Archive for August, 2012

If Dave feels entitled to sell our medical data to drug companies, what about our blood, or our organs.

August 31, 2012

NO2ID is a group set up to oppose the use of identity cards, because they do not trust the Government to use it purely for our benefit.

They recently sent out a newsletter pointing out that Dave’s promise that medical records will be anonymised is a sham.

Companies are already busy correlating any data that they can pick up on you. ………..Cookies on your computer. Goods bought, tagged by your loyalty card. Visa transactions. Oyster cards and similar. Charity donations. Anything that can be attached to your name and that can go straight into digital format.

This is in addition to data-miners such as the “free” toolbars that keep trying to download to your computer and all those T&C’s that you sign onto. (microsoft recently sent out a notification of new T&C’s, which basically says you use their stuuf, then they own anything that they can find out about you.

Your medical records contain most of your personal details.

If they are anonymised simply by removing your name, it would take seconds for someone, who wanted to put your name back onto their copy of your medical records, to cross-check your details (address, age, post-code, phone number, empoloyer etc.) and do so.

How anonymous is that?

The Government feels entitled to sell your medical records to  Drug Companies etc.

What would they want with that information?

Well! They have drugs to test and they need to do blind testing on selected people (i.e. the people being tested won’t know) and they have to have controls.

Consider if you have a prostate condition, which can be controlled with specific drugs, owned by a specific drug company. Suppose another drug company has a possible alternative that it wishes to test. No point in giving it to women, or young healthy men. It’s aimed at a specific group.

With £ Millions involved, there would be pressure on G.P’s. (not all are virtuous) to prescribe this new drug, without letting their patients know that it is experimental and may not work, or may have side effects, such as growing breasts (There are men taking Spironolactone as a cure for baldness, who found this happening).

These people could find that their prostate problems get worse and could even experience death, through their bladders bursting (see Thales).

What about the controls? Those getting a placebo. They would not be afforded the relief that they sought and might suffer bladder problems also.

Should the Drug Companies be allowed to do this?

Should they even have access to this information?

Would a Good Government sell such information, or would it legislate against such misuse?

Consider further.

If a Government believes that it has a mandate to sell your medical information, how would it feel about selling your blood?

Answer, it’d feel fine, because our Government was selling our blood to New York City (privatised medicine) until they refused to buy it after the BSE (mad cow disease) problem.

We, apparently buy blood products from the Americans (at least the American donors get paid for their blood) and that caused a little flurry of concern when some haemophiliacs contracted HIV from it.

Would it stop there?

Let’s add in DNA details, which are incredibly quick and cheap nowadays and which are probably logged somewhere for most people.

With your DNA profile, you can be identified as a cross-match for someone, who might need a kidney.

Such a DNA databank might be a good thing but in view of the previous observations, how secure might one feel about holding onto one’s kidney’s?….Or Liver, or cornea’s, or bones, or teeth, or anything else that could be usefully harvested?

I do not trust the Government any more than a sheep should trust the the shepherd and I resent this Government selling my Medical details to the highest bidder.

 

Advertisements

rising obesity levels are seen as an investment opportunity, which could mean resistance to finding a cure for diabetes.

August 31, 2012

Fullermoney is like a tip sheet for moneymen and relies on objective assessments of situations, the last bit is why I read its newsletters.

This bit is useful as a summary of what diabetes is but is meant to point out the fact that diabetes provides an investment opportunity.

Thinking further ahead it poses the problem of how these drug companies and these investor’s would re-act to a cure for diabetes, for the masses.

This could be especially problematic for the masses, as I recently read that stem cells could be used to create a new pancreas, or its equivalent. I suspect that only the rich would be able to afford that sort of cure.

Your free daily email from www.fullermoney.com

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Pharmaceuticals for Beginners 2012 � Thanks to a subscriber for this highly educative 329-page report for anyone with an interest in the pharmaceuticals sector. The full report is posted in the Subscriber’s Area but here is a section on diabetes:

Diabetes is not yet curable, but can be controlled. The goals of diabetes management are to attain and maintain a near-normal blood sugar level, and reduce the risk of complications.

In Type 1 diabetes, treatment depends on the individual’s needs, but typically consists of an insulin regimen, which at present requires the regular injection of differing formulations of insulin. This often comprises daily injections of long-lasting insulin to provide a basal level similar to that of the normal body, together with separate injections of rapid/intermediate acting product to provide a �top-up’ at meal times.

For Type 2 diabetics, treatment initially focuses on diet and exercise, as the loss of weight in obese patients helps to reduce the degree of insulin resistance. If this is insufficient, a range of oral medication may be started. Medication usually works by addressing one or several of the issues of Type 2 diabetes, e.g., reducing peripheral insulin resistance, reducing glucose production by the liver or increasing insulin secretion.

