HALLELUJAH!!!! INEXPENSIVE PRESCRIPTIONS MEDICATIONS

Finally, there is an on-line pharmacy that allows you to check the price of a medication so you have a reference point for your own pharmacy charges and costs.

In addition, it is a full-service pharmacy that is available in all 50 states and has been sanctioned by Consumer Reports.  You can order your medications for these prices at…..

www.HealthWarehouse.com

It is a great resource to find the cost of your medications and also a great place to get inexpensive generic medications.

Combine that with this Canadian resource

www.pharmacychecker.com

to get prescriptions that are not yet available as generics here in the US or which may be cheaper as brand name medications in Canada, and you have a potent one-two punch against the abuses by Walgreens, CVS, and the like non-covered medications.

 

PS…..add www.Costco.com to the list of ‘good guys’.  You can always get a good price there and they will not gouge you.   You don’t have to be a member to Costco to use their pharmacy services, but I’d support them with a membership if I got my medications there.

 

BARBARA HAS LEFT THE BUILDING……

Like they used to say about Elvis…our Barbara has retired after 33 years with the practice.

Barb has been a beloved fixture in our office and she has decided it’s time to leave ‘show business’ for bigger and brighter (and more relaxing) things.    I met her when I was in medical school and she was working for my father, Dr. Mervyn Lakin.  She met Brigid, my wife, while we were still dating….she has been a big part of the office and of our lives.

We are going to miss her greatly, but we know she is going to enjoy her newfound time…she deserves it.

She’ll be back to visit and we’ll keep our patients updated on her exploits.

We all wish Barbara the best and we will be keeping in touch.  Until then…..keep the sunny side up!

RECALLED MEDICATION: VALSARTAN PRODUCED BY CERTAIN MANUFACTURERS

Current methods of manufacturing are superb, even for generic medications.  That said, there are issues that can develop and a recent concern has been noted by the FDA for Valsartan, a high blood pressure medication.  There are concerns that a cancer-causing chemical (NDMA) has tainted the pills in small amounts.  Although potentially dangerous, it is not ‘deadly’.

Not all forms of this medication are tainted..only certain manufacturers.  Here is the current list:

Recalled Products

Medicine Company
Valsartan Major Pharmaceuticals
Valsartan Solco Healthcare
Valsartan Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.
Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) Solco Healthcare
Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.

 

To determine if your valsartan is manufactured by one of these companies, do the following:

  1.  Call your pharmacy and inquire
  2. Look at your bottle (it may tell you)
  3. Enter your pill color, shape, and numbers into the GOOGLE SEARCH BAR…and it will reveal the medication and manufacturer.  (ie:  white, round, e144)

NOTE:  OTHER MEDICATIONS ARE NOT AFFECTED BY THIS RECALL.

 

Read more >>>>HERE<<<<

NEW SHINGLES VACCINE

The new SHINGRIX VACCINE, is a two shot series (given 2+ months apart).   It is the new SHINGLES VACCINE and it will be available beginning January, 2018

If you are interested in getting the two vaccines you may call our office to get on a waiting list, as we do not yet have the SHINGRIX VACCINE at the office, but we are expecting it in January, 2018

What is Shingles?
It is reactivated chicken-pox virus in a nerve root that present as a painful rash.

 

Who gets Shingles? 

Anyone who has had chicken pox as a child can get shingles as an adult.  33% of people will get shingles in their lifetime.  The vast majority will get it after age 60, but you can get shingles at any age.

 

Who should get the SHINGRIX VACCINE?

Anyone over the age of 50 can get the vaccine.  It appears to be 90% effective, which is much more effective that the current vaccination (Zostavax).

 

Who SHOULD NOT get SHINGRIX VACCINE?
Although this is a ‘dead’ virus and there is little to no risk of transmitting infection from the shot, it is not currently recommended for patients who have reduced immunity due to medications or health conditions.   That said, it is anticipated that this vaccine will be approved for such patients, so if you wish to get the vaccine it would be considered acceptable, but not recommended.

 

How is SHINGRIX given?
It is a two-shot series, given at least 2 months apart.

 

What side effects are there?

50% of patients will feel ‘crummy’ for 1-2 days afterward with aches/pains/low-grade fever.  Like having a mild flu.

Approximately 10% will have a significantly sore arm at the injection site for 1-2 days.

The SHINGRIX VACCINE will make a major impact on SHINGLES.  We will see this condition virtually disappear, and that’s a good thing.

Read more about SHINGLES in the shingles section of THE GUIDE at www.DoctorDougBooks.com

More on THE SHINGRIX VACCINE HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

TAKING CONTROL BEFORE DEMENTIA PROGRESSES

Dementia is the loss of higher intellectual function and memory, and it is extremely common as we age, affecting 37% of the US population by age 85.

