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Comment: Re:And good luck asking for APAP-free medicine! (Score 1) 95

by swb (#47431387) Attached to: Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

Oxycodone has required a printed prescription on paper for a long time -- no refills, no phone in. I think hydrocodone (aka Vicodin) was scheduled lower and that made it eligible for phone-in prescriptions and refills without a new prescription, although I believe they recently re-scheduled it to be the same as oxycodone.

I have to sign for every prescription, from opiates to my high blood pressure medication to antibiotics. I can't remember not having to sign for them.

Ironically, I think the dependence on paper prescriptions as being more secure than electronic submission is kind of strange. Surely forging a paper prescription is easier than an electronic submission. I'm also surprised the DEA hasn't just created a mandatory centralized opiate prescribing system where all prescriptions are funneled through them.

I'm not endorsing this, mind you, but they could tighten it down to the point where the only way to prescribe a narcotic is for a doctor to log into a DEA terminal, complete with two-factor authentication, complete the prescription form and have it sent to the pharmacy, all under their watchful eye.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 62

by mi (#47431311) Attached to: Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines

You're just like Fox News now.

Sure. Because the honest and straight-shooting New York Times and MSNBC would publish — indeed, revel in — every piece of bad news...

As long a Republican can be blamed for it — justly or otherwise — of course...

Iraq, for example, was a "quagmire" in 2003 — when the enemy was defeated and on the run. And so it was in 2006, when only minor insurrections remained. But it is not a quagmire today — with the enemy having recaptured vast swaths of the country — the same sophisticated publication is advising us on how to avoid the disaster, not admitting, is has already happened — with the Nobel Peace Prize winner at the helm and a direct result of his decisions and orders.

Comment: a couple of points (Score 2) 84

1) First, the silliness with bill names really needs to stop; one imagines a giglling kindergartner sitting "playing" Congressman typing out stupid acronyms while lobbyists sit in the background actually crafting the legislative language.

2) Then again, there are so many vagaries in the language of this bill, it's almost comical that it would be presented as legislation.
First, the bill keeps referring to "asteroids in outer space" - WTF is "outer space" precisely? Anything ex-atmospheric? Above the Karman Line? Anything in orbit? Anything outside lunar orbit?
Second, I believe even astronomers are having Platonic debates over the precise meanings of such terms as 'asteroid', 'planetoid', and 'moon'. Heck, in wiki's intro to "asteroid", the bulk of the opening paragraph sort of dissolves asymptotically trying to grab specifics. This document constantly references asteroids without bothering even to define what they're talking about. It might include Ceres or Vesta, but could it include the Moon? How about Phobos? Pluto?

Of course, most people have comfortable working definitions of the above, insofar as they care. But when the first rover starts drilling into the Moon, or Mars, or heck, taps into an agglomeration of someone else's space junk asserting it's "space debris that's formed an asteroid" these sorts of vagaries cause massive legal issues.

More evidence - as if the US public needed it - that our congressvermin are just idiots.

Comment: Orwellian (Score 1) 62

by argStyopa (#47430967) Attached to: Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines

Frankly, I have to say that this is even more Orwellian and pernicious than government-backed spying.

The idea that an ostensibly-objective source in the private sector - simply by the good fortune of it's overwhelming market power - can ensure that we all have happythink by subtly 'managing' the news feeds... is terrifying.

Comment: Re:And good luck asking for APAP-free medicine! (Score 1) 95

by swb (#47430779) Attached to: Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

The FDA has been mulling a total ban on acetaminophen combinations only recently, I presume this is because the most recent research probably indicated that the benefits were outweighed by the risks.

The physicians assistant who prescribed only oxycodone without acetaminophen to me was the youngest of the prescribers I've dealt with, so I'm also assuming her more recent education included this newer thinking.

The oxycodone dosage she gave me was the same as the combination offered elsewhere -- 5 mg. I found that the APAP-free version seemed more effective -- faster onset of benefit with no obvious reduction in duration or overall benefit.

The PA also prescribed other medication to try to enhance the oxycodone, hydroxazine and amytriptaline. Unfortunately both of these had significant side effects. Hydroxazine made me really sleepy and amytriptaline made it very hard to get up.

Comment: And good luck asking for APAP-free medicine! (Score 2) 95

by swb (#47430151) Attached to: Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

The funny thing is, try to explain this to your doctor when she wants to prescribe an opiate like oxycodone.

In about half the cases I've been prescribed opiates the doctor refused to prescribe oxycodone on its own -- I was told it was Percocet (oxycodone + acetaminophen) or nothing, they would not write a prescription for just oxycodone. I had one surgeon do it reluctantly, pointedly asking me why and not really liking my answer that I felt it was dangerous and could add in acetaminophen on my own if I felt it was helpful.

I did have one specialist who wrote that way and when I asked her why she prescribed that way she said current research showed the liver risk outweighed the small benefits. Ironically she was the "less educated" physicians assistant and not a full MD.

I think most doctors believe its beneficial but I also think they somehow see acetaminophen opiate formulations as some kind of bulwark against abuse. Either because they believe it is so much more effective paired with acetaminophen and you'll be inclined to take less overall or that people "know" acetaminophen is bad in quantity and it will serve as a deterrent to excessive dosage, especially people with a history of drug abuse.

I also think they are highly skeptical of someone asking for a specific opiate formulation, even when they initiate the prescription (ie, you have an obvious injury and they prescribe an opiate). It's highly ironic that they're so worried about addiction they're willing to risk serious liver toxicity.

Comment: Re:No Funding for you then. (Score 1) 63

by swb (#47430051) Attached to: Senator Al Franken Accuses AT&T of "Skirting" Net Neutrality Rules

As a Minnesotan, I don't see unknown Mike McFadden making a lot of headway against Franken. The dedicated ideologues may vote for him but Minnesota isn't the kind of a state where hard-core ideology will win elections. And he surely won't win campaigning against Franken on a platform of letting Comcast do whatever it wants.

I think he'd be most vulnerable in his own party to someone like Betty McCollum (a current House member) if she wanted the Senate.

Comment: 30,000 years? (Score 4, Interesting) 99

by Tablizer (#47429015) Attached to: Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

The sample being 30,000 years old doesn't seem significant because it's quite recent relative to the history of life, and even primates. The same kind of virus or a close relative is probably still around and the sample age probably has nothing to do with its size, but rather a happenstance of observation in that we tend to study old things harder than we do current things, and thus notice more.

"Someone's been mean to you! Tell me who it is, so I can punch him tastefully." -- Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse