Readers and Tweeters Join the Dots on Matters From Vaccine Growth to Lengthy Covid

Letters to the Editor is a periodic function. We welcome all feedback and can publish a variety. We edit for size and readability and require full names.

A Involved Taxpayer Takes Inventory of Vaccine Efforts

Your current article “Novavax’s Effort to Vaccinate the World, From Zero to Not Fairly Warp Pace” (July 19) appears to disclose Maryland-based Novavax as a company that’s misusing an enormous quantity of taxpayers’ cash so its CEO (and different officers) could make a killing promoting shares.

Novavax has contracted with many overseas nations (Spain, India and Japan, and so on.) to supply vaccines (or parts) meant to deal with world populations in want of a way to arrest the widespread scourge of covid-19. Your article mentions how little yield of product has adopted, given the monetary investments made.

I discover it notably disturbing that a few of Novavax’s company officers are benefiting by promoting giant blocks of shares. The truth is, I discover it to be unconscionable, given the various who’ve died for lack of a treatment that has gone unfulfilled and, on this case, an initiative that’s overfunded.

I want you’d transmit your article to each member of Congress, within the hope that those that can will examine how the funds doled out within the identify of “Operation Warp Pace” are being misused, and unaccounted for.

— Carl Anderson, Baltimore

Novavax is a good vaccine, however this text exhibits how onerous it’s for an organization to turn out to be a mass-vaccine producer ranging from a base of zero.

— Dr Helen MacLean (@DrHMacLean) July 19, 2021

Ready in Useless for a Novavax Vaccine?

Thanks for the article on Novavax (“Novavax’s Effort to Vaccinate the World, From Zero to Not Fairly Warp Pace,” July 19). I’ve been looking out the net repeatedly to search out new data on this vaccine and when it’d turn out to be out there; most days I give you nothing new. Your article was thorough and informative and, though I do take exception to your assertion that “America is awash with vaccine choices,” the knowledge supplied was very enlightening.

Many individuals are cautious of the mRNA vaccine know-how, and Johnson & Johnson hasn’t turned out to be an optimum selection, as a result of unwanted side effects (albeit uncommon) and decrease efficacy. My very own humble opinion is that Novavax might be of serious curiosity to unvaccinated Individuals, relying on how the accompanying narrative is introduced (e.g., tried-and-true conventional know-how). Now that we now have a rising surge as soon as once more in covid-19, it looks like an optimum time to introduce one other vaccine choice for Individuals, however based mostly in your glorious reporting, it sounds prefer it is probably not Novavax.

— Holly King, Indianapolis

I might say that is to discourage individuals from going to the ER for any type of ache. I’ll by no means go to at least one once more. I can’t pay somebody to be merciless to me. I can endure higher at residence than in a chilly, merciless ER.

— Kat Melcher🌟 (@KatMelcher) June 29, 2021

— Kat Melcher, San Antonio

A World of Distinction

Your most up-to-date Invoice of the Month story (“A Hospital Charged $722.50 to Push Medication By an IV. Twice,” June 28) received me serious about once I needed to go to the hospital for nearly the very same factor. Much like Claire Lang-Ree, I used to be a school scholar and located myself doubled over as a result of sudden and exceptionally extreme ache within the decrease proper aspect of my stomach. I handed out from the ache, and each time I regained consciousness, I couldn’t communicate and would simply throw up from hurting so unhealthy. My mother known as an ambulance, and I used to be rushed to the hospital. Whereas on the ER, I acquired an belly ultrasound, however the tech couldn’t discover my appendix (which is seemingly regular and simply occurs generally), so that they ordered an belly CT. The CT got here again regular and dominated out appendicitis, so that they determined to maintain me in a single day for commentary. At that time, my medical doctors started to assume the problem was gynecological. I did OK in a single day, and my medical doctors had deduced it was seemingly an ovarian cyst rupture that triggered the ache. My blood work was regular the subsequent morning, so my medical doctors allowed me to be discharged. The whole value? Lower than $500 earlier than insurance coverage.

