Off-Label Ivermectin for Covid-19 Creates Controversy & Conflict

Off-Label Ivermectin for Covid-19 Creates Controversy & Conflict

October 14, 2021 – A doctors’ right to prescribe medicine for their patients is attracting attention of the wrong type when it comes to Covid-19 and ‘off-label’ prescriptions written for Ivermectin. This is the subject of the latest Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast from respected neurologist, Dr. Steven Goldstein. The podcast can be heard on: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Podbean, Soundcloud, and the Houston Healthcare Initiative website.

Doctors’ Rights to Off-Label Prescriptions

Ivermectin as an off-label treatment for Covid-19 is causing doctors issues for a long standing medical practice.

Off-label prescriptions occur when a physician gives a drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat a condition other than the one diagnosed. This practice is legal and even common as one in five prescriptions written are for off-label use.

The Same But Different

Last year Dr. Goldstein discussed the controversy and government interference with the way hydroxychloroquine, a common treatment for Malaria was prescribed off-label for patients suffering with Covid-19. Fast forward from September 2020 to October 2021 and the same thing is happening with Ivermectin, a drug that is approved for treatment of certain parasitic worm infestations, and its possible use as a treatment for Covid-19.

Is Ivermectin OK to Use?

As Dr. Goldstein told his listeners, “there are studies that show Ivermectin has no anti-viral benefit, some that show it has those qualities for some diseases and others that show it is a miraculous treatment.”  So far there is no consensus among physicians about the utility of ivermectin. “My view is that doctors who suspect it to be of value should be allowed to study it,” Dr. Goldstein said.

From Unconventional to Accepted

There are many examples from the history of medicine where an individual physician working alone has made a major breakthrough with what was at the time thought unconventional. “Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis saved the lives of numerous mothers by suggesting OB doctors wash their hands before delivering a baby,” Dr. Goldstein said. “He was ridiculed by the medical establishment at the time as the germ theory of infections was not yet discovered.”

More recently 2 Australian doctors, Barry J. Marshall and Robin Warren found that stomach ulcers were caused by bacteria. “They also were ridiculed by the medical establishment until they won the Nobel Prize,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners. His conclusion for this latest flap regarding off-label prescriptions, “allow physicians to pursue different treatments for Covid. Stop politicizing the treatments and stop publishing premature articles in the press for or against any unproven treatment.”

About The Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

3 Goals: Healthcare Changes to the American Families Plan Could Create Affordable Healthcare

Hand writing What You Need To Know with marker, business concept background

3 Goals: Healthcare Changes to the American Families Plan & Health Savings Plans Could Make Medical Expenses More Affordable.

The new administration, like all of them, has plans for Americans and their healthcare. On this edition of the podcast Dr. Steven Goldstein, who founded the Houston Healthcare Initiative, will get us all better acquainted with what those proposals are and explore other possible ways for how healthcare can be fixed. The Biden administration has three goals.

3 Healthcare Changes are Goals for the Biden Administration.
There are three healthcare priorities for the Biden administration plus one more that Dr. Steven Goldstein suggests.

To listen to the podcast, click this link: https://soundcloud.com/harold-nicoll/three-biden-administration-healthcare-goals-plus-one-not-included. 

The Covid 19 Response

Of the three goals, first is the Covid-19 pandemic response. Part of the goal is to prevent over capacity of limited hospital beds and critical care space during spikes in the virus outbreak, like those occurring now. Others include the ability to establish temporary hospitals and better ways to track Covid surges via technology. Making telehealth options more widely available, tasking all relevant federal agencies to set up temporary hospitals and getting the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to develop real-time tracking dashboards to better predict when surges will happen, where they are and other details needed to better inform healthcare professionals about the evolution of the pandemic.

The Affordable Care Act

The second of the three priorities has to do with the Affordable Care Act, or as it is more popularly known, ObamaCare.

The idea is to reduce medical costs for the American public. As part of a separate pandemic relief bill, there is $34 billion to help Americans who buy insurance from the health plan marketplaces that were created by Obama Care now through 2022.  Those who know about it state that this would help lower and middle-income Americans who have fallen through the cracks of the government’s eligibility requirements for ObamaCare subsidies. It would also help people who choose policies with lower premiums and higher deductibles. There is also assistance for the unemployed.

