Poison… their favorite weapon and their greatest fear…


Proverbs 10:24
What the wicked fears will come upon him, but the desire of the righteous will be granted…


Condoleezza Rice on the Moment She Thought President Bush Could Have Been Poisoned


By George Stephanopoulos | ABC News Blogs – 14 mins ago

It was just a few weeks after September 11, 2001 when Condoleezza Rice accompanied the president on a trip to China for the APEC summit. In Shanghai Vice President Cheney appeared on a secure video conference line and delivered President George W. Bush this message:

“The Vice President came on the screen and said that the White House detectors have detected botulinum toxin, and we were all– those of who exposed were going to die,” Rice told me.

He said that?

“Yes, he said that.  And I remember everybody just sort of freezing, and the President saying, ‘What was that? What was that, Dick?’” Rice, who was the National Security Advisor at the time, said.

Botulinum toxin is, according to the Center for Biosecurity, the “most poisonous substance known” and “extremely potent and lethal.”

The exposure time meant that she and those on the trip — Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Chief of Staff Andy Card — were all at risk, Rice told me.

“We were just a little unnerved,” she said.

Former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson sent the samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be tested on laboratory mice, she said. Rice writes in her new memoir, “No Higher Honor”, that after that call Bush directed her to “find out what the hell is going on” from her deputy, Steven Hadley.

“[Hadley] has this very dry sense of humor.  And he said, ‘Let me put it this way.  If the mice are feet up, we’re toast.  If the mice are feet down, we’re fine,’” Rice told me.

“Wait a second. For 24 hours we didn’t know if the President had been poisoned?” I asked.

“For 24 hours, we were in Shanghai, we did not know the results of those tests,” she said.

Rice writes that they acted “as if nothing had happened,” but she wondered if “we’d get home before the toxin acted.”

Around noon the next day Hadley called Rice to give her the results – it was a false alarm.

“He said, ‘The mice are feet down.’  I went back to the President, and he was sitting next to the Chinese, and I said ‘The mice are feet down.’  And the President said, ‘That’s a good thing,’ and I’m sure the Chinese who probably got a translation thought it was some sort of code,” Rice told me.

Watch more of my interview with Rice tonight on Nightline.

– George Stephanopoulos

Related… (name your poison)

From article…

“The United States makes up only 4.6 percent of the world’s population, but consumes 80 percent of its opioids”

Prescription Painkiller Use at Record High for Americans


By JIM AVILA (@JimAvilaABC) and MICHAEL MURRAY    April 20, 2011

It is unclear if Americans are suffering from more pain than ever, but they are definitely getting more prescriptions for it. The use of Vicodin, the most popular pain relief drug in the country, has grown dramatically from 112 million doses prescribed in 2006, to 131 million in the U.S. today, according to a national survey done by the consulting firm IMS Health.

Experts say most of those prescriptions are unnecessary. The United States makes up only 4.6 percent of the world’s population, but consumes 80 percent of its opioids — and 99 percent of the world’s hydrocodone, the opiate that is in Vicodin.

“Vicodin is the most prescribed opioid mainly because it’s been incorrectly scheduled as a class III rather than a II,” says Andrew Kolodny, Chair of Psychiatry at Maimonides Medical Center in New York. “Many states have prescribing regulations linked to DEA scheduling. But it is no less abusable or addictive than Oxycodone or heroin.”

Who is prescribing all that Vicodin? More than 600,000 doctors, from surgeons to podiatrists, are licensed by the Durg Enforcement Agency to prescribe the drug. At the top of the list of pain relief prescribers are primary care doctors, followed by internists and then dentists. According to many critics, doctors often prescribe Vicodin because it is not as tightly regulated as other narcotic pain relievers are, although it is just as dangerous.

“Opioids are essentially legal heroine,” says Lewis Nelson, who served on an FDA panel to revise the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) associated with the prescription drugs.

