Archive for the ‘Health and wellness’ Category

EpiPen Monopoly Attack on Children

August 24, 2016
Epinephreine Structure

The generic epinephrine is less than $1 per dose.

Despite significant profit growth the world’s leading manufacturer of a lifesaving delivery system for anaphylactic shock has continued to raise prices.  EpiPen is a popular epinephrine auto-injectable that can potentially avert fatal allergic reactions in sufferers during emergencies.

According to the Mylan website, the multinational distributor of EpiPen, the driving factor behind a whopping $650 million gain was attributed to the strong sales of their lifesaving allergy drug.  The average retail price has climbed to over $600 per kit for buyers without insurance on while Mylan has recorded a gross profit of over $2 billion during the second and third quarters of 2016 according to a press release.  One kit includes two, 0.3 mg doses of epinephrine and a special injector while the generic compound sells for a meager $10 per mg.  Syringes are sold separately and it can be cumbersome to use generic epinephrine without special training.

The mobility of the EpiPen has made it particularly attractive to allergy patients that might struggle to deliver an immediate and exact dosage, but recent price hikes have revealed agonizingly few alternatives to the product.  CVS is a leading retailer of EpiPen in the United States and divulged that cheaper generic drugs lagged far behind the leading brand in sales through their site.  (The data also shows that the majority of consumers are under the age of twenty.)  Mylan has leveraged this advantageous market position to a devastating effect that has sent shockwaves throughout the pharmaceutical industry and even drawn the ire of politicians around the world.

Talk of yet another pharmaceutical monopoly will likely reverberate within the chambers of the United States Congress.  Senator Chuck Grassley (IA) made a public inquiry to Mylan CEO Heather Branch on August 22, 2016 regarding the uptick in EpiPen costs for Medicare recipients.  Most of the public remember the debacle of former CEO Martin Shkreli smugly and frequently invoking his Fifth Amendment rights when questioned by the House of Representatives in February of this year.


Mr. Martin Shkreli doesn’t appear to feel remorse at a Congressional Hearing in February.

Mr. Shkreli is still infamous in an internet meme as Pharma Bro for suddenly raising the price of a rarely effective treatment for life threatening diseases like malaria and AIDS.   Senator Grassley could be onto a trend.

If it feels like big drug companies have a knack for putting pressure on the most dependent and vulnerable, you aren’t alone.  Congress enacted laws to amend the Public Health Service Act in 2013 to increase access to epinephrine in schools due to concerns over American children.  Despite that fact one of the easiest delivery methods of the active compound is proprietary, and Mylan still hasn’t given their best customers much relief.  $100 coupons are offered as a manufacturer rebate for people getting pinched but individuals that might use the shots frequently are very worried.  In a world where allergies are increasing in number and severity, price hikes can have consequences that hit all of us suddenly.  The sensation is rooted in the belief that corporations like Mylan might be too focused on their investors at the expense of the little people.

Chunky or Die

September 1, 2011

Breakwater is Chunky

I have been in a quiet exile of my own choosing for quite some time now and I’m writing to you today from that secluded space in order to relate my thoughts to you. It is not my intention to give anything else away because I, quite frankly, can’t afford to anymore. It came to my attention a little over two years ago that what I was writing would probably be able to be used against me for a significant amount of time. I thought of trying to sensor myself and take it back, but truthfully there is no such thing in cyberspace.

I had a good run of solid posts and very little readership to console myself. I spent the last year or so reading other people’s confessionary blogs and I was even jealous of their popularity. It got me to ponder the double-edged sword of writing enough titillating blog features to increase the page hit counts and yet still be able to maintain an employable persona and the salary that comes with it.

Eventually the old blog petered out when I came back from Mexico. I was flush with new catch phrases that would never catch on and I had probably just ‘jumped the shark’ by showing my ass in Tulum. Really there was nothing left for me to do at that point. My usual topics all seemed boring: relationships, surfing, travel, flowers, culture, and the DeMatha Stags.

