Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[News item] Canada paying more than double for common generic drugs, study says | Metro

Canada paying more than double for common generic drugs, study says | Metro.

From the 14 October article

Canada is paying more than double for six commonly used generic drugs compared with other developed countries because of a “highly unusual” purchasing plan, according to a new study released Tuesday.

Researchers found that through a mix of negotiations with drug companies and calls for tender, countries such as New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Germany are paying less than Canada for generic medications that treat everything from high blood pressure to depression. It’s all thanks to a model the author of the study, Amir Attaran, calls “a uniquely Canadian stupidity.”

The model implemented by the provinces and territories (except for Quebec) in April 2013 simply sets the price for the six generic drugs at 18 per cent of the price of the brand-name versions. At the time, the premiers, under the auspices of the Council of the Federation, said the six drugs represented 20 per cent of publicly funded spending on generic drugs and that the new spending plan was expected to save up to $100 million.

“The Canadian approach of setting a single price ceiling for multiple medicines is highly unusual,” says the study. “All other countries studied here have preferred competition or negotiation to varying extents.”

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October 16, 2014 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , | Leave a comment

[News item] Untested Stimulant Drug Found in 12 Weight Loss Supplements | Medication Health News

Untested Stimulant Drug Found in 12 Weight Loss Supplements | Medication Health News.

From the 10 October 2014 article

n a new study, 12 out of 14 supplements marketed for weight loss were found to contain a stimulant that has not been studied for human use. This chemical, known as DMBA (1,3-dimethylbutylamine) is pharmacologically similar to DMAA, which was banned by the FDA in 2012 due to multiple adverse effects, including death. Furthermore, DMBA containing products may have synonymous names printed on the label, such as AMP Citrate and 4-amino-2-methylpentane citrate. Some brands are even trying to market this product as an herbal product derived from tea. Given this recent finding, it is important to steer our patients away from using these weight loss and athletic enhancement supplements until further investigation takes place. Are there any specific supplements that you would feel comfortable recommending for weight loss? How do you promote a healthy diet and lifestyle to your patients?

 

For additional information, go to LiveScience.

October 16, 2014 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Reblog] Why FoodScapes

English: Map from the Global Hunger Index publ...

English: Map from the Global Hunger Index published by IFPRI, Welthungerhilfe and Concern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why FoodScapes | FoodScapes.

From the 8 October post

Global food trade has come a long way. Is it for the better or has it made survival, nutrition, diversity and safety better.  There is a vast, complicated web of food systems throughout the globe. I think it is an essential topic that influences public health or vice versa. Consumers have a variety of fruits and vegetables at their fingertips due to even more complex trade agreements.  We have become dependent on import/export of foods, that many of us have completely lost touch or are growing up not knowing where our foods come from and how it came to be in its form. It is what we eat.  Be advised that a good portion of what I do write about (rusty) will pinpoint New Mexico.  However, much of what I write is based on a perspective of think local, act global and I feel that foodshed research is essential to that kind of thinking.  Below are some examples.

High Food Price Index Coincides with Civil Unrest: Surely people fight over this stuff as it posits a large portion of a nation’s wealth.  There are numerous studies done by economists and Food and Agriculture Organization that negatively correlate a global hunger index and food price index and incidences of civil unrest.  According to a Cornell University study, an analysis of Arab nation uprisings coincided with food index price increases.  They did also acknowledge and control for other social justice and political issues, but it would be difficult to ignore the relationship between food and other issues in a country.

This could be for a number of reasons, and I believe that this has to do with balancing expenses and food being the highest expense. It is one of my biggest monthly expenses and has been getting much harder to budget into the household income.  And I cook often and find myself scratching my head wondering why $20 doesn’t go as far as it used to, but at least that is all I do and that is a privilege-not the case across the globe.   This reached a high in 2010 and the anger was very apparent in Egypt.

food commodity price index                 foodpriceindex72014

Food shed and Local Economies: There is a significant economic impact that the food industry has on local markets, such as small rural communities that can make or break job opportunities and small business entrepreneurships.  In New Mexico 90% of agricultural products directly or indirectly related to the food industry are exported as reported in Dreaming New Mexico.  The same goes for imported food.  However, much of the imported food is not the same shape as when it was imported and has been transformed into a food product.

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October 16, 2014 Posted by | environmental health, Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Reposte Food fights back: London researchers tap yogurt as toxin defender | Metro

Biggest concern for me is what happens to the toxins after they leave one’s body? How do they impact our environment???

English: Nonfat Yogurt

English: Nonfat Yogurt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Food fights back: London researchers tap yogurt as toxin defender | Metro.

From the 8 October article

f you want to defend yourself against poison, eat yogurt.

That’s the – simplified – idea behind research published by experts in London.

A study led by scientists at Lawson Health Research Institute showed that probiotic yogurt can reduce the absorption of certain heavy metals and environmental toxins by as much as 78 per cent in pregnant women. They have said it’s the first clinical evidence that yogurt can cut the health risks of mercury and arsenic.

But don’t race to the grocery store just yet. This is a scientific study, so its results don’t suggest a miracle cure. Also, it was a specific type of yogurt, with specific bacteria, so it’s not so easy to find on the shelves.

“It’s not something you can take as a preventative measure,” Bisanz, the first author on the paper.

He warned that acute poisoning would mean different, more conventional treatments. But these findings about yogurt are exciting, the researchers said, and a “starting point” for further research about foodstuffs as a defence against environmental toxins. It could have a “massive” impact on the quality of life for many people, Bisanz added.

“When we try and get funding for this kind of stuff, it’s difficult because people think it’s farcical, or it’s too simple, or it’s Africa; it’s not here,” Reid said. “We kind of go out on a limb to say, ‘Let’s do the study and not worry so much about how to do it,’ but then you get the results back and you think, ‘This is cool’.”

Next up is more study into more strains of bacteria, the scientists said. Other types could block other toxins, and Bisanz is spearheading more research.

October 16, 2014 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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