Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Colchicine coupons

Bad Cohen is one of many Sephardi-descended Jews who has inherited a problematic gene collection. In his case, among other things, it includes Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF).

If you don't need to Google that term, you probably know about the recent price gouging in the treatment of this condition by URL Pharma. After roughly 14 centuries of use, colchicine has finally been "tested" in a clinical trial. One that used 184 patients, and "proved" what everyone already knew: colchicine is safe and effective in treating gout and FMF, within certain dosage guidelines we already knew about.

For their efforts, big pharma was given exclusive patent rights to colchicine for 3 years for gout patients, and SEVEN years for FMF patients. Why the difference? Gout sufferers can take aspirin. FMF patients have no other options.

Oh, and the fun part is that they raised the price. From 10 cents per pill to $5 per pill.

After all the negative press they got, they did issue some "coupons" for up to $75 off your monthly Rx copay for colcrys (their brand-name version of the formerly generic drug).

You can get yours here: Colchicine coupons

Sunday, March 27, 2011

An army of kittens

Bad Cohen let The Kid watch Star Wars, Ep. VI (Return of the Jedi, death of Jabba do Hut, Yoda dies, Ewoks) last night. He forgot to tell me I should cover The Kid's eyes during the Rancor scene.

I thought he'd already seen it.


As a consequence, The Kid woke me up every 20 minutes from 11pm to 2am, by which point, we had figured out why he was freaking out (the Rancor) and how to combat it (the very same superpowered imagination that freaked him out in the first place).

Remember how you deal with Boggarts? Kids' actual imaginary monsters are pretty much the same. Imagine them looking silly. Ridiculous, even. Get the Kid to laugh at them, and you're pretty much home free. Unless you have my kid. Who wants to stay up making ever-more ridiculous scenarios about the monster when you really just want to go the fuck back to bed. As a result, we now know that Rancors:

  1. Wear rollerskates, but have very poor balance

  2. Are leery of balloons, especially if they are balloon animals

  3. Like to wear pink fluffy scarves

  4. Are terrified of kittens. The fluffier, the worse.

  5. They also have a fondness for lollipops, and a tendency to get them stuck to their faces, just out of reach.

He now settles himself for sleep by picturing the army of kittens around his bed. And by practicing making balloon animals.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patty's Day Awareness

Although part-Irish myself, I have never had to suffer the discrimination some of my friends and relatives have. Thanks to Tim Minchin for pointing out the real message of St. Patty's Day.

Monday, March 14, 2011


UPDATED: with ridiculous pictures

Not a new pet. This is the descriptive name for what happened when I tried to create a T-Rex head for The Kid's Purim costume. I'll post a picture later. (Yes, that's a promise, not a threat)

The terrifying view from below...

What you can't see is that it's mounted on a green child-sized baseball cap, and made roundish by an inflatable plastic globe.

Amazingly enough, he didn't want to wear it. Phht. He's clearly no Lady Gaga.

Monday, March 07, 2011

I'll have what he's having

Sean Parker, famous entrepreneur, as quoted in a lunch interview with John Gapper:

"Solving specific problems is what drives me. I am not interested in having a career. I never have been," he says. "This in no way resembles a career. I think a career is something your father brings home in a briefcase every night, looking kind of tired."

Yes, that exactly. Who could stay interested in just one thing, once the problem has been solved?

Friday, March 04, 2011

Identity: It's not all about you

San Franciscoans are set make circumcision illegal. And probably not because they're squeamish about body piercing, but because it's about identity, damnit.

hat-tip Vicki Boykis:

"circumcision contravenes some essential liberal values. It is evidence of a sexual double standard. It’s a painful and bloody rite whose purpose doesn’t lie in any immediate medical need. It marks a boy as a member of a group in a way that precedes his own decision-making, challenging the individualistic belief in a self-created identity."
Is community incompatible with self-determination?