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HEALTH
December 8, 1997
I read your article on the flu [Dec. 1] with interest and, from a public health education point of view, thought you and the writers did a good job. I am a little bothered however by the bullet ("Vitals"): "A survey of 1,008 adults found that 25% believe nothing treats the flu (there are two antiviral medications that can be given at the first sign of symptoms). . . ." Actually, these medications are of dubious efficacy and quite expensive. They definitely fall outside the local standard of care for treating the flu in otherwise healthy patients and are typically reserved for patients with severe underlying disease.
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NEWS
August 23, 2011 | By Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times/For the Booster Shots Blog
A welter of medications sold over the counter and by prescription can spell fast relief from the churning discomfort of acid reflux and heartburn, and the class of drugs known as proton-pump inhibitors has grown powerfully popular with Americans. But the watchdog group Public Citizen on Tuesday asked the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to warn Americans that these drugs can be habit-forming and carry a wide range of other dangers. Public Citizen complained that medications known by such commercial names as Nexium, Prilosec, Zegerid and Prevacid are widely overprescribed and used routinely by people who don't need them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 3, 2001
Re "States Move to Cut Cost of Drugs," July 30: There is one group of people who should not be the beneficiaries of mandatory drug discounts: smokers. Someone who smokes just one pack a day would have at least $90 a month for medicines if they would quit. If a smoker quits, lo and behold, he or she often ceases to require as many medications. Why should more of my taxes go to subsidize a lifestyle that leads to more medication use and provides no benefits except for nicotine highs? Joey Liu Newbury Park
OPINION
June 24, 2001
As a person living with AIDS, I applaud Bill Gates for his $100-million donation to fight AIDS on a global scale (June 20). Also, President Bush deserves credit for committing $200 million to this end. However, I strongly believe we should take care of our own before we save the world. There are people with AIDS in this country who cannot afford medications, basic medical care or housing. Beside s, what happened to drug benefits for Medicare recipients? Dean Riner Laguna Beach
SPORTS
December 16, 2000
Regarding Grahame Jones' Dec. 10 soccer column, where L.A. Coliseum general manager Pat Lynch states "that the Coliseum's large crowds--for instance, 61,072 for the USA-Mexico match on Oct. 25--are proof that people feel perfectly safe." Please send me a list of Mr. Lynch's medications because I would love to get my hands on whatever drugs he's on. Safe?! At the Oct. 25 U.S.-Mexico match?! Not only is he not on the same planet as the rest of us, he's not even in the same dimension.
OPINION
November 15, 2012
If one doctor's prescriptions might be connected to the unnecessary deaths of multiple patients over several years, the state should be asking questions. Times reporters Scott Glover and Lisa Girion analyzed 3,733 prescription drug-related deaths in four Southern California counties, revealing that just 71 doctors - one-tenth of 1% in those counties - had written prescriptions in 17% of such fatalities over six years. One doctor profiled in the stories published Sunday had prescribed medications for 16 patients who subsequently overdosed, according to coroner's reports.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 13, 2013 | By Paige St. John, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Hunger strikes continued Saturday at 23 California prisons and one out-of-state facility, with more than 6,300 inmates refusing meals for days. The corrections department Saturday would not say how many have refused to eat meals since Monday. [Updated 4:20 p.m. July 14: The number of inmates who have refused nine or more meals Sunday fell to 4,487, said Callifornia corrections officials. In addition, 731 inmates continued to refuse to go to work or classes, said spokesman Jeffrey Callison.
BUSINESS
July 24, 2005
Regarding "Jury Trial Begins in Texas Vioxx Case" (July 15): What a colossal waste of time and money. There are no magic pills. These folks were not in good health to begin with. Vioxx gave them an opportunity to improve their quality of life at the risk of a shorter life than what they may have had without it. To now sue the manufacturer is absurd. All medications have known and unknown side effects. Consumers want quick and easy fixes for what ails them, and when the drug manufacturers produce them, they get hit with lawsuits by consumers who expect the medical profession to play God. Next time you pay an arm and a leg for your prescription, remember the lawsuits.
SCIENCE
May 29, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Medications, laser treatment and surgery can all arrest the growth of an enlarged prostate gland, but only surgery can produce an improvement in symptoms, particularly a reduction in incontinence, researchers said Saturday. The surgery, known as transurethral resection of the prostate, or TURP, is generally reserved for those who have failed to respond to drug treatment or who cannot tolerate the medications, but the new findings suggest it might be useful to introduce it earlier in the course of the disease, said Dr. Amy Krambeck of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
OPINION
January 2, 2013
Re "Dying for relief," Dec. 30 In reading your series on abuses of prescription drugs, I wonder whether you have thought of the negative consequences of repeatedly trumpeting this "crisis" on the front page. There is no question that some people are going to over-medicate themselves with both legal and non-legal substances, and I applaud those physicians who take it upon themselves to look twice at patients. But whether all this adds up to a public health emergency that could be eliminated by Big Brother is doubtful.
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