Friday, February 24, 2012

He's Not Heavy, He's My Bro

Simon’s brother Mark suffers from Fragile X Syndrome. Simon believes his failure to lead a normal adolescent life is solely due to his brother's disability. What do you think?

Bro from Chris Dundon on Vimeo.

Pills Or Candy?

Take the challenge and decide for yourself. Choose your poison.

Take the challenge: California Poison Control Centers from Marshall Thompson on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Nursing Versus Pharmacy

If you've been practicing what's left of your profession in the hospital setting for a while, then you've likely come to realize that nursing garners much of the decision-making power. They run the show from top to bottom. In my long itinerant career, I've even worked in a few hospitals where most of the hospital executives were former nurses. They don't forget where they came from and almost always strongly support the nurses in the trenches, sometimes at expense of other departments.

During that same period of time, you've probably also noticed that pharmacy has lost much of it's decision-making capabilities in the hospital setting. They don't have the same amount of power the used to have 15-20 years ago. As a matter of fact, I've even worked in a couple of for-profit hospitals where the pharmacy director has been replaced with a non-pharmacist.

That's right. Just like chain pharmacies and the PBMs, pharmacists working in hospitals often have to answer to non-pharmacist supervisors. As crazy as it may sound, in my career, I've had to answer to pharmacy technicians, radiology technicians, and even business majors who were put in charge of the pharmacy departments (directly and indirectly).

So, any pharmacists left running the pharmacy departments in hospitals sometimes have to resort to using rhetoric, flattery, ass-kissing, or some other type of bullshit rap to get what they want. If they're up against a nursing department who wants something differently, chances are they're going to lose.

But, don't just take my word for it.

I just happened to find video of our hospital's pharmacy and nursing directors arguing over the use of technology in reducing personnel costs, and showing who's really got the power. Just notice who's smiling, dancing, and sarcastically telling the frustrated pharmacist "Yeah, you're breaking my heart".

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Border Wars | Border Cadavers

Since Mexican president Felipe Calderon started his "war on drugs" after taking office in 2006, almost 50,000 people have reportedly been killed in violence caused by the drug gangs and cartels battling for power to supply illegal drugs. I'd bet the unreported numbers are probably even higher.

Unfortunately, the demand for those illegal drugs by Americans hasn't seemed to slow one bit. So, in order to bypass Customs and Border Protection and supply our insatiable urge for illicit drug use, the cartels have begun using increasingly creative methods to reach their goals.

I think almost everyone has heard about underground drug tunnels, hidden compartments in vehicles, cartels routinely trying to bribe customs agents, and even cartels using unassuming suspects such as the elderly and children to smuggle their drugs. Heck, they've even used catapults to launch drugs over the border. But, the more difficult it gets to smuggle drugs into America, the more sinister the cartels' methods become. So, who wouldn't expect the worst?

Like - smuggling drugs inside their murdered victims' corpses being brought across the border.

Source: National Geographic | Border Wars

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

You're Never Too Old For Vaccination

It's a crime to catch a life-threatening disease when it can be so easily prevented.

CDC Video Player. Flash Player 9 is required.
CDC Video Player.
Flash Player 9 is required.

Source: CDC: Vaccines for Adults

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pharmacy And Technology

I was just reading an article entitled: CDC Launches New System for Tracking Antibiotics in Hospitals in the February edition of Pharmacy Practice News and thought I would post the following excerpt from that article -
For the first time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be electronically tracking hospitals’ use of antimicrobial medications, using a new national system known as the AU (antimicrobial use) Initiative, part of the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network.

The new system requires very little additional effort on the part of hospital pharmacists: Data on antimicrobial use can be automatically captured and reported from the medication administration record via clinical document architecture.

Be sure to read the whole article. Does it seem like some of your "colleagues" are holding you in contempt and trying to remove you from the picture? You decide.

I also recently came across the following video, and an accompanying link to an article written by Eliezer S. Yudkowsky about an experiment which had to do with Artificial Intelligence. I thought it might provide some good food for thought about how technology is impacting the profession.

According to BLR -

In a near future, man will have given birth to machines that are able to rewrite their codes, to improve themselves, and, why not, to dispense with them. This idea sounded a little bit distant to some critic voices, so an experiment was to be done: keep the AI sealed in a box from which it could not get out except by one mean: convincing a human guardian to let it out.

