Thursday, September 19, 2013: Heart disease, prescription drugs and Babe the Blue Ox

Posted Sept. 18, 2013, at 1:16 p.m.

Worthy fundraiser

The Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure is a worthy fundraiser and focuses attention on an illness that affects many women. However, The American Heart Association reminds us that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of American women.

As reported in a BDN front page story on Sept. 16, Gloria Cookson of Orono, who successfully recovered from breast cancer six years ago, succumbed to heart disease two weeks ago, at the very young age of 56.

As a woman living with heart disease I would like to see more attention on research and treatment of heart disease. Please support the “Go Red For Women” campaign, too.

Constance Poulin

Glenburn

 

Working for public trust

Last fall, I retired after serving the people of the Bangor area for 35 years at Miller drug. During my career I filled hundreds of thousands of prescriptions and counseled patients on the proper use of their medications and any potential side effects. But more importantly, I listened to them. I went to work every day knowing that I would have an opportunity to help people feel better or keep them from being sick.

At times I came into the store in off hours to fill a needed prescription, delivered prescriptions to homes and checked up on my patients to see if they needed anything else.

You can imagine my dismay when I read of the recent expose on theft of prescription medications by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

Let me be clear, no one in a health profession should be treating patients in an impaired state whether they are pharmacists, physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, dentists or veterinarians.

Two reporters identified a total of 57 individuals who lost their license for drug theft over a 10-year period.

There are currently 4,300 of these professionals registered in Maine, and you can bet that they all go to work every day to serve the citizens of Maine by providing safe, regulated prescriptions. It is always sad when a few “bad apples” break the public trust, but to imply there is a rampant problem with behind-the-counter pharmacy theft is just not true or credible.

For my entire career I worked to better the profession of pharmacy and to serve the people that came into my pharmacies, and I felt privileged to have this opportunity in my chosen career.

Bill Miller

Bangor

Mid-East muddle

In the context of having narrowly averted another war in the Middle East, it is fascinating to read the uncontested Wikipedia entry: ” A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.”

This report “is a policy document that was prepared in 1996 by a study group led by Richard Perle for Benjamin Netanyahu, the then Prime Minister of Israel. The report explained a new approach to solving Israel’s security problems in the Middle East with an emphasis on ‘Western values’. It has since been criticized for advocating an aggressive new policy including the removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, and the containment of Syria by engaging in proxy warfare and highlighting their possession of ‘weapons of mass destruction’.”

Since both described goals have now been accomplished with the assistance of the United States, one might ask whether U.S. efforts in Iraq and Syria have been in our own national interests or a response to the influence of Israel and its political allies — for example, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which has lobbied for American military action in Syria.

And it might be useful to review the report the next time U.S. government officials talk about keeping Iran from developing nuclear weapons in the same panicked tone they use to describe the threat of Syrian chemical weapons, meanwhile ignoring Israel’s own possession of nuclear weapons.

Roger Carpentter

Farmingdale

Apologize, please

I just read in the BDN about the Nokomis field hockey team’s defeat of Leavitt. It appears to me that Wanda Ward-MacLean, the Leavitt coach, is a poor loser. After losing to Nokomis 4-1, she made the statement: “Mentally we made our own mistakes. They’re (Nokomis) a good team, but they’re not three goals better than us.”

Apparently yes they are. That statement had no place being said. Lose gracefully, and if you want, although I don’t recommend it, make excuses for your team. Do not, however, degrade the team that beat you.

Nokomis played harder than Leavitt and outscored the team. They were indeed three goals better than Leavitt on that given day. Suck it up, learn from it, and move on. I, for one, think the coach owes an apology to the Nokomis team. She should be an adult and apologize.

Dennis Smith

St. Albans

 

Senior choice

As reported in the BDN, a proposed Maine bill will proclaim Sept. 14 as official “Maine Seniors Day.” It is designed to encourage seniors throughout the country to move to Maine to retire.

Contrast this commendable bill with the proposed bill to ban mail-order drug purchases by Mainers through Canadian and other international firms. This bill would particularly impact seniors, many of whom lack drug insurance coverage and tend to be most in need of prescription drugs.

Big Pharma and those that benefit from their grossly excessive prescription drug prices wish to protect their profits, with little concern for the ability of many to pay.

In many cases passage of this bill would put the costs of drugs, some by several-fold, beyond the reach of many Maine seniors, with obvious serious consequences to their health.

If the state of Maine truly has the best interests of its residents, particularly seniors, at heart, then it can only reject any bill that will restrict their drug-buying choices.

Gene Clifford

Mount Desert

 

Word play

I believe the word “insurance” on the Cross Center must go. Also, what ever happened to Babe the Blue Ox with Paul Bunyan? To make this a Maine thing, maybe Bunyan should be seen with a big blue bull moose.

Ron Bennett

Camden

Receiving Medicare

If the Christian way is to hate the sin and not the sinner, then Gov. Paul LePage should rethink his opposition to smokers and drinkers receiving Medicaid.

Maurice White

Castle Hill

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