I had plenty of inspiration and I never stopped following my interests but I didn’t get the feeling that anybody cared to read about it anymore. Not much has changed since I got that feeling except for the fact that I realize now that the blog was more for me than it could ever be for a potential reader. The Chronicles of Six is my public record and without it, I have no tangible means of ridiculing myself.

So, I’m re-launching. Oh I’ll still write for the magazines that some of you have found me in and, travel permitting, I will still try and hold down my Stags. Although I must admit, I’m going to have to be a lot more cryptic this time around because I’m old and the good Lord knows that I shouldn’t be doing this sort of stuff.  The picture that Damien Baskette took is a reminder of such endeavors because the wave being surfed is Breakwater in Venice and if it is that chunky then you really don’t have much hope of surviving the close-out that will rapidly ensue.

I’m going to ride this blog for as many moments as it gives me and then I’m going to plow through the face and pray.

Check for me.

Full Fall Sunday: Harvest Moon Edition

November 1, 2009


The New York Football Giants lost like some hoes on national television and it ruined my day.  Then the New York Jets lost on national television like some hoes.  Then I heard that the DeMatha soccer team lost to Gonzaga (1-0) in the WCAC Championships this afternoon.  Needless to say, I am not having the best day I could possibly be having at this point in time.  I look at the calendar and I see that the full moon, the harvest moon, is approaching in 24 hours.  Daylight savings time pushed the clocks back an hour and it is already dark on the set at 6 PM.  Things are changing, and I can totally feel the moon messing around with my emotions.  I’m way too sensitive to our binary sister planet because I’m mostly water.  I’m not saying that you aren’t mostly water, too.  I just doubt that you’re relationships are water-based like mine usually are.  I’m an Aquarius but there is only so much water that I can bare.  (For those that hold water for their friends, part of the job could be easier with an ox –and I know just the bully…)  Of course, “blood is thicker than water” anyway.  Does anyone even know what the heck I’m talking about out there?  I guess the New York Yankees game tonight is the only thing that can redeem the day.  Thank God that the Stags won in football on Saturday or I might be on some sort of suicide watch.

I went to visit momma for a little while because I wasn’t feeling great and I stumbled upon pork ribs, collard greens, yams, corn, and macaroni and cheese.  Momma is psychic. 

Fall Classic Friday Edition

October 30, 2009


I don’t know if you wanted to check the Howard University fashion scene or not but you could always just click on this link and peep the perspective of the Washington Post.  Let me just say a few words about fashion at Howard University: it’s real.  When the girl in the video said that she never went to classes in sweatpants, she probably wasn’t kidding.  The Bison typically bring their A games when it comes to dressing to the nines.  With that being said, I’m not in college anymore and while it was fun to play dress up during homecoming I think that it is important that you all know that I don’t always dress like that.

This is a picture of me going to work this morning on casual Friday.  Usually when I go to work I wear suits, or at least a jacket and tie, but I’m not nearly as coordinated as I was last weekend.  I think that my Friday outfit last weekend was way out of control.  Did any of you peep the navy blue Ralph Lauren ensemble, game?  (Polo down to the socks, ya’ll.)  There were so many people that weren’t even ready for that.  By the time that Saturday rolled around and I hit them with the velvet, nobody knew what to do with themselves.  These days, now I’m more concerned about the changing of the seasons and the leaves and stuff.  In this picture, I’m grooving to the new Ghostface and thinking far away happy thoughts.