The key distinction between my and Claire’s experiences was that I used to be on trip in Budapest, Hungary, when this occurred. Hungary has a public well being care system. My non-public medical health insurance even ended up reimbursing us for the associated fee because it coated emergency visits abroad. Whereas Hungary’s public well being care system additionally has its issues, extreme value to sufferers isn’t one in all them. I can’t think about having gone via that after which being slapped with a five-figure medical invoice.

Sudden and extreme medical emergencies are scary sufficient. The specter of going bankrupt for in search of therapy for them simply places salt within the wound. It doesn’t need to be like this. I’m glad you’re educating Individuals the way to advocate for themselves in opposition to illogical and/or inaccurate billing. Sustain the great work.

— Erin Bartels, Little Rock, Arkansas

A 20k invoice for burst ovarian cyst 🙃 come ON. $722 drug in query usually prices as a lot as a Coke.

— Jane Aldridge (@sea_of_shoes) June 30, 2021

The place’s the ‘Enjoyable’ in That?

I’m a retired federal worker with GEHA (Aetna) insurance coverage. I believe the tone of your current article about overcharging within the emergency room system at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs (“A Hospital Charged $722.50 to Push Medication By an IV. Twice.” June 28) was downright offensive: “Lastly, make it enjoyable. Claire and Jen made bill-fighting their mother-daughter interest for the winter. They suggest pretzel chips and cocktails to spice up the temper.”

Enjoyable? Actually?! Attempting to get justice from our damaged well being care system, with Large Pharma and large hospital programs raking in cash whereas peculiar individuals don’t have any recourse on outrageous payments is enjoyable?! Disgrace on you.

— Dr. Evelyn Hutt, Denver

“Lastly, make it enjoyable. Claire and Jen made bill-fighting their mother-daughter interest for the winter.”The issue is, if you or a member of the family is sick, it is typically troublesome to unattainable to search out the time or power for bill-fighting, not to mention a interest.

— Dania Palanker (@DaniaPal) June 28, 2021

I’m shocked there’s no point out of guidelines based mostly triage. At UW I do know that, no matter overt signs, people who find themselves concerned in a automobile accident > a sure pace are mechanically trauma’d. Even when they stroll in to the hospital after the wreck.

— Joe Lalli (@JollyJoeLalli) July 16, 2021

Once I was working at a hospital, we pushed strongly for a statewide “Trauma Board” to assist handle the proliferation and administration of trauma-related providers. Why?Extra trauma facilities = extra expense, worse outcomes.And now:

— Loren Anthes (@lorenanthes) July 19, 2021

One other insurance coverage firm/hospital billing nightmare to concentrate on. Assume the worthwhile care trauma facilities ship is barely attainable in a US-style mannequin the place unhealthy billing habits is incentivized? Not so. The UK NHS has 27 and sufferers don’t pay further.

— David Meuse (@JdmMeuse) July 16, 2021

Comply with the Montana Cash Path

I simply learn the article by Andrea Halland concerning the brand new non-public medical faculties proposed in Montana (“Inflow of Medical Faculty College students Might Overwhelm Montana Assets, Program Leaders Warn,” July 15). The article was very informative apart from one obvious omission: How a lot? When one in all our native hospitals stepped out in an uncharacteristic manner in opposition to the non-public new facility, my first response was “OMG, there have to be some huge cash at stake right here.” Comply with the cash path, and but Ms. Halland didn’t.

There is no such thing as a drawback confronting the coaching of extra physicians that the non-public market wouldn’t appropriate, whether it is allowed to work. We face the shortages and issues we do now as a result of there has not been a free market in drugs in a really very long time. The truth is, one might make the identical declare about our public training system, which capabilities with the identical type of authoritative mindset.

Step again and get out of the best way and watch nice issues occur if enhancements are actually what are sought … but when everyone seems to be simply stuffing their pockets and asserting political energy, it could be nice if these reporting on it could not less than be sincere about it.

— Evelyn Pyburn, Billings, Montana

A beneficial alternative to take care of the individuals of Montana near residence.

