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Monday, May 12, 2008

Odd Marriage

Big Pharma has has a stranglehold on the destruction of people's health historically. Most people have not heard of the infamous 'Flexner Report' but it was instrumental in the coming of a dark cloud over the health care industry as we know it today. The report was published in 1910.

The impact of the Flexner Report now has trickled down into the field we know as nursing. In a few years the plan is that only people with a PhD or other advanced degree such as DNSc (doctor of nursing science) will be able to be considered nursing practitioners.

This is just another way that the ugly head of Flexner survives to limit participation and limit access to health care.

In the 70s when I because what is now called a "nurse practitioner" there was a more noble calling. That calling was to help educate people you worked with in the filed about their health, which would lead to improved health status.

I've watched the change over the last three decades and I can't say that this is what has happened.

As and NP I always worked independently. Now NPs are under the aegis of MDs. I always had other medical colleagues that I consulted with when I wanted to discuss a case. I did this to get an older, and hopefully more experienced person to evaluate my care. I'd call it peer review.

Now this sort of things, in many states, is mandatory, which is ok, but it has taken independence out of the picture.

It has also left out the educational part of the care, and 'things are just like a doctor's office, "take this drug" and come back to see me, maybe.

I guess we forget that unless we learn from history, it always repeats itself.

Excerpts from a history of the impact of oil on the pharmaceutical industry

Frank Howard was for many years a key figure in Standard Oil operations as director of its research and its international agreements. He also was chairman of the research committee at Sloan Kettering Institute during the 1930s; his appointee at Sloan Kettering, Dusty Rhoads, headed the experimentation in the development of chemotherapy. During the Second World War Rhoads headed the Chemical Warfare Service in Washington at U.S. Army Headquarters. It was Frank Howard who had persuaded both Alfred Sloan and Charles Kettering of General Motors in 1939 to give their fortunes to the Cancer Center, which then took on their names.

Frank Howard was the key official in maintaining relations between Standard Oil and I.G. Farben. He led in the development of synthetic rubber, which was crucial to Germany in the Second World War; he later wrote a book, "Buna Rubber". He also was the consultant to the drug firm, Rohm and Haas, representing the Rockefeller connection with that firm. In his later years, he resided in Paris, but continued to maintain his office at 30 Rockefeller Center, New York.

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