Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Goodness, how time flies. I am not the world's greatest blogger being so busy with my work advocating the legalization of safe adult stem cell therapy in the U.S. (www.safestemcells.org), the Stem Cell Pioneers forum and the COPDliving forum, but I have to post something that came my way that is so outrageous I have seen nothing but red since reading it. Here goes -

Researcher Receives Millions To Study COPD posted at Tyler paper.com August 23, 2009
Staff Writer

Dr. David Coultas, physician in chief and chair of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, is continuing work with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) with the help of a five-year, $3.25 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

The study is continued from one that Dr. Coultas conducted while at the University of Florida about 10 years ago. He will borrow a model from a 1990s Cooper Institute of Dallas study, in which sedentary people were encouraged to undergo 30 minutes of moderate physical activity for at least five times a week with the help of a workbook.

The method was proven to be as successful as working out with a personal trainer to improve health. Dr. Coultas said he believes the model, which emphasizes self management skills and education, will be just as successful in patients with chronic illness.

COPD is a condition that affects nearly 11 million Americans. It is the fourth leading cause of death in the country and another 24 million people have evidence of impaired lung function, according to American Lung Association reports.

"The prevalence of COPD in the general population is 5-15 percent. It varies by age," Dr. Coultas said.

There are 30,000 patients aged 45 and older in an eight-county region of East Texas with COPD.

If the study is successful, Dr. Coultas said he would encourage local health facilities to implement the program to benefit those patients.

He said a self-management program for sufferers will help them better understand the illness and care for themselves.

Smoking is the main cause of COPD, which is characterized by emphysema or bronchitis.

Patients with the disease breathe with exertion and sometimes need oxygen.

Although pulmonary rehabilitation has been proven to work, physicians say that most patients do not take advantage of it. Pulmonary rehabilitation requires patients to go to a health center for several days a week. A lack of funding for these programs and transportation sometimes pose a problem for older people, particularly those living in rural areas.

"Pulmonary rehabilitation works but it is estimated that less than 2 percent of patients access those programs for many different reasons," he said. "The basic problem with COPD is shortness of breath and because of the exertion, they stop doing things."

Dr. Coultas noted that pulmonary rehabilitation is cost effective because it decreases flare ups, emergency room visits and hospital stays. Bringing it to patients' homes will make it more feasible, he said.


The clinical trial is expected to begin in mid-April and last through June 2014. Dr. Coultas said 300 patients will be randomly selected from physician offices.

At the beginning of the study, an assessment will be given to measure quality of life and then reevaluated at the end of the study. Patients will be randomly chosen and assigned to two groups. One will receive basic information about how to manage COPD while the other group will also receive a workbook and telephone support. The group with a workbook and telephone support will have an initial face-to-face meeting with a health coordinator who will follow up with the patient by telephone throughout the 18-month study. Patients will be encouraged to follow a regime that includes at least 30 minutes of physical activity for at least five days a week.

Dr. Coultas said the program is an extension of care provided by patients' primary care physician.

"It's almost like a coach. This is pulmonary rehabilitation at the next level," he said. "We're not taking over care. We are supplementing care with behavioral intervention."

He added, "The goal is to improve quality of life."

Dr. Coultas will be assisted by physicians at other facilities including the University of Texas at Tyler and the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.

This is the biggest waste of taxpayer dollars I have come across in a long time. The NIH has got to stop wasting our money on 10 year old studies and allow funding for meaningful research that is geared towards finding a cure for COPD. I have been hounding the NIH and they sent me a list of meaningless studies such as this along with the suggestion for a doctor that might help me manage my disease better. Between the NIH and groups like the American Lung Association that are going full steam ahead, no holes barred, to ban candy cigarettes, there will never be anything close to a cure unless private research steps up to the plate or we fund it ourselves. How stupid does everyone think we are to think we will continue to be satisfied with meaningless research projects and non profit groups that are more interested in keeping their own jobs? A cure would mean they would have to find other work now, wouldn't it? We must fight back. This is insanity.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

One of my friends,Jan, sent me this. She took the time to respond to some out and out lies sent to her in her Medicare Consumer weekly update. This is appalling that no one is taking the time to read what is in the Health Care Reform bill or if they are reading it, they are trying to sugar coat it especially while trying to ram it down the throats of seniors. I called my congressman to see when he was coming home and to tell him to wait before signing on to anything. His aide almost sounded like he never wanted to come home. All he has to do is say no and the majority of us will welcome him with open arms.