For families dealing with this issue, it is important to understand the desires of the person who is developing memory issues, and to take steps before their thinking processes are impaired, to determine their life goals and desires for treatment.

Dr. Barak Gaster from the University of Washington has developed just such a form, to allow patients with developing dementia to indicate their wishes for treatment, prior to their developing cognitive limitations.

Take a look >>>HERE<<< at this form.  It is very useful.

Remember to check our our book TAKING CONTROL to get your wishes in place for your care.

More information on Dementia >>>>HERE<<<

A QUICK PICK ME UP

Debbie Landau-West is the premier dieititian/nutritionist in Scottsdale and has been practicing here for the past 30+ years.

I recently asked her to provide a patient a list of some quick energy ‘pick me ups’ in between meals and this is the list she provided.  It is useful for all of us:

TRY THESE SNACKS FOR QUICK AND EASY ENERGY

Apple with Peanut Butter
Granola Bars
Cheese and Crackers
Cottage Cheese and Applesauce
Some protein bars such as Luna Bar, Balance Bar, Cliff Bar or RX Bar
Glass of Milk or Chocolate Milk
Milk with Olvatine mixed in
Graham Crackers with either Milk or Peanut Butter
Graham Crackers with Dark Chocolate Almond Nut Butter
Glass of Unsweetened Natural Fruit Juice with String Cheese
Banana and Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter on Toast

If you want to reach Debbie to assist you with your health/dietary needs,

Debbie Landau-West MS, RD

Address 18779 N. 91st Place Scottsdale AZ 85255 Phone: 480-502-1633

Read more from Debbie in THE DIETS, the book we co-wrote together.  Get your copy at our office or download it >>>>HERE<<<<

BAD BLOOD….THE SKINNY ON THERANOS

Many of you will recall my excitement at the prospect of Arizona being the test ground for a new lab company called Theranos back in 2013.

This company claimed it would revolutionize medicine through simple fingerstick blood testing for 100’s of lab tests;  at a fraction of the cost while maintaining superior accuracy.

As  the story developed, Theranos did not deliver fully on any of their promises, and the mendacity of the company’s founder has now  become the focus of a best-selling book by John Carreyrou, entitled Bad Blood.

In it, Carreyrou describes a culture of criticism and secrecy that is  the opposite of the scientific method needed to develop new and important discoveries.  From start to finish, the story of the founder, Elizabeth Holmes, is one of a charlatan who preys on the public’s desire for quality healthcare at an affordable price, while spinning yarns of riches for those in Silicon Valley who could get in on her imaginary vision of ‘inexpensive & simple lab testing for all’.

Get a copy of Bad Blood >>>HERE<<<

 

 

 

RAJ SINGH: THE FIRST OF THE FIRST

Many patients have heard me refer to Dr. Raj Singh as the best single doctor in Arizona.  Why is that?
Well, Raj, a neurologist specializing in rehabilitation,  embodies all of the attributes of the ideal physician.

1.  Humanity:  Raj is beloved by his patients because he has a natural empathy and an ability to communicate his emotional connection to the patient, even upon the first visit to his office.  When you see Raj, you know he cares about you as an individual.

2.  Vast Experience.   Like the Farmer’s Insurance commercial,  Raj “knows a thing or two because he’s  seen a thing or two. ” 

Having been among the first neurologists in the country to work in the rehabilitation space, his depth of knowledge is fed by a well-spring of personal interactions with patients.

3.  Excellent Judgement:   Will Rodger’s understood how this develops.  He famously said:  Good judgement comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgement.

I’ve never seen bad judgement from Raj, but I wasn’t there in the early days on the wards as he gathered his experiences.  Now, in the latter half of his career, his medical judgement is incomparable.  He can see the arc of a patients medical condition and extend that vision into the future, to lead them to proper approaches for them as an individual.

4.  Innate  Intelligence.   He’s quite brilliant…that is the sine qua non.

Raj is a medical hero.  Like many unsung heroes he is worthy of our admiration and recognition.

You can read all the official information on Raj at the Barrow’s website >>>HERE<<<

GUYS…IT’S YOUR TURN

Men don’t see the doctor as much as women, nor do they report symptoms that are bothering them nearly as much.  This is due to the male ‘mystique’….something that probably should change in guys want to stay healthy.

Like I just told one fellow who came in for his physical, your labs are GILLETTE.   “How’s that doc”……..I answered  “They are the best a man can get!”

So…come in guys…let’s make sure you are healthy in 2018.