Medicare Reform

One of the more visible proposals is to increase the age of people who are eligible for Medicare from the current 65 to 60 years of age.

“While we can think of these as beneficial to society, there is a considerable cost that comes along with it,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners. “Instead of transferring more money to people, there are other ways to use existing healthcare payment strategies that will benefit everyone.” So why not fund Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s) with this same amount of money?  It is tax-advantaged when received, if the money earns interest while in the health savings account the account owner can keep it and be prepared to pay cash for more health-related expenses. So what is a health savings plan?

Prescription Drugs

The Trump Administration launched a “Transparency in Coverage” ruling in December of 2020 that required health insurers to disclose current drug prices and provide patients with personalized cost estimates. The Biden Administration hopes to increase these efforts by repealing existing laws that prevent Medicare from negotiating lower prices with drug corporations. “Plenty of people believe that the government already uses its mass buying power with Medicare to negotiate better rates,” Dr. Goldstein said. “That is not the case.”

Health Savings Accounts

The Health Savings Account. or HSA, is a type of savings account that is used for medical expenses. HSA’s were established for those with high deductible health insurance coverage. HSAs and high-deductible health plans were created to help control health care costs. The idea is that people will spend their health care dollars more wisely if they’re using their own money. The money deposited by individuals into their HSA account is not taxed.

Further, HSAs feature a triple-tax benefit: money you contribute to your HSA can be written off on your taxes and thus reduce your income tax bill; money in your HSA grows and compounds assuming investments rise. All is tax-free over time; and when HSA money is withdrawn for qualified medical expenses, no tax is paid on the withdrawal. It is owned by the individual so that he or she can pay their healthcare costs. These include everything from doctor visits to blood tests, paid for with cash from the health savings accounts.

As always, information about this and more than 50 other podcasts can be heard and read about at the website, www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

About The Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

The solution to this issue is simple but not easy… Obesity Linked to Greater Risk to and from Covid-19 Infection

junk food
Eating from the added stress of quarantine caused a lot of excess snacking, take-out food and kettle corn consumption while binge watching television.

The solution to this issue is simple but not easy…

Obesity Linked to Greater Risk to and from Covid-19 Infection. People who are overweight were already at more risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. We can now add complications due to the Covid-19 infection to the list. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) obesity increases the risk of hospitalization due to the Covid-19 infection. More than 900,000 adult COVID-19 hospitalizations occurred in the United States between the start of the pandemic and November 18, 2020. Models estimate that 271,800 (30.2%) of these hospitalizations were attributed to obesity.

This is the subject of the latest Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein. “We have no control over the Covid-19 virus or any other pathogen,” Dr. Goldstein told his audience. “But we can make our chances of recovery and even possible avoidance much better with a sensible diet.” To hear the Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast go to: Apple Podcasts, Audacy, iHeartRadio, ListenNotes, Spotify, Stitcher, Backtracks, PodbayFM, and SoundCloud. This and all other editions of the Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast can also be heard on www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

Control through Choices

According to the CDC, a study of COVID-19 cases suggests that risks of hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, invasive mechanical ventilation, and death are higher when Body Mass Index (BMI) are higher. “Everyone listening can take control of and make a significant, positive impact on their own health by making better choices about what they choose to eat or drink,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Not smoking and exercising regularly add even more benefits.”

Stress and Eating

Eating from the added stress of quarantine caused a lot of excess snacking, take-out food and kettle corn consumption while binge watching television. Add to that Zoom calls and a day seated in front of the computer screen, there was not much movement to counteract all those questionable decisions about what and when to eat. “People eat and ate more because of stress or boredom but did not increase their movement to counter those extra calories consumed,” he said. “Americans did not move at record levels.”

Seated While Stressing

Motionless is the norm, and Americans are not moving like never before. “I guess we could say that Americans are not moving at a record setting pace,” he said. “But the sad truth is that sedentary workplaces and motionless home lives are really bad for us. But, and to really stress this, it’s what we eat that is the main culprit,” Dr. Goldstein said. Many of the country’s health care problems are “self-inflicted” and are preventable through proper diet. With more people moving less than ever while snacking constantly it is no wonder that our collective weight is so far up. “This is an easy fix for us all if we will just make these changes.”

About The Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

For These Uncertain Times What Type of Health Insurance Is Best?

In wake of the election which insurance is best?
Three in ten uninsured adults in 2019 went without needed medical care due to cost. 