Here goes with what Jan sent:

I received my weekly Medicare Consumer Update today and am furious with the crap they wrote titled "scare tactics". This is what I wrote back to them....

What you wrote regarding Scare Tactics is NOT TRUE.

Apparently you have not read the entire 1,018 page document:


Page 425 Lines 4-12 - Government mandates Advance Care Planning Consults. Think Senior Citizens end of life.

Page 425 Lines 17-19 - Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney. Mandatory!

Page 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 - Government provides approved list of end of life resources, guiding you in death.

Page 427 Lines 15-24 - Government mandates program for orders for end of life. The Government has a say in how your life ends.

Page 429 Lines 1-9 - An "Advanced Care Planning Consultant" will be used frequently as patients health deteriorates.

Page 429 Lines 10-12 - "advanced care consultation" may include an ORDER for end of life plans. AN ORDER from Government!

Page 429 Lines 13-25 - The Government will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order.

Page 430 Lines 11-15 - The Government will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life.

Your Weekly Medicare Consumer Advocacy Update

Scare Tactics

July 30, 2009 • Volume 9, Issue 30

The opponents of health reform will say anything to stop it, no matter how untrue. The latest falsehood alleges that the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (HR 3200) would require older adults to obtain counseling “that will tell them how to end their life sooner,” in the words of Betsy McCaughey, an employee of the conservative Hudson Institute. Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina, went a step further, implying that the House Democrats’ health reform bill would “put seniors in the position of being put to death by their government.”

These falsehoods are designed to scare older adults and gin up opposition to health reform. In fact, HR 3200 provides Medicare coverage for a consultation with a doctor—not a government official—in which the patient can express her preferences regarding end-of-life care. The patient is not required to have this consultation, and there is no mandate for the patient to complete an advance directive (such as a living will) or forego aggressive treatment of a life-threatening illness.

In fact, HR 3200 makes substantial improvements to Medicare. The bill would phase out the Part D “doughnut hole,” the built-in gap in Medicare drug coverage that requires older adults and people with disabilities to pay the full price for their prescriptions while still paying the premiums for the drug plan. Although it would take until 2023 to fully close the doughnut hole, people with Medicare will benefit immediately as the gap is narrowed with each passing year. The enhanced coverage is paid for by securing lower prices for prescription drugs covered under Medicare Part D. In addition, brand-name drugs for people who are in the doughnut hole would be subject to a mandatory 50 percent discount.

The real threat to the lives of older adults and people with disabilities comes when they cannot afford to buy the medicines they need to treat a serious illness. That is happening right now when people enter the doughnut hole. Closing the doughnut hole is the right thing to do, and we need to pass health reform to make that happen. Please write your senators and representatives and tell them to Remember Medicare and pass health reform.

Medical Record

On July 28, President Obama held a town hall meeting at AARP headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he took questions from seniors about health care reform. The following is a transcript of one exchange between a caller and the president.

Question: "I have heard lots of rumors going around about this new plan, and I hope that the people that are going to vote on this is going to read every single page there. I have been told there is a clause in there that everyone that's Medicare age will be visited and told to decide how they wish to die. This bothers me greatly and I'd like for you to promise me that this is not in this bill."

THE PRESIDENT: "You know, I guarantee you, first of all, we just don't have enough government workers to send to talk to everybody, to find out how they want to die.

"I think that the only thing that may have been proposed in some of the bills —and I actually think this is a good thing—is that it makes it easier for people to fill out a living will.

"Now, Mary, you may be familiar with the principle behind a living will, but it basically is something that my grandmother—who, you may have heard, recently passed away—it gave her some control ahead of time, so that she could say, for example, if she had a terminal illness, did she want extraordinary measures even if, for example, her brain waves were no longer functioning; or did she want just to be left alone. That gives her some decision-making power over the process.

"The problem is right now most of us don't give direction to our family members and so when we get really badly sick, sadly enough, nobody is there to make the decisions. And then the doctor, who doesn't know what you might have preferred, they're making decisions, in consultation with your kids or your grandkids, and nobody knows what you would have preferred.

