Pharmaceuticals

Today I am deviating from copd for probably the first time in the decade or so I have written this blog. To something that concerns each of us with any health problem. That is the price of many drugs. Drugs that in some cases have mark up prices tens of times more than the cost of the ingredients used.

Living in the UK I am lucky as we have a national health service that is free at the point of entry. Drugs only cost a small amount in England, while where I live in Wales, prescribed drugs are free. When I say free I must add we do pay for our health service through taxation. It is not a perfect system. But does make sure that no one dies through not being able to get the medical help or medication needed during a health crisis.

I speak with many people in the USA, and sadly,know of two that have died through not being able to afford drugs needed to keep them living. Others get by using an inhaler every other day to cut cost, instead of twice a day as they should. Still others cannot afford essential oxygen leaving them at risk of damage to their organs. While all the time the pharmaceutical industry become more bloated. An industry that worldwide is worth more the one trillion dollars.

Almost every day drug prices are raised. I was amazed while researching inhalers costs to find the two I use cost more than $400 in America – but in some cases are ten times cheaper here in the UK. It really is a choice of stay warm, eat, or get the medication for some.

There is of course a conflicting side. We need the pharmaceutical industry as many drugs they supply prolong life, or relieve suffering. A common argument put forward by the industry is research is very costly, and they need to claw back that cost. Something that I am sure we all agree with. But – did you know that the pharmaceutical industry spend many times more than that spent on research in promotion. Your doctor is also more likely to be on an earner too. Paid a commission for promoting a certain drug, so be more keen to prescribe that over another, maybe less costly drug too.

Many prescribed drugs cause unwanted side effects, and in some cases death. Sometimes, the patient will take one drug for a health problem. Then another to deal with the side effects caused by the one being taken to deal with that. A vicious circle. It is also fact that more die from prescribed drugs than from addiction. Food for thought don’t you think.

It is easy to see the drug industry does not have your interests at heart. But sadly does have the ethos of money above your welfare. How to make more bucks from you. Heck they are even now drugging whole nations with Statins, making more billions per year. But – the industry knows, as I have seen in research, that if whole nations were given a vitamin D3 supplement instead, the drug industry would suffer an enormous downturn in profits. More worrying for them a whole years supply of D3 costs less than $20, or here in the UK as little as £12.

Next I will write about how the drug industry is attempting to persuade you not to take D3 – and show the benefits from taking it – benefits that include a better immune system, less illness, and a healthier overall life. Until then Breathe Easy.

Today I leave you with a little Roy Orbison One of my all time favourite American artists.

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Time to get COPD proactive

Some have wondered if I am still living having not written in my personal blog for so long. Amazingly it is nearly a full year since I last wrote a blog here. I have written guest blogs, and regular copd articles elsewhere – and am sure many of you guys will have seen at least some of them. This year I intend to revive this, my first blog with the intention of educating some of you guys how to stay more well, and to fight this illness of ours. Meanwhile, let me bring you up to date.

It is now a very long time since I was diagnosed as ‘end stage’ copd. What a horrid sounding wording that is. End stage. Sound like the last bell. That whistle that says off into the ground you go – or time to scatter you to the wind. Many of us stay ‘end stage’ for very many years. As is has for me. Never worry about that wording. It only means you cannot drop down any more ladders. It is stage 4 with a lung function of less than 30%. But do the right things, and you can live very many more years.

I have stabilised my FEV1 for a decade now. I am though disabled by copd. My gas exchange has worsened over time, and I now use 6 lpm of oxygen when mobile. We have to remember this is a chronic illness. Lungs do not heal, and copd is progressive. But we can slow the rate. Immensely. I have now had copd for nearly 31 incredible years having been diagnosed when 39 years of age. I will be celebrating my 70th birthday in May. Many wonder how I am still managing to live after having had copd for so long. I have myself given this much thought, and reached a conclusion. One that maybe big pharmaceutical doesn’t want me to write about. But in my next two blogs, will.

Like many of you guys I have taken supplements to see if a certain product is of any use in making us feel better. In most cases I found the product to be a waste of money, and time. Many were great failures after offering so much promise. But a couple have turned out to be invaluable. One in particular, costing pennies, or cents if you live in the States, has been invaluable to my health, and research indicates could decimate the profits of big pharmaceutical companies everywhere.

To stay strong, we need to cut the risk of exacerbation. If possible to make sure any exacerbations are less severe. We need to strengthen our immune system. If possible to prevent colds. Most of all to avoid flu, as flu can kill us.

I have learned how to predict a coming bad flu season. When the winter vomiting bug will be at its most viral. Most of all how to avoid becoming a statistic. I have far less severe exacerbations than I once had, and much less frequent too. No further damage to my weakened lungs has been done to weaken my FEV1. I very rarely catch a cold, the one I had last year was very weak and did not stay around. My bone health is good despite the steroids I take, and I manage to stay reasonably upbeat. Don’t get worried. I am not about to sell you anything. I only offer information. Starting on my next blog when I write about bit pharma, and the vitamin D3 conspiracy. Why they are worried their profits could take a massive hit – and the misinformation they publish.

Until my fingers get dancing on the keyboard again I leave you with this great tune by a wonderful artist, Dionne Warwick. Until then Breathe easy.

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Action, lights, lets roll.

It really is exciting times for me and blogging. After toying with the idea for some time I have decided to enter video blogging. This present blog will be available for several years yet. But the aim is for the video blog to take over where this one ends during the next few years. It will be hosted on YouTube so everyone anywhere will be able to view it.

It really has been amazing working on this new project. There is a lot more to video blogging than simply sitting in front of a camera and talking. Editing and camera skills have had to be learned. An intro and outro to be made. Techniques – all this and more to be worked on. Now hopefully in a few weeks I should be ready to produce my first video blog.

camera

A short while ago I would not have considered video blogging. But the more I thought about the idea the more I started to fall in love with the idea. But what does it give you, my fellow copder that my written blogs don’t?

The start of the new video blogs will be an introduction followed by short regular blogs on copd. I plan to cover from diagnosis and the mild stage, working through to stage four and how to make life easier. To describe the dangers and effects of oxygen deprivation, the bump and the life changing effects of all this. The benefits of breathing and general exercise will be shown as well as at times short demonstrations. Equipment can be shown including the oximeter. Simple items that help to make life easier, and oxygen equipment. A demonstration showing how fast blood oxygen saturation levels can go down when moving will also be made, and how I plan for trips away, something that is done with almost military precision. Most of all when possible I will try to show the positive side to highlight although our lives change with copd, it does not end. That there is a lot of living and enjoyment still to be had.

When out and about Lynne will have the video camera, and film me on a tramper, or with my smaller scooter, or just enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Short clips that will fall into blogs I am working on.

For now it is off to check a new lapel microphone to see how well that works. For now. Keep smiling and most of all Breathe Easy.

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