In wake of the 2020 election outcome…

For These Uncertain Times What Type of Health Insurance Is Best?

November 24, 2020 – According to Dr. Steven Goldstein, founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative, “with the current system we have, I would buy a policy that has a high deductible,” he told his podcast audience. “This is sometimes known as ‘catastrophic’ health coverage. Then I would pay cash for my health expenses.”

That times are unsettled was never truer than in 2020. With the U.S. House and the presidential election settled, the majority of the senate remains undecided and will stay that way until the two runoff elections for both Georgia senate seats on January 5, 2021. The implications for the U.S. healthcare system are many. What can or should Americans do in the near term? Listen to “The Houston Healthcare Initiative Podcast to find out. The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast can be heard on SoundCloudGoogle PlayLibsyn FeedStitcheriHeartRadioSpotify, and the Houston Healthcare Initiative web site.

Cash & Catastrophic Coverage

According to Dr. Goldstein, cash payments are accepted for most if not all medical charges and prescription drugs. Do not try to get the ‘insured’ rate to put against your deductible. Paying cash is much less desirable with the insured rate. “Most people will never reach their deductible amount anyway,” he said. “This arrangement is the best value for people under the current system. So, while at the doctors’ office show them your insurance card but tell them you are paying cash.”

Return of the Mandate?

Most Americans get their health insurance through their employer. The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care, made more choices for insurance available and penalized people who did not purchase health insurance. While not ideal, it was a way to get more people covered by private insurance than before. Plus, it offered subsidies for those who could not afford insurance.  But at the same time, it was the mandate and accompanying monetary penalty that seemed to make the policy so unpopular with many. “The overall insurance industry and its approach to paying for healthcare are very flawed in fundamental ways,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners. “We can spend time and money to make a bad system work better and that is probably what will happen in the near term.”

Likely Short-Term Changes

Some near-term changes are likely to be mandates for private firms and their employees to provide for and buy health insurance. The cost of care for uninsured workers is often passed along to the insured through taxes and other mechanisms. There are employed people now who go without health insurance and keep the part of their pay that would go to health insurance. One economic rationale for employer mandates is that the cost of care for uninsured workers is often passed along to the insured through taxes and other mechanisms. Mandates are, in part, an attempt to eliminate those who opt out of available coverage.

American Attitudes About Caring for Each Other

Generally, Americans have decided that we will treat sick and injured people who do not have insurance, but that treatment is not free. “So, we have all these schemes for the uninsured, or others to make people buy insurance,” Dr. Goldstein said. “While caring for the sick and injured is laudable, paying for it is another matter, like with the Obama Care mandate.”

Three in ten uninsured adults in 2019 went without needed medical care due to cost. Studies repeatedly demonstrate that uninsured people are less likely than those with insurance to receive preventive care and services for major health conditions and chronic diseases. Not having insurance is generally a financial issue and one that leads to unhealthier people. “With the catastrophic coverage, patients are able to be seen as many practices will not see anyone without insurance,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Paying cash for services and not applying them to the deductible will both save money and result in a healthier population.”

About Houston Healthcare Initiative

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

Are There Alternatives To Traditional Health Insurance?

Alternatives to Health Insurance

November is health care selection month…

Are There Alternatives To Traditional Health Insurance?

November 16, 2020 — With November the time many Americans are asked to choose their health insurance coverage, the cost, expense, and value are on people’s minds. Are There Alternatives To Traditional Health Insurance? Healthcare is expensive. The healthcare and medical insurance industries are massive with billions of dollars of income. They are able to buy advertising and lobbyists to gain every advantage that money can buy. As Americans try to find ways to pay for it, do any really have any chance of meaningful change for an industry that all but regulates itself? Or should we just resign ourselves to healthcare and insurance companies doing and charging what they want with little if any restriction on them?

Alternatives To Big Insurance

According to Dr. Steven Goldstein, founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative, there are ways to be insured and save money. As he told his podcast audience, the best alternative to insurance at this time is the healthcare cooperative. The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast can be heard on SoundCloud, Google Play, Libsyn Feed, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and the Houston Healthcare Initiative web site. When combined with a health savings account and a high deductible, sharing of healthcare costs will go down.