"So I think the idea there is to simply make sure that a living will process is easier for people—it doesn't require you to hire a lawyer or to take up a lot of time. But everything is going to be up to you. And if you don't want to fill out a living will, you don't have to. But it's actually a useful tool I think for a lot of families to make sure that if, heaven forbid, you contract a terminal illness, that you are somebody who is able to control this process in a dignified way that is true to your faith and true to how you think that end-of-life process should proceed.

"You don't want somebody else making those decisions for you. So I actually think it's a good idea to have a living will. I'd encourage everybody to get one. I have one. Michelle has one. And we hope we don't have to use it for a long time, but I think it's something that is sensible.

"But, Mary, I just want to be clear: Nobody is going to be knocking on your door; nobody is going to be telling you you've got to fill one out. And certainly nobody is going to be forcing you to make a set of decisions on end-of-life care based on some bureaucratic law in Washington." (President Obama, AARP Tele-Town Hall on Health, July 2009)

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Medicare Part D Appeals Help for Advocates Is Here!

Medicare Part D Appeals: An advocate's manual to navigating the Medicare private drug plan appeals process by the Medicare Rights Center offers an easy-to-understand, comprehensive overview of the entire appeals process, including real-life case examples, a glossary of important appeals terms, a sample protocol for advocates, and links to important resources.

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Visit our online subscription form to sign up for Asclepios at http://www.medicarerights.org/about-mrc/newsletter-signup.php.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Great Stem Cell Scam


This is perhaps the most damning article I have ever read as to what has happened to real stem cell treatment for patients (not rodents) in this country. I have been suspicious all along of the snail's pace that treatment seemed to be taking. Michael Fumento, author of this expose on the embryonic stem cell scam has begun what I hope will be the unraveling of a corrupt group of self serving researchers fueled by politicians, the media and a certain regulatory agency that we all know and love. Together this group has effectively shut off U.S. citizens from being able to have life saving stem cell treatment using adult stem cell therapy in the U.S.

Dr. Irving Weissman should immediately resign his post at Stanford as well as with the ISSCR. He has portrayed himself as an independent doctor concerned about the welfare of patients when in fact his agenda is one of acquiring personal wealth through patents. This is all at our expense folks. Millions of us are dying while Dr. Weissman and others of his ilk are getting rich.

CNN should be embarrassed as well. In their latest effort to bash doctors who treat patients with stem cells in other countries, they hauled in good old Irving who pronounced "As a stem cell scientist who works in the field of regenerative stem cells, I am disappointed and shocked that somebody would prey on a family that has an untreatable disease with the promise of a therapy that has no scientific or medical basis,". You can read the whole article here http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/07/14/stem.cell.regenocyte/index.html?section=cnn_latest and judge for yourself how scared you think Dr. Weissman might be that doctors overseas may really be onto something. This of course would take away from what he is doing to earn that extra pin money he makes with patents.

There is enough evidence coming from overseas to effectively convince me (including my own treatments) that the U.S. is once again a victim of a few greedy people who are lining their own pockets. Politicians for the most part understand very little about stem cells. They don't take the time to read up on much of anything let alone learn something about a subject that could change the way the entire medical world does business. Many thousands of patients are making it to visionary countries to seek treatment without waiting for the blessing of the FDA. They are disregarding the advice to stay home and die. Many are having great results. Some are victims of snake oil salesmen which the media warns us about in every medical tourism story ever written it seems. This is the same media however, that has not warned us (until Michael Fumento broke ground) that some of our own scientists are selling snake oil.
Mr. Fumento's story should be headline news in every publication around the world, but you won't find it.

My hats off to this man. He has opened up the door and confirmed my suspicions. If you can afford it and aren't too ill to travel, by all means, seek reputable treatment outside the U.S. It's obvious that nothing is going to be available in the U.S. for quite some time. What a dirty, horrible scam. Shame on all those involved.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cellulogix International/Casey Nabavi breaks promise to refund patient's money


Cindy Miller was promised a refund by Casey Nabavi (Cellulogix International). He was to pay off the horrific amount of $25000 via monthly payments that she paid for a stem cell treatment that left her worse off than she was prior to treatment. He has failed to do this and Cindy has created a website to warn others against Nabavi and Cellulogix International. I hear of so many dissatisfied patients that really did not see improvement and were never given any certification for the purity of the cells they supposedly received after going to Nabavi. Nabavi is now doing autologous procedures luring people again with all kinds of hype.
One woman was offered a free treatment because her original treatment did zilch for her. The free treatment was available to her Nabavi said if she would just pay the $8000 in lab fees.

