Monday, October 31, 2011

no, I am *not* here

So, if I did a "no, really, I'm still alive, see?" post then I'd feel all kinds of obliged to actually catch up on things that I didn't write about. The hell with that, I have dishes to wash. Instead, let's just jump in.

oh. yes, I probably should have mentioned something about the muddy puddle. if its any comfort, the Giggles had already dipped an investigative sneaker in, considered the result, and then tromped firmly on through. (No, really. Go check the playground on the kid's school - you can't miss it.)

Meander done. Next?

Right. Next is the bit where I get all fired up over the prescription drug shortages. Or maybe the enthusiastic gray market that is making hay from the shortages. But it's happened before (wait, that makes it okay?) so there's no shock here. Just tired familiarity.

When the Eldest was born, there was a shortage of recombinant factor VIII. (Translation: not-from-human clotting protein needed for hemophilia A.) When a new baby popped up with hemophilia, we all went hunting in the hospital pharmacy for a recombinant brand that made doses in small enough sizes. If you found one, hooray! A new baby got a new era drug, and you stuck with that pharma company until the market (ptooie, ptooie) opened up and gave you options. Some day.

And yeah, there was a gray market. Biological injectibles were bought or stolen by goodness knows who, kept under goodness knows what conditions, and then sold at eeeyikes prices. Of course, if you don't keep a biological at the right temperature, it will lose potency - but hey. There's an excellent book about the pharma grey market by this clever lady, here. For those of you who cannot be bothered to amazon it, Katherine Egan's book is described - better yet, summarized - in an article found here.

Note the date. This is old, old news. Or is it? According to a sensibly written report for the HHS, it's an ongoing issue. Which is perhaps less exciting than the fresh, horrified headlines about shortages of life-saving cancer drugs - by contrast, we Imperfects are among the very few who care about the shortage of the faux old feet flavored drug (aka Amicar), our fellow bruisers who care about the shortages of desmopressin (used to treat vWD). And, were I to blithely go ahead and let an orthopedist remove large, inopportune chunks of my wrist, I'd certainly care a whole helluva lot as to whether the hospital was buying my diazepam from the back of some guy's truck.  (See Egan to find out if I'm kidding about the truck.)

So, hooray for Obama's kick in the pants to oh, everybody and the FDA. A hearty waving o' the pom poms to the FBI for looking into the current gray market, and offering that information to the public. Good to know.  And a heartfelt three cheers for Rep. Elijah Cummings, who is pushing the issue in Congress. Apparently, he is doing so after receiving a letter from the mother of a child affected by the shortages, thereby proving that he not only reads his mail (or hires staffers with a nose for the important issue), he also pays attention. And oh - don't overlook this, because it's got to cost him potential pharma campaign funds - acts.

Good for you, Rep. Cummings!