Saturday, June 20, 2009

India's own agents of shame - Her own Doctors and "Government" Hospitals...

Women and children tend to be the worst affected victims of HIV and AIDS for the most part. It is disgusting when people take the women and children and demonize them for being HIV+. This is not new for India. When the children of HIV+ patients turned out to be HIV+ in Kerala, the parents of other children in the school took up a disgusting approach to the whole issue. The idiots acted just like the adjective I chose to describe them.

This recent incident, which happened in a Government Hospital in Jamnagar is extremely disturbing to say the least. There was once a time when I used to think that Doctors who practiced medicine commanded the highest echelons of respect and admiration. Disillusionment, as they say, can be a bitch. What with physicians and surgeons faking data and research, and now this...

A plan of action

The Indian Government needs to be very affirmative and strict about this. Unnecessary, misplaced belief systems and activism cannot be luxuries India can afford. Before the Indian medical practice also becomes infested with religious beliefs and other nonsense (yes, it's nonsense if you bring Jesus, Krishna or your favorite anti-abortion god to work with you) in the US, it is possible to stem the flow:

1. Medical practice must come with a strict licensing. If the license is suspended, then the physician/surgeon cannot practice. Of course, only the judiciary system and the medical board should be allowed to touch the licenses.

2. Religious beliefs and other systemic/cult based moral beliefs should not be permitted to allow a physician/surgeon/healthcare professional violate basic tenets, principles, guidelines and required acts of practice.

3. Licensing for practice should not be the burden of Doctors alone. Nursing, hospital administrators and others alike need to be held to appropriate licensing standards.

4. "Government" Hospitals need to lead by example. The Indian public has never received what can be deemed "Quality" care from Government Hospitals as such. In this day and age when India wants it's footprint recognized as a Global leader, this is simply not acceptable. These hospitals need to strive to the highest International standards of care. This is very much un-Utopian and achievable if acts like those that occured in Jamnagar are punished such that no sane person would try to repeat them if they wish to safeguard any professional future to their careers.

5. With specificity to HIV and AIDS, what the Indian Government does is criminal enough that we should let everyone currently in Parliament go... A paradigm shift (and no, I am not an MBA, so this phrase is being used with meaning) needs to take place. Nonsensical protests by parents against HIV+ children, any form of derision and parading must be met with fines and jail time alike. Wherever possible, if such protests and parading are performed by Government officials, they need to be unemployable by the Indian Government from that point forward automatically. If private firms act in a complicit manner to such acts of parading and disparagement, to the degree that they were complicit, their legal and physical existence must come into paucity.

Without such well marked moves, the Indian Government will be achieving nothing. If the "activists" really want to achieve something, they need to take this act to the Indian Parliament for attention - yesterday!

To throw up, visit:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Health Insurance Companies to senate: Sorry, and screw you too!

At a time when health insurance is such a well debated and turbid issue in the United States, Health Insurance Companies out there seem to be acting in the most childish way possible - this in an effort to prove that they are better off left as they are --> in charge of our death and demise in the name of health!

Isn't it amazing? If you have acne or if you gain or lose a few pounds, you could lose health insurance.

The idea behind insurance is all wrong, and of course there is no intelligent fix for a bloated system in which MBA Jockeys earn more than the actual Doctors and Nurses that help you.

I will tell you what we need to do - force health insurance companies to do severe cost cutting. Here are a few suggestions on how to regulate the industry. I am sure not one of them will ever be implemented:

1. The Chief this and Chief that officers of any health insurance company should have been employed for at least 5 - 10 years as either Doctors and Nurses only. No MBAs with Oil Baron dads or Social Anthropology backgrounds permitted.

2. Device and Pharmaceutical reimbursement should be tightly regulated. Increases of over 10% in the reimbursement in any category must be audited.

3. On the subject of audits - one or the other of the hundreds of gobbledygook Federal Agencies should audit every one of these companies - their mechanisms to accept or reject 'surance.

Of course, none of this will happen. In any case, read 'em and weep:

This, as it where, is the state of affairs...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Generic Pharma: Why India should stop babbling and rambling and start acting like the world leader it wants to be

The Premise

Very quickly: Stung by the fact that it is not just IT that India has a stereotypical leadership in, but also in generic pharma, Europe has resorted to shoddy tricks such as "customs seizures" on India's shipments of generics drugs.

The Rant

The 21st century is here. While a large portion of the world would like to look forward, Europeans would like to use "monopoly" and "copyright" to try and re-live the centuries past (and Australians will kill Indian students in merriment and no, of course they are not a racist nation, God forbid!).

You only have to pick up the paper to find out that Europe has issues with federal bailouts, Intel, Microsoft and anything with a remote chance of working. Why not? After all, it must be too hard to actually do work, right? Other than extremely expensive cars (whose manufacturers are also being bought up by Indians), what, if anything has Europe made by way of real global contribution in the recent past?