What if, as Yudkowsky states, ‘Humans are not secure’? Could we chess match our best creation to grant our own survival? Would man be humble enough to accept he was superseded, to look for primitive ways to find himself back, to cure himself from a disease that’s on his own genes? How to capture a force we voluntarily set free? What if mankind worst enemy were humans?

In a near future, we will cease to be the dominant race.

In a near future, we will learn to fear what is to come.

Keloid Trailer - A Short Film by BLR from BLR_VFX on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Denial Is A Drug

Just because you refuse to see, and to intervene, doesn't mean there's not a serious problem.

Video Source: Drug Free AZ | Get Involved: National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse

Friday, February 17, 2012

Saving Face

SAVING FACE tells the stories of two acid-attack survivors: Zakia and Rukhsana, their arduous attempts to bring their assailants to justice, and the charitable work of London-based, Pakistani-born plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad, who strives to help these women put this horrific act behind them and move on with their lives.

Saving face also highlights the efforts of the women across Pakistani society that are making efforts to help this vexing issue and the changes that occur from their efforts. Directed by Oscar® and Emmy®-nominated filmmaker Daniel Junge and Emmy®-winning Pakistani director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, SAVING FACE is an intimate look inside Pakistani society, illuminating each women's personal journey while showing how reformers are tackling this vexing problem.

A 2012 Academy Award Nominee For Documentary (Short Subject), SAVING FACE will broadcast internationally in 2012, beginning with HBO in North America and Channel Four in the UK.

Source: Saving Face Film

Thursday, February 16, 2012

DSM-5: The Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis

Just following-up from last May's post about the American Psychiatric Association (APA) seeking both professional and public comments and suggestions towards the proposed diagnostic criteria revisions for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) Development Process.

That process has now been extended to a third phase, and again, the APA is asking for your input. According to their website -
The 2nd commenting period was not the final opportunity for you to submit feedback. In spring 2012, we will open the site for a third and final round of comments from visitors, which will again be systematically reviewed by each of the work groups for consideration of additional changes.

During the second comment period, we received over 2000 comments and our work groups are actively reviewing your input. Thank you for taking the time to provide your insights, experiences, and expertise toward these important issues.
Now, don't think that this process is just a ruse, designed to make it seem like they care about your input, but have already decided the changes in advanced, by themselves, behind closed doors. What you have to say may be important to them. For example, it looks like they took my suggestion for inclusion of Superhero Syndrome, but they just renamed it to Delusional Disorder: Grandiose Type.

But all kidding aside, they truly need your input. Trying to apply scientific principles to something as non-scientific as the mind and human behavior is a challenge. Don't forget that in 1952, the American Psychiatric Association listed homosexuality in the DSM as a sociopathic personality disorder.

So, please take the time to share your thoughts. Having someone from outside of their cloistered group providing input may help them see things in a different light. Because if there's one thing that I'm absolutely sure of it's that - to a man with a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Community Pharmacists' Psyche

After dropping off a bit over the past month or so, it now seems to me that pharmacy robberies are back on the increase again. Some pharmacies have even reported being robbed twice in just one day!

And what are the corporate powers doing to protect their employees? Not too much that I've noticed. Except telling them the same thing they've been telling them for years about every other liability that's been shifted onto their backs - comply and "hope" for the best outcome.

I'm not sure just how long pharmacists can keep working without it starting to affect their psyche. I mean, who knows who's next on the list for some psycho killer coming through the door?

As a matter of fact, I recently overheard one pharmacist discussing her concerns with management in the break room. Seems like she's fed up and about to take matters into her own hands. She's so touchy now that she's having a hard time dealing with "all" customers. And who can blame her?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Dark Side Of Enabling

In the wake of the tragic and preventable death of Whitney Houston, I thought I would share this video link from the article entitled "Risen from the gutter, he whispers hope to Hollywood's junkies" on CNN.

Truthfully, I can't identify with Bob Forrest, am not sure (except for his being a former addict) what makes him an authority on the subject, and don't fully agree with his opinions - but a lot of other people seem to value his opinions, and he provides a good "behind the scenes" story.

