Its been a long while since I’ve posted….not good. Reality is my day to day work has taken on a life of its in own. I have several significant products liability cases in their last phases before trial and been focusing all my time and energies to that endeavor. Although still in the depths of preparation for these cases, I will do what I can to bring you information of importance relating to pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, auto problems and consumer product issues.
I also write on a day where a significant event in our countries history has occurred…the passing of the Healthcare Plan. In concept, I have always had a strong belief that health care and keeping our citizens healthy should be a main priority of our government. The insurance companies have been abusing the system…and us for so many years we have gotten use to it. Many of us just feel lucky for what our employers provide, even though today most employers require at least some employee contribution to the premium they must pay for the individual’s insurance. I recall when I first started working as a young lawyer just out of law school, not only could you expect to receive rock solid medical insurance coverage from your law firm, but you would never be asked to contribute toward its cost. In the 1990s, as insurance premiums soared for employers, everything changed. More and more employers required employees to contribute to the premium and not only that, but provided less and less coverage. We would complain, be upset at our employers, but our frustration was misplaced. It is the insurance companies and their continued efforts to put more zeros in their bottom line combined with the every increasing cost of medical care that was killing the system. When i hear “opponents” to this Healthcare Plan, they spout that healthcare is not a right, it is a privilege and if you want it, go out and get a job that provides it. Not only is this such a ludicrous statement given the state of the economy and job losses, but don’t forget, we are all only one step away from being on the employment line…or worse, homeless. All it takes is some catastrophic event in our lives, to set the wheels spinning.
What passed yesterday is far from perfect. Although I have been strongly in favor of a significant overhaul to the health care system, I was not convinced, with all the political favors latched on to the bill, that this is the right way to go. But as I thought more and more about it, I realized we have to start somewhere. Sure, there will be fixes and changes along the way, but something significant needed to happen to get us moving in the right direction….and yesterday it did. Wiping out the “donut hole” in medicare prescription plans, no more denial of insurance because you are “too risky”, your kids can stay on your plan till they are 26 and are strongly on their way to creating their own life. Republicans refused to negotiate, to deal, to talk, even though much of this plan came from Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan, and plans talked about in the early 90′s by conservative think tanks. It was more about the politics, then what was good for Americans. Not to say many of the Democrats are without blame…..but there were doors open for negotiation, and the Republican leadership continually slammed them shut. Not to belabor the politics of it all, but take a gander at this “day after” commentary from David Frum, conservative political writer and former Bush speech writer. He concludes his commentary by saying “For the cause they purport to represent, however, the “Waterloo” threatened by GOP Sen. Jim DeMint last year regarding Obama and health care has finally arrived. Only it turns out to be our own.” ….Interesting comment.
Finally, and not least important, late last week the FDA issued warnings regarding the anti-cholesterol drug Zocor (simvastatin). There is concern that those taking the highest dose (80mg) are at an increased risk for muscle injury (myopathy). Although this is a concern with regard to all statin/anti-cholesterol drugs (which became of significance several years back with the recall of the statin drug Baycol which caused myopathy and in its worse and potentially deadly form, rhabdomyolysis), people taking Zocor at the 80 mg strength have a greater risk of developing muscle injury then other patients. This also goes for drugs which include Zocor as part of the medication, such as Vytorin and Simcor. The FDA is continuing to review studies on the drug to see if more action is necessary. As a consumer, if you are taking this medication and are having muscle aches and pains, especially in the legs, you should consult your physician immediately.
So there you go. I am back. Can’t make promises, because don’t want to disappoint, but hopefully I will continue to post on a regular weekly basis. Let me know your thoughts and comments about anything I discussed in this post or any other issues. Until next time….be careful out there.