Monday, April 30, 2007
Husky Vs Cat - video powered by Metacafe
This little kitty should not be judged by its color, even if she is 'white.' She is one brave feline and tries to put the Husky Alpha Dog in its place and defend its territory. However, IF the Husky wanted to, he/she could end the life of the little white kitty in a moment. But, thankfully, the Husky is the picture of compliancy and kindness to the bitty kitty. Now, if this was mapped into this BLACK Kitty and the Huskies she has to deal with daily, they would be chasing her around.. then sniffing her, then ignoring her. Such is the life of a Black Kitty, who has about a quarter of the spunk as this ying to my yang baby cat.
This video is a very good example of a consensual power exchange between two mammals. At some level, the kitten KNEW that Husky would not harm her, and at some level, I am totally assuming that the dog found the kitty amusing, young, and full of spunk. But the real power, is in the exchange of power. The dog lets the cat be the boss, even though the dog knows full well it is really in charge.
Peace and Love all...
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Rost talked to Roe, and her answers are very cogent and articulate with respect to the role of Pfizer in marketing a drug before it has been approved by the FDA. This is very illegal, yet the medical director of the HIV unit, who has no HIV clinical experience himself, along with a drug rep, went to MD offices to try to sign up patients for "trials" of the medication.
I find it amazing and 60 Minutes-like in reporting the fact that Dr. Rost has copies of the SLIDES for the presentation that was given to MDs on the sly. YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THEM. The Powerpoint is full of graphs and cool pictures. The graph here shows that the viral load is significantly decreased in comparison to placebo. Its also true that being open about your sexual orientation and HIV status lowers Viral load and CD4 count, and its drug-free.
This looks like SALES to me, however, tt is my opinion, that Pfizer needed to UP their N (number of people successfully taking the drug) and that, rather than advance sales, is what drove Pfizer to supposedly break the law. No matter the reason, the deed was wrong.
WHAT is UP with Pfizer these days? Are they on Crack?
It seems as though they are acting like meth or crack addicts by greedily breaking all the rules to infuse themselves with their favorite green happiness... the dollar.
SHOUT OUT TO JANE ROE FOR HAVING THE COURAGE AND INTEGRITY TO SPEAK OUT. THANK YOU!
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Saturday, April 28, 2007
Looking at my last month's worth of posts, I am in a Kitty Query Mode. What is it that I am trying to say with this blog? Which parts of me are feeling expressed, and which parts are being stifled?
I think that the Devil is in the splitting of blogs in order to express the multi-facets of our interests and personality. I am very multidimensional in personality and nature. The cat family is known for these characteristics: They trust few, eat where they are fed, they give love on their terms only and they can draw blood in a fraction of a second.
I have reached out to many people in my search for personal health, work satisfaction and creative outlets. When this Kitty starts meowing, growling, and hissing about these topics and the state of the globe, people RUN don't walk away and don't look back.. until they are at a safe distance.
I don't blame them. Wild cats are the Queens of the Jungle. They always have been, and they always will be, if MEN do not kill them into extinction. Certainly, MEN have tried to kill this Black Kitty, literally and figuratively. Several women also. This is the nature of me, the beast, the queen of my jungle.
Having lived many years among humans, I am keenly aware of dynamics that exist between people, and between society and their representatives. I don't feel represented well, by any of my current relationships with people or states. I don't know whether this is because I am ill, or because I am multi-dimensional, or because to put it into Dyer terms - "I have not yet found my match within my relationships, work for money, creative outlets, and my government."
It is for these reasons, that I have left my country, in both spirit and flesh. I intend to become a Canadian. My family knows this. I can no longer support my representatives at a State or Federal Level. I can no longer tolerate it.
I am also a scientist, a mother, and an outsider. There has never been any one place in my life where I fit perfectly. I don't know the answer. I wish I did.
In the past months, I have contacted off line just about every blogger for which I could find an Email address. I offered up myself, to each of them, in support of their charitable mission of blogging for truth, justice, and choice in PHARMA land, and in health services research. My almost 30 years of experience working with the top PHARMA academic partners was essentially of no real interest to anyone, but me of course :)
It is for this reason that I am going to go it alone now. I am not going to hide behind the magnificent ALPHA DOG Bloggers anymore. They are intellectually stimulating, informative, timely, and generally most of them seem like really great people you would love to have to dinner. I just HOPE with all my heart, that they stop fighting. This Kitty tried to run around their legs.. making them chase HER instead of each other, but alas, their fighting for timeliness and ALPHA-ness has driven several very important bloggers out.
I don't think Peter or John or Ed or Jim or Phillip or CP wanted to do this. I don't think the wonderful Health Related or other composite or summary type blogs wanted to do this either. I just think, everyone should take a deep breath... and ask themselves this glorious sunny weekend (ok.. I am in a great place):
WHERE IS THE LOVE?
