As we told you back in May, Canada Drugs has undertaken a number of initiatives to invest in our employees’ health and well-being. One of these initiatives was our company garden. Back in May we had just planted our garden in the back of our facility; and we received a state of the art hydroponic garden for our lunch room. As you can see, there’s good progress on both fronts. Outside, the garden is coming along nicely. Inside, our garden is starting to look like a big tree with a lot of vines growing down its trunk. This will make for nice salads and garnishes for our bi-weekly Friday BBQs.
Archive for June, 2017
With summer comes the summer storm season. It’s already in full swing. The most iconic photo of the 2017 Tornado season so far comes from Alberta, where a man was photographed mowing his lawn with a tornado raging behind him. It was rated by Environment Canada as an EF-1 with wind speeds between 86-110 mph (138-177 km/h). It’s not the highest rating, but dangerous nonetheless. The US is the most fertile country for spawning tornadoes; more occur there in a year than anywhere else. The 20 year average is about 1,235/year.
But there are bigger events like hurricanes. Again the US is geographically well placed to be hit by several hurricanes each year. Hurricanes affect much larger areas and have wider consequences. Along with damaging winds and tons of rain, they can cause major infrastructure damage and heavy local flooding. Evacuations are common in instances of hurricanes and in the chaos and melee of moving to safer ground, thing can be forgotten. Sometimes they’re important things like prescription drugs. Forgetting them can be alarming, but if you’re with Canada Drugs we may be able to help.
Canada Drugs has experience shipping medications to people all over the world. If a problem occurs where you find yourself suddenly separated from your medication we can help. Give us a call and we will ship your medication straight to you. With Canada Drugs you do not need to worry about your paper prescription either. If you’ve ordered with us previously we will have your prescription on file and are able to reach out to your doctor to request a new one if necessary. It’s a rare occurrence when bad weather massively disrupts your life, but when it does, we’ll do our best to make sure you have the prescription medication you need to maintain your health.
Snakes are a major phobia to a lot of people, even when they’re they largely harmless variety. But there are groups of people who enjoy and appreciate them and it’s a good thing these people exist. Otherwise some big medical advancement might have been overlooked. Nature is the greatest repository of medical advancement. Many drugs we now take for granted and use every day are derived from natural sources of all varieties; from plants and bark to venom. It’s this last substance that may be the genesis of a new type of heart drug.
Researchers in Taiwan have isolated a molecule from the venom of the Wagler’s Pit Viper. The molecule essentially prevents blood platelets from sticking together. This prevents clots from forming in the blood and reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke. Medications already exist to do this. The side-effect from these medications tends to be increased risk of bleeding which can be a big problem. Wounds will bleed more because the blood is thinner and is medicated not to clot. This new molecule seems to solve this problem. It has the desired effect of reducing blood clots. But if there is bleeding, it lasts no longer than it would in a person not taking the medication. That’s a big step in the right direction.
New drugs based on this research are far off down the road. Medical innovation is fascinating but slow. Researchers have to determine if there are any long term negative side effects. It would have to be formulated to last in the body rather than breaking down too quickly. It could take years for this to move from small scale experimentation to human trials and regulatory approval. Nonetheless it could revolutionize heart medications by making them safer. No doubt nature contains many more breakthrough drugs that have yet to be discovered; even if it means dealing with snakes.
A heat wave has blanketed the American Southwest and West recently. With temperatures soaring beyond 120℉, it can be a very uncomfortable and dangerous time. Periods of high heat can be deadly; in the decade from 1999 to 2010 extreme heat caused 7,415 deaths in the United States. In times of extreme or excessive heat those most vulnerable to negative health implications are infants, young children, seniors, and those with high blood pressure or heart disease.
It’s important to remember DO NOT leave any people or pets in a car on a hot day. If it’s 90°F outside, the temperature in a car will reach 109°F in 10 minutes and 124°F in 30 minutes. It may seem like common sense but unfortunately it isn’t. In 2016 there were 39 child vehicular heatstroke deaths in the US. So far in 2017 that number already stands at 12.
It is important to take action to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Heat stroke in particular can be very serious and often requires emergency medical treatment. With heat waves expected to be more common it is important to take steps to keep you healthy this summer. Here are some selected tips from the Centers for Disease Control on how to keep cool during the summer.
Keep cool using these tips:
- Drink more fluids regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
- Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar–these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
- Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library–even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.
- Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
- Although any one at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:
- Infants and young children
- People aged 65 or older
- People who have a mental illness
- Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure
- Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
- Limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
- Cut down on exercise.
- Try to rest often in shady areas.
- Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).
A mere ten percent…that’s the proportion of healthcare spending dedicated to prescription drugs in the US. The pharmaceutical lobby uses that number constantly to make the case that prescription drug spending is not proportionally high. After all it’s the same now as it was in 1960. There’s stability. So even though the numerical price might be higher than it was, it’s still the same proportion as in 1960. So prices are effectively stable and fair. That’s pharma’s argument. Here a chart showing basically what they’re saying.
But the truth is much different. Take a look.
For a good chunk of the time from 1960 until about 2003, prescription drugs made up less than 10% of healthcare spending, so their proportion went down. That’s significant because it puts the pharma message in its place. It backs up what we already know…pharmaceutical prices are at historic highs. They are a greater proportion of healthcare spending today than they were 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years ago! This is the type of messaging and number twisting we’ve come to expect from big pharma and its lobbyists. Don’t be fooled, your drug prices are not only high; they’re at an historic high. It’s a trend that doesn’t look like its changing anytime soon.