Author: Fred Gardner

‘The Humira Play…’

The print-edition headline on Danny Hakim’s NY Times piece January 7 read:  “the Humira Play: Raise High Prices, Steadily.” Humira —which my computer keeps changing to “Humor”— is the best-selling drug in the US.  Using the word “play” to mean “money-gouging strategy” fits perfectly in a language that describes newly developed weapons as “game changers.” Hakim writes: The price of Humira, an anti-inflammatory drug dispensed in an injectable pen, has risen from about $19,000 a year in 2012, to more than $38,000 today, per patient, after rebates, according to SSR Health, a research firm. That’s an increase of...

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Over the Transom 1/16/18

  ‘The Humira Play…’ Kava gaining popularity in New York. Can. the regulators be far behind? “Many medical devices on the market have undergone no testing at all…” Profiteers out of control in pursuit of “Liquid Gold…” The Drug-Testing Racket        ...

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MBC Won’t Prune Diseased ‘Decision Tree’

The agenda for the upcoming meeting of the Medical Board of California (MBC) —to be held at a hotel near the San Francisco Airport January 18-19— makes no reference to further discussion of the board’s recently adopted ” Guidelines for the Recommendation of Cannabis for Medical Purposes.” I emailed MBC Executive Director Kimberly Kirchmeyer as follows: At the previous meeting a plan was made to discuss at this meeting the wording of an “Agreement” between patients who receive cannabis approvals and the physicians issuing such approvals. But I don’t see such a discussion on the agenda. Am I missing...

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GI Coffeehouses Recalled

 The New York Times has published an op-ed piece by historian David Parsons about the coffeehouses started near US bases during the War in Vietnam. Parsons had interviewed me and I must have been the source of the details he got wrong. (He got the big picture right.) His piece is indented below, with my comments. —Fred Gardner In the summer of 1967, Fred Gardner arrived in San Francisco with the Vietnam War weighing heavily on his mind. Gardner was 25 years old, a Harvard graduate and a freelance journalist for a number of major publications. He was attracted to Northern California’s...

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Why do they Hate YOU?

“Once in Chicago while performing with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West,” writes Roxane Dunbar, “Sitting Bull spoke through his translator to the huge crowd of ragged white men, women, and barefoot children: ‘I know why your government hates me. I am their enemy. But why do they hate you?’” Robert Altman’s great movie “Buffalo Bill and the Indians” depicts the context. It’s the dawn of the age of hucksterism, when corporations were first exerting their power and influencing American culture. Paul Newman plays Buffalo Bill, who runs and is the star attraction of a traveling show. One of the...

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You asked good questions, Mr. President

Donald Trump is a New York City real estate developer getting OJT as he conducts international affairs. He asked some experienced politicians why people from Haiti and Africa are desperate to emigrate North and why the US should let them in. Disapproval erupted when the media learned he had used the term “shithole countries.” Focus was on his crude language; the crucial questions he posed were ignored. We’re here to help, Mr. President: People are fleeing lands that “we” —the United States and European powers— have robbed of their natural resources and where “we” have installed corrupt regimes that...

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Sainthood Looms for New Zealand Cannabis Grower

By John Maslin in the Wanganui Chronicle  . Suzanne Aubert is a name that may not be immediately recognised, but as Sister Mary Joseph or Mother Aubert she championed the rights of the poor and under-privileged in a life dedicated to her church. Much of her convent’s income came through the sales of Aubert’s medicinal formulations, including many cannabis-based medicines. Aubert is the first person known to grow cannabis in New Zealand. She also started a home for those less fortunate at Jerusalem on the Whanganui River in 1885.  In addition to the usual customs of religious life, she taught...

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The Drug-Testing Racket

January 3, 2018. Drug rehab clinics have added their own testing services to wring more profit out of their clients, according to a well-researched exposé by David Segal of the New York Times. Segal explains: “in 2010, as opioid abuse evolved into a crisis and the Affordable Care Act offered insurance to millions more young people, the cost of urinalysis tests soared. It was soon common for clinics and labs to charge more than $4,000 per test, and to test clients two or three times a week.  A retired insurance investigator describes the victims as “thousands and thousands of kids,” adding, “This...

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Over the Transom 1/12/18

MBC Won’t Prune its Diseased ‘Decision Tree’ The Drug-Testing Racket Drug Development in China Sainthood Looms for New Zealand Cannabis Grower That’s me In the...

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