Speaking of happy thoughts, while I was writing last night the New York Yankees actually took me there.  As you already know, I’m thoroughly enthralled with Alicia Keys, and my favorite color is purple, and I happen to love hip-hop music, baseball, and all things New York.  Enter the Shangri-La…


And the Yankees won the second game  of the Baseball World Series, 3 – 1, and Hideki Matsui hit the game winning homerun!  (Shout outs to Japan!)  Needless to say, I’m a very happy man.  I feel great.  Happy Friday, ya’ll.  The Stags play tomorrow, but I have to work.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to write a whole bunch this weekend, but I hope you guys out there understand that I’m with you in spirit.  Hold it down for me until I make it to your city…

Monday Contemplation

October 26, 2009

Monday Contemplation

October 19, 2009

Unlikely Friends: Baby Hippo and Tortoise Edition

October 2, 2009

The Stags play football tonight against Gonzaga.  I’m going to the game.  I’m going to try and convince other Stags to go to the game too.  I love to see Gonzaga lose, but I would also like to watch it with someone that can enjoy it almost as much as I can.  One of these days I’ll get the courage to take a woman to one of these games, but I’m afraid that she’ll think my love of DeMatha isn’t healthy.

Happy Friday, out there, people!  Today is going to be another good day.  I’m really thankful to be alive and today I am reflecting on all of my unlikely friends.  Have you ever had a friend that previously nobody would have suspected that you two could have gotten along together?  Some of those turn out to be the best kind of friendships.  I’m not saying that DeMatha guys should go out there and become friends with some Gonzaga alumni, because that wouldn’t be cool.

Think outside of the box when you consider making friends.  It gets a little harder as you get older, but I truly believe that this behavior is good for your emotional wellbeing.  I’m looking out for you.  I’m not even supposed to be blogging everyday like that, but you know that I can’t stop now.  There is a lot going on this weekend.  I think that Howard University has their home opener on Saturday.  I don’t know if I’m going to write about any of it though.  I might just take the time to post the scores.

Waking Up Stag: DeMatha Homecoming Week

September 28, 2009

We’re at that time of the year now when the weather starts changing and pretty soon there will be hoary frost on the grass.  What is it that I see there through the mist at dawn?  The Stag in this picture looks alone, but rest assured that he is not. 

Good morning everybody!  Today, everyone should make it a point to do some sort of physical exercise or training because the rut will soon be here.  Stags will be competing for does and that requires a great deal of strength, not just impressive antlers.

A special shout out goes to my friend that just finished her neurosurgery final in medical school: good show!  I’m still praying for you over here!

I’m Finally Legal

October 3, 2006

I’m Finally Legal


By all practical accounts California isn’t even close to the Netherlands when it comes to understanding society and drug consumption as it relates to the law.  Everything is legal in the Netherlands and not much is legal in California.  The good news for me is that I’m not concerned about everything, just marijuana.  And in California, marijuana isn’t completely legal yet but it was and still is legal enough for me to want to move here.


You see the thing is I really enjoy cannabis, I really do, but I also try to abide by the law whenever possible.  Thanks to the wise legislators of California though, there is a way where a person can use and possess marijuana here in the United States and have it be completely and totally legal.  That’s right people; I’m talking about medical marijuana.


Case in point: last week I went to a legitimate doctor (from Columbia University) who prescribed the medical use of marijuana for my post-traumatic stress.  With that prescription and letter, that doctor legitimized what I have known since I was nine years old: I feel better on marijuana. 


I was so happy that I took pictures.  I was so happy that I saved my receipt.  I kept waiting for someone to start speaking Dutch or barge in with the handcuffs.  It never happened.  I got back in my American ride and drove down an American highway with my American medical marijuana sitting in plain view in the passenger’s seat, albeit in a brown paper bag.  But the important thing to note is that I didn’t have the paranoid feelings or fear of the cops while all of this was happening because I had a legal piece of paper that said I could smoke as much dope as I could afford, basically.


Wow.  I smoke pot legally, now.  I’m obeying the laws of the land and I’m in full compliance with whatever they require.  If every state had this program then we would be well on our way to the healing of the whole entire nation! 


If I had known that this was really possible in this country I would have gone to California State University for nine years instead of Howard University for seven.  I could have possibly emancipated myself from my parents and just moved to California whenever they officially put those laws on the books.  I still can’t fully get over it.  California is awesome even if “the terminator” is the governor.


Some say that 21 years old is legal, but I say you aren’t legal until you move to California and get that prescription filled.