Two persons identifying themselves as New York police officers interrupted a 9/11 Truth demonstration on a public sidewalk in front of the new WTC 7 Building to intimidate free speech, stating "Larry [Silverstein] doesn't want to hear it," before accusing We Are Change founder Luke Rudkowski of having a bomb and that his cell phone was "a gun."
This video is VERY disturbing. Everyone should watch it, to understand what is going on RIGHT NOW in NYC. Our personal freedoms are at risk. Does anyone care? Will this story even get covered in our National Media.
Hearing the cops taunt the activists, well, it confirmed my worst fears.
This Kitty is staring with her ears back and feeling very uneasy...
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Friday, April 27, 2007
Lilly - Reconcile: pets on Prozac
Eli Lilly and Co., which built its reputation on insulin and antidepressant Prozac, launched its first prescription medicine for pets on Friday.
The company will market Reconcile, a beef-flavored chewable fluoxetine tablet that helps treat dogs for separation anxiety, in the United States.
I knew this was coming. My Kitty Vet was prescribing Prozac for Kitties over 5 years ago. He got in trouble (with who, I don't know) and was not allow to prescribe it, or Interferon for Kitties any more.
I think this is where PHARMA is going... to the dogs. Us CATS are too damn smart to be bothered with these Doggie drugs. In my opinion, Pets should BE like Prozac (theoretically not literally): They should make us feel less depressed and not give us side effects that we find intolerable. My boys.. Simon and Theo.. they are the Kitty loves of my life...
I think the REAL study that is screaming to be actualized, is a trial comparing head on, the psychiatric disorders in the OWNERS of PETS who ask for DOGGIE PROZAC in contrast to matched dogs and owners who would never think of asking for DOGGIE PROZAC . Is asking for Reconcile a projection of the owner's mood state? Is it Münchhausen by Pet?? Is it a disparate attempt to call to the attentions of a doctor (albeit a Vet) the owner's inability to "bond" with their pet. Or just maybe... your pet actually thinks you are sub par.. and considers its life... well... depressing.
How much time do you spend playing with your pet?
I am sad... AND I AGREE that the bickering has gotten out of control. On all the ALPHA DOG BLOGS, I meowed and meowed for them to stop their fighting and unite in the mission. I told them to outsiders like me, it seemed that their were only subtle differences in the content between the snarky bloggers.
I will really miss reading you every day, Giles... best of luck for whatever you do in the future. And, please, if you do write again, will you direct me to the new URL?
Several other bloggers, like Furious Seasons and others whose privacy I will respect, are rethinking their blogging commitment.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
There he goes again:
"Wait for the next story I'm working on: Major drug company is alleged to have used the sales force to market a drug way before approval. And the drug is still not approved! I have the slides, I have the story and I'm talking to another anonymous whistleblower."
I am going to close my eyes and meditate on the positive intention, that he means me. I know this is NOT the case, but a Kitty can dream!
I am so very close, personally, to writing my story. This is a story of an innocent idealistic little black kitten that was adopted by a departmental CHAIR in a very famous medical school in the early 1980's. It is a Dickens's type story.
The kitten turned Kitty, who once was the CHAIRS favorite pet, personal psychotherapist and idea fountain, for reasons that were understandable and not understandable, became pathologically hated by the CHAIR.
The Kitty became psychologically and physically too ill to dwell in the Ivory Catbox over time. At this point in time, negotiations for my replacement(s) are 2.5 full FTEs to replace .65 of Kitty FTE. The only good I can see out of it is that my staff will all hopefully, if the Kitty is scary enough, get promotions and more permanent job. I guess three young kittens getting good jobs are worth one old black kitty getting kicked to the curb!!
Today the hard core issues were laid out... lets put these in kitty terms: bad and abusive owners over the life of the kitty.. about 26 yrs to be exact; food that was not produced according to legal standards; fishing and fishing for that toy that will lure in the kitties to the catnip; and of course.. all the interesting characters one meets in the collective Ivory Catboxs that comprise the feeding frenzy of NIMH and PHARMA $$.
This kitty wishes she knew if the big ALPHA DOGS which she loves actually can earn a living from writing and blogging. This Kitty is totally camera shy, so Rost type TV appearances are not possible. If any Health Care or Pharma blogger would wish to help me with understanding this situation I would greatly appreciate it.
Peace and Love and Catnip
Dr. Black Kitty
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Monday, April 23, 2007
I copied the whole post below, or you can click on the link if you like. I hope this doesn't violate the blogger rules, but the credits all go to Pharma BlogoSphere, who put his blog where his words lay. This morning, he asked for beginning bloggers and others, to submit the mission of their blog to him. This was so gallant and positive, that I couldn't resist. Also, knowing that serious intellectuals and those with good humor about PHARMA (sorta kinda) MIGHT actually read this blog from time, keeps me on the straight and narrow, in terms of topics to post.
