Friday, December 17, 2004

Unsafe Drugs???

Ahh, unsafe drugs are back in the news with Celebrex.. My goodness I suspect very few drugs are totally safe. I know if you drink to much liquor (a drug) you can die. If you smoke or chew tobacco (a drug), you run the risk of dying. Almost any drug if you don’t follow directions can cause death (think sleeping pills, even aspirin). The thousands of drugs being used by most all people should be taken with the understanding of a possible side effect. In some cases, if you use multiple doctors, one may prescribe something that conflicts with what another doctor prescribed. You should tell your doctor what medications you are taking. Doctors are not seers, but human just like you. While faith is a great trait to have, common sense is even more reliable.

I emphasize that any drug should be used with caution. Some drugs can be dangerous to some people. Even eating peanuts, certainly not a drug, can cause death to some people allergic to whatever peanuts contain.

Dioxin, the drug used to try to kill the presidential candidate in Ukraine, has a use in the world of chemistry but it can cause death and disfigurement by misuse.

An article in the WSJ on October 5, 2004 reported that one of the first lawsuits filed against Merck the manufacturer of the arthritis pain reliever Vioxx, was filed by a 39 year old man who smoked cigarettes for over 20 years, was 35 pounds overweight, had high blood pressure and didn’t exercise regularly. (Probably worked for IDOT or USDOT). Naw, a lot of good people work on highways, unfortunately some have to work harder to make up for the slackers. As early as 1999, this man complained to his heart doctor that he was having chest pains. Records show that this man had his prescription filled, but who knows whether he was taking them as prescribed, giving them to someone else of just washing them down the drain.

Consider all the good drugs do for us. Keep filing these lawsuits, many frivolous, and the drug companies will relocate totally to India or China. Then we can really complain about outsourcing. (More on the subject of outsourcing later).

Speaking of buying drugs cheaper in Canada (which I wasn’t), Canada manufactures very few drugs, that’s one good reason why they can sell some drugs cheaper than pharmacies in the U.S. Also Canadians have neither the cost of research or litigation. Some might consider relocating to Canada where the government is more socialist and the wait time for proper medical care and medication can stretch for months. But most health care is cheaper.

We will miss you.

For those of you who sold their Pfizer in panic today, too bad. You not only cost yourselves a lot of money, you caused those of us who were intelligent enough to not panic, a lot of money. But we, who didn’t panic or were not panicked by our stockbrokers, (I got a call asking me to consider selling) still have our stock and you don’t. The stock rallied later in the day, it came back more than $2 a share before the market closed. I don’t expect to lose any money on Pfizer eventually because it is a solid company with enough legal counsel to deal with the tort attorneys. This doesn’t mean I don’t grieve for the ones who may have been hastened to their death by a drug that is considered safe for most people. I also grieve for the 3661 people who died in motorcycle related accidents in 2003.

I feel sorry for people who suffer from severe arthritis because they have been scared from seeking relief by the liberal press who tries to embarrass the established business sector on every opportunity. Sure, you can buy generics from wholesalers who are generally immune from litigation but the FDA keeps less of a watch on those than on the big pharmaceuticals. Those of you who might have watched CNBC today try to put their own words in the Pfizer President and CEO mouth should have been embarrassed for this station and their advertisers. Why pull a drug that benefits millions because of a few deaths? Did we pull booze and tobacco? And because of studies that seem to be in conflict with each other? Do I believe that Celebrex caused some deaths? I will leave the courts to make a fair determination. Has alcohol (a drug) been withdrawn because of an awful lot of death and misery? Alcohol related accidents caused over 16,000 deaths in vehicles alone in 2003 not counting all the homicides, shooting deaths, overdose deaths or the millions injured or brain damaged.

No, I’m not against the sale of drugs or alcohol. I just advise that if you must relieve your pain, follow your doctors advise or get a second opinion, enjoy yourself, or if you must, abuse yourself in moderation. I suspect with a little bit of luck, you’ll live longer. I also suggest that many drug related deaths have a combination of factors that result in one’s demise. I trust the judicial system will sort out the facts. My own opinion and that of many of my friends, is that the grasp on our throats that the tort attorneys have will be slightly loosened in the next four years.

You might want to put a buy on undervalued drug manufactures stock. Maybe consider buying thru a discount broker. While discount brokers won’t give you any advice you may be safer using your own judgment. In my case, why should I believe a guy who has less money than I have, yet is advising me where to put my money? And if he or she has more money than I, it must be because of the outrageous commission’s most full service brokers charge. I have the same sources of information (almost any stock can be found on the internet giving you most all the detail you need to know to make decisions on whether to buy, sell or hold.) most of the brokerages have and I don’t have to worry about the brokerage pushing a product on which they can make more money at my expense. My discount broker charges me $24.95 per transaction up to 5000 shares. Since I stopped using a full services brokerage a couple years ago, my portfolio has made a decent recovery.

I close with this thought. Courage is being scared to death – but saddling up anyway. (John Wayne)

Talk with you again this evening.

1 comment:

samej71 said...

The old addage is: The only difference between a medicine and a poison is the dose.

Granted, it is a generalization, but it ties in well with the article.