Take Care of Yourself

Of course, the best way to lower costs is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Exercise, diet, limited alcohol consumption, adequate sleep and not smoking are the best ways anyone can be healthier. But for those who refuse these, there should be consequences. “There needs to be consequences for individuals that do not take care of themselves,” Dr. Goldstein told his audience.   “For those that do nothing, laws need to be changed so that care would only be provided at charity hospitals. I know this is a radical change of thinking, but I believe it would go a long way to improving public health. Subsidizing unhealthy behavior only leads to more unhealthy behavior.”

About the Houston Healthcare Initiative Podcast

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To learn more about the Houston Healthcare Initiative please visit www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org.

Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week.

NOTE: Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week. Watch how Dr. Steven Goldstein, founder of the Houston Healthcare Initiative, contributed to a major television feature on vaccine trials in the state of Florida. You can see him and the full story here:

WFTV ABC in Orlando, Florida news on Covid-19 vaccine trials.

Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week. Starting this week, researchers will begin testing one of the experimental COVID-19 vaccines on children, marking the first trial in the country to do so.

It’s one of several big developments in the race to approve a vaccine.

Screen Shot 2020-10-27 at 4.23.06 PM Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week.
In this story Dr. Steven Goldstein discusses liability waivers for vaccine trials starting in the state of Florida.

So far, more than 600 Central Floridians have walked into a DeLand lab, willing to test the Moderna vaccine.

Moderna and Pfizer are in the final phases of testing their vaccines. For Pfizer, that includes testing children 12 and over.

On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson paused its study after one person got “an unexplained illness.” And it’s been over a month since AstraZeneca’s trial had been put on hold in the U.S. after two British participants experienced neurological issues.

When a vaccine is approved and available by, at the earliest, the end of the year, companies cannot be held liable for any unexpected complications. A good place to start with answers is here as Child COVID-19 vaccine trials to begin in Florida this week.

“Now, if there are expected complications, and the company hid that information, like they knew about something that it would happen, and they don’t tell people about it, you can still sue for that,” said Dr. Steven Goldstein of the Houston Healthcare Initiative.

A recent Gallup Poll found people are split right down the middle when asked if they’d take a vaccine, down from the 66% of people who were willing to take it three months ago. People in Florida will help the entire country find answers.

What Will Vaccine Liability Waivers Mean For The Covid-19 Inoculation

What Will Vaccine Liability Waivers Mean For The Covid-19 Inoculation. There will be issues with the new Coronavirus/Covid-19 vaccine because there were issues with every single vaccine introduced before. There are currently numerous studies and trials devoted to finding a shot that will give immunity to the recipient against the deadly and contagious Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic. The company that is first to introduce a successful shot for immunity will reap big rewards in the form of profits and scientific prestige. But when there are problems with it, as there certainly will be, what recourse does the public have?

Vaccine Liability Photo
Vaccine waivers protect manufacturers from lawsuits and liability other drugs have.

On his regular podcast, respected neurologist Dr. Steven Goldstein describes the risks and benefits of vaccines and a regulation known as the ‘vaccine liability waiver.’ The Houston Healthcare Initiative Podcast can be heard on SoundCloud, LibSyn, Google Play, iHeartRadio, iTunes, Stitcher, Radio.com and many other places where podcasts are heard.

What Is The Vaccine Liability Waiver?

According to Dr. Goldstein, vaccine liability waivers are really what the name implies which is that vaccine makers are not generally held responsible for injuries their vaccines may cause. “This is notable because it is the only part of the healthcare industry where such protection exists,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners. “The companies that make these vaccines cannot be sued for monetary damages unless a person who died or was seriously injured can demonstrate that the company engaged in “willful misconduct” which is a very high legal standard to achieve.”

The Vaccine Waiver Makes Vaccines Possible

What Will Vaccine Liability Waivers Mean For The Covid-19 Inoculation? It is very likely that were it not for the ‘waiver’ there would be few if any vaccine makers in the U.S. Starting with the Salk vaccine in the 1950’s through the 1970’s and ‘80’s, lawsuits against vaccine makers increased to the point that there was only one Diphtheria Pertussis Tetanus (DPT) vaccine maker in the U.S.

In 1986 the U.S. Congress responded to the situation in the vaccine market by passing the ‘National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act’ or NCVIA. The act included a number of regulations related to informed consent and adverse event reporting but also removed many of the monetary recovery options that were putting the industry out of business.