A big purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr :)
Monday, April 23, 2007
BK, author of the blog "The Black Kitty - All Things Health Care Related" sent the following message of love and peace to us "alpha dogs" of the Pharma BlogosphereTM in a comment to a recent post on this blog. I thought it deserved more prominence!
As an outsider closely observing your alpha dog PHARMA blogger WARS, I can say, that in my very HUMBLE and RESPECTFUL opinion, you all should really stop focusing so much on the negatives in each others work product and use your positive intentions to build up all bloggers who share, lets say 50% or more common information or linkages to your sites.Black Kitty sounds like someone we should get to know better, even though she does seem a bit enamored of Peter Rost!
Its a big cluster f*&*( to those who peak in for the first time). YOU ALL link so intensely to each other, I actually thought you were all one person. You don't sound even write all that differently in style. Except, Dr. Rost and Pharma Giles who are both unique, very informative, timely, and funny as hell at times.
Even little tic unread blogs like mine, Black Kitty at gcic. blogspot.com love getting recognition from you big dog health care bloggers.
There are several exceptionally good blogs trying to break in to get to your levels of popularity (e.g., clinical psych, furious seasons, pharma-analyst, WSP).
I believe that YOU as a community are committed to getting other men into your ALPHA DOG network of top health care blogers. You all are doing a good job of helping SOME of them.
I received PRICELESS help from Dr. Rost. Just mentioning my blog on his, gets me 100 hits in a few hours. That IS BIG TIME FOR ME. It makes me and my family really happy to see the increasing bang on analytics.. totally provided courtesy of Dr. Rost.
Thank you, TO ALL OF YOU. I LOVE reading and commenting and being a general pain in the ass.
I AM a very good statistican, and if you want to talk data analysis of your blogger survey or more objective measurement(for free) let me know.
Love and Peace,
Posted by John Mack at 7:20 AM
Sunday, April 22, 2007
The bottom line is that legally and ethically a company needs to have a double blind placebo controlled trial that compares 2 medications directly, head to head. Not indirectly by - A is Better than B, and B is Better than C - therefore A is a better treatment than C?
This is only true if things are measured perfectly, without error, in a perfect world. ONE WOULD THINK that if we are dealing with PEOPLE'S LIVES HERE, the government would insist that all PHARMA marketing claims are rigorous, honest, crystal clear and explained at the appropriate intellectual level for all types of audiences... doctors to consumers.
The tapes are scary. Evil is so ordinary. That is what gives me chills.
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Because this is THC, WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR A HUMAN CANCER TREATMENT. This is because THERE IS NO PROFIT IN IT, YET FOR PHARMA. Who will fund this???? Don't you all think the National Institute of Health should fund studies like this??? WRITE TO YOUR LEGISLATURE!
Some news reports, quoted "independent" researchers, they were concerned that the mice seemed "intoxicated" with a loss in coordination and increase of appetite. THESE ARE THE BAD SIDE EFFECTS???? Compared to any other potential molecule, with a 60% reduction in the tumor size, it is SHOCKING, TO TRADE OFF HUMAN CURES BECAUSE GOD FORBID THEY MIGHT HAVE A STIMULATED APPETITE OR INTOXICATION. COMPARED TO THE TOXIC SIDE EFFECTS OF CHEMO... GIVE ME A BREAK.... MEOOOOOWWWWWW!
Enlightened people need to be proud of the fact they can use THC responsibily and can use their brains to decide the treatments they need best. No study has shown any difference between those who indulge and those who do not.
In this VERY PILOT study, it seems, that THC may be PROTECTIVE in some forms of lung cancer. This is a localized treatment.
However, taking restraints off of this type of research AND STARTING HUMAN RESEARCH will be very difficult. I HOPE it happens soon! I believe that we will end prohibition of THC in my life time. Pot Politics - Mitch - Catnip Science.
PLEASE look at the data. Adults CAN use Marijuana for medical reasons. WE NEED to start, in the United States. The penalty for MJ should be correlated closely where the PENALTY should be proportional TO THE HARM TO SELF OR OTHERS! Should the penalty fit the crime?
This Kitty thinks catnip should be grown where she lives. Some cats LOVE catnip, yet others, have no response to it at all. Some cats even chase their
If you are sincere, talk to the "normal" folks at McD's, become an educator and resource to others about the medicinial characteristics of catnip.