Or what, if anything is Europe going to be able to contribute by way of scientific progress or economic prowess? In a tiny continent where every island and street likes to call itself a country, they have joined forces to become a cabal of backward looking nonsense.

On to India

Of course, we all know that. But what is wrong with my fellow country men and women? We continue to launch "protests" while British Airways or the French Airports would treat us like dirt and Australians come out and kill us straight.

The days of groveling before the "master" are long gone my dear dinosaur-mother-land!

We need to wake up to a new Indian reality. Do we need motivation?

Just look at China. Ask one of the geniuses, anyone from the Clintons to Merkel to point a finger at China, which now wants to tell its folks what websites they can browse. We don't have to get to that level of ridiculousness, but we definitely need to start making a lot of noise - you know, like how we drive those Elephants off our streets.

If the Dutch seize our shipment or Frankfurt wants to sit on our pills for a month, how about suing them?

How about calling their Ambassadors and demanding an explanation?

How about summoning their Kings (the Dutch still have a King, go figure) and asking them some intriguing questions on discrimination?

How about holding up the next round of "World" "Trade" ""Talks"" till the European countries explicitly promise to stop nonsense-mongering?

Hey, how about a long, cold and slow investigation on Dutch and German shipments to India for "copyright violations"? Remember, the British taught us bureaucracy. How about using it other than on someone Indian?

The Congress got re-elected and Rahul Gandhi appointed "young and old" politicians to various ministries. Fine. How about appointing some aggressive and assertive folks that will push India out of the "East India" mentality into the 20-frigging-first-century.

It is so tired to be one among 1.08 billion (and counting) people with truck loads of market potential, a land size and definitely a population that is probably larger than Europe's and having to watch this unravel on a daily basis.

Of what use are Indian organizations and Associations if they cannot be alert and act assertively? We shouldn't become the catch-all filter for the West to harass us!

Whither the necessary spirit?


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

May the BPA Wars begin....An FDA review, an Industry cabal and the sweet smell of nexus

The FDA has never been one to stick to it's goals, objectives, responsibilities or duties in the last eight years or so. In the same spirit, last year, despite growing "concern" from scientists and consumer groups, it went ahead and approved BPA as safe for use in "baby food" nonetheless. If you ever wanted to recruit for a party that need people with no scruples or self-doubt, I guess you had to look at last year's FDA staff. Now which party would look to hire folks with such characteristics, eh?

The FDA's approval cannot be taken lightly, in wake of the following facts (Washington Post linked at the bottom):

1. BPA has been shown that BPA can be linked to a variety of cancers, infertility and other fun diseases.

2. BPA was found to leach into bottles even when used in cold temperatures.

3. Apparently, Harvard found out that people who drank regularly from BPA bottles had a 69% increase in BPA in their urine...

And, the FDA says it was safe for baby food.

The Present

Of many of the federal government's gambling hobbies, the FDA is becoming prime. Ignoring the nonsensical ruling, a few local governments started pressing on their own restrictions on BPA use. The strange bedfellows included Minnesota and Chicago. Apparently, yesterday, the California senate did the same thing. We may have no money left in my state, but even we think baby food needs protection!

Finally, Congress wanted to get into the game. It's amazing how fast Congress can act given it's dinosaurial origins...Waxman and Stupak, remarkably both Democrats (you should talk to your local Republican representative about what they think of your babies' health and future voting potential), wanted to know what the "new" FDA was going to do about it.

Progress or not, the one thing the new Obama FDA wants to review everything it's predecessor version did. At best, this is all the progress we can expect over the next eight years.

So, you think the party's over? Think not....

The Battle Ground

Nope, no Fallujah or Kabul here. This battle ground is the industry. I guess it consists of the American Chemistry Council (if you buy your kids a chemistry set, buy them an ethics set too..) and a host of guess-who's...

So what is their strategy? Apparently according to notes obtained by the Washington Post and confirmed by the people who were apparently in the meeting:

1. They would like to use fear tactics: "Would you like your babies to not have access to food?" as opposed to, I guess, urinating plastics.

2. Raising prices! You gotta pay more for BPA-free food. You now have a choice between using your food stamps or staying away from cancer and infertility. Rock and Hard Place, meanwhile, were reported to have lost most of their stock value.

3. Parade "pregnant young mothers" to talk about the safety of BPA. Never in the history of mankind have we relied on the public relations skills or the scientific progress of young pregnant mothers or pregnant young mothers (whatever the differnce is) on learning us the nice things babies urinating plastic can do for you...

Are there no alternatives?

You bet! There are alternatives. Apparently Japan has managed to throw BPA out of it's bottles and I guess lead out of its paints...

What is the war being fought over?

Brace yourself. The war is being fought over: "How foolish are Americans today"

1. If the FDA simply reviews last year's recommendations, and walks off with a ban on BPA - the story doesn't end there. Why did the recommendation change? If so, does it prove the old recommendation was indeed unscientific, politically motivated and does it reek of nexus? If so, who, if anyone, is going to pay?

2. If the industry wins, well...

Articles for review: