Thursday, October 01, 2009

Flu Vaccines Running Behind...

... as if this should be a surprise? What with the Swine Flu grabbing all of the headlines, it should be expected that those all-important doses of vaccine would be in short supply.
Sanofi Pasteur (pharm company) says that it has shipped more than half of its 50.5 million doses of its seasonal flu vaccine,but that it could be as late as November before the remainder are sent out.

Cary attributed part of the backlog at Sanofi Pasteur to its simultaneous production of 75.5 million doses of the swine — or H1N1 — vaccine for the United States. Also contributing to the delay is the fact that this year's seasonal flu vaccine includes a strain that develops more slowly in laboratories, she said.
But "everybody who ordered vaccine from us will be getting it," Cary

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Healthcare Debate...

... rages on in places all over America.
Health Care Tuesday
by DemFromCT Tue Sep 29, 2009
The health-system overhaul proposed by Sen. Max Baucus would create millions of new insurance customers without subjecting health insurers to government-run competition -- two key victories for the much-maligned industry.
It's all about the mandate. Hence, the need for the public option.
National Journal:
Congressional Republicans have worked themselves into a high dudgeon over a Health and Human Services department probe into one insurance company's controversial lobbying activities.
Not content to blast the investigation in angry letters and floor statements, GOP lawmakers have now threatened to block all HHS nominees from confirmation until the agency reverses course.
At issue is whether insurance company Humana, Inc., violated federal rules when it warned some of its Medicare Advantage clients in a mailing that pending health care legislation could slash their benefits.
I trust Humana to be telling the unvarnished truth. Don't you?
Lost in all this righteous indignation are some basic facts about Humana's role and obligations as a government contractor. Humana's communications did not take the form of a generic advertising campaign or mass mailing -- something the insurer was and remains free to do. Rather, Humana mailed a letter to Medicare Advantage members whose names and addresses were provided by the federal government.
The army of industry lobbyists in the health-care battle is fighting on familiar terrain: More than half of them used to work for the government they’re trying to influence.
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
Disturbing story:
Friends say the Miami University graduate who died this week after reportedly suffering from swine flu delayed getting medical treatment because she did not have health insurance.
Most cases of H1N1 are uncomplicated and self-limiting. You'll see similar stories both about the occasional severe case of H1N1 and the insurance issue. Keep both in perspective, but mixing them is volatile.
Almost one third of a group of patients who died in the past 4 months from H1N1 influenza had bacterial infections that complicated their illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in a conference call with healthcare providers. But the agency cautioned against applying that ratio to all cases of H1N1, saying the death records it reviewed were submitted by hospitals and medical examiners and did not represent a statistically valid sample.
Nevertheless, the 22 cases (among 77 deaths confirmed to be from H1N1) emphasize that bacterial co-infections are playing a role in the ongoing pandemic, something that was not clear at first, the CDC's Dr. Matthew Moore said on the call.
Clinician calls with CDC are frequent because H1N1 interim guidance and information is always changing.
I'll be on Second Life's Virtually Speaking with Jimbo Hoyer (Jay Ackroyd) this Thursday at 8 pm ET, also simulcast on Blog Talk Radio. We'll talk about pandemic flu with guest Josh Knauer of Rhiza Labs.
Weight loss and sleep apnea
Obese people with sleep apnea who lose 10% of their weight have a good chance of improving their condition, a study shows.
"This is good news because it shows that a little bit of weight loss can go a long way when it comes to improving sleep apnea," says the study's lead author, Gary Foster, director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Median Incomes Fall...

... which is no big surprise, is it?
According to the Associated Press ( no link ) the median income in 2008 for us workers was some $50,303 which is down from $52,163 in 2007. 2008 level is the lowest level since 1997. Middle income and poor Americans suffered the most, but, all groups did see declines in their cash.
The wealthiest 10% of Americans ($138,000 or more per year) earned some 114 times the average $12,000 made ny the working poor living near or below the poverty average. Poverty jumped up some 132%, an eleven year high.