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Saturday, April 21, 2007
I wore my "Free the Vancouver 3" T-shirt that I had purchased a CC, had my lawn chair, food, water, happiness, great company, good weather, a bag full of stash crafts to GIVE AWAY and a big prize. Except for a few drunken testosterone filled young men, the crowd was very cool.
Shout out to the MC, David, for doing a great job, and tossing out huge amounts of rolled MJ for the crowd; it felt like a world, that I knew, long ago, back in the day!! Shout out to the handsome man in the woven hat and shades, who along with a beautiful woman, put me in a cab home at the end of an exhausting day. What INCREDIBLE ACTS OF KINDNESS. Thank you!
A special 4-20 shout out to two different kind and patient Ben's and a Great Chef, who was very enticing. Bravo to all the kind men and women.. for being so kind to a strange kitty. I saw a very cute young woman dressed as a cat.. .she rocked, and got a free Kitty Made Stash holder. I also met another very nice young lady, who loved containers as much as me It was a privileged to be able to give her some of my art.
Today on the very positive side, I bought several pairs of great shoes at the most famous of Vancouver shoe sales, Army - Navy store. This was my first shoe buying binge in years. Believe me when I say, I am now well stocked with shoes. I also bought a new purse and a suitcase to carry it all home on the bus. This is all good. I also bought party attire of a very young and sexy nature. This was an investment in my kitty esteem. Worth every Penny... even if only RRR sees it!!
The sad part of the story, is that The Prince decided, after sharing happiness with me and Isis in his office the hour before, that I was a "borderline stalker" and an "exhausting drain" on him (and his wife was implied).
Wow, this totally came out of the blue for me. Is the Prince suddenly allergic to Cats? Or did the Prince read my Blog? Isis is pure of heart and doesn't share said beliefs about this Kitty. Rock on, beautiful, intelligent Isis!!
I don't think the Prince would take the time to read my blog. Therefore, I have to conclude that the Prince currently dislikes this Kitty.
I am aware that I don't control what others think of me, and frankly, in this case, I am saddened rather than angry, due the loss of potential. However, to quote, RG, a TRUE friend "Its TIME, to put it DOWN." RG, is correct as usual. It IS time.
This is a good thing all around. The fine gentlemen of "no means no" shirt and my favorite named one with killer hair and eyes, were witnesses to the fact that all was well when they were there. As soon as they left, I went down to pack up my big suitcase of retail therapy, and I was surprised with some very hurtful words from the Prince who to quote his interview "never hurts anyone." Well YOU hurt me, but that is not YOUR fault, it is mine. I have a problem with what you said, not you as a person. You said what you felt, as you always seem to do. Power to the Prince, he will need it in the months to come. I wish him all positive outcomes.
My response is that the Kitty glares, ears back.. turns, throws up her tail.. and runs to the nearest exit... no more kitty crawling in that vaporous hideout. There are other places much more cat friendly. Nothing is forever. So if the Prince, changes his mind, I can be coaxed out, with a fresh piece of toro or a bowl of scoop of salmon roe. But without some really nice coaxing, it ain't happening.
A moment of silence, a bit of happiness of the blackest kind, and a fond goodbye sweet prince.. this is the best thing all around. NO WORRIES, BE HAPPY...
Love and Peace,
Dr. B. K.
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Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I agree with this posting. Peter Rost Rocks! And not only that, is leading a pack of wolves to the gates. For the first time since he started Whistleblowing, I think that he is coming into his own. I am so grateful that I can watch this unfold. Thanks Pharma BlogSphere for saying so articulately what I am thinking :)
Monday, April 16, 2007
Although "we" know little at this point, we know that supposedly the man who did the shooting was distraught over a break up with his girlfriend. Apparently, he shot up a dorm, then went to the engineering department, shot a professor and others there.
Romantic relationships can POTENTIALLY make us feel very good sometimes, and very bad sometimes. I think there should be clear public service announcements that help young adults have realistic expectations about relationships. The message could be that if a relationship is not working, LET IT GO. There are other potential relationships just around the corner. There could also be hot lines, where people can talk to supportive individuals about their relationship problems.
Working in a public hospital, I often saw people attempt suicide after being rejected from a relationship. I think it is all our duty to educate our friends, family and community, that rejection is a very bad feeling, and individuals who are vulnerable can take this rejection MUCH HARDER than the average gal/guy would. This vulnerable type of person may need some help from others or even a therapist to get past the rejection and resultant hurt and/or anger. If you have friends that need this kind of help, try to help them yourselves, by being unconditionally supportive, available at all times, and no matter how hard it is, hang in there!
When: May 13- 19;
Where: Washington DC
Why: Senate Passage of Whistleblower protection laws is essential to U.S security, health, freedom of speech and civil rights.
Promote passage of No FEAR II: second civil rights act of 21st century.
