Jim McVeagh

Why Pharmac Does Not Always Work - MacDoctor

Mar 09, 2010

I see an number of doctors are voicing their concerns of the government interest in a Pharmac-like organisation to take over hospital based purchases. Not without good reason, I might add. The Pharmac model has a major flaw. That flaw is that the model is based on the free availability of cheap “equivalents”. There is no [...] Related posts:

  1. Made in India
  2. The Pen is Mightier Than the Jab
  3. Three Thyroxine Monkeys

Profit and Loss - MacDoctor

Mar 08, 2010

Not satisfied with rendering cold and flu medicines ineffective by removing pseudoephedrine from general sale, Medsafe continues it’s onslaught on cold and flu meds by trying to remove all the syrups and infusions from supermarket shelves. Apparently they are concerned about the use of them in under sixes (despite the fact that fatalities are very [...] Related posts:

  1. No Relief
  2. Cold Comfort
  3. Inconsistent Codeine

The Gap into Conflict - MacDoctor

Mar 05, 2010

You  may be wondering why Republicans seem so adamantly against Obama’s healthcare bill when it seems, superficially at any rate, to offer millions more people a chance of decent health care. The Democrats love to portray the Republicans as selfish people obstructing the provision of healthcare to millions of their fellow Americans. This may explain their [...] Related posts:

  1. Over My Dead Body
  2. Brute Force
  3. Demand Driven

Newsflash! Advertisers Lie! - MacDoctor

Feb 28, 2010

Yes, I know it is almost impossible to fathom such depravity, but some pharmaceutical advertisers make unsubstantiated claims in medical journals! (/SARCASM OFF) Such is the conclusion of Ben Goldacre of the Guardian, writing on the Bad Science Blog. Goldacre is writing about a recent research article in the Netherlands Journal of Medicine “Are claims of [...] Related posts:

  1. Drug Market
  2. First Aid
  3. Can I Kill Vampires With it as Well?

Health Cheque - MacDoctor

Feb 24, 2010

I have finally managed to sit down and finish Gareth Morgan’s book, Health Cheque,  on the New Zealand health care system (long international flights are at least good for something). I find most of Morgan’s books a little superficial for my tastes and Health Cheque is certainly no exception, lacking, as it does, any deep [...] Related posts:

  1. OECD Health
  2. Euthanasia (Part 3)
  3. Restraining Health Costs

Lactose Intolerant - MacDoctor

Feb 11, 2010

The recent stunt by the New Zealand Skeptics Society might be very amusing, but it fails to add much to the debate on homeopathy. The skeptics swallow large amounts of homeopathic remedy to attempt to show its overall uselessness. Unfortunately, this demonstration is no more significant than an atheist demanding that God strikes him dead [...] Related posts:

  1. Strength of Belief
  2. In Defense of Nothing
  3. Newsflash! Advertisers Lie!

Killer Herbs - MacDoctor

Feb 09, 2010

An Australian forensic pathologist, Professor Roger Byard, wades into the herbal remedy debate with the dire warning Herbal remedies can kill. This is rather over the top, even for an aussie. Sure, there have been fatalities from herbal remedies, especially some of the Chinese ones that contain things that are suspiciously non-herbal. But you can [...] Related posts:

  1. Lactose Intolerant
  2. Uppers and Downers
  3. Death of a Brain Cell

…Another Man’s Poison. - MacDoctor

Feb 07, 2010

I would imagine that there is nothing scarier for a teacher than to be confronted by a child having a full-blown allergic reaction to something. It is pretty stressful for emergency-trained doctors and nurses so it must be doubly so for a non-medical person. Schools have the dilemma of wishing to reduce the risk of [...] Related posts:

  1. Fighting Fat
  2. Food Fascists
  3. But Would You Eat It?

Locked In - MacDoctor

Feb 06, 2010

Scientists have shown that a patient in a persistent vegetative state can actually understand  and “answer” questions. Use of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging has shown very specific brain activity in response to questioning. Activity that can be interpreted in no other way than as a response to a question. This would tend to indicate that [...] Related posts:

  1. Euthanasia (Part 1)
  2. Locked Away
  3. Strange Mercy

Show Me the Technology - MacDoctor

Feb 06, 2010

The Dominion Post writes yesterday about the looming shortage of oncologists. Four cancer doctors have resigned in a very short space of time. The article explores all the usual reasons why doctors leave, particularly the worrying ones of overwork,  which can only be fixed by employing more hard-to-get doctors. What struck me, though, was the [...] Related posts:

  1. Much Ado About Squat
  2. Two Tiers
  3. Lying on Wait