Complexity Comes With Safeguards

Vaccines are developed, tested, and regulated the same as other drugs but more so. Vaccine development is a complex process that takes usually takes years. That is because the number of people in vaccine clinical trials are usually greater, and, those who receive vaccines are more in number than those who receive or take other prescription drugs. In addition, post-license monitoring of vaccines is closely examined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

So, while the liability waiver exists, all the other pharmaceutical safeguards are in place. Regardless of expectations, no medical treatment is completely risk free. “Vaccines are made to protect us from disease, but they can have negative side effects,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Most of these effects are pretty mild like soreness in the arm from the injection. Others can be more serious. But without these rules it is unlikely anyone in the U.S. would be researching a Covid-19 vaccine.”

What Will Vaccine Liability Waivers Mean For The Covid-19 Inoculation? Nothing in the world of medicine is without risk and the ultimate introduction of the Coronavirus vaccine is no exception. The laws and regulations strike a balance that protects the public and aids in the delivery of a vaccine sooner than later.

The Effectiveness Standard for Covid-19

The minimum requirement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for any COVID-19 vaccine is that it should at least prove 50% effective when compared with a placebo — that is, a neutral saline solution. The annual flu vaccine is a success when it is 40% – 60% effective. Fifty percent is right in the same range as the flu vaccine.

About The Houston Healthcare Initiative

Dr. Steven Goldstein is a Houston based neurologist. He founded the Houston Healthcare Initiative and is an advocate for common sense solutions to the healthcare crisis that confronts the citizens and residents of the United States of America.

 

Off Label Prescriptions Removed From The Table Overly Zealous Watchdogs Interfere with Patients and their Doctors

Off Label Prescriptions Removed From The Table….

Overly Zealous Watchdogs Interfere with Patients and their Doctors

October 1, 2020 – Does a physician or the pharmacist know what is best for a patient? When the Ohio

Off Label Prescriptions Removed From The Table….  Overly Zealous Watchdogs Interfere with Patients and their Doctors   October 1, 2020 – Does a physician or the pharmacist know what is best for a patient? When the Ohio Board of Pharmacy ruled that doctors could not prescribe the off-label treatment hydroxychloroquine to treat the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic it was a chilling trespass into the rights of people in Ohio and set a dangerous precedent in the other forty nine.  Medicines to treat conditions with off-label prescribing occurs when a physician stipulates a drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat a condition different than what a patient has. Off label prescribing is nothing new.   Unanticipated Consequences of Overly Aggressive Regulators This practice is legal and common as one in five prescriptions written today are for off-label use. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy decision was without precedent. Americans should be nervous about this instance because it puts the relationships between doctors and patients at risk and removes the judgement of physicians about how to best treat their patients, putting it into the hands of government regulators. “This overreach is a present and future danger for Americans and their doctors in the wake of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic,” Dr. Steven Goldstein told the audience on his podcast. “This puts decision making about how best to treat a patient into the hands of someone who does not know the individual, never mind has any medical experience with them.”  The Future Beyond Covid-19 The prospect that someone other than the doctor and patient are involved in this decision making is bad practice. “Doctors are trained and educated to diagnose and treat patients”, Dr. Goldstein said. “They also have experience treating their patients and know how to evaluate scientific papers about new treatments. Pharmacists and government bureaucrats do not have this training or experience.”   In the case of hydroxychloroquine there is no randomized controlled trial to prove scientifically whether or not this drug is effective for Covid-19. It is also true that there is no other treatment that has been proven with a randomized controlled trial to be effective. “Physicians should be able to use any treatment that may be beneficial to their patient,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Interference by government boards or other non-physicians will retard the development of effective treatments and lead to additional mortality and morbidity.” The next outbreak is a certainty, it’s only a matter of time. “If pharmacists and bureaucrats are getting between doctors and patients now, we should be very worried about the future,” Dr. Goldstein concluded.  About the Houston Healthcare Initiative Podcast The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To hear the podcast go to: SoundCloud, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Backtracks, LibSyn, or the website at www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org. Dr. Goldstein insists that for the health and welfare of the American public, the congress must pass reforms that limit the influence of the pharmaceutical industry and its lobby.
Overly Zealous Watchdogs Interfere with Patients and their Doctors.