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Sunday, April 15, 2007
A follow-up to the story below. Today I went to a great film festival. There I met Isis, the beautiful wife of the very charismatic powerful man. As I said before I actually had the pleasure of making her acquaintance, she IS very beautiful inside and out! I talked to her about the issues in the posting, in fact, I told her about the posting. She was beyond gracious, listening to the Black Kitty meow and meow. Isis's attention was all positive and kind. She confirmed my hypothesis, that indeed she, better than anyone, understood Mr. Powerful. This was good news all around. I think this is all good. I loved the way she interacted with Mr. Powerful and me. Isn't is amazing what an black kitty can learn from a goddess.
It is a very interesting phenomena that powerful men no matter what they look like or what their ages are (think Kissinger or Bill Clinton), attract very beautiful women as "dates", "girlfriends", or"wives". Look at Monica Lewinski. She is a perfect example: A young lady drawn to a very powerful man who was twice her age because he is very sexual and wants her!
Recently, I personally observed this phenomena involving a man who is very charismatic and a globally recognized leader of a small segment of a very liberal global community. He is about 50, and has a wife who is 22. But this is not enough sexual validation for this man;. he still feels he needs to try to "get close to" just about any women who shows him the interest that he certainly is due within his environmental context.
I actually thought this man was like Hugh Hefner. Since his wife is very young, and he is frequently surrounded by his very young attractive "fans," I mistakenly thought he was bedding all his cute young female fans. He also led me to believe that this was the case.
Well the researcher-clinician in me (I take after Research Girl - see sidebar) had to try to understand the heads of these beautiful young fans with respect to sex with an attractive daddy-type more than double their age. So, I engaged these women (much harder than engaging young men for me :)) in an attempt to sort out their self-reported feelings about his groping behavior.
From observing their behavior personally, they appear to others (and myself) to ENJOY his fondling and sexual talk. I questioned 4 different women: They ranged in age from early 20s to late 30's, and they all shared the characteristic of being attractive women of various general types. Most of them are highly aware of Mr.'s wife, and they uniformly think she is beautiful inside and out.
What I found to be fascinating, is that when I actually spoke with these women who have shown that they are attracted to this powerful charismatic man like a moth to a bright outdoor light, NONE OF THEM have told me that they wanted to have sex with him. They really JUST WANT TO HANG OUT WITH HIM, AND ABSORB SOME OF THE POWER. HOWEVER, this doesn't defer the man, either in his real life behavior (or in what he tells other people) from trying to fondle, snuggle, and bed these enthusiastic women. I HAVE NOT FOUND ONE WOMEN WHO WANTS TO GO DOWN THE STAIRS TO HIS BED.
So here is the question for this posting. If you have the answer - PLEASE COMMENT.
Why don't the women tell Mr. Powerful to keep his hands and tongue to himself? Besides the obvious reason of not wanting to leave the "magic circle," and receive all the perks of being on his arm, something ELSE must be allowing these assertive women with fairly good boundaries and mental health to endure his constant behaviors, while at the same time they befriend his wife (FYI - they DO NOT have an open relationship).
My conclusion is that they know he is just playing. Its just his nature, his personality, and it has served him well for many years. They don't really take it seriously. They view his groping, more like a mild annoyance, the small price to be paid to be in the inner sphere. Maybe his wife has the same attitude. Maybe she appreciates his flirting abilities, and knows there will be no ACTUAL conclusions to his "harmless" groping and plotting.
His womanizing reputation (like Bill's) is both a big plus and a big minus. The plus is, that he is looks like Hugh Hefner to the outside world. The minus is that in the greater community his behavior DETRACTS from his MESSAGE. Society can invalidate the MESSAGE due to the MESSENGER'S BEHAVIOR. Maybe given the events that MAY happen in this man's future, I would behave as he does. Who knows? Who should be the judge of anyone's behavior? This Kitty doesn't go there.
Lastly, this posting is not a rant or attack on this great man (and I sincerely mean a man of great deeds who puts himself out there). I personally love so much about this man. He IS attractive, charismatic and he definitely is a man who HAS changed history. Am I also attracted to him? This Black Kitty has definitely rubbed around his ankles looking for attention; a nice petting or scratch behind the ears. The warmth of his eyes and hands on my fur IS very moving, however the eyes of his incredibly beautiful (inside and out) wife, makes this Kitty scamper into the dark recesses of the closet of safety. Thanks for the attention, Mr. Powerful. Also, THANK YOU for all your work to insure my PERSONAL FREEDOMS.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
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Dr. Peter Rost reports on a short but very meaningful conversation with a whistler blower at AZ. Here is his text below. Peter Rost is a very busy man. I constantly DIGG and write about him, but on the lists he publishes of OTHER blogs that quote HIM, I AM NEVER INCLUDED. This Kitty craves attention... but alas, she is a small flea in a pack of very big alpha wolves.