It should also be noted that diabetes is a progressive disease, where insulin resistance and ongoing beta cell death result in the patient progressing from a single oral therapy, to multiple oral therapies, to finally requiring insulin. At the time of diagnosis, only about 50% of pancreatic beta-cell function would remain, and this is estimated to continue to decline at an average of 4% a year. About 50% of patients will require more than one anti-diabetic medication by three years after their initial diagnosis, and this increases to 75% at nine years.

My view � I reviewed a number of US pharmaceutical companies in yesterday’s piece on shares which appear to be emerging from a 12-year process of valuation contraction. Due to the relatively predictable nature of pharmaceutical cash flows, they tend to have some of the more consistent patterns in terms of the progression of P/E multiples. Their valuations are therefore easier to monitor with charts.

The healthcare, energy and technology sectors are in a special category because ground breaking innovation in any one of them can literally create value where it had not previously been imagined. In the case of healthcare, new therapies can enhance standards of living, increase productivity and cut costs. Therefore, while many look at the healthcare sector as defensive, it unquestionably also has a growth aspect. Additionally, the expansion of the global disposable income class is creating additional demand growth for healthcare products which is likely to remain on a secular upward trajectory for a considerable period of time.

Diabetes is a global pandemic fuelled by increased calorie consumption and can be viewed from an investment perspective as a corollary of rising per capita incomes.

According to @bbcnews, on TV,the paralympics is the only News allowed to be shown

August 30, 2012

After watching BBC Breakfast News for eons and seeing nothing but paralympics coverage (and local news) , I tried the BBC News Channel. According to the BBC, nothing is happening anywhere.

I tried Russia Today and found that there is a world with 600 million people not involved in the paralympics.

issues covered, included: fracking, hybrid cars, austerity protests in Spain (strictly verboten on BBC News), islamic extremism the stock markets et al.

A section called the Keiser Report lasted a long time and although it was an annoying, almost rabid, American political commentator, he covered most topics that Americans would find of interest. Actually I found it a refreshing cnage to hear people talking about the effect of having de-regulated  the markets and banks; another item which seems to be suppressed on British News.

I flicked back to Sky News to see people hyping a film that they wanted to sell. Back to BBC and they’re covering the nomination of that famous tax dodger and well known plutocrat, Mitt Romney.

The other big News is BBC’s own puffery for its big money earner Dr. Who……This is a NEWS Channel??????????

TV News consists of Adverts, own channel puffs, Gov’t approved distractions (e.g. Olympics), with no coverage of bad News such as anti-European protests and death throes of the Euro, protests about the banking sector, closure of Remploy (sorry about selling off your workplace but watch the paralympics instead) the zero growth Economy, Syria and N. Africa generally, Criminals laughing at their nonsense punishments, the destruction of Policing, NHS Postal Services and everything else being lined up for privatisation.

Newspapers needn’t worry about this media supplanting it but perhaps twitter might be the  big alternative as people converge on the News tweets that interest them.

It’s only Science, if it’s proveable and testable @number10gov

August 29, 2012

Much as I despise the views of most Republican Senators and much as I find laughable, their comments on Scientific issues, I have to take issue with those belittle them for not accepting the Anthropogenic view of Global Warming.

There are too many out there, who proclaim Man’s sin of destroying the Planet, as though they know any more about the issue than a Republican Senator.

There are too many out there, earning a living off the back of this Cassandra prophecy.

Perhaps the World is warming.

Perhaps it is our fault (Although our efforts compare to those of termites, ungulates and vulcanism  to the same extent as a mouse trying to rape an elephant).

Perhaps our efforts are the tipping force.

Perhaps this World will turn into a huge desert with a smaller land area than at present.

Whatever the truth, there is no Science that definitely predicts this outcome, or can be used as a basis for this prediction.

I, consequently, have a problem with climatologists and their almost religious denunciation of anyone who doesn’t accept their creed, in chapter and verse.

How about a Scientific analysis of what Kyoto has achieved and what The proponents of the “Science” of Climatology are likely to achieve, apart from pushing up my fuel bills and causing the deaths of a few more UK pensioners.

That The UK Government with its 0% economic growth can tie us to policies, which have little hope of counterbalancing the Carbon footprints of China and India with their 8%  economic growths (and a seeming desire to burn every single molecule of fossil fuel before the year’s end) is facile.

These “Eco-Warrior’s” may have good intentions and may even have a slight understanding of the issues but they need to be reined in before, like all fanatic ideologues, they stumble into the realm’s of Fatwa’s and heretic burning.

Their case hasn’t been proven, no matter how strident their ayatollah’s, nor has it been disproven.

