have strong motivation to get the hell out of dodge and back to the island…probably permanently.

o Ben Linus: Savior or Schmuck? I vote schmuck. Michael Emerson is a brilliant actor. It’s never been more impossible to read the true intentions of a character from week to week. The little rat-bastard can’t be trusted. Hugo nailed it in episode 2, subjecting himself to jail on murder charges rather than trusting him. Gotta love hating this guy. Now the question is how many weeks before they spring the old Ben Linus on us?

o Sun and Kate, the thrill killers: if there’s anything that’s not thrilling me right now is the handling of these two at the end of last season and now through the beginning of this season. There is just something unsettling, and dare I say “uninteresting” about a bad-ass confident Sun. With Kate, the character just seems entirely out of the element that made her interesting to begin with. Also, while key to the story, is anyone else not looking forward to having a toddler drag down the action of the show? Maybe we can bring Claire back in just long enough to babysit the little rugrat when the time comes.

o Jack Off the drugs and alcohol and getting back to his old self? But which old self? I love the fact that they spent 3 full seasons building up Jack as the unwavering hero and protagonist of the show only to spend all of season 4 tearing the sonuvabitch down a few notches with his questionable judgment in his final days on the island as well his incredible fall into addiction once they were off. Really a brilliant roller-coaster ride with Jack so far. Bravo Matthew Fox.

o Locke still in the box: We have a living breathing Terry O’Quinn as John Locke in the program as we jump back and forth now between the two time lines, but at what point do the writers have to face bringing the guy back from the dead without crossing the threshold of ultimate cheese? All this time we’ve been watching the show play a game of “Good Locke, Bad Locke” with us, do we now get “Good Locke, DEAD Locke?”

o Daniel Faraday, your friendly neighborhood physicist. Can’t say much about Jeremy Davies’ portrayal of Faraday on Lost since Season 4 other than the fact that he has quickly become one of the best, most intriguing and most entertaining characters on the show. That’s not only my highest praise for Davies, but also for the writers in successfully being able to continue to inject new characters and angles into the program in successful ways.

o Sayid and Hugo, my official prediction. When the show comes to a close at the end of season 6, I believe that Sayid and Hugo will be the only two characters that don’t end up on the island and they will spin off into their own series. Tentatively titled The Fatwa and the Fatman, it will feature the unlikely pair sharing an apartment in downtown L.A. getting into a myriad of crazy misadventures.

Sayid, a cab driver by day and CIA hitman at night will struggle with his conscience and moral objections to violence each week when given his assassination target while Hugo continually struggles with his weight and mental illness issues. A large number of episodes will center around Hugo being in the wrong place at the wrong time and being inadvertently pinned with Sayid’s government sanctioned crimes. Dominic Mohaghan will star as the ghost of Charlie who appears to Hugo regularly as his spiritual advisor and moral compass. The pilot episode will center around Sayid’s first CIA assignment to hunt down and kill Walt.

Store Displays for Drug Stores

Half the battle of owning or managing a drug store is the display design and organization of the space. Customers should be able to find what they are looking for while experiencing a pleasant, clean, environment. Store fixtures play a huge role in accomplishing these things. Fixtures for displaying your merchandise can be purchased in a number of places online and in retail stores, and sometimes used from another drug store going out of business. If you are looking to fully supply a new store with fixtures, the average cost for drug stores and pharmacies is around $20k. this may seem like a huge investment, and it is. It will pay for itself over and over again.

There are so many types of store fixtures and displays that come in various materials. Typical, modern fixtures are usually a blend of wood and steel components, but some drug stores feature antique cases while others focus on medicinal distribution fixtures. Some of the most common fixture types are slatwalls, gridwalls, gondolas, merchandisers, literature racks, tables, shelving, hangers, and display cases. Each has a unique purpose and advantage. Slatwalls are perfect for electronic displays, make-up, and can even be used for medicine racks. Shelving units are probably the most substantial units you will need, and they will usually cover the main sales floor. Every item for sale must be considered when purchasing these units, so take the time to pick the right store fixtures.

Flexibility of function is the most important factor when picking out fixtures for these types of stores. Store fixtures can easily adjust for different types of display function are extremely convenient. For this reason, slatwalls are great for these purposes. The same wall can display so many different products. It is also important to account for those products that are heavier than usual or extremely large. They must be kept on fixtures that are supported by the floor, such as large metal shelving units.