My positive intention is to spread his word - minus his self promotion. I wish he would see the light of how I can help him in the future. It really doesn't matter, because Peter is the best blogger I have ever read, hands down. For that reason only, I give him the respect he deserves. But personally, I am done emailing him. Its up to you now Peter!
Interview with AstraZeneca "Group of Seven" Whistleblower
This is an interview between Question Authority and one of the AstraZeneca whistleblowers:
QA: "I appreciate the fact that you contacted me about this story . . . but seriously, why don't you want to talk to the other big media outlets? You have one of the three national television networks asking for an interview and the biggest US newspaper also trying to find you. You could have much more impact that way."
AZ: "We will seriously consider going to the media but right now I only trust you, as a fellow whistleblower."
QA: "Have you actually mailed your Open letter to the OIG, and have you signed with your real name?"
AZ: "We mailed, emailed, faxed and called in this information to OIG LAST MONTH to the OIG Hotline. No real names given. Just the report number. By Phone: 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) By Fax: 1-800-223-8164 By E-Mail: HHSTips@oig.hhs.gov By Mail:Office of Inspector General Department of Health and Human Services Attn: HOTLINE 330 Independence Ave., SW Washington, DC 20201."
QA: "Any other thoughts you have on this story?"
AZ: "Three more things:
1) An even bigger scandal would be if OIG did nothing and didn't care.
2) Why didn't Zubillaga's Boss, Scarlett Spring, National Sales Director Oncology, fire Zubillaga months ago?
3) Also, Mid-Atlantic Oncology Newsletter Editor District Sales Manager [Name redacted] has a history of producing newsletters for the South West Region."
QA: "So I guess there may be more to come?"
QA: "Anyone still there?"
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Thursday, April 12, 2007
* If your kid likes the school, and your gut feels okay about it, then it is probably an OK school.
* If you are not a religious family and you chose a parochial school, you will either become more religious as a family or will become unhappy with the school
* The cost per child is always really 1.5 times the amount you are told you will pay, due to fund raising and volunteering obligations. Get an estimate from the school before hand.
* Check out the oldest kids' classrooms, not just the one your child will be in. See what is in store for your child. Don't think about changing schools, rather view the school as a whole.
* Talk to parents. They can give you the best information, don't be embarrassed to ask for phone numbers of the parents of kids who have GRADUATED from the school
* Post your opinions on web pages like the one that you see if you click on the title.
*If the environment of your child consists of articulate individuals then your child will do well in school, because he/she can communicate their needs easily. On the other hand, if your child has a hard time communicating their needs verbally, you might want to clue in the teacher in advance, so he/she can anticipate your child's non-verbal communications.
* If you are not welcomed in your child's classroom, find another school.
* If you don't feel good about the administration of the school, find another school.
* My ideal school would have web cams with passwords for children's significant others.
* The most vocal parents will take the school leadership, so if they bother you, find another school.
* If your kid is really unhappy about going for more than the first couple of days, do a serious assessment of the issues involved, because MOST kids really LOVE school.
* Take the time to encourage friendships between your child and other children whose parents you can tolerate. Because if you don't like the parents, the playmates grows old, fast.
* Give your child fun things to bring to class. Find out the policy regarding food, allergies, gifts, and toys. Once every couple of months, have YOUR CHILD bring a treat in for the class
* Don't just COMPLAIN to teachers and administrators, give them a THUMBS UP for good work and things you like too.
* RELAX, you don't have to spend 15K or even half that amount for your child to have a great preschool experience and learn a lot.
* RELAX, most kids are neither damaged by preschool nor even remember anything about it.
Peace and Love and the most positive of intentions,
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
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Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Monday, April 9, 2007
What is so ironic, is that this young Leo is such a king of beasts. He HAS proved them wrong already.. and he is a very YOUNG lion, with many many years of ruling left. I hope he soon gets the love he deserved from a young lioness he has had his eyes on for a long time.
Peace and Love
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Health Care Renewal: Annals of Internal Medicine Shows Appropriate Skepticism About a Commercially Sponsored Clinical Trial
is a great summary of a journal article on Byetta. I actually have a vested interest in this medication, which you shoot into yourself twice a day :) I got a real cool package of goodies from the Drug company to use with this medication. I get Newletters by email and paper mail offering me additional products and information. HOWEVER, they DID NOT send me this article. I wonder why?
Here is the comment that I posted:
This posting is near and dear to my heart. It is very brave for the Annals of Internal Medicine to come out in this way about PHARMA research. I am sure the article was reviewed by
I actually tried Byetta myself! I found the side effects unbearable and the MD did not involve herself in my treatment using this drug in a best practices manner, so I stopped the medication at large monetary cost AFTER INSURANCE REIMBURSEMENT.
