November 22, 2016

Acupuncture: A serviceable alternative to medication?

Accupuncture-therapy-alternative-medicine-treatmentsDepending on the severity of the pain a patient is experiencing, there are many types of pain medication available. They range from over-the-counter options such as acetaminophen to prescribed narcotic medications such as opioids. These medication have been known to successfully treat pain but there are many alternative therapies that can be explored, among them is acupuncture therapy.

Acupuncture therapy is a traditional Chinese treatment which has been known to treat a wide variety of conditions. Although there is no significant evidence or medical acceptance of this treatment many people claim it has the ability to effectively treat pain [1].

The premise of this therapy is to stimulate specific anatomic points of the body with very fine sterile needles. These points are called acupoints. In traditional Chinese medicine, these points were dependent on a variety of factors. It was believed that stimulating certain points with a certain technique could diagnose and treat the condition in question. The following points explain the core philosophies which lead to the above stated conclusions:

  • There are opposite forces in the universe and the body which need to be in balance in order for the body to be considered healthy
  • Energy in the body flows in certain pathways
  • If the flow of energy in the body is disrupted it is most likely causing pain in that specific area. Analysts describe it as the flow of water being blocked by a dam
  • Energy flow needs to be constant in order to reduce pain

With these core ideologies, traditional Chinese medicine specialists have been able to cure many people experiencing severe pain. Also, modern research has found associations with acupuncture therapy and cardiovascular, immune, endocrine and digestive symptoms, however there is no evidence of its etiological importance [2].

[1] How acupuncture can relieve pain and improve sleep, digestion and emotional well-being. UC San Diego: Center for Integrative Medicine. Retrieved from: http://cim.ucsd.edu/clinical-care/acupuncture.shtml

[2] Acupuncture. Medicine Net. Retrieved from: http://www.medicinenet.com/acupuncture/article.htm

Image retrieved from Lars Plougmann

CanDrugstore.com, a Canadian Internet-based pharmacy intermediary (license #BC X23), offers low cost, long-term prescription drugs. A professionally registered pharmacist fills all Canadian prescriptions. A certified member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, CanDrugstore.com is ranked as one of the best Canadian pharmacies online by PharmacyChecker.com. For more information on how to order your drugs from Canada safely and securely call 1-866-444-6376 or visit http://www.candrugstore.com/- a trusted and reliable Canadian online pharmacy since 2002.

Why the Price for Epipen Will Increase Even More

Woman injecting emergency medicine into her leg

People who have severe allergies are usually at risk of an anaphylaxis episode. This is a very severe allergic reaction that occurs when the person is exposed to an allergen. The most well-known symptom of anaphylaxis is constricted breathing due to swelling, which can be life-threatening if left unaddressed.
EpiPen is the widely-used method of delivering the medication needed to treat the severe symptoms of this allergic reaction. The small contraption is a vital instrument that administers a small dose of epinephrine, which allows the body to stimulate muscles in the heart, throat and chest to re-activate breathing mechanisms in the body.
However this lifesaving medication has become outrageously expensive due to Mylan (the company that sells EpiPen) developing a monopoly in the market. Mylan obtained the official right to market and sell this product in 2007, and since then, the company has been known to outrageously hike up the EpiPen prices. Competitors have been unable to create an injection system as reliable as the EpiPen. A pair of EpiPens which cost around $100 in 2007 has been subsequently increased to around $600 over 17 price increases in the past few years [1].
Mylan settled a lawsuit in 2012 by agreeing to let another pharmaceutical company introduce a generic version of the EpiPen. This provided some hope for consumers because a cheaper option in the market would have given them a viable alternative and ideally drive down the price of Mylan’s EpiPen. However, the generic version, which was introduced by Teva Pharmaceuticals, was “unexpectedly rejected by the Food and Drug Administration” [2]. This caused an outrage in consumers because Mylan had been increasing its drug prices to make their final profits before the introduction of a generic. Additionally, Sanofi’s Auvi-Q, another generic alternative, had also “been pulled from the market last year because of dosing problems” [2].
So, instead of Mylan making their final profits before the introduction of two generics; they made outrageous profits and ended up with a monopoly over the market. Moving forward Mylan now has the ability to keep increasing EpiPen prices for at least another year.
Since Mylan continues to hold the monopoly on EpiPens, patients seek alternative methods of purchasing the injector. Some turn to Canada to purchase EpiPen, where the prices are drastically more affordable. International certification boards like the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) and PharmacyChecker.com are excellent sources one can use to ensure that they are ordering from trustworthy pharmacies online. On average, the price for an EpiPen ranges from $100 – $400 from a trustworthy Canadian online pharmacy.

[1] Mylan agrees to give EpiPen Documents to Congress. Wattles, Jackie. CNN Money. Retrieved From: http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/12/news/companies/epipen-mylan-house-committee/

CanDrugstore.com, a Canadian Internet-based pharmacy intermediary (license #BC X23), offers low cost, long-term prescription drugs. A professionally registered pharmacist fills all Canadian prescriptions. A certified member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, CanDrugstore.com is ranked as one of the best Canadian pharmacies online by PharmacyChecker.com. For more information on how to order your drugs from Canada safely and securely call 1-866-444-6376 or visit http://www.candrugstore.com/- a trusted and reliable Canadian online pharmacy since 2002.

November 8, 2016

Insulin Drug Prices At the Forefront of US Election

In the last week, Bernie Sanders has called for a federal investigation of the continuously rising prices of insulin, the critical drug for people with diabetes. Senator Sanders and Representative Elijah Cummings crafted a letter to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission pointing to a pattern where the three insulin makers have increased their prices in tandem for the last 20 years. They point to a possibility that the drug companies are price fixing (coordinating the rise of their prices) to take advantage of millions of Americans who need the drugs.

With three companies producing insulin, the expectation would be that the price of the necessary drug to drop, as a competitive market should lead to lower prices. However, the prices have not dropped, in fact they have risen at a very similar rate. Prices of directly competing brands going up by the same amount in similar time periods is a malicious practice called “shadow pricing” [1]

Insulin Prices

The drug makers defend themselves by stating that they don’t collude with their competitors, but react to the prices that they set. Furthermore, the products are not entirely substitutable, as there are small differences in reaction to each brand of insulin. Doctors are worried that the uncontrollable price hikes and the fact that more people are getting diabetes now will produce an environment that is even more detrimental to patients. There are other options to attain safe and affordable insulin, which many US patients are now using.

Bernie Sanders is active on Twitter to denounce drug companies like pointing out that many people have to choose between medication and other essentials.

[1] The Insulin Market is heading for a shakeup. STAT. Retrieved from https://www.statnews.com/2016/10/14/insulin-prices-generics/

CanDrugstore.com, a Canadian Internet-based pharmacy intermediary (license #BC X23), offers low cost, long-term prescription drugs. A professionally registered pharmacist fills all Canadian prescriptions. A certified member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, CanDrugstore.com is ranked as one of the best Canadian pharmacies online by PharmacyChecker.com. For more information on how to order your drugs from Canada safely and securely call 1-866-444-6376 or visit http://www.candrugstore.com/- a trusted and reliable Canadian online pharmacy since 2002.