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Veterans claim and health issues that have been posted on various Sites

 

 

 

Veterans opinion of VA

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Various issues concerning Veterans and their Families

 

=FREE PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS=

http:// www.themedicineprogram.com The following appears on page 24 of the NAUS Uniformed Services Journal (USJ) for May/June 2000. We have received several success stories as to how this program has helped some families. One in particular was very gratifying - An elderly man and his wife were spending $2,500 a month for medications that they were taking for cancer treatment. The cost of drugs had drained their savings and they had put their home up for sale to continue treatment. Because of this program they were able to take their home off the market. Some pharmaceutical manufacturers are providing prescription drugs at NO COST to individuals of all ages, nationwide who meet minimal requirements. 

Many of the most frequent prescribed name brand medicines are now being provided FREE to low and middle-income patients through "PATIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS" now sponsored by most major pharmaceutical companies. If you know a friend, family member or client who has no insurance covering the cost of outpatient drugs, or who does not qualify for government assistance and is having difficulty paying for prescription medicines, the organization known as The Medicine Program, is a nationwide presence dedicated to assisting applicants of all ages to take the initial step to apply for enrollment in these new industry sponsored "PATIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS". For More Information: · Visit the Website at-- www.themedicineprogram.com (*) · Email: help@themedicineprogram.com (*) · Call: (573) 996-7300 · Write: The Medicine Program P.O. Box 515 (*) Doniphan, MO 63935-0520

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EPA Report Declares Dioxin a Cancer-Causing Agent

Health:

 The agency says exposure to the chemical comes from the foods Americans eat. Levels in the atmosphere have declined during last two decades.

 By MARLENE CIMONS , Times Staff WriterWASHINGTON

--The long-expected government announcement Monday that the chemical dioxin causes cancer--and that the risk is greater than originally believed--has set off a new debate: what to do about it? 

The Environmental Protection Agency declared for the first time Monday that dioxin is a carcinogen, and said that the vast majority of exposure to the chemical comes from the food Americans eat--a connection that likely will prompt further concerns about the safety of the U.S. food supply. Dioxin comes from both natural and industrial sources, primarily waste incineration and the production of plastics and paper pulp. It can contaminate soil and water and enter the food supply from fish in tainted water and animals that eat plants containing the chemical. It accumulates in the fat of fish and animals and has been associated with several human lymphomas and lung cancer. It also can be passed through the breast milk of nursing mothers. In its report, the EPA said the chemical "can alter the fundamental growth and development of cells," leading to cancer and reproductive problems in animals "and potentially in people." The EPA report, a draft that will undergo further scientific review before being released in final form this fall, also sought to reassure Americans by stressing that dioxin levels in the atmosphere have declined substantially during the last two decades, the result of regulatory and other actions that have reduced dioxin emissions. 

The agency said that, based on a more complete understanding of dioxin toxicity, "the risks to people may be somewhat higher than previously believed, even though actual exposure seems to be declining among the general population." The conclusions about the chemical's cancer-causing properties came as no surprise. Dioxin has long been associated with cancer and other health consequences, such as birth defects. Dioxin first came to widespread public attention as a contaminant in the herbicide Agent Orange--used by American forces during the Vietnam War to defoliate enemy hiding places--after Vietnam veterans began complaining of a range of health problems, from skin rashes to cancer and birth defects in their offspring. Also, in 1983, the EPA essentially demolished the entire town of Times Beach, Mo., after substantial dioxin contamination was discovered on city streets.

 A fact sheet issued by the Public Health Service, the Agriculture Department and the EPA emphasized that the agencies have been monitoring dioxin levels in food for many years and will continue to do so. Furthermore, it said, Americans should follow the U.S. dietary guidelines which, among other things, urge a reduction in fat consumption. It also said that it was safe to continue to breast feed, saying that "dioxin has been in breast milk for many years and breast-fed infants show no increase in the number of cases of childhood cancer." It also declared that the U.S. food supply is "among the safest and most nutritious in the world," adding: "Food will never be without some risk and we are constantly working to reduce those risks." The EPA report issued no new dietary recommendations. But it did draw a direct link between fatty foods and dioxin residues, prompting criticism from both environmental and industry groups. "A lot of people eat a fatty diet, and EPA is insinuating that Americans should cut back on fat," said Monica Rhode, an official with the Falls Church, Va.-based Center for Health, Environment and Justice, a grass-roots environmental group founded in the wake of the Love Canal toxic dump crisis. "This should not be about a fat-free diet for Americans but a dioxin-free diet for polluters." And at least one restaurant industry group complained that the publicity almost certainly would provoke a consumer backlash in dining out. "The EPA says that dioxin is found in beef, fish and poultry--all the wonderful things that Americans like to eat--and that our members are in business to sell," said Scott Wexler, of the Empire State Restaurant Assn., which represents 5,000 restaurant and tavern owners in New York state. "Americans are very health-conscious and our members are very fearful that, if Americans react the same way that Europeans reacted, it would cause serious economic strife for American restaurant owners," he said. A year ago, several European countries--including Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands--took a series of actions after reports that dioxin had contaminated the food supply through tainted animal feed. Belgium banned chickens and egg-based foods from hundreds of farms and took butter off store shelves, while French agriculture officials stopped chicken production on dozens of French farms. 