Once you have decided how many fixtures to purchase, what types, and where they will go, the job is far from over. Stocking the store with merchandise must be done right the first time. Get organized by creating a written document or computer spreadsheet that includes each item and where it will be located. You can make things simpler by numbering or coding fixtures in different parts of the store. The more organized merchandise is, the more customers will enjoy shopping in your establishment.

Drugs and Mangosteen

Western medicine is a (relatively) new modality and people often confuse Western medicine with health.

But that is not what doctors do. Doctors are trained to keep us alive. They have nothing to do with wellness, except insofar as it helps keep us alive. They may advise us to keep our cholesterol levels down, or to stop smoking but these are (from the doctor’s perspective) survival issues, not wellness issues. That these things do impact on our wellness is incidental (from the doctor’s perspective).

If it weren’t for doctors, I would not be here today. When I was 25 I got tuberculosis of the kidney, most unusual because tuberculosis tends to attack the lungs. Nonetheless I got it in the right kidney and I was in bad shape, urinating blood and pus and I was on the way out when the doctors stepped in with their powerful drugs and surgery and saved my life. I would have died without their help.

The point is… I was kept alive – which is what doctors do – but I WAS NOT CURED.

After the operation, after all signs of the tuberculosis germ had disappeared, I was still unwell. I had no energy, I was depressed, I fell asleep during the day for no apparent reason (doctors put me on methedrine to keep me awake!), I caught colds and the flu easily, I had impossible amounts of body odour (a real problem for someone 25 and dating girls!)… in other words, I was alive but not well.

You see, that is the difference. Doctors have no training in curing people or in wellness. They can get rid of the germ, or invading substance – they are good at that – but they do not address the underlying CONDITIONS that allowed that germ to thrive in the first place.

Doctors are trained to, and can only, step in when symptoms manifest, at which point the disease has progressed to the stage that only harsh measures – drugs and surgery – can help! Which of course is risky, not to mention costly.

Now there IS a need for this. A lot of people (like myself) let things slide to the point where nothing but drastic intervention will keep them alive and I daresay a lot of people (myself included) are alive today only because of drastic intervention

But that comes at a cost and collateral damage is high.

In a country as small as Australia (20 million population) 18,000 people die each year at the hands of doctors (The Bulletin, Sep. 2006). That is 345 people per week, or 49 people per day dying as a result of “medical bungles” (as The Bulletin called them). That is a lot of deaths in a country as small as ours.

Worse, another 50,000 are injured as a result of medical treatment. That is 961 injuries per week, or 137 injuries per day.

That, again, is a lot, for a small country.

But wait! It gets worse…

The above figures are only the ones we KNOW about.

There is, according to The Bulletin, “chronic under reporting” by doctors and hospitals, so the actual figures are probably much higher again.

And these are not just numbers. They are real people suffering real injuries or having their lives cut short. The September issue of The Bulletin, from which we just quoted, featured a stunningly beautiful middle Eastern girl, about 19 years of age, whose life was still ahead of her, but it came to an abrupt end because of a medical mistake.

AND WE HAVE TO ACCEPT THIS. If we want medicine to step in and keep us alive when our bodies break down, then we have to accept the downside.

We cannot have it both ways. We cannot have a benign medicine that is drastic at the same time. Western medicine is harsh and deadly. It keeps us alive by killing. The word antibiotics means just that: anti-bios, against life. Medical treatments kill cells indiscriminately, both the good cells and the bad cells in the hope that our good cells outnumber the bad ones!

And that is a whole different modality than the use of the mangosteen and other wholefood supplements.

The difference is this. Western medicine removes or suppresses the symptoms, while supplements (the good ones) remove the underlying conditions which bred the symptoms.

Based on the above, my recommendation is this:

1 – always go for supplements first – (that is, before noticeable symptoms) – for PREVENTION.

2 – if symptoms present themselves but are not life-threatening, go for supplements and a sensibly altered lifestyle (that is, nothing too radical).

3 – if symptoms persist, or if it is a life or death situation, you may have to go for drugs or surgery, but… take the mangosteen (or a good supplement) AT THE SAME TIME. This will maximise the effect of the medical intervention, while minimizing the side effects.

I must stress: drugs have their place, but only as a LAST RESORT! Drugs kill! Do not ever be complacent about taking them. Treat them like a rattlesnake, a tad of whose venom may cure you, but too much will kill you.