I don’t believe that Climate change is human driven, or that it is a runaway train.

However, even if it is so, UK politicians won’t stop that runaway train, by chucking UK pensioners on the rails.

I like this blog http://thepolicedebatingdirective.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

August 29, 2012

This man is obviously intelligent and has obviously researched his topics.

My reading of his blog  suggests that he is finding that a lot of what’s going on at the top levels of policing has been made suspect, as politicians scramble to get their nose’s in the privatisation trough’s.

To an extent this has created an edge to his testimony but that doesn’t negate his truth.

His concern’s are from a working copper’s point of view of The Police being upholders of morality as well as upholder’s of The Law and that Police should be moral and ethical.

Unfortunately, The Police are not run by people of the same metal. They are run by politicians, who are largely amoral, but will soon be run by privateer’s, who are inclined to be immoral (or at least asocial).

More people need to speak up about their perceptions (whether, or not, they be valid) of what’s wrong with their immediate sphere of experience.

We may not change the World but at least we can try.

a Californian jury, in front of a Californian Judge, decided that the patents of a Californian Company have been infringed by a S.Korean company

August 27, 2012

I’m getting really pissed off with Patent Law, or rather the abuse of its intent.

The latest case is one, whereby a Californian jury, in front of a Californian Judge, decided that the patents of a Californian Company had been infringed by a S.Korean company.

I’m sure that it was a fair and unbiased decision, although I read a report that said: “Samsung employees testified through interpreters, or in video depositions that alienated jurors”.

The Californian company was awarded $1.05 Billion in damages.

Why?

Apart from the fact that the individuals, who created the product, didn’t directly benefit from the patents (the patents will stay with the corporate bodies, long after the creators are dead), how do these patent rights encourage, instead of stifling further advances, which will benefit The World?

Patents were never intended to be like American land rushes, where the first person  to push a stick in the ground, owned (as would his descendants) everything around him for as far as he could see.

Patents were intended to reward those who had improved the lot of their fellow man, or at least their compatriots.

They were life pensions, or sinecures. They weren’t intended as a licence to kill off the competition and the ruler, who had granted the patent, would have swiftly rescinded it, if he had thought the recipient was doing so.

Apart from that, why so much?

Is it a reflection of the effort put in to the design?

Is it a reflection of the original outlay?

Will it guarantee better, further advances that couldn’t be made by Samsung, or any other innovator’s?

Does it allow for payment’s to the creator’s of the technology that preceded thiese patents? For instance, how much is the designer of the transistor getting?

It’s time a new patent law was designed, based on:

1. A “lifelong” benefit only (possibly the patentee, could sign over the life-benefits to another individual, such as a son, or living grandchild).

2. A diminished benefit, if a subsequent patent would improve the original. The degree  of diminishment to be arbitrated by jury 3. A jury chosen from a global mix of randomly selected jurors from an agreed population. I would propose that they be of a basic literacy level and from the second quartile in terms of intelligence (able to have some appreciation of the arguments but not divorced from the common world view). 4. I propose the jury consist of 100 people (expensive to cater for but also expensive to nobble). The cost would be administered through the U.N. as guardians of the arbiters. Bearing in mind that no two people completely agree on anything a majority vote of 66% would decide on y/n votes and in terms of deciding on degrees of apportionment then an average of all juror’s evaluations would be accepted. 5. The juror’s would decide according to strict criteria:   a) Would the patent benefit anyone, or harm anyone   b) How many people would benefit or be harmed?   c) The degree of benefit harm would need to be assessed on some scale to give a weighting against the numbers affected. (a hundred gaining the pleasure associated with the taste of a srawberry would be balanced against the pain of one person’s sore tooth). ….. needs a lot of thought on such a grading.   d) How much benefit should accrue to the originator and how much to his empoloyer’s (regardless of any contracts signed by the originator)   e) should the benefits be capped (i) in terms of total payments to be received or (ii) in terms of the % of net profit per unit.   f) should the benefits have a review date, in case they stifled further advancement e.g. a decade. This could be invoked in regards to item 2.   g) etc. to be added as others think of them. 6. Patents to be denied on basis of lack of originality, or reasonable and possible alternative. (e.g. Microsoft’s touchscreen “gesture” protocols.) 7. Patents not to be disallowed on religious or political grounds. 8. Anymore that I can think of later.

@Number10gov Whilst Tories are want to privatise the NHS on the U.S. model, Obamacare is taking The USA in the opposite direction i.e. “Gov’t FOR the people”

August 27, 2012

This is a piece from Fullermoney, giving cause to hope that Obamacare is going to make it, showing that the U.S.A. has finally picked up the notion it’s not just Government of the people, by the people. It’s also Government FOR the people.