The New York restaurant group has filed a lawsuit in federal district court here seeking to block the release of the final report "based on the fact that they haven't proven the case that the potential risk of dioxin is outweighed by the economic damage it would cause," Wexler said. Meanwhile, dozens of environmental groups sent a letter to President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore Monday urging the administration to further regulate industrial sources of dioxin pollution. But Kip Howlett, executive director of the Arlington, Va.-based Chlorine Chemistry Council, said the industry has cooperated with EPA actions in the past to reduce levels of dioxin, "and will continue to do so," adding: "We do not have a public health crisis or emergency here."

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If you are a 100% Service Connected Veteran, you may be entitled to Veteran Benefits from your state. Check out this site. click on your state.

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Falling Off Prozac

  Doctors and Patients Unaware of Withdrawal Side Effects Click here to find out more about U.S prescribing patterns for serotonin boosters Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft, and for information about withdrawal symptoms from these drugs.  By Robin Eisner  

N E W Y O R K, May 24 — Tara Calhoun wanted to kill herself. The then-48-year-old mother of two from Norman, Okla., had forgotten to take her small dose of Paxil, an antidepressant prescription medication. But her suicidal feelings were not a return to symptoms of depression, her doctor said. Rather, they were withdrawal symptoms from seven months on a drug that had altered her brain chemistry. Calhoun’s reaction to ending her treatment with a serotonin booster — drugs that increase the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain to treat depression, panic disorder and compulsive behavior — was extreme but not unique. 

Up to 85 percent of patients who take these kinds of drugs may have some type of symptom when they stop, studies say. Symptoms include balance problems, nausea, flu-like symptoms, tingling and electric shock sensations, vivid dreams, nervousness and melancholy. The problem, doctors now are saying, is that patients and even other doctors may not be aware that stopping these drugs, which are among the top 10 best-selling pills in the United States, may be causing the symptoms. 

Patients, they say, may unnecessarily continue taking the drugs after they try to stop because the symptoms of withdrawal may scare them into thinking they are still suffering from the bad feelings they had — such as depression — when they first started taking the drug. Many doctors and patients also may not know that to end treatment, levels of the drug should be tapered off while under a doctor’s care. The Way to Stop According to recent research in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, as many as 70 percent of general practitioners and 30 percent of psychiatrists do not know about the side effects of ending serotonin-boosting drugs. Of those who do know, only 20 percent of psychiatrists and 17 percent of general practitioners caution their patients about the proper way to slowly lower the levels of these drugs to come off them. 

“Getting off these drugs properly is an issue that is underappreciated,” says Dr. Alexander Bodkin, director of the clinical psychopharmacology research program at McLean Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School located in Belmont, Mass. “These drugs are being prescribed without the full knowledge of how they should be monitored.” Pharmaceutical companies place the responsibility of proper prescribing on the doctor. “The decision about how long a patient should be on treatment and how treatment should be stopped is a highly individual one between the physician and patient,” says Brian Jones, a spokesman for SmithKline Beecham of Philadelphia, the manufacturer of Paxil. Lifesavers, But Also Overprescribed While these serotonin boosters can be life-savers for people who suffer from severe depression, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive illnesses, and could offer help to thousands of others on a long-term basis, psychiatrists and doctors acknowledge that not everyone taking them should necessarily be on them and that stopping might be a problem. 

The numbers tell the story. Prozac, manufactured by Eli Lilly & Co., of Indianapolis, Ind., has been on the market since 1988 and is the third best-selling drug in the country, according to IMS Healthcare, a healthcare information company in Plymouth Meeting, Mass. Zoloft, made by Pfizer Inc., of New York City, was introduced in 1992 and is seventh. Paxil, available since 1993, is ninth. But the down side of these popular drugs has only recently been addressed.“We are only beginning to see concerns about these drugs like what inevitably happened with other so-called miracle drugs over time,” says Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, a clinical instructor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, Mass., and author of the recently published book Prozac Backlash. “People during last century have wanted to take drugs that will make them feel better, such as Valium, amphetamines and cocaine elixirs, but it takes time to see the side effects of these quick cures,” he says. Glenmullen says today the serotonin boosters are being prescribed for more and more moderate conditions, but that they should be reserved for people who are truly debilitated by their mental illness. 

