Thursday, January 13, 2011

Shortages in medications become serious; family connections important for healing

It’s getting more difficult for many patients to get lifesaving drugs, especially in the cancer chemotherapy area, because of shortages, according to a story by  Melly Alazraki, in Daily Finance, published by AOL this morning, link here. The problem has always existed with “orphan drugs” (as in the film “Lorenzo’s Oil”) but is making optimal treatment of many problems difficult.  The problem might also be exacerbated by antibiotic resistance.

I would wonder if the problem could exist with surgical parts, also. I was lucky to get a new kind of plate after an acetabular fracture from a convenience store fall in Minneapolis in 1998, with a quick recovery as a result.  Without the special part, I could have been in traction for a long time.

In another medical story, ABC reported that heart patients with spouses fare much better than those who stand alone; social isolation can affect prognosis as much as smoking.  The story (“Does the presence of family and friends help you heal?”) link is here.   Social connection reduces stress hormones for many people, although some people may be self-driven enough that it makes little difference.

Today, the FDA also indicated it would act on the amount of acetaminophen in some prescription drug,

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