The Annals is a very good journal, but there are many other PHARMA advertising journals that would take the article without many changes. So these papers can be peer reviewed and accepted in low level journals. Thus they become "truth" without Editorials.
This study has many obvious flaws that were well stated. But there are several OTHER major statistical problems with this paper.
Due to the differential drop out rate (Byetta makes most people nauseous) statistics need to be performed that account for the fact that people who "survive" Byetta are fundamentally different in some way from those who DO NOT complete the trial for ANY reason. This is a very tricky issue, THAT COULD HAVE BEEN ANTICIPATED, and the study could have been designed to account for the nausea rule out.
HEY PHARMA ANALYSTS, WHEN ARE U GOING TO REALIZE THAT THE CHARACTERISTICS (covariates, risk factors, endogenous factors) OF THOSE WHO ARE COMPLETERS (patients who complete the trial) are FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT FROM THOSE WHO DROP OUT FOR ANY REASON (e.g., those who refuse treatment, can not be contacted, can't tolerate medication). This is one of the dirty little secrets that they don't want to address. Everyone has some lifestyle changes or baseline level of diet, self-care, and feelings about the role of medication in their control of blood sugar. These variables need to be covariates in the analyses. Randomization doesn't necessarily control this.
I went to the FDA meeting for PHASE 1 - 3 trials, and they almost kicked me out.
The reason being, the FDA would only approve baseline severity as a covariate. I told them that was ludicrous in real life.
To do the RIGHT THING, non-response propensity weights needed to be used. In addition, covariates also need to be accounted for in the model to evaluate the treatment effects. Did they use random coefficient regression techniques? In my opinion, and this could be debated, is that this type of modeling procedure (weighted and random slopes and intercepts) would be the only appropriate statistical analysis methodology for this design. GEE is not the optimum model, however, this is what the FDA, in their ADVANCED classes recommend. My methods (and those of many others – Hat Tip to Hedeker) would allow the researchers to look at people as having different baseline characteristics (e.g., HbA1c, BMI, age) or INTERCEPTS and different trajectories or slopes over the study period. It would also allow the use of all the data, even those with only baseline data to be used in the analyses (in this case weighting is not needed).
What percentage of data was collected (Number of questionnaires you actually have divided by the (# patients randomized * #assessments))? What is the coefficient of acceptability of treatment (how many folks were approached and how many agreed to be consented? How about the tolerability of the treatment? That seemed pretty bad.
I would be interested in knowing WHO are they attempting to generalize to? All races? All ages? All socioeconomic levels? All levels of baseline type 2 diabetes severities?
What are their coefficients of generalizability or their REFIT numbers?
The reason these types of PHARMA studies are designed and analyzed in a sub par method is because the people designing and conducting and analyzing these studies are UN-INFORMED. I don't think they actually do this on purpose. I believe it is due to EGO and IGNORANCE. Being part of MANY PHARMA studies like this one, I can honestly say that the crappy design usually is the brain child of the PI of content. That MD usually has had NO training WHAT-SO-EVER in experimental design or statistics, as these are courses that are NOT taught as part of medical school. The MD designs the study and it is PAID FOR by a drug company, who is very DEFERENTIAL to the MD design.
For the statistics, they usually hire an individual who is a strict biostatistician and not a PhD with content in the area WHO IS ALSO a statistician (like me).
The Stat person doesn't get to HAVE ANYTHING TO DO AT ALL with the design of the data, and only gets it when the study is completed (sometimes its all washed by then). Then this Biostatics expert does what is asked of him/her AND DOES NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY. This is because the VAST majority of Biostat people are not English as a first language, are usually from
I teach Biostat PhDs how to analyze data for psychiatric health services research. Many of my publications are in the field of diabetes and its intersection with psychiatry. Universally, not only do the PhDs know NOTHING about the terminology, theories or DSM coding for psychiatry but IN GENERAL they NEVER question the PIs. NOT AT ALL. This type of blind acceptance of authority is problematic.
Now add in the scientific REP from the DRUG Company. This individual's role is to collect a portfolio of research projects that positively promote their products. These individuals GRAB the forms or have them uploaded as soon as the patient completes them. THEY OFTEN DON'T LET THE PIs EVEN KEEP THEIR OWN DATA, let alone SEE the data from the other experimental sites (if there are ones).
I have argued often with these people and have been allowed to see the data. Then I have hours and hours of phone conferences while I try to tell them how to do the data correctly. Then it usually gets shot up the ladder in the DRUG Company to the top OLD MAN who is in charge of data. This MAN is likely to have NEVER read another stat paper in years, so is working about 20 years behind the time. SIGH!!