Who is kidding who? He needs to think again if he thinks people are going to fall for this boatload of you know what. $8000 in lab fees? What is the lab going to do to run up a tab like that? Are they fine dining after work? Quick trip to Las Vegas, maybe? The very best advice is to stay away, far, far away from Cellulogix International or any clinic that Nabavi has ties to.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The FDA continues to hang us out to die


Just in case anyone missed this article that I wrote for the Gaia-Health site.

My blog was down for a couple of days for no rational reason that I could understand. The message just said that it was suspected of spam. Say what? I don't write spam. It is finally back up and running after having to wait a few days for them to make sure I am on the up and up I guess.

Went to a good meeting in Denver on Saturday. Dr. Schultz from Regenexx was one of the doctors who spoke there. He gave a great presentation on the use of stem cells to repair orthopedic injuries. He had the proof right there in black and white (X-rays that is).
The gal that put the rally/meeting on is named Shel. Her daughter's vision was restored after she had stem cell therapy. There were several other parents there of children who had been helped immensely with stem cell treatment, but sadly none of them were able to be treated in the U.S.

One of today's posts on the Stem Cell Pioneers forum (www.stemcellpioneers.com) tells us that India and China, analysts say, are poised to play a key role in the scientific, clinical and commercial development of stem cell research. We are really starting to take a back seat when it comes to progress in this field.

The U.S. has put itself in this position at the expense of its citizens. Other countries continue to forge ahead while we are still bickering about whether to continue funding for embryonic research that was in progress prior to President Obama's election. We are mired down in muck a knee deep that smells to high heaven of some kind of cozy agreement between Big Pharma and the FDA since the FDA has decided our own stem cells should be treated as if they were prescription drugs. We can't seem to figure it out in this country as we worry about things like the pathetic new regulation of cigarettes or the writing on a Cheerio's box. If you care about all this, get on your high horse. Join ASCTA to start with - www.safestemcells.org Then get it in gear and e-mail the FDA with your comments and also all of your legislators and the President of the United States himself.

Folks - The FDA is hanging us out to die. We have to rise up against this leg hold that they have on the desperately sick people in this country. I am fed up with it all - the media, legislators, some forums and blogs, ignorant people claiming they are concerned for our safety. We need the liberty to choose for ourselves if we want to have our own stem cells used in treatment that could possibly save our lives. This is up to us to decide, not some third party entity that has no clue what pain we are living with 24/7.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ethics in Washington? Not hardly. Key Senators have ties to health care industry.

Is this article a surprise to anyone? It surely was not to me. This type of thing is at the very core of what we are fighting in order to legalize treatment with our own stem cells. I don't believe that ethics is a word that is understood in Washington. I also just got word that my blog and the blogs of others are under review as possible spam. What????????????????????? Maybe, my blog is under review for openly criticizing the FDA and legislators like those in this article. That's a real scary thought.

By LARRY MARGASAK and SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writers Larry Margasak And Sharon Theimer, Associated Press Writers – 32 mins ago

WASHINGTON – Influential senators working to overhaul the nation's health care system have investments and family ties with some of the biggest names in the industry. The wife of Sen. Chris Dodd, the lawmaker in charge of writing the Senate's bill, sits on the boards of four health care companies.

Members of both parties have industry connections, including Democrats Jay Rockefeller and Tom Harkin, in addition to Dodd, and Republicans Tom Coburn, Judd Gregg, John Kyl and Orrin Hatch, financial reports showed Friday. .

Jackie Clegg Dodd, wife of the Connecticut Democrat, is on the boards of Javelin Pharmaceuticals Inc., Cardiome Pharma Corp., Brookdale Senior Living and Pear Tree Pharmaceuticals.

Dodd is filling in for ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which will soon start work on a health care bill.

Other publicly available documents show Mrs. Dodd last year was one of the most highly compensated non-employee members of the Javelin Pharmaceuticals Inc. board, on which she has served since 2004. She earned $32,000 in fees and $109,587 in stock option awards last year, according to the company's SEC filings.

Mrs. Dodd earned $79,063 in fees from Cardiome in its last fiscal year, while Brookdale Senior Living gave her $122,231 in stock awards in 2008, their SEC filings show. She earned no income from her post as a director for Pear Tree Pharmaceuticals but holds up to $15,000 in stock in Pear Tree, which describes itself as a development-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the needs of aging women.

