Purdue Pharma has announced they will no longer market their top-selling product, Oxycontin, to physicians. In turn, Purdue will half their sales force. This move seems to be a great light in the face of such a large opioid epidemic.
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Lawsuits against Purdue have been accumulating for years, and execs from the company have already shelled out over $630m in fines for false advertising. So, the question must be asked: is Purdue motivated to end the epidemic or save their own skin? Hard to say.
Pulling a Fast One
Aforementioned false advertising consisted of claims that Oxycontin provided relief superior to industry rivals, but in reality, the relieve seen by patients was no more effective. This lead to doctors increasing doses and prescription of longer durations. The results? More money for Purdue.
In all, public health advocates seem to be satisfied by Purdue’s actions amidst the opioid crisis. Nonetheless, given Purdue’s legal mishaps, the motivation behind their course of action seems rather selfish in nature.
The More You Clean, the Worse You Breathe
A study done by Norway's University of Bergen found that women who use common household cleaning products are at risk for decreased lung function. After tracking 6,235 participants for over two decades, the researchers noted women appeared to be affected more than men. Women that cleaned for a living had lung function comparable to a 10-20 pack-years smoker.
Cleaners = Cigarettes
Experts says that spray based cleaners will often get breathed in by the user. The chemicals cause chronic irritation to the mucous membranes of the lungs, leading to long term damage. While only 57 men in the study identified as professional cleaners, researchers suggest women are more vulnerable to the chemicals, by consequence of elevated exposure.
How do I keep my house clean?
If you are going to use cleaners, keep your homes ventilated (i.e. open a window) and stick to liquid cleaners or wipes. Most cleaning can be done using a microfiber cloth and water. Cleaning products can also be a source of pollution. By cutting down on their use, we can reduce pollution and better our own health.
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Common Medication Prevents Diabetes
Methyldopa—often used to treat high blood pressure in children and pregnant women—has been found to prevent Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) from developing. On the list of WHO’s essential drugs, it has been widely used for over 50 years.
Thousands of drugs were entered into a supercomputer, and the result: methyldopa prevents binding of DQ8 molecules. DQ8 is an antigen that plays a significant role in T1D, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis to give you an idea of what this research could mean down the road.
As the first method of treatment for T1D prevention, this is groundbreaking. According to the research, methyldopa targeted DQ8 and only DQ8, proving it to be a reliable form of treatment. However, it’s not quite a full cure, per se.
Between genetics, and biological markers, we are able to predict with near certainty who will develop T1D. Once these individuals are identified, treatment with methyldopa can greatly delay or even prevent the onset of disease entirely.