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Author Archives: sophiblanc

During my years of public school, and specifically during middle school and high school, I played highly competitive sports; running as a track athlete in state and national meets, endurance training and running all across New York, as well as playing on a US Soccer team in the Netherlands and playing against college and professional Soccer teams in the US. Through all of that, I cannot recall ever even considering to use drugs as a go-to means of assisting my performance, or preventing something that might not even occur. I recall hopping into a bucket of ice for a few minutes, occasionally rubbing icy hot on some of my burning muscles prior to sleeping, and I remember guzzling liter after liter of water, but not once did it ever occur to me to subject myself to the use of a drug, a man-made  medical creation intended for prescription use, as a means to prevent a feeling of pain, (to some extent any feeling in a given muscle at all) or to avoid hindering my performance. New York Times’ writer’s Ken Belson and Mary Pilon discuss the evolving cases of current NFL teams with their partial prophylactic use of anti-inflammatories, specifically Toradol, in the recently published article “Concern Raised Over Painkiller’s Use in Sports.” Of course this is not the first time we are seeing concern of drug-use in Sports, though I find this article especially intriguing while highlighting this over-arching phenomenon that so many (foremost) westerners hastily look to medicine for an answer to their health-related problems, or in some cases potential problems, prior to the consideration of any other form of assistance. Belson and Pilon make a critical point in abstracting the concern yielded by medical professionals on the “how” anti-inflammatories are being used among professional athletes. Often do people neglect use of their own intuition, or intelligence, et cetera, and habitually, without even taking a slight glimpse at their own actions, ask for or accept (medical) assistance.

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 Last week, New York Times writer Katie Thomas published an article “Generic Drugs Prove Resistant to Damage Claims,” exploring the effects that the establishment of the 1984 Hatch-Waxman Act has on patients in care and in need of medical drug assistance. Thomas surveys 3 well-related cases, all of which are firmly expressed examples of patients in medical care, receiving needed drug assistance, and finding themselves severely harmed and left in compromising positions due to the drug and/or the procedure needed to supply the drug to an individual; said examples were strongly advised to use the drugs in question. The Hatch-Waxman Act, more formally addressed as the Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act, was approved by congress in 1984 and ultimately allows drug companies to produce generic versions of brand-name drugs in a much more fast paced fashion and significantly, conveniently at a fraction of the cost. As long as these companies can effectively prove that their drug is of the same uniformity as the brand-name drugs their obligation to provide any warning or education of the drug other than what can be read on the label (labels are produced solely by the brand-name drug company,) is lifted. In other words, if patients who use a generic drug incur negative side effects, (such as the development of gangrene to a stage which forces the amputation of a body part, as Ms. Schork experienced according to Author Katie Thomas,) they are in no position to neither sue the drug company nor receive any form of reimbursement or assistance.

 By encouraging drug companies to recreate brand-name drugs and produce less-costly generic forms, individuals all across the globe are more or less granted their use; though the Hatch-Waxman Act quite obviously encourages the prior, they informally produce a double standard when the producers of generic drugs have no legal responsibilities intact when drug use has unsettling results, furthering the infringement of those individuals who are unable to obtain the use of brand-name drugs.

 At no point in Thomas’ article are references made to, what I presume as being plausible, the liability of hospitals and/or health care providers in any of the three cases publicized. Numerous times have I personally been under care when my provider didn’t even bother to check my allergies prior to prescribing drugs, let alone ask whether I cared for a brand-name drug or a generic version; with this in mind I am at a loss of where I find the error – who ought to be blamed? It seems to me that the Hatch-Waxman Act was not passed to further inhibit individuals in need of medical and drug assistance, rather the opposite, as assistance for those. Yet, plenty instances of uneasiness arise throughout the cases which Thomas presents in her Times’ article, leaving the begging of the question: who needs to be held responsible?

Are compulsory vaccinations being put into place as a means to maintain and increase standards of health among populations? Are compulsory vaccinations being put into place as what has become a simple means of accruing monetary gain? This week, both of my sisters became sick with the flu, and interestingly, this year was the first in many that both of my sisters received flu shots! They did as doctors and many others advised, vaccinated themselves to prevent illness, and now they are sick. I am currently on the hunt to understand the potential benefits, the possible harmful side effects, along with the skepticism’s and the concerns of vaccines; I would like to imagine that health professionals have been and are continuing to do the like.

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