Category Archives: Medicine & Health 疗池

Out of Reach

by Dr Benjamin Cheah Tien Eang, Consultant Physician & Rheumatologist

The saga involving Martin Skreli unearthed some dark truths about the pharmaceutical industry. Skreli, as the then CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, increased the price of an existing antiparasitic medication by 5,556% and there was nothing anybody could do about it but only to hate him.

However, it did expose the lack of drug pricing regulations in the pharmaceutical industry. Till today, no one has any idea how drug prices are decided upon. Justifications for pricing a medication more steeply ranges from the high cost of research to manufacturing. Hence, many newer treatments are placed out of reach for the average Joe without an insurance plan.

Science and technology has allowed us to now develop targeted treatments for many diseases. Picking off a sole target responsible for the causation of disease, can not only provide superior results versus conventional treatments, but with less side effects. Unfortunately many of these ‘smarter’ drugs are expensive and hence unavailable in many parts of the world.

For developing countries, the average household income is hardly sufficient to survive the rising cost of living. The price of some medications can be more than the monthly income of most households. Pricing based on the gross domestic product (GDP) or the gross national income (GNI) of a country is hardly a consolation as it is not reflective of the average disposable income of a family. Governments struggle to cope with escalating drug prices as it creates a significant constraint on their budgets.

Keeping innovative and superior treatments out of reach to those that need them the most is a betrayal to Mankind. As profits for pharmaceutical companies sore annually, patients are left poorer and in dire straits. Something must be done to justify drug prices in a more transparent manner. It can literally be a matter of life and death.

In rheumatoid arthritis for example, a new class of medications called “biologics” has revolutionised the treatment of this once debilitating disease. Preventing irreversible joint damage and relieving debilitating pain is now an achievable dream for these patients. Or so we may think.

Unfortunately, “biologics” are priced so steeply that it keeps it out of the hands of the majority of patients. Moreover, they are needed on a long term basis. Imagine spending all your savings on a medication that is suppose to make one’s life better. As patients reach deep into their pockets to solve their physical pain, another equally paralysing menace emerges. I call it the ‘financial pain’. Make no mistake of its equally destructive force.

So we spend so much money thinking that we are making a difference to the lives of patients, only to realise all we did was to shift the dust.

This conundrum raises the question of what constitutes an advancement in Medicine. A true advancement is when we can develop an innovative treatment that can be enjoyed by all of Mankind. It is not to enrich certain quarters but is to be shared by all that inhabit this little planet.

Perhaps it is wishful thinking, but there is little harm in dreaming.

Why We Need To Detox & Live

PART II – SOME GOOD TIPS TO FOLLOW:

by Dr Mecherl Lim MD (MA) Naturopath (ND) , Holistic Kinesiology

• BE A TURKEY ( A COLD ONE) AND TAKE A DRUG HOLIDAY

There is no way to handle a true physiological addition except to stop it completely.
Addicts can’t have just on line of cocaine of just one drink. Go Cold Turkey, but you won’t have to white knuckle it because if you follow – “5 Ways to Detox” you will automatically reset your body’s neurotransmitters and hormones.

Stop all form of sugar, all flour products and all artificial sweeteners. They all cause increased cravings and slow metabolism and lead to fat storage. This especially includes liquid sugar calories sugar calories-

A latte can have more sugar than a can of soda- that makes you eat more all day and drive storage of belly fat.

Also get rid of anything with Trans or Hydrogenated FATS & MSG (watch hidden names).

Ideally, for 5 Days you avoid any foods that come in a box, package or can or have a label, and stick to real, whole fresh food.

And the best way to really Detox is to give up all the grains for 5 days. Give up all drugs too, Caffeine, and alcohol are the 2 biggest after sugar.

• POWER UP THE DAY WITH PROTEIN.

Protein, Protein, Protein at every meal, especially breakfast, is the key to balancing   blood sugar and insulin and cutting cravings.

Start the Day with whole farm eggs or a protein shake, and recommend whole food protein shake (MHT Phyto Nutri).

Use Nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, chicken or grassfeed meat for protein at every meal. A serving is 4 to 6oz or the size of your palm.

• EAT UNLIMITED CARBOHYDRATES (the right ones).

Yes, that’s right, Unlimited Carbs. Did you know the vegetables are carbs? And you get to eat as much as you want. Unlimited refills! There is one Catch. I only mean the Non-starchy veggies such as greens, the broccoli families, (including cauliflowers, kali, collards ) asparagus, green beans, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, tomatoes, winter squash and beets- just for 5 days. Also skip grains and beans for 5 days.
It is supercharges the results so you lose weight and feel GREAT.

• FIGHT SUGAR WITH FAT

Fat is not a FOUR letter word.

Fat doesn’t make you fat, SUGAR does.

Fat makes you FULL, balances your blood sugar and is necessary for fueling your cells.

Along with the protein, have a good fats at every meal and snack including nuts and seeds, which also contain protein, extra virgin olive oil, coconut butter, avocodos and Omega 3 fats from fish.

• USE FRIEND POWER, NOT WILL POWER

Extraordinary new research shows that obesity is contagious. You are more likely to be overweight if your friends are overweight than if your parents or siblings are overweight.

But Health is contagious too. In large social experiment, I did with my friend Rick Warren and Saddle Back, we got people to lose weight in a year by doing the program together. They met in groups, helped, loved and support each other and those who did it together lost twice as much weight and get twice as Healthy. I call it the LOVE DIET, everybody Needs as a BUDDY.

Find friends or form a small group and do the 5 DAYS DETOX & LIVE together.

Parasites in our system for the next issue.
For more information visit: http://www.drmecherlherbs.com

ROBOTIC SURGERY

By Teddric Jon Mohr, MHA, FACHE

There are many types of Robots in medicine today.  Some will automatically take your blood pressure as you walk around, automatically inject insulin for diabetic, shock the heart to keep it beating, move your arms or legs and the list is growing.

Robotic surgery is advancing very quickly.  The Robots entered the areas of knee replacement surgery in 2006.  One of the new leaders in robotic surgery is StrykerMako.  This device allows the replacement of the Knees either fully or partially.  The robotic arm technology, (Whole Arm Manipulator “WAM”) was developed by MIT and Barrett Technology.

The human knee of bones, muscles and ligaments are very complex.  The replacement by a metal joint assures the patient that he can walk or run with less pain.  Therefore, computers have been used for years along with x-rays to make sure the length and alignment of the metal knee is accurate.  However greater accuracy appears to be now available with a Robot.

The StykerMako RIO system using a CT x-ray to create 3D model of the patient’s knee assisting the surgeons to develop a plan that prepares the for the implant, the size needed, alignment and positioning.  This customized plan is used to assist during surgery with the added placement of pins in the leg then integrated with the 3D CT and real time views guiding the surgeon during surgery.  The real time information increases the accuracy giving greater safety for an ideal implant positioning which reduces potential complications.

Studies on the MAKOplasty patients using randomized controlled trials show the patients experience less pain days after surgery than those that underwent manual surgery after two months.  Other studies on the partial knee replacement have shown the robot is 2-3 times more accurate then manual techniques.  Interim results of patients indicate the robotic arm has a 0.4% failure rate versus a 4.0% rate for manual implants.

From partial knees in 2006 to full knees in 2015 over 23,000 MAKOplasty procedures have been preformed using the robot.  There are now over 150 hospitals worldwide using the Robotic system.

As with ALL new medical interventions evaluation over time is the key.  To date with thousands of knees replaced there seems to be an advantage in robotic knee surgery with less pain and quicker return to normal life in the Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty (UKA).

mako-robot