poisonwood's Diaryland Diary

Date: Aug. 19, 2009 . Time: 6:13 p.m.

vaccines and money Entry:


vaccines and money

The language around pregnancy occasionally drives me nuts. Consider this article in the Washington Post:

Maggie Little, director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, who has written extensively about pregnancy and risk, said there is often a strong reticence by pregnant women and providers to take medications -- even ones that are relatively low-risk.


She is worried about the consequences of that mindset, warning that "if we get a bad resurgence of the flu and these women don't get vaccinated, we're going to have a lot of dead mommies and babies."

The article is about the reluctance of some pregnant women to get the swine flu vaccine. I can hardly blame them. Consider this article on the HPV vaccine. Now I know there are a lot of politics mixed up with this vaccine, but there are bad guys (moralists more worried about premarital sex than female health) and bad guys (more interested in making money off a vaccine than female health). I started copying in quotes, and I find myself copying in basically the entire article. A couple choice tidbits:

Merck acknowledged that the company provided $199,000 to the American College Health Association, $300,000 to the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology and $250,000 to the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists.
Social conservatives have worried that providing the vaccine to young girls encourages sexual activity. The company also came under heavy criticism for an aggressive campaign to make the vaccine a mandatory prerequisite of school attendance -- an effort the company later abandoned.

Offering and even advertising a vaccine is one thing, but a company that profits from a vaccine leading a campaign to make it mandatory? That's just unfortunate, and I bet it happens all the time.

6:13 p.m. - Aug. 19, 2009



The more you find out about healthcare, theworse it seems - or more dishonest and money-driven, anyway -- especially the pharmaceuticals. My newest health care money saving proposal: ban advertising of drugs on television. This would lessen the demand for the expensive name-brand new drugs that are advertised and not necessarily better than the cheaper drugs. Anyway, the potential evil-doer of the day is the Pharmacy Benefit Manager. The graphic at the bottom of the article is helpful.

8:35 a.m. - Aug. 19, 2009


being green

I was sorry to see that the proposed bag fee was rejected in Seattle. The law would have levied a 20 cent fee on every bag. Yes, bags are pretty insignificant in terms of pollution, but it is also trivial to use reusable bags. I don't think this particular implementation was perfect, but it was fine. "Big plastic" spent a pretty penny lobbying against this one, and I guess dollars work. I personally still use plastic bags. I know it would be trivial to get reusable ones, and I really should. Here's a resolution that I will. Honestly, I know it's ridiculous, but I'm a little embarrassed to do it. NO ONE at my grocery store every uses reusable bags. I've literally never seen anyone do it, and I don't feel like putting on a show about being green.

8:23 a.m. - Aug. 19, 2009


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