Once Taken, Forever Stuck? And once on a drug, Glenmullen says, many people who don’t really need it for the long haul have trouble getting off. When the dosage is lowered, he says, it can be difficult to determine whether it’s the symptoms of the disorder returning or the side effects of withdrawal. “If a doctor is unaware of these withdrawal symptoms, they might put the patient back on the drug or another one and this can go on for years,” Glenmullen says. Doctors also sometimes switch patients to other serotonin drugs when these discontinuation effects occur. Calhoun’s story about stopping Paxil is cautionary. At the time she forgot her medication, she had been trying to get off the drug for six months, after being hospitalized from what she calls the side effects of the drug — inability to sleep, constant suicidal thoughts and chemical sensitivity. Her general practitioner had prescribed Paxil when Calhoun had told him she was feeling anxious upon losing a job. She worried about supporting her two children. She says her doctor had not told her about potential adverse effects of the drug. Nor did he tell her the appropriate way to stop taking the medication. Eventually, another doctor, who agreed she was suffering from serious side and withdrawal effects, gradually lowered her dosage. Today, Calhoun has been off the drug for a year and a half, has two jobs and counsels people getting weaned from serotonin boosters. “When I felt the suicidal feelings that day I forgot the drug, I realized that it was not me that was crazy, but...the changing level of the drug inside my brain,” Calhoun says. Stopping Serotonin Boosters Each person will respond differently to stopping serotonin boosters, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), doctors say. 

While many people experience no problem stopping the drug, some people will have side effects from lowering the dosage, since the brain has become used to certain levels of serotonin. Medical research indicates that it is easier to get off Prozac than Paxil. That’s because Prozac lasts longer in the body. So when dosages are cut back, withdrawal effects are minimized. Doctors caution no one should stop taking their drug cold turkey and that use should be tapered off. “A doctor should communicate with a patient at least once a month when they are on these drugs,” says Dr. Bruce Bagley, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “I tell patients that they may need to be on these drugs for at least six months to see an improvement, but you must talk to them to see if conditions in their life have changed to warrant considering ending the drug treatment.” SSRIs act by increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin available to the brain. Exactly how they work to treat all the disorders for which they are prescribed is unknown, but serotonin is a chemical that allows neurons in the brain to communicate with each other. Over time, the drug changes the way the neurons respond, according to Jerrold Rosenbaum, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School. Top of Form 1 Bottom of Form 1

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Subject: Portable Oxygen Systems

To all veterans: The Veterans Administration has entered into a contract with Bell Enterprise Corporation to provide a securing device to secure the portable oxygen tank while riding or driving in a vehicle. In order for the veterans to receive POCAD (Portable Oxygen Automotive Securing Device) they must first be informed that the product exists. Once the veteran is informed they must then go to their VA medical center, respiratory department and request a unit. After speaking with many Veterans we have found that the necessary information has not been given out to the veterans especially at the VA medical centers in Pittsburgh And Philadelphia. Veterans who use portable oxygen systems could really utilize this benefit to provide safety for veterans and the motoring public This product will stabilize their portable oxygen tank. Consumers have reported that when not using POCAD, often times their tank fall over and leak liquid oxygen, diverting their attention away from the road, many have indicated that they were involved in accidents, others who were passengers with oxygen say they have to spend all their time holding their tanks so they won't fall over. Sometimes tanks will freeze if not kept upright. Also the portable tanks could become projectiles in the event of a collision, its important for each veteran using the portable oxygen tanks to be informed of this benefit that is currently available to them. We would appreciate your assistance in getting the information out to the veterans. Feel free to visit our web site at www.pocad.com or contact us at (412) 795-6094 Thank you for your assistance, Sincerely Thomas R. Bell Bell Enterprise Corporation

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=FREE PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS=

www.themedicineprogram.com The following appears on page 24 of the NAUS Uniformed Services Journal (USJ) for May/June 2000. We have received several success stories as to how this program has helped some families. One in particular was very gratifying - An elderly man and his wife were spending $2,500 a month for medications that they were taking for cancer treatment. The cost of drugs had drained their savings and they had put their home up for sale to continue treatment. Because of this program they were able to take their home off the market. Some pharmaceutical manufacturers are providing prescription drugs at NO COST to individuals of all ages, nationwide who meet minimal requirements. Many of the most frequent prescribed name brand medicines are now being provided FREE to low and middle-income patients through "PATIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS" now sponsored by most major pharmaceutical companies. If you know a friend, family member or client who has no insurance covering the cost of outpatient drugs, or who does not qualify for government assistance and is having difficulty paying for prescription medicines, the organization known as The Medicine Program, is a nationwide presence dedicated to assisting applicants of all ages to take the initial step to apply for enrollment in these new industry sponsored "PATIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS". For More Information: · Visit the Website at-- www.themedicineprogram.com (*) · Email: help@themedicineprogram.com (*) · Call: (573) 996-7300 · Write: The Medicine Program P.O. Box 515 (*) Doniphan, MO 63935-0520

 

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RUMORS_Nothing Confirmed