Monday, May 28, 2007

Major drug companies turn a blind eye to fake malaria medication!

Now here's a scary story...

The world's major drug companies have been accused of turning a blind eye to the multibillion-dollar trade in fake medicine that has resulted in an explosion of child malaria deaths in developing countries.

According to the British Independent newspaper, the problem has been particularly acute in Africa, with anti-malarial drugs faked on an industrial scale. One of the world's leading experts on malaria, Prof Nick White of Oxford University, estimates that malaria causes more than one million deaths each year of which 90% are children.

He said that counterfeit medicine was a major reason why malaria had become, over the past 30 years, Africa's biggest child killer, 'from an illness that used to be easily treated with medicines'.

Some of the fake drugs contain no medicine at all, but others have tiny traces of the real ingredients - which leads to another, potentially bigger problem as it allows the malaria parasite to build up resistance to the drug.

Read further here.

Hell's Teeth! What a catastrophe... especially in developing societies where there isn't enough money to correct the "mistakes" or alternatively sue the pants off the companies making these counterfeits. Me, I would kick them out of Africa - but there's no money for that even.

I can only begin to imagine what would happen if some idiot company started making counterfeit ARV's. We already have enough of a resistance problem.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 10% of medicines available in developing countries is fake with prevalence higher where regulatory control is weakest.

All of a sudden, I'm grateful that our Medicines Control Council (MCC) are such painful, pedantic regulators! What the hell is going on north of the border?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Through the vagina to do what?!

Recently I read an article in the medical chronicals that blew me away. It was about a Doctor in New York (oh praise his alpha malesness) that is doing some experimental surgery... Wait for it... Trans-vaginal cholecystectomy!

Oh my. Maybe it is because I have a vagina that this shocks me, but can you really imagine having your gallbladder (which lies up under your right ribs) removed through your vagina. THAT'S A DISTANCE OF AT LEAST 25CM! And exactly what our trans-vaginal cholecystectomy pioneer dude is attempting.

The article claims that it will cause less pain, less scarring and quicker recovery! As it is, the conventional way to remove a gallbladder is via laproscope. So... you choose: 5 small (1-2cm) cuts in your abdomen or getting the think yanked through your love hole?

This just proves the point that male doctors have no absolutely no cooking clue about female systems.

Let's see how much he would like the surgery if we did it trans-urethrally (that's up the japs eye for our non medical readers).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Nanotechnology - and "poop out advertising"

Har. Har.

That's actually possible you know. Take a pill with non-dissolving plastic stuff. It would have to be pliable, but not create blockages. It could even have a pleasent wood fire odour.

Bloody science eh? (Yes, this is medicine if you thought the post was off topic!)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A little BOVRIL keeps the Doctor away?

What the HELL is this!?

Do they mean the cow? The sandwich spread? If its the cow, what must you DO to the cow? A little piece of "Bovril" keeps the ticker ticking?


Monday, May 14, 2007

Generics... The Real Deal?

Attended a discussion group (as we all have to in the annual quest for CPD points) and the topic came up about generics. The good, the bad and the simply ineffective...

An article published in Clinical Drug Investigations was very interesting. It showed that even though generic companies claim to have the exact same drug, only cheaper - this is not entirely true.

The study showed that many of the generics companies were producing inferior products with many impurities, differing concentrations of the actual compound drug and differnt bio-availabilities.

Does that therefore taint the broad spectrum of "generic" medicine? After much discussion, we believed not. Most of us were of the opinion that some generic companies are good - they control the amount of impurities and produce good quality medicine.

In South Africa, there's a lack of study or legislation enforcing clinical trials on generics, so most of the time GP's have to go on experience. I have my own list of generic companies that I will use without reservation - and then there are those that I would avoid like the plague. I wouldn't even use them to treat the plague.

Moral of the story? In South Africa I think generics need to be scripted, not substituted. As in, if the Doctor PRESCRIBES the generic by name - fine. If a pharmacist substitutes a generic because of price, stock problems or personal preference - not fine.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Perianal WHAT?!?

Had to drain a perianal abscess. Standard stuff in a government hospital, but in private practice, it's a rarity. I had forgotten how ABSOLUTELY awful they are.

Imagine the smell of a rotten goose egg, mixed with 2 day old vomit, mixed with baby poo... That's about the introduction.

AND I kept a straight face and held down the gag reflex. I am a GOD.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Medical Video Art #2

Another one... This is more of a demo reel - I gather showing off 3D skills. I wonder where stuff like this would be used in the industry?

Friday, May 4, 2007

Medical Video Art?

Wow. This is impressive. I wonder what it means. SA Doc is asleep. Preparing for her birthday tomorrow. So I'm at a loss.

But it looks cool :)

We're back... above water

Shoe. It's been a while! Back from Sodwana. Diving was great. I'm still wondering why they say diving is not an "exact science". At 20m. You kinda want to be as exact as possible. Anyhoo, didn't die.

Some feesh.