It's a celebration of the negative -- and a constant dance in Hollywood, if headlines are any indication. In the end, only the addict can control how the journey ends. But along the way, there is no shortage of enablers. And - if you ask my opinion - there would be MUCH LESS of the tragedy and heartache associated with drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse if there was much less enabling going on.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Daily Show: Drug Testing

The funny thing is, I'd bet there's a higher percentage of drug use amongst politicians as a group.

Source: The Daily Show with John Stewart Noli nothis permittere te terere

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Shit People Say To Their Pharmacist

I think the title speaks for itself. Is this what's considered providing MTM services?

Hat tip: Ashley Jones

Sick | A Short Film

When I was a teenager there wasn't the predominance of STIs/STDs as there is now. HIV hadn't arrived yet, and herpes was just coming onto the scene. The only time I heard the word "chlamydia" was after being introduced to the Puerto Rican girl who lived down the block, Chlamydia Santiago. When people did happen to catch an STD, most were easily treatable with "lower level" antibiotics. It wasn't something to worry to much about. A lot of people got "clap" and it wasn't that big of a deal.

Nowadays, STDs are at epidemic levels. The CDC estimates that there are 19 million new infections every year in the United States. HIV has taken the lives of a great many people, herpes is considered a predominant STI, HPV entered onto the scene, and chlamydia is now the most reported STD in the United States. The lower level antibiotics used to treat common STDs don't work anymore, and now the CDC reports gonorrhea becoming resistant to the most powerful antibiotics used to treat it.

If you're having unprotected sex, an STD isn't something that you "may" catch, it's now something that you're "likely" to catch - and the consequences can be severe. So, now that you're aware of the dangers, the least you can do is to accept them, make wiser choices, and always use protection.

But, don't just take my word for it. See for yourself.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Super Hero Blues

It looks like Superhero Pharmacists are beginning to realize what the future holds for them, and more than a few are becoming bummed out about it. I just happen to catch one of them on lunch break today sharing his feelings about the profession with his "not so sympathetic" pharmacy supervisor.

Super Hero Blues - Short Film from Stephen Rowell on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Are You Being Followed?

When the dead begin to rise, and relentlessly follow the people most responsible for their deaths, a man must come to terms with the corpse of a young child who is following him. In the face of her silent accusation, he struggles to understand how he is responsible, and wonders if there has been some mistake.

Based on the story (pdf) by 2010 Hugo-winning writer Will McIntosh, Followed is a socially conscious monster movie in which zombies symbolize society's disadvantaged and oppressed. McIntosh says that zombies are a way to face the existential terror we feel at the awareness of our own mortality. "I think people love zombie fiction because it explores that terror so directly–the dead are right there, in your face, and they’re not ‘undead’ beings with supernatural powers and sexy lives, they’re corpses," he says. "Corpses scare the shit out of us."

I'd like to think that perhaps the zombies also represent our consciences, there to constantly remind us of the consequences that can result from continued poor decision-making. But, that's just me.

Followed (2011), based on the short story by Will McIntosh from James Kicklighter on Vimeo.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Some Political Insight From Bill Moyers

I'm not one for discussing politics, as I've previously explained my cynical position on the subject. But, I've always found Bill Moyers to be insightful and willing to point out the bullshit that's being spread, just so we don't step in it.

So, I thought I would post this clip from one of his recent shows. Just some food for thought.

Bill Moyers Essay: Newt's Obsession with Saul Alinsky from on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

FRONTLINE: Post Mortem

Popular television shows, such as C.S.I., portray death investigators as high-tech sleuths wielding the most sophisticated tools of 21st century science. But, such investigations are not nearly the normal. An unprecedented collaborative investigation by FRONTLINE's Lowell Bergman, ProPublica and NPR found a very different reality: A dysfunctional system in which there are few standards, little oversight and the mistakes are literally buried.

"There are people out there trying to carry out death investigations and they're trying to do them the best they can, but they don't have the training, they don't have the money, they don't have the infrastructure and they don't have the skill," retired Virginia state Medical Examiner Dr. Marcella Fierro tells FRONTLINE.

You almost won't believe what's being reported. Watch FRONTLINE: Post Mortem on your local PBS television station, or watch the full version online. Here's the trailer -