August 2009

Houseboats and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Most people think of carbon monoxide poisoning as coming from automobile exhaust or faulty heating systems and indeed much of it does come from those sources. However, in the summer time houseboats can become a significant source of injury and death from this lethal poison gas.

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New Study Finds Risk in Off Label Use of Drugs

In the United States physicians are permitted to prescribe medications to patients to treat conditions that are not specifically listed in the label, or product insert, for that medication. All medication labels must be approved by the FDA, and those labels list the conditions and diseases that FDA believes the drug is safe and effective in treating. If a physician uses a drug to treat a condition NOT listed in the label this use in called off-label use. There is less scientific evidence to support non-approved uses.

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If you drive anywhere in the city of New York (or apparently anywhere else in the tri-state area as well) the sight of a driver with a cell phone pasted to his or her face is common. See that car ahead, speeding up and slowing down for no apparent reason? Get up next to it and what do you see: the driver on a cell phone. An erratic lane changer: drunk or tired maybe---nope: cell phone. And how about the SUV driver that races you to the red light, and then when the light turns green seems to be unable to find the gas pedal he was so familiar with only seconds before? Is he really trying to get you steamed? Nah---cell phone!

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Drug Company Pays to Have Medical Articles Written To Enhance Sales of Its Drugs

The use of ghostwriters---professional writers who assist non-writers to write a book or article and who are paid for their work but receive no public credit for their efforts---hence the ghost in the term---are widely used. It is common for professional sports stars, politicians or actors to utilize ghostwriters when writing their Great American novel. Football players play football: they dont write for a living. Politicians schmooze: they dont write for a living. And actors act, not write. So its no surprise that when an actor or athlete writes a book, he or she doesnt do it alone. The player, star or politician provides the material, anecdotes and subject expertise and the ghost provides the writing ability. And together, they produce a polished work.

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