Unwrapping the drug pricing mystery & understanding solutions

  https://youtu.be/1QaKdAGbiYo Reposting this useful video from the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance: President-elect Trump pledged during his campaign and at his transition press conference to address the skyrocketing price of drugs, joining bipartisan calls for action. However, drug pricing is incredibly complex and hidden behind an impenetrable curtain of secrecy. Are there any solutions to high drug prices that could be implemented quickly by the new administration and Congress? The Fair Pricing Coalition (FPC) along with other various organizations and individuals signed a letter declaring that the upward spiral of drug prices are too high and will further prevent HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) patients from accessing … [Read more...]

Travel: Hauling a 2- and 4-year old through 6 countries in 8 weeks

As we were leaving the region to move back home, I did a consultancy that took me to several capital cities to review national health programs. It was a great opportunity for all of us to say goodbye to friends, colleagues and places we've frequented over the past decade. So we packed up the house and shipped, sold or gave away our belongings, and took the kids on a two month journey through Southeast Asia. … [Read more...]

Project: Educate a girl and you educate a family

My old Khmer language tutor, Mdm Soun Neang, has a generous heart. In her youth during Cambodia's darkest years under the Khmer Rouge regime, she taught languages secretly to children, at great personal risk. Today, she supports girls in her hometown in rural Kampong Thom go to school, where the opportunity costs of educating a girl is too high for poor families (who send their sons instead). This is despite significant evidence that educating a girl has a powerful impact on the future of her family. … [Read more...]

News feed gems

I don't open my RSS reader very often these days; today I get two gems. One is the graphic slaughter of an elephant by GoDaddy.com's CEO, in some misguided attempt to help some poor Zimbabweans protect their crops and get some protein at the same time (um..huh?!). Boy am I glad we took our websites off GoDaddy! And then there's the Scarlet e-Letter. Third year student Alexandra Wallace had to leave the UCLA (dropped out?) because of the outrage, including harassment and death threats to her family, on the heels of her YouTube rant against Asians. Check out this video. As a bonus, the guy's voice ain't half bad, so I voted for him (clicked on the thumbs up) for YouTube NextUp! . … [Read more...]

Breastfeeding is a partisan issue??

Image from babynursingblog.com Really?? A "leftist agenda" of a "nanny state"? I especially love the bashing of Michelle Obama's breastfeeding advocacy after Palin's own breastfeeding initiative in 2007. Why people choose leaders with nothing constructive to add to the dialogue except to auto-bash the other party's efforts is beyond me. Great quote from one of the commenters to the above blog post: "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato And a shame that people blindly follow. … [Read more...]

Is your physician accepting “gifts” from pharma?

Lots of blog coverage in recent months on one of the more pro-consumer aspects of the health care legislation, in which drug companies in the $200 billion-plus pharmaceutical industry will be required to publicly disclose gifts and payments to physicians. Has your doctor received drug company money? Get updates on both the companies and physicians from Dollars for Docs at ProPublica.org. InsideCounsel.com explains: Employers in all industries face the challenge of implementing changes in their employee benefit plans as a result of the sweeping health care reform program that became law in March (see “Examining the New Health Care Law”). But health care providers, pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers face even more change … [Read more...]

the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey

So, "Americans are always Shouting About Religion But Don’t Know Much About It".. On questions about Christianity – including a battery of questions about the Bible – Mormons (7.9 out of 12 right on average) and white evangelical Protestants (7.3 correct on average) show the highest levels of knowledge. Jews and atheists/agnostics stand out for their knowledge of other world religions, including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism; out of 11 such questions on the survey, Jews answer 7.9 correctly (nearly three better than the national average) and atheists/agnostics answer 7.5 correctly (2.5 better than the national average). Atheists/agnostics and Jews also do particularly well on questions about the role of religion in public life, … [Read more...]

Colbert “testifies” before Congress – in character

Stephen Colbert (a comedian!) testifies (satirically!) under oath before the US congressional subcommittee hearing, on the plight of migrant farm workers and the immigration reform. Via The Hill: "I don't want a tomato picked by a Mexican, I want it picked by an American," Colbert said, appearing to parrot statements made in the past by Republicans. But then he continued, "And sliced by a Guatemalan and served by a Venezuelan, in a spa, where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian." Is anyone else shocked by this? ...anyone? I swear my buddy Bill Tucker and all the bloggers writing this up is pulling my leg. But it looks like a real C-SPAN coverage... RT @alexlobov on twitter, who is perpetually tuned in to the broad scope of news around … [Read more...]