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…..


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


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.



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!


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)



Read more >>>>HERE<<<<


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).


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








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<<<


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:


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<<<<


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<<<