On the other hand, I give everyone a hard time, and submit their data to rigorous exploration and analysis. It is for that reason that
Saturday, April 7, 2007
Tonight we went to see the great, incredibly moving and funny Don Rickles. I had seen him through out my childhood in Las Vegas, and now we were seeing him in Richmond BC. He played at the River Rock Casino. Before the show, we wanted to make a quick stop at Daiso, the best twoonie store in the world! I used GOOGLE MAP to locate these destinations. The Casino IS NOT on a boat! Nor is the mall that houses Daiso. Thanks again Google for your total accuracy in mapping!
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Guardians are the cornerstone of society, for they are the temperament given to serving and preserving our most important social institutions. Guardians have natural talent in managing goods and services--from supervision to maintenance and supply--and they use all their skills to keep things running smoothly in their families, communities, schools, churches, hospitals, and businesses.
Guardians can have a lot of fun with their friends, but they are quite serious about their duties and responsibilities. Guardians take pride in being dependable and trustworthy; if there's a job to be done, they can be counted on to put their shoulder to the wheel. Guardians also believe in law and order, and sometimes worry that respect for authority, even a fundamental sense of right and wrong, is being lost. Perhaps this is why Guardians honor customs and traditions so strongly--they are familiar patterns that help bring stability to our modern, fast-paced world.
Practical and down-to-earth, Guardians believe in following the rules and cooperating with others. They are not very comfortable winging it or blazing new trails; working steadily within the system is the Guardian way, for in the long run loyalty, discipline, and teamwork get the job done right. Guardians are meticulous about schedules and have a sharp eye for proper procedures. They are cautious about change, even though they know that change can be healthy for an institution. Better to go slowly, they say, and look before you leap.
Guardians make up as much as 40 to 45 percent of the population.
The Four types of Guardians are:
Supervisors (ESTJ) | Protectors (ISFJ) | Inspectors (ISTJ) | Providers (ESFJ)
This post gives a link to the Kiersey Temperment Sorter. It tells you what your personality profile is. It turns out that Dr. Rost is a ENTJ, as are another set of bloggers.
I think it is interesting that in the short time I have been reading Dr. Rost's blog, he has had two posts.. WHO ARE YOU? I wonder if that is projection.. or does he really want to know? I think the former is probably the case, but I wish it were the latter.
This new post by Health Care Renewal (see Sidebar) is absolutely accurate in my experience. We are so pressured to get funding, that we don't really have time to do much else. On top of seeing patients, completing forms for billings, attending administrative meetings on an average of 1 day, writing scholarly publications, teaching medical students, residents, fellows, nursing and social work students, we are supposed to fund a good proportion of our own salaries from external grants. What slays me, is that, EVEN if we DO get the grants, they still give the more junior faculty complete services to run too!! And all this pleasure, for 1/2 of what one would make in private practice!! I have never been paid ONE CENT to teach. I teach at least 1 class a week that I have to prepare at home, on top of all of the above. Is it any wonder that the best faculty are leaving the US?
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Dr. Rost reposts a story from the WSJ,. which should be read by all those who enjoy a good conspiracy. I think THIS IS REALLY SCARY!! All you consumers, who like your prices cheap and your stores artificially cheerful, will love what these "nice" folks do their employees. And you thought, not supplying health insurance and not giving workers, living wages was bad enough!! Spying on your own employee's PERSONAL HOTMAIL AND GMAIL ACCOUNTS!! How much further do these big CORPS have to go? Are we all just sheep? Are we all over-medicated?
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Sunday, April 1, 2007
|OK.. I Scored a Bert.|
WHO ARE YOU?
You Are Bert
Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!
You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you
You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil
How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others
SuperHealth's main villain, Lex Luvox, sneered, and decided that non-PHARMA strategies could be used for first, second and third line treatments before PHARMA set in, and asked me to try to evaluate the treatment most requested by our State's consumers, CLUB HOUSES.
The sweet Nun, Sister Nardill went into several weeks of bureaucratic meditation, and as a result, decided that reporting other Nuns to Mother Superior and the Bishop, might not be the best way to influence people and make friends. She then sentenced herself to an endless career of shuffling papers in the back halls of the Rectory, and carrying water buckets full of rocks back and forth between the cathedral and the rectory.
Sir Lionheart cheered me on, while Dr. Quixote, actually started dismantling his series of electricity generating windmills, and waved me on.
And all the servants went through their desks and purses looking for something to give me, to remember them by. Meanwhile I left gold chocolate on everyone's desk.. a sweet goodbye.
"We will visit you in the Great North" they shouted, waving... as I slipped on my pack and trotted down the stairs... tears in my eyes... both happy and sad. Peace. Shalom. Love.
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