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Overprescribing common among elderly

Overprescribing common among elderly

May 1, 2015

Some healthcare professionals see this as a serious problem DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • If you plan on getting old, or are looking after someone who is old, you need to be ready for one stark reality of medical care in the elderly: it involves a lot of drugs. Anyone who looks after senior citizens says the same thing: any new ache, pain or concern often...

Informed consent

Informed consent

Apr 1, 2015

Take the ‘Kingdom of Alanastan’ statins quiz DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • If you haven’t heard the term “informed consent” before, it’s time you did. This term implies that anytime a medical treatment is offered to you, it must be explained in sufficient detail – as to its possible benefits and harms – so you can make a fully informed...

Raising a stink over getting Pinked

Raising a stink over getting Pinked

Mar 1, 2015

Will “Boob Bombing” really prevent breast cancer? DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs Rarely, if ever, has a disease colonized a colour, but that’s precisely what you can say about the corporate fundraising behemoth around breast cancer. It’s audacious, sometimes crass and very hard to miss. And did I say,...

Women and antidepressants

Women and antidepressants

Feb 1, 2015

Caution: addiction ahead DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • Why are so many women taking antidepressants and what does this say about one of medicine’s biggest questions? It’s a problem that’s been growing for decades and shows very few signs of improving. Let’s strip this issue down to a few bare essentials. Q: So what is the problem? A: For some reason,...

The “12 Principles of Don’t Pay”

The “12 Principles of Don’t Pay”

Jan 1, 2015

A New Year’s manifesto in the war on prescription drug waste DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • Thirty-six billion dollars is a lot of money. That’s roughly what we Canadians will spend on prescription drugs this year. How big is that number? Let’s see: by the end of the day on January 1st, we’ll have sent $100 million to the drug companies....

Medication civil disobedience

Medication civil disobedience

Dec 1, 2014

DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs One of the first duties of the physician is to educate the masses not to take medicine. – Dr. William Osler You may have heard about Stanley Milgram, the American psychologist who carried out some of the most infamous research on obedience back in the 1960s, but have you heard of...

The Champix/Chantix saga

The Champix/Chantix saga

Nov 1, 2014

Please don’t operate a missile battery while reading this article DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs In mid October, the US Food and Drug Administration convened a special meeting to look at whether or not varenicline, the controversial drug to stop smoking – called Champix in Canada and Chantix in the US –...

Data fracking

Data fracking

Oct 1, 2014

A quagmire rife with rhetoric DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs It pollutes our water, warms our planet and destroys the environment. Or…it provides jobs, reduces our dependence on foreign oil and delivers economic growth. It’s either a godsend or evil incarnate. What’s the “it” we’re talking about...

Is health data mining the Next Big Thing?

Is health data mining the Next Big Thing?

Sep 1, 2014

What’s getting buried may surprise you DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs British Columbia is indeed a wondrous, resource-rich place. We’ve got oil. We’ve got minerals, trees, fish, and, of course, liquefied natural gas (LNG). We’ve got all kinds of natural resources here in BC to exploit. And exploit them...

“Choosing Wisely” is anything but wise

“Choosing Wisely” is anything but wise

Aug 1, 2014

DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels • The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs If you want some reliable advice about which medical procedures, screening tests or drug therapies are unnecessary, useless or even downright dangerous, one of the best sources is the medical professionals themselves. After all, the people delivering the procedures and prescribing...