The annual financial disclosure reports for members of Congress are less precise. They only require that assets and liabilities be listed in ranges of values.

Dodd was granted a 90-day extension to file his report covering last year, but released it to The Associated Press.

Bryan DeAngelis, Dodd's spokesman, said, "Jackie Clegg Dodd's career is her own; absolutely independent of Senator Dodd, as it was when they married 10 years ago. The senator has worked to reform our health care system for decades, and nothing about his wife's career is relevant at all to his leadership of that effort."

DeAngelis said that Mrs. Dodd has hired a personal ethics lawyer to avoid any conflicts of interest and is not a lobbyist.

Other reports showed:

• Rockefeller, D-W.Va., reported $15,001 to $50,000 in capital gains for his wife from the sale of a stake in Athenahealth Inc., a business services company that helps medical providers with billing and clinical operations.

Rockefeller is honorary chairman of the Alliance for Health Reform, a Washington nonprofit whose board includes representatives from the UnitedHealth Group health insurance company; AFL-CIO labor union; the AARP, which sells health insurance; St. John Health, a nonprofit health system that includes seven hospitals and 125 medical facilities in southeast Michigan; CIGNA Corp., an employer-sponsored benefits company; and the United Hospital Fund of New York.

• Coburn, R-Okla., is a practicing physician. He reported slight business income, $268, from the Muskogee Allergy Clinic last year; $3,000 to $45,000 in stock in Affymetrix Inc., a biotechnology company and pioneer in genetic analysis; $1,000 to $15,000 in stock in Pfizer Inc., a pharmaceutical company; and a $1,000 to $15,000 interest in Thomas A. Coburn, MD, Inc.

Under Senate ethics rules, Coburn can't accept money from his patients.

• Gregg, R-N.H., disclosed $250,001 to $500,000 in drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. stock and $1,000 to $15,000 each in stock in pharmaceutical companies Merck & Co. and Pfizer, the Johnson & Johnson health care products company and Agilent Technologies, which is involved in the biomedical industry.

• Kyl, R-Ariz., the Senate minority whip, reported $15,001 to $50,000 in stock in Amgen Inc., which develops medical therapeutics. Kyl's retirement account held stakes in several health care businesses, including the Wyeth, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and AstraZeneca pharmaceutical companies; medical provider Tenet Healthcare Corp.; CVS Caremark prescription and health services company; Genentech, a biotherapeutics manufacturer; and insurer MetLife Inc.

• Harkin, D-Iowa, has a joint ownership stake in health-related stocks. Harkin and his wife, Ruth Raduenz, own shares of drug makers Amgen and Genentech, Inc., each stake valued at $1,001 to $15,000; Their largest health care holding, Johnson & Johnson, was valued at $50,001 to $100,000.

• Hatch, R-Utah, a member of the Finance and Health committees, reported owning between $1,001 and $15,000 worth of stock in drug maker Pfizer Inc. He spoke to two pharmaceutical industry conferences last year. Sponsors of the conferences donated $3,500 to charities instead of speaking fees, as required by Senate rules.

Like millions of Americans, several senators took a financial hit in 2008. A sampling:

_Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., lost some $100,000 in equity in his home in Springfield and $35,000 in his Chicago condominium. Durbin, who released his tax returns, reported losing $32,259 in various investments last year, including more than $10,400 in Berkshire Hathaway and $5,535 in Fidelity stock.

_Kennedy in 2007 had four trusts each valued between $5,000,001-$25 million. In 2008, only one trust was still in that category while the rest had slipped in value to $1,000,001-$5 million.

_Hatch's investments suffered from the banking crisis. In 2007, he reported assets of between $2,002 and $30,000 in Countrywide Credit Industries Inc. stock. His 2008 financial disclosure lists the value at less than $1,000.

One of Dodd's investments showed a vast improvement.

A new appraisal more than doubled the value of his vacation cottage in Ireland, which has been subject of a Senate ethics complaint filed by a conservative group questioning if the undervalued property was really a gift.

The property is valued at 470,000 euros, or about $660,000, on Dodd's disclosure report.

The previous year's report valued the seaside home, located in County Galway, at between $100,001 and $250,000.

DeAngelis, the spokesman, said Dodd and his wife decided to have the property appraised because they felt it was time to update the information.