Inadequacy, inappropriateness, infodemics, and more…

FSM News and Articles

JOHN DWYER – The opioid crisis should focus attention on the inadequacy of Primary Care in Australia: “Some three millions of us live with daily severe pain. Arthritis, back injuries, headaches, nerve damage and even psychologically induced pain are some examples and in far too many cases relief associated with opioid consumption is leading to addiction and opioid related deaths… Perhaps the most distressing reality in all this is that so much of this suffering could be avoided if our health system was resourced adequately to focus on prevention.”

FSM Friends’ News and Articles

Inappropriate antibiotic use is rampant in U.S. pediatric hospitalsSo what’s the bottom line from this study? A lot of kids admitted to paediatric hospitals are on antibiotics. And although it appears that we do better than the doctors that manage adults, we need to do better. Of the thousands of kids in this study receiving inpatient antibiotics, 1 of every 4 did so sub-optimally. Half of the suboptimal antibiotics should have been stopped and another 20% needed to be changed to an antibiotic that was more narrow, both of which are risk factors for the development of resistant bacteria.

There was huge variation between hospitals in this study. Some appeared to have a much better grasp of proper antibiotic use than others. It’s important to figure out why there are such disparities and what can be done about it. Every participating hospital in this study has an antibiotic stewardship program (ASP), although the quality and effectiveness of each is unknown. That may be a factor in the differences in rates of suboptimal antibiotic use. But nearly half of the suboptimal orders wouldn’t have even been reviewed by an ASP, and many non-pediatric hospitals don’t an ASP.

As I mentioned earlier, it isn’t feasible for every hospital to have an ASP that monitors 100% of antibiotic orders. But this is an area that deserves focus and resources wherever possible because we are running out of antibiotics and we are running out of time. Expanding ASP services is just one way to reduce antibiotic misuse, but it is an important one.


How and why the Pharmacy Guild is so good at leaning on politicians: “The guild isn’t the professional body for pharmacists – that’s the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. The guild is a straight-up lobby group representing the financial interests of pharmacy owners.”

How experts plan to treat the new coronavirus: “In recent years, perhaps encouraged by the successful development of HIV anti-virals, which proved it might be feasible to do more, our armamentarium has greatly expanded,” Stephen Morse said. Even so, developing brand-new drugs requires a huge investment of both time and resources, he added. So “while you’re waiting for the new miracle drug, it’s worthwhile looking for existing drugs that could be repurposed” to treat new viruses.”

I’m taking glucosamine for my arthritis. So what’s behind the new advice to stop? What should you do if you’re taking glucosamine? If it works for you and you want to keep using it, then do so only on the advice of your doctor. That’s especially the case if you have any underlying medical conditions including diabetes, allergies or asthma. Next, let your pharmacist know so they can check for any possible interactions with your other medicines, which can increase your risk of side-effects. You are most at risk if you are also taking warfarin, or any other type of blood thinning medicine. Finally, if you do have unwanted side-effects from glucosamine, stop using it immediately and report it to your doctor.

Why is public money going into homeopathy courses? “Not only is there no evidence that homeopathy works, it CANNOT work unless ‘water has a memory’. If they could show that they’d win the Nobel Prize for physics as well as medicine. Needless to say, they can’t. Homeopathy is fraud, pure and simple.”

Great Moments in Health and Science 

The development of the implanted cardioverter-defibrillator – Soccer player Anthony Van Loo survives a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) when his ICD fires:  As seen in action in this short video, in people predisposed to life-threatening heart arrhythmias, this automated device kicks in to “restart” a normal heart rhythm.

Today’s Abused Health Concept

We’re in danger of drowning in a coronavirus ‘infodemic’. Here’s how we can cut through the noise: As public awareness of the progression of the Covid virus epidemic increases, there has been a similar increase in misinformation, fear mongering, and conspiracy theorising. Misinformation can lead people to increase their risk factors, to waste effort in ineffective ideas, to reduce trust in the health authorities, and can encourage negative behaviour like racism.

“As we’ve seen with the coronavirus, misinformation can prompt blame and stigmatisation of infected and affected groups. Since the outbreak began, Chinese Australians, who have no connection or exposure to the virus, have reported an increase in anti-Chinese language and abuse both online and on the streets. Observing online communication offers an opportunity to quickly respond to misunderstandings and to build a picture of what rumours gain the most traction. Health authorities’ response to the infodemic should include a strategy for engaging with and even listening to those who spread or believe inaccurate stories to gain deeper understanding of how infodemics spread.”