Board of Pharmacy ruled that doctors could not prescribe the off-label treatment hydroxychloroquine to treat the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic it was a chilling trespass into the rights of people in Ohio and set a dangerous precedent in the other forty nine.  Medicines to treat conditions with off-label prescribing occurs when a physician stipulates a drug that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved to treat a condition different than what a patient has. Off label prescribing is nothing new

Unanticipated Consequences of Overly Aggressive Regulators

This practice is legal and common as one in five prescriptions written today are for off-label use. The Ohio Board of Pharmacy decision was without precedent. Americans should be nervous about this instance because it puts the relationships between doctors and patients at risk and removes the judgement of physicians about how to best treat their patients, putting it into the hands of government regulators. “This overreach is a present and future danger for Americans and their doctors in the wake of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic,” Dr. Steven Goldstein told the audience on his podcast. “This puts decision making about how best to treat a patient into the hands of someone who does not know the individual, never mind has any medical experience with them.”

The Future Beyond Covid-19

The prospect that someone other than the doctor and patient are involved in this decision making is bad practice. “Doctors are trained and educated to diagnose and treat patients”, Dr. Goldstein said. “They also have experience treating their patients and know how to evaluate scientific papers about new treatments. Pharmacists and government bureaucrats do not have this training or experience.

In the case of hydroxychloroquine there is no randomized controlled trial to prove scientifically whether or not this drug is effective for Covid-19. It is also true that there is no other treatment that has been proven with a randomized controlled trial to be effective. “Physicians should be able to use any treatment that may be beneficial to their patient,” Dr. Goldstein said. “Interference by government boards or other non-physicians will retard the development of effective treatments and lead to additional mortality and morbidity.” The next outbreak is a certainty, it’s only a matter of time. “If pharmacists and bureaucrats are getting between doctors and patients now, we should be very worried about the future,” Dr. Goldstein concluded.

About the Houston Healthcare Initiative Podcast

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast with Dr. Steven Goldstein is an information vehicle for people who want to know all medical options for themselves and are interested in reforming the healthcare industry. To hear the podcast go to: SoundCloud, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Backtracks, LibSyn, or the website at www.houstonhealthcareinitiative.org. Dr. Goldstein insists that for the health and welfare of the American public, the congress must pass reforms that limit the influence of the pharmaceutical industry and its lobby.

 

 

Federal Government Goofs Delayed Coronavirus Tests By 6-8 Weeks

The United States badly bungled coronavirus testing.
The United States badly bungled initial coronavirus testing. Federal Government Goofs Delayed Coronavirus Tests By 6-8 Weeks.

Federal Government Goofs Delayed Coronavirus Tests By 6-8 Weeks. On his regular podcast Dr. Steven Goldstein described how failures within the federal government delayed proper testing for the Coronavirus/Covid-19 virus by several weeks.  The outcome? Tracking and tracing the infection early in the process was impossible. The Houston Healthcare Initiative Podcast is available on SoundCloud, iHeartRadio,LibSyn, Spotify,  iTunes, Radio.com, Stitcher, ListenNotes, Podcast Addict, or the Houston Healthcare Initiative web site.

Early Kit Troubles

Early in the testing process the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent Coronavirus/Covid-19 test kits to approximately 100 health labs across the country. Initially the FDA had done all the testing in in-house, but more cases meant that tests had to be available in more locations. There was just one, very important mistake and that was there was no way to validate the tests and its ingredients all acted the same way when used, regardless of the location.

Thirty-six of the approximately 50 tests returned results to the FDA that were ‘inconclusive’. Manufacture of new ingredients for the tests took 3 weeks. The failure to get working test kits into public-health labs came at a really bad time. Early in any outbreak, contact tracing, isolation, and individual quarantines are used to contain the spread of disease. These steps don’t work when suspected cases cannot be tested. The gap made by the bad test kits made it impossible for public-health officials to get a read on how far and fast the disease was spreading. The result, Covid-19 spread undetected for several weeks. “The government was not prepared when it came to identifying and quarantining contacts of the first patients and preventing sick patients from entering the country,” Dr. Goldstein told his listeners. “Government bureaucracy delayed the development of laboratory tests for 6-8 weeks.”

Worse still, when an Emergency Use Application (EUA) test was sent via email and followed up with phone calls from the University of Washington Virology Lab to the FDA for approval, the applicants learned that U.S. law required a hard copy of the applications be sent with a CD or thumb drive via the U.S. Postal Service to be considered. Instead of using more advanced communications like e-mail the lab was forced to use ‘snail mail’. (The F.D.A. has since dropped the requirement to send a CD-rom or USB drive with a copy of the application).

