The Health Brief

The F.D.A. has approved a generic epinephrine auto-injector

Teva Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. has gained the F.D.A. approval to market their generic version of EpiPen.

The need for a generic life-saving version of the EpiPen started in 2016 when Mylan Pharmaceuticals (a multibillion dollar pharmaceutical company and the owners of the brand name medication, Epipen) made a what were you thinking kind of move and drastically increased the price of the EpiPen medication from $100 for two pens to over $600 for two.

(Someone had to be smoking some serious crack when they made that decision).

Even with insurance the hefty increase in price made it virtually impossible for everyday people to buy the life-saving medication.

Mylan’s disturbing increase combined with the upset of the people and the news coverage caught the attention of federal antitrust regulators.

Regulators started an investigation that led to what some have called a “Mind-Blowing” antitrust scheme wherein 18 drug makers were accused of fixing generic drug prices.

All together, the 18 companies worked together to falsely inflate the prices of 15 drugs to treat glaucoma, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety and asthma as well as several other conditions, the attorneys general allege.

Although there are other medications on the market none of them have been granted the title “Generic EpiPen” until now.

This approval means patients living with severe allergies who require constant access to life-saving epinephrine should have a lower-cost option, as well as another approved product to help protect against potential drug shortages.— F.D.A. Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in the statement.

Hopefully, it will be far more affordable!

More than 100 cases of Measles have been reported in the U.S.

Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 100 cases of measles have been diagnosed this year in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

How? A contributing factor to an increase in measles in the United States is that travelers visit countries where there’s a measles outbreak and then they bring them back.

What can I do? If you already have measles, it’s important to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to other people. You should:

  • avoid work or school for at least 4 days from when you first developed the measles rash
  • try to avoid contact with people who are more vulnerable to the infection, such as young children and pregnant women, cancer fighters and the aging while you’re ill

What about prevention? If you plan on traveling to other countries, see your doctor, first! You may need to be vaccinated. Whether you’re traveling or not according to the CDC, two doses of MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine are nearly 100 percent effective at preventing measles. (CDC)

But I’m worried about the safety of vaccines. You’re not alone. Many of us are. As the years pass we get more information about the potential side effects. There are pros and cons to vaccination.

I plan to discuss this more in a future article but for now my advice is that you do your research. Talk to your doctor. Don’t let others influence your decision. Trust your gut.

Weed killer reported in breakfast foods? 

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently reported that Glyphosate, a weedkiller linked to cancer, was found in “hefty doses” in popular oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars.

To my dismay, the weed killer was also found in about one-third of the samples made with organically grown oats. For the full story and the brands tested go to EWG.

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Hugs Have a Therapeutic Effect on People

Hello everyone! Thank you for joining me today. I hope this finds you at the beginning of a great week.

It’s Monday, April 16, 2018–It seems like every other week we learn something new about what is or isn’t good for us. But I have to admit, this hugging thing is something I can get behind. In psychology we are taught that emotional deprivation can lead to a variety of issues in children. So, common sense tells me that adults, too, would experience some negative symptoms due to lack of affection.

Continue reading “Hugs Have a Therapeutic Effect on People”

How to Protect Yourself and Others From Getting Sick

The cold and flu season has officially descended upon us. Everyone, everywhere is getting sick. To my dismay, I have been sick twice in the last few months–it hasn’t been fun. Making matters worse for me is that cancer and chemotherapy treatments have left me with a weak immune system. This means I am more susceptible to catching a cold, the flu or anything else going around.

Continue reading “How to Protect Yourself and Others From Getting Sick”

Breast Healthcare Apps, Movies, Olivia Newton-John and Flashback Friday

It’s Friday June 16, 2017–Olivia Newton-John recently announced that after living cancer-free for 25 years, cancer has returned and it has metastasized. In case you don’t know, metastasized means that cancer has spread from one place of the body to another.

As a breast cancer survivor, her ‘news’ made me cringe. It’s a reminder that cancer can happen to anyone at anytime. Even worse; it can happen more than once. My thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family as she faces another battle with the criminal-like disease.

The three K’s. Know your body. Know your risks. Know the facts. Get regular checkups. Do regular self-exams. If you have daughters, teach them how to do breast self exams. Encourage them to become familiar with their bodies so they can quickly identify if something changes. As Fran Drescher says “Early arrival, 90 percent survival.” The youngest breast cancer survivor I met was 19. Cancer does not discriminate.

We’ve come along way. We now have apps to help make it easier to remember to do a self-breast exam, and to help you teach your daughters or younger sisters how to do one. I’ve tried a few of them but it comes down to preference. Some of these apps are aimed at the younger selfie generation making it more eye catching for them.

Breast Check Now  Check Yourself    Your Man Reminder

Movie Reviews

It is Friday, after all! For me, the best way to kick off the weekend is with dinner, a movie and my man. I don’t wanna fight crowds (or the angry and violent) just to see a movie. The bonus is that I can eat all of the popcorn I want without paying the high price of theater popcorn, and I can go the bathroom without missing a beat.

Some of my recommendations may be a littler older. But still, if you haven’t seem them they’re worth watching.

Netflix is my go-to for movies and TV shows @netflix IG

Jackie: Don’t underestimate this one. You might be inclined to think that this is just another Kennedy movie. But it’s not! Natalie Portman does an AMAZING job at portraying Jackie Kennedy. The film is one of a kind in that it takes us backstage and into the life of the wife, the woman, the widow and the Lady of the White House. No sex. No contrived drama. I do not recommend this movie for children. We see a lot of blood and grief, although, the movie is not gruesome.




Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: I totally underestimated this one! Great movie for the whole family. One scene implied supernatural abilities featuring Darth Vader, in case that’s something you’re concerned about.

It was very reminiscent of the original Star Wars. Loved, loved, loved seeing older characters in this film. This goes on the repeat watch list for sure.



Flashback Friday

In support of Olivia Newton-John (and just because it’s a fun one)!



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