December 21, 2016

Drug Company’s CEO Salary Rises 6 Times as Prices Increase

ceo salary rise drug price affordableEpiPen is known to be vitally important to people who have extreme allergies and those at risk of anaphylaxis. The EpiPen was taken over by the pharmaceutical company, Mylan, in 2007 and has been increasing their prices drastically over the last eight years. The $100 for a pair of EpiPens in 2007, is now being sold for a little over $600!

There have been many executives who have benefited from this ordeal but Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Heather Bresch, has seen her compensation increase over 600% over the past eight years. While numerous patients and families have struggled to afford the drastically increasing expense of EpiPens, CEO Heather Bresch has enjoyed a “total compensation of $18,931,068” [1]. Although there has been no open investigation of Mylan’s pricing structures, it has received public scrutiny from numerous politicians.

When the company first acquired the rights to the EpiPen, it was considered a failing enterprise. Having developed the product to a satisfactory level the company subsequently began increasing its price. This was seen as a fair business move, but hiking up the prices to such an outrageous number is unfair to numerous families who struggle to afford a crucial medication to treat a common and easily controlled condition.

Furthermore, Mylan has also purchased a drug company in the Netherlands for the sole purpose of paying lower taxes. Mylan was further criticized  for its profit-seeking actions in an article by Michael Hiltzik. Hiltzik pointed out that Mylan is unpatriotic and an “inversion”, which is defined as a “U.S. company cuts its tax bill by acquiring a foreign firm and moving its tax domicile to the acquired company’s homeland” [2]

The EpiPen is not merely an allergy medication that avoids minor symptoms, yet it is an auto-injector which is used in life or death situations. This is why numerous patients find the price increases outrageous, because such a crucial piece of equipment should not be made so unaffordable.

[1] CEO of EpiPen Maker Mylan Sees 671% Compensation Increase in 8 Years. Willingham, Emily. Forbes. Retrieved From:

[2] Another reason to hate Mylan, which jacked up the price of life-saving EpiPens: It’s a tax dodger. Hiltzik, Michael. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved From:

August 17, 2012

Symptoms of a Latex Allergy

Filed under: allergic reaction,allergy,allergy symptoms — drwatson @ 10:35 am

According to recent research, latex allergies are becoming more common, especially within the medical community. An allergy to latex is normally caused by over exposure to latex materials. Symptoms can range from minor to severe and should not be taken lightly. There is no failsafe way to avoid a reaction other than completely avoiding all contact with any materials that may contain latex.

Common Symptoms of a Latex Allergy

One of the most common latex allergy symptoms is a rash.  This can be a minor reaction and may only require an over-the-counter allergy pill. Or, it may be severe and require medical treatment.  The rash may appear in the form of hives. These are usually small clusters of red bumps that itch or burn.

Another of the more common latex allergy symptoms that occur on the skin is ‘contact dermatitis,’ which is a patch of dry itchy skin with no sign of bumps. This is usually minor and can often be treated with an allergy pill or topical antihistamine.  It is important, though, to see an allergist or your doctor to determine the severity of your allergy and the proper course of treatment.

There are some minor respiratory symptoms of a latex allergy, such as a runny nose, sore throat, frequent sneezing or coughing. Over the counter drugs can treat these symptoms, but the best thing to do is eliminate your contact with latex products.

Serious Symptoms of a Latex Allergy

One serious symptom related to any allergy is angioedema. Angioedema is swelling of the tongue, lips, or face, sometimes to the point that breathing is inhibited. This requires immediate treatment, as it may affect the airway very rapidly and can result in suffocation if not treated soon enough.

Other more serious latex allergy symptoms include respiratory problems such as shortness of breath (which is a sign of angioedema), or asthma symptoms like severe wheezing or the inability to catch your breath.

Serious allergic reactions to latex can be life-threatening and should you experience any of them, you should immediately call 911.

Things to Avoid if You Have an Allergy to Latex

The most common things that contain latex are:

  • Latex Gloves
  • Condoms, diaphragms, and other contraceptives
  • Bandaging materials like tape and adhesives
  • Some glues
  • Rubber bands
  • Pacifiers and bottle nipples
  • Balloons

Some weird things that can contain latex are:

  • mouse pads
  • tampons
  • sanitary napkins
  • baby diapers

Also, it’s not only important to avoid touching latex, but also to avoid breathing in any dust or particles that might contain it.