Although it is used by many doctors and patients for legitimate reasons, accidental overdoses from Vicodin and other narcotic pain relievers kill more people than car accidents in 17 states now, according to Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public health and law enforcement officials in the Obama administration also said in a press conference that painkillers are now responsible for more deaths than crack in the 1980s and black tar heroin in the 1970s combined.

Carolyn Alfieri, 41, from New York, suffered from chronic shoulder pain caused by years of playing the violin. When she was 26, she went to see a doctor who prescribed Vicodin. Over the years, she was given progressively more powerful pain relievers. She said she became so addicted that she was taking up to 75 pills a day. She said she eventually lost her teeth because of drug use. She said she she sold her violins and began forging prescriptions to feed her addiction.

“The progression happened very quickly,” said Alferi. “It went from Tylenol with Codeine, to Vicodin, to Percocet, to the Oxycontin.”

Gil Kerlikowske, the national drug czar, says the current culture of writing narcotic prescriptions for moderate pain, which began about a decade ago, needs to be changed and doctors need to be retrained.

“In the amount of education and training that doctors get, there was very little time, if any, in medical schools and other places to be devoted to understanding this,” he told ABC News.

Many pain specialists say narcotic pain relievers should only be used by patients with terminal illnesses, when addiction is not a concern.

Related… USA is the largest market (largest consumer) of drugs in the world…

The Pharmaceutical Industry in the United States


The U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry

The United States is the world’s largest market for pharmaceuticals and the world leader in biopharmaceutical research. U.S. firms conduct 80 percent of the world’s research and development in biotechnology and hold the intellectual property rights to most new medicines. In 2010, the pharmaceutical sector employed approximately 272,000 people (source:  Bureau of Labor Statistics), and according to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), those manufacturers spent $67.4 billion on research and development in 2010.

The markets for biologics, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, and generics show the most potential for growth and have become increasingly competitive. Biologics, valued at $67 billion in 2010 (source:  IMS Health), account for a quarter of all new drugs in clinical trials or awaiting Food and Drug Administration approval. OTC market growth will be driven by a growing aging population and consumer trend to self-medication, and the conversion of drugs from prescription to non-prescription or OTC status. Generic drug sales in the United States were valued at $78  billion in 2010 (source:  IMS Health).

The U.S. market is the world’s largest free-pricing market for pharmaceuticals and has a favorable patent and regulatory environment.  Product success is largely based on competition in product quality, safety and efficacy, and price. U.S. government support of biomedical research, along with its unparalleled scientific and research base and innovative biotechnology sector, make the U.S. market the preferred home for growth in the pharmaceutical industry.

Industry Subsectors

Originator chemically synthesized drugs and biotechnology-derived drugs are developed as a result of extensivedrug researchers research and development (R&D) and clinical trials in both humans and animals.  The originator relies on patents and other forms of intellectual property rights to justify the investment required to bring a product to market.

Generic drugs are duplicative copies of originator chemically-synthesized drugs that contain the same active ingredient, are identical in strength, dosage form, and route of administration.  The prices of generic drugs are typically lower than the prices of originator drugs, particularly in the U.S. market where they are typically sold at a substantial discount from originator drug prices.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) drugs are distinguished from originator and generic drugs in that consumers do not need a prescription to purchase the drug.  OTC drugs are considered by regulators to be safe for self-diagnosis and self-medication.

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and Excipients. Medication, in dosage form, is composed of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and excipients.  APIs are the ingredients that make drugs effective.  Excipients are inert substances that give a medication its form, such as cornstarch (to make a tablet) or sterile water (to make a liquid) and serve as a delivery vehicle to transport the active ingredient to the site in the body where the drug is intended to exert its action.

Biosimilars, or Follow-on Biologics, are versions of biological products that reference the originator product in applications submitted to a regulatory body.   With the signing into law of healthcare reform legislation in March 2010, the FDA is authorized to approve biosimilars or follow-on versions of biologic drugs that were approved under the Public Health Service Act. The FDA is in the process of developing implementing guidelines and procedures to determine the extent of testing necessary to establish similarity of a follow-on product with a reference originator biologic.

Proverbs 28:1
The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion…