Big pharma, big profits, big problem
Recently, I read an article about the high cost and dubious value of a new cancer drug by Eli Lilly. This contrasts with the past when new drugs from the pharmaceutical industry included the polio vaccine, penicillin, insulin, aspirin and L-DOPA for Parkinson's Disease.
Today, the industry is much more interested in profits and many products have questionable benefits. Consider:
Drug companies spend billions more on marketing than they do on research and development.
Many doctors receive money from companies to help promote products.
Advertising of prescription drugs has increased from about $12 million in 1980 to around $5 billion today.
As Eli Lilly's drug, Prozac, neared the end of its patent, the company gave it a different name, changed the pill's color to pink and directed a $30 million advertising program toward women.
I can't help but wonder if the rise in addiction has to do with the industry's drive for sales. With 5 percent of the world's population, we consume 95 percent of hydrocodone produced.
As informed consumers, we need to be inquisitive and not gullible to every new medicine directed at us.
Slammercare beats Obamacare
I write in response to the column from officials at Lexington's jail about inmates receiving the best medical care. It infuriates me when criminals receive the best of care when we, the taxpayers, have been stuck with the scam of Obamacare.
We are being forced to pay a fine or buy an insurance policy that pays nothing, if you are a working citizen. But if you are a drug addict, alcoholic, criminal or anyone else sucking off the system, you are taken care of by the same government that is taxing the working man to death.
Why would government penalize a working man in order to cater to a non-working criminal? I've worked two and three jobs my whole life and due to the Obamacare scam, I am now without medical insurance.
Guess I should have committed a crime.
A few months ago, Kentucky legislators had the opportunity to strengthen Kentucky's teachers retirement system with House Bill 4, passage of which would have provided much-needed cash at an exceptionally low borrowing rate to shore up the cash-strapped teachers pension system.
With help from some House Republicans, the bill passed the Democrat-controlled House but was defeated in the Republican-controlled Senate.
One of the main arguments for defeat was that by borrowing this money, it would weaken and lower Kentucky's credit rating for possible future projects.
So, as is the norm with Kentucky's legislature, nothing was done save for a study to be done of the problem. The study is estimated to cost Kentucky taxpayers between $250,000 and $500,000.
Today, Standard & Poors Rating Services reports Kentucky's credit rating has subsequently been lowered, giving Kentucky the 48th-worst credit rating score in the nation. The reason: Kentucky's unfunded pension problems still have not been addressed.
Maybe taxpayers need to do a study of the ineffectiveness of the Kentucky legislature. It would no doubt be money well spent.
Misinforming media a pain
On Aug. 3, the Herald-Leader published my column, "Media misinform, lump legitimate pain patients with drug abusers."
In response, there were 29 positive comments and many people contacted me via Facebook.
As a follow-up to that story, I would like to publish the petition that Kentucky Pain Care Action Network has created to help those who wish to effect change. The petition can be found at: www.change.org/p/gregory-stumbo-jack-conway-kentucky-state-house-kentucky-medical-association-demand-adequate-pain-care-as-a-human-right-for-kentuckians.
Thank you for your continued support of equal exposure regarding this issue.
Delegate, Power of Pain Foundation
Conway or the highway
Kentuckians, unite behind the smartest man on the stage. Please do not let Matt Bevin get anywhere near elective office. He is not a Kentuckian. There's a reason he is not running for office in New Hampshire, Connecticut or Maine.
We need a true Kentuckian in Frankfort. Please work with Jack Conway to keep our people safe.
Rick Woolums Georgetown
Don't mess with Rick Perry
Reading New York Times columnist Gail Collins' column on Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the Sept. 15 paper has to be the most wasteful minutes I have spent in my entire life. I could pick this thing apart sentence by sentence but I have wasted too much time already.
I will, however, refer to just one. He did not inherit the job, as she said. Seems to me he won not only one election but several. An aside: Had Washington officials been sitting on that Texas oil, they would have found a way to mess it up.