Living with an Allergy to Latex

Having a latex allergy can be troublesome and even frightening, but there are things you can do to protect your health and enjoy life with less worry.

The most important step you can take is to discuss your concerns with an allergist or your regular doctor to determine what you need to do to keep yourself safe.

August 2, 2012

4 Unique Allergy Control Products

Filed under: allergic reaction,allergy,allergy symptoms — drwatson @ 12:30 pm

Allergy symptoms can be uncomfortable enough to stop you in your tracks and ruin an otherwise good day. If you are looking to find out how to control allergies, then look no more.

Here are 4 completely different allergy control products, available over the counter, that are not only convenient but effective, too.


The most commonly known and used over the counter allergy control product is the antihistamine Benadryl.

When histamine is released from the body, symptoms such as runny nose, itchy eyes, itchy skin and sneezing can be produced. Benadryl works by blocking the HL Receptors from releasing histamine which will provide relief from your symptoms. Plus, you can use Benadryl preventatively to avoid experiencing allergy symptoms.

While Benadryl is typically safe for most, there are certain people who should not use it.

Since antihistamines also double as sedatives, taking Benadryl can cause drowsiness. It should be avoided if you need to remain alert.

Children under 2, pregnant women and people with breathing conditions such as asthma and bronchitis should not take Benadryl.

In addition, if you are on any other medications, you should consult your doctor before taking Benadryl. This medication should not be used if you are allergic to diphenhydramine.


This medicated nose spray was once prescription but is now available over the counter. It is best used preventively before you encounter any allergens and can be used on a daily basis.

Using a nasal applicator, squirt NasalCrom in each nostril, typically 3-6 sprays a day, to keep allergy symptoms at bay with an anti-inflammatory agent called cromolyn sodium. This prevents allergy-causing substances from being released into your nasal passage.

Nose sprays are beneficial for people whose main allergy symptoms include nasal congestion or runny nose.

Do not use NasalCrom if you have an allergy to cromolyn sodium. Consult your doctor if you are taking any other medications, are pregnant or if you plan on giving NasalCrom to a small child.


If you suffer from topical symptoms, then the best allergy control product for you will contain Cortaid. Anti-itch creams, with the active ingredient of 1% hydrocortisone, work by reducing chemicals that produce inflammation, redness and even swelling of the skin.

Do not apply on an open wound or an area of infected skin.  You should not use if you have an allergy to corticosteroids. Consult a doctor before use if you have allergies to any other medications or are currently taking another medication.


Because irritants can cause the blood vessels in your eyes to swell, you can experience red, itchy, dry or watery eyes. Visine, which is a liquid medicine, causes your eye’s blood vessels to constrict, thus alleviating your symptoms and reducing the bloodshot appearance.

If you mostly suffer from eye allergy symptoms, then this is a great treatment for you. Do not use if you are allergic to Tetrahydrozoline. Consult a doctor first if you are pregnant, have eye disease, an eye infection or are taking any other medications.

Whether you suffer from itchy skin, a runny nose, watery eyes or a combination of symptoms, one of these four allergy control products should help you find some relief from the discomfort of your allergies.

January 5, 2010

Top 5 Strange Cases in Medicine

There are many different medical disorders and diseases out there, more than most people could ever learn in their lifetime. New conditions are being discovered all the time, while some of the older ones are being prevented through new research into cures. However, while there are many, MANY, different medical conditions, there are a few that are very interesting, and make everyone ask if the condition is real, or if it’s just some internet hoax. Let me tell you that there are very weird and seemingly impossible conditions that are still out in the world today, I’d like to share my top 5 strange cases in medicine.

5. Progeria (Hutchinson – Gilford syndrome)

Progeria is an extremely rare disorder that causes rapid aging normally starting during childhood. When a person with Progeria is born, there appears to be no difference between a baby without Progeria and a baby with the disorder. However, when childhood begins the disorder become very apparent, causing the child to experience rapid aging, which manifests in the loss of hair, wrinkles, and severe damage on the arteries that will result in death within the first years of adolescence.

4. Jumping Frenchmen of Maine

Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is a much exaggerated form of startle reflex called hyperexplexia. Suffers were reported to react strangely to loud sudden noises, and obeying the commands of another. When asked by a loud authoritative voice to do something like hit someone they would obey and go hit someone.