Bureaucrats Want More Power Not Less

According to Dr. Goldstein, issues like this have more to do with the bureaucratic class maintaining its influence than protecting the public or any devotion to science. “People ensconced in government bureaucracy want to preserve their authority and it seems that they are willing to take drastic measures to preserve that power,” Dr. Goldstein said. “These people are very invested in expensive, high tech treatments. Low tech measures like contact tracing and quarantining and testing anyone entering the country could have controlled the epidemic early on.” One possible lesson from this is to remember that government takeover of any health crisis will persist long past any benefit is exhausted. Finding ways around these career government employees should be part of any proposed reform for the healthcare industry.

About the Houston Healthcare Initiative

Dr. Steven Goldstein is a Houston based neurologist. He founded the Houston Healthcare Initiative and is an advocate for common sense solutions to the healthcare crisis that confronts the citizens and residents of the United States of America. Federal Government Goofs Delayed Coronavirus Tests By 6-8 Weeks.

 

Best Selling Author Gerald Posner Discusses ‘Pharma: Greed Lies and Poisoning of America’

Gerald Posner on the podcast this week.
Gerald Posner latest work is “Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America.” This book describes something we here are all very interest in which is the history of the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry.

In a special edition of the Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast best-selling author and investigative journalist Gerald Posner discusses the sordid history of the drug business from his most recent work, ‘Pharma: Greed Lies and the Poisoning of America.’ It reads like a ‘true crime’ novel, though everything in the volume is true. ‘Pharma: Greed Lies and the Poisoning of America’ is available at Amazon, just click here: ‘Pharma: Greed Lies and the Poisoning of America.’

The Houston Healthcare Initiative podcast can be heard on SoundCloud, iTunes, iHeartRadio, LibSyn, Spotify, and the Houston Healthcare Initiative web site. In the book and podcast Posner tells a compelling story that links the history of the pharmaceutical industry from the mid-19th century to the twenty first. It is not a flattering narrative. Many of the practices that were incorporated into marketing and selling heroin and cocaine in the early 20th century were and are still used today. And like they did before, the same companies are deliberately downplaying of the risk of modern-day medicines like opioids that have led to addiction and death for so many Americans.

Interests Intersect

Mr. Posner’s work and the interests of the Houston Healthcare Initiative coincide in several important ways. “The reform of the entire healthcare industry including the pharmaceutical business is our mission,” said Dr. Steven Goldstein who founded the Houston Healthcare Initiative. “We were very flattered he took time to talk with us and the audience about this important topic and we hope that everyone who reads his new book is inspired to act.”

Profits, Then Everything Else

Marketing, sales, advertising and abuse of patent law are all used against the American public to boost sales and stock prices of drug companies. This is part of the historic heritage that links the business’ past to today. “Only by knowing its history,” Mr. Posner writes, “is it possible to fully appreciate how the battle between noble ambitions and greed is a permanent conflict.” Mr. Posner tells many stories about the people behind the industry and the some of the ethically questionable things they did and still do.

Meet the Sacklers

The mindset of these and other actors id’ed in the book can be better understood with one of many informative stories Mr. Posner relates. According to Mr. Posner, eight people in a single family ‘made the choices that caused much of the opioid epidemic.’ The family in question is the Sacklers, notably Arthur, who “had some clever ideas of how to disguise product promotions as ‘news’ covered in consumer press.” According to media experts, the ad made to look like news or ‘advertorial’ is a really low rung on either the paid ad or public relations ladder.

Nazis? Really?

Mr. Posner detailed this during his interview on the podcast. “In 1947, defense attorneys for Nazi doctors charged with war crimes for human experimentation at concentration camps cited the malaria experiments in a failed effort for an acquittal. He went on, “when Nazi doctors are citing clinical trials from your industry as grounds for an acquittal in their own legal trials, you have erred.”

To learn more about Gerald Posner visit his web site at https://www.posner.com/.

About Houston Healthcare Initiative And Dr. Steven Goldstein

Dr. Steven Goldstein is a Houston based neurologist. He founded the Houston Healthcare Initiative and is an advocate for common sense solutions to the healthcare crisis that confronts the citizens and residents of the United States of America.