Our Gov’t (UK) has always had a Government of the masses, by the right sort of people for their own ends.  It was only the fear of Communism that forced the 1% to allow a Government that was of, by and for the people.

Since Glasnost, They have been trying to restore the situation prevalent in Victorian England and Bush’s America.

Maybe Obamacare will give them pause for thought.

 From Fullermoney:

Who is going to win the presidential election?

 You might want to ask Mark T. Bertolini. He just bet $5.7 billion on President Obama.

 Mr. Bertolini is the chief executive of Aetna, which on Monday agreed to acquireCoventry Health Care, a huge provider of Medicare and Medicaid programs. His $5.7 billion bet makes a lot of sense if you believe that the Affordable Care Act – otherwise known as Obamacare – will not be repealed.

 Mitt Romney has pledged to repeal the act “on my first day if elected,” so any gamble that Obamacare stays intact could be fairly described as a wager that President Obama will remain in office…………………

Mr. Bertolini of Aetna insisted on Monday that the deal was not dependent on who wins the White House. But he has to say that. If he believed Mr. Romney was going to win and he still wanted to buy Coventry, he would have waited until after the election and bought it at a sharp discount.

@Daily_Express NHS Tourists are a Police problem not an excuse to privatise the NHS.

August 25, 2012

Mr. Pollard rightly condemns NHS tourists but wrongly chides the NHS for having a “free at point of delivery system”.

He implies that the demand to keep this basic element of the NHS is incompatible with preventing these foreigners exploiting our health service.

He calls on our aversion to being ripped off by  foreigners, to agree to destroy the basic concept of The NHS, so that even more greedy foreigners can rip us off.

He wants to have the element that we see in films from America, where a no-nonsense harridan demands proof of identity and pre-signed blank cheque, before her hospital will accept a dying man/woman/child as a patient.

Put another way, he wants us to allow hospitals to take another step towards privatisation on the American system (presumably it’s American companies that will be gifted these NHS hospitals).

His core assumption is false.

You don’t have to have a system of demanding payment upfront (in America you get told to hike up the road to the free Hospital and “don’t spill any blood on our floor”).

Payment and treatment are two distinct and separate issues.

If the State wants payment from these people, have immigration officers take their passports off them and, if necessary have them taken into custody to be charged with fraud.

Shylock should cut out his own pound of flesh, not demand that doctor’s and nurse’s do it for him.

@amazon I foolishly ordered software through Amazon.

August 23, 2012

I just bought (or thought I had bought, but had only bought 1 million uses, provided I had a facebook account) my wife a computer game, from Amazon.
Bad enough that there was some sort of scammy leasehold condition, which I only found out on loading it.

Actually I didn’t succeed in loading it.
First there was one of those little boxes about a “.dll” file or something similar.

Then the Windows defender took over my screen with warnings about a virus, only to be replaced by my AVG anti-virus with the same warning and an immediate move on-line, without my permission, to try and sell me greater virus protection.

Yeuky enough………….. but, obviously, as it wasn’t going to work, I would have to return it.

Small print on packaging takes me to returns page, “Log in”, “read our returns policy”, (inside leg measurement), go to another site to see how to return goods and print label ( or I could post it myself, to a maximum value of £2 and a bit).
Parcel it up and send it back in good condition with this printout (my printer) inside and this label(my printer) on top.

If Amazon claims they didn’t receive it, they’ll take the money from my account anyway.

Find the nearest pickup point and take the parcel there.

Luckily there is one nearby, the package is light and I’m not housebound (whole point of mail order for many of their customers), as I often was a few years back.
I’d have liked to ask for an apology for nearly infecting my computer but there was no “contact us” email address, so I have to content myself with this means of warning others about buying software from Amazon

@MartinSLewis I tried emailing this but got referred to the FAQ’s page

August 23, 2012
One of the issues that you have dealt with has been the problem of consumers, accidentally, or otherwise, setting up continuous credit card payments.
As stated, this is usually not a problem except for rogue companies exploiting new unilateral credit card company’s decisions to continue making payments, until stopped by the rogues taking your money.
As you have stated, the problem is that Banks will not comply with their own customer’s request to stop the payments, even if the cards are cut up, without permission from the people taking the money.
You reported that banks insist on their customer provide proof that they have attempted to contact the other party and ask them to stop taking payments.
As you can see, I have CC’ed this email to two others.
It occurs to me that your organisation has the expertise to set up a sort of freelance affidavit service.
People could sign up for free and simply copy emails to you, as a sort of proof of posting.
It could prove useful, having an independent witness to having sent an email on a specific date.
If there’s anything in it, I’d appreciate a little kickback.