Walking Corpse Syndrome

Walking corpse syndrome is a very unusual syndrome, in that the sufferer believes that they are dead, decaying, or have lost a body part or internal organ. Those suffering with the disease sometimes do not even think they exist.

The Girl That Collapses Every Time She Laughs

Have you ever laughed so hard that you’ve almost fallen over in tears, well a young women living in the UK feels something like that every time she laughs. The young lady suffers from cataplexy, which means that any strong emotion triggers a weakening of her muscles. This weakening of muscles means whenever she laughs, or is afraid, embarrassed or just about any other sort of emotion, she collapses right on the spot. It’s almost like being allergic response to your emotions.

The Girl Who is Allergic to Water

The majority of our beautiful planet Earth is water, but what happens when you can’t go near the stuff. A teen from Australia, suffers from a very rare skin disorder called Aquagenic Urticaria. This condition means that whenever any water makes contact with her skin, she breaks out in a painful rash. If you think that this just means she can’t go swimming think about all the things you do every day that requires water. Showering/taking a bath, washing your hands, and sweating are all painful things for her to do. I would probably be pretty depressed if I had an allergic reaction to water.

December 18, 2009

5 Ways to Avoid Holiday Season Allergy Symptoms

If you have an allergy to a commonly-used food in modern cuisine, or to dust or other allergens, you know that your allergy controls everything you do. Pollen allergies can become an issue during the holiday season because of that large pine tree in your living room. While the most common food allergies are shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and eggs, and unlikely to act as ingredients in holiday dishes, it never hurts to be safe when it comes to allergies.

Methods to Avoid Allergy Symptoms during the Holidays:

Fix the Tree – If you have mold or pollen allergies, selecting an artificial tree may be a wise decision this season. If an authentic tree is your only option, wipe it down with a wet cloth before bringing it into the house, and clean it frequently to avoid a buildup of allergens.

Clean Decorations – While your ornaments have been hiding away in storage all year, they have collected dust and pose as a threat to any mold allergy sufferers. Simply wiping down all decorations before placing them on your majestic pine tree will reduce dust allergens that may trigger an allergic reaction.

Clean Fireplace – Before its first use, cleaning your wood fireplace helps to prevent smoke inhalation, and will prevent any smoke inhalation based asthma and allergy attacks.

Poinsettias – This popular holiday plant is directly related to the Brazilian Rubber Tree, which latex is obtained from. If you have an allergy to latex, avoid direct contact with any part of the poinsettia.

Food – It’s easy to censor what foods you eat within your own home, however during the holiday season its occasionally difficult to forecast what you’ll be eating at someone else’s place. To avoid food allergy reactions, alert your host of your food allergies, and be sure to carry an epi-pen at all times.

While your allergies may take some toll on your daily routine, don’t let them stop you from enjoying the holiday season!

October 19, 2009

5 Ways to Control Allergies

1. Find your triggers

Allergies are different for everyone. Take note of allergic reactions that you have and try to figure out what caused it. If you are unsure, have your doctor give you an allergy test.

2. Avoid exposure

Once you know what it is that is causing you problems, try to stay away from it. For some of us, that can be hard. I have several allergies myself including shellfish and pets – but am not always cautious about my exposure to these triggers. In addition, if you are a host to visitors at your home, make yourself aware of any allergies your guests may have. Perhaps you may have to vacuum pet hair prior to their visit, or make sure you aren’t serving food that they shouldn’t be eating. This will minimize the symptoms of others and make them more comfortable.

3. Be Prepared

If you have allergies, you probably know that you may be exposed when you least expect it! Maybe you did not plan on going to a corn maze during hay fever season, or visiting a friend with pets. Its a good idea to carry the necessary allergy medications on you at all times. Such things may include allergy pills like allegra or claritin, allergy eye drops, nasal spray, or in extreme cases an Epipen.

4. Keep air clear

For those with dust allergies, it is important to clean ventilation systems at home regularly in addition to dusting in order to prevent allergy symptoms. Avoid going places that are dust-rich like the garage, basement, or crawl space. On warm breezy days, keep windows open to allow the fresh air in.

5. See the doctor

Visit your doctor to find out if there are any new treatments for your allergy, or if your allergy symptoms don’t improve.

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner.

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