— Amir Bastawrous, MD, MBA (@amirbastawrous) July 15, 2021

A Lengthy Shot on Lengthy-Haulers

I learn the article “Little-Identified Diseases Turning Up in Covid Lengthy-Haulers” (June 1) by Cindy Unfastened and observed the point out of myalgic encephalomyelitis/persistent fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Primarily based on my studying, I believe it’s believable that the long-haulers’ issues are brought on by the immune system on this manner: Impurities in earlier vaccines enable retroviruses to enter immune cells and keep within the DNA. When the immune system is triggered, these retroviruses could also be launched and do injury. Dr. Judy Mikovits in her books “Plague” and “Plague of Corruption” discusses this. For instance, retrovirus XMRV causes ME/CFS. Youthful persons are extra inclined as a result of they’ve had extra vaccines. I’m not a medical physician, however I learn so much.

— Artwork Gittleman, Huntington Seashore, California

Sufferers have totally different worldviews and really merely put consider they discover assist both from medical system ie medical doctors, science, different therapies or in perception of sickness as means for development. When docs and sufferers have totally different worldviews issues start.

— Tuula Saarela (@ba_tuulasaarela) June 2, 2021

Connecting the Dots on POTS

I learn the article on the unwanted side effects that present up months after a covid-19 analysis (“Little-Identified Diseases Turning Up in Covid Lengthy-Haulers,” June 1). This struck a chord with me as a result of my husband has been coping with some unusual points for the previous a number of months that we now have simply now began to find out could also be postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which was mentioned within the article. He was severely sick two months earlier than covid made its look within the U.S. and went to the physician a number of occasions. The physician repeatedly examined him for the flu; the outcomes have been at all times unfavourable and they might ship him again residence with directions to relaxation and drink fluids and let it run its course.

We consider he had a case of covid and it wasn’t recognized but. He has had a number of new well being points come up within the 12 months since — essentially the most critical being a paralyzed diaphragm on one aspect. Now we’re coping with a attainable POTS analysis.

I hope extra medical doctors see what is going on and begin making extra of a connection between the 2. We dwell in Kentucky and understand how few specialists there are who deal with POTS however are hopeful {that a} analysis and therapy is not going to be far off.

— Melanie Marville, Louisville

#pwME know all about this. Hopefully ME/CFS will now be acknowledged as an actual problem and therapy can be out there quickly.

— Sabine Dreher (@sabine_dreher) June 1, 2021

— Sabine Dreher, Toronto

On Opioid Dependancy: A Success Story

Whilst many roadblocks and pink tape are being eliminated in order that extra physicians can qualify to prescribe buprenorphine, I learn this unhappy story of this younger man needlessly dying of an overdose (“How ERs Fail Sufferers With Dependancy: One Affected person’s Tragic Dying,” July 15). He clearly was not given pressing entry to restoration that included the instant administration of buprenorphine or he would nonetheless be right here at the moment and his dad and mom wouldn’t have this everlasting gap of their lives. Buprenorphine is that magical a drug, however it’s irritating it stays considerably troublesome to accumulate via a doctor and/or pharmacy.

Throughout the Nineteen Nineties till 2004, my once-disciplined self modified to performing unstable and erratic at work, my marriage failed, and I periodically acted out irresponsibly — all because of the misuse of prescription ache capsules. Having had rheumatoid arthritis (RA) since age 7 (in my 50s now), I had managed my ache properly with over-the-counter ache medicines. (Briefly, I’m a white middle-class college-grad male, now on incapacity because of the unpredictability and ravages of the illness of RA.) Nonetheless, for nearly a decade and a half starting within the early Nineteen Nineties, my rheumatologists and ache administration medical doctors routinely bombarded me with OxyContin, oxycodone, Vicoprofen, Norco and different narcotic opioid ache medicines. The variety of narcotic ache capsules I used to be prescribed to take every day was staggering. I rapidly turned addicted.

Upon recognizing my drawback and after a number of unsuccessful makes an attempt via Narcotics Nameless and going chilly turkey, I sought out an inpatient detox facility within the winter of 2003-04 on the urging of family and friends. I checked into the identical facility twice inside a couple of months for opioid restoration. Presently, it was early in opioid dependancy restoration in medical settings; likewise, the physicians assigned to my group really gave me Ultram (generic tramadol) for my RA ache, now a recognized opioid! No shock that my makes an attempt of restoration on the detox facility didn’t hold me from abusing ache meds upon returning residence … till, in 2004, an RN with my employer’s medical health insurance passionately really helpful I see a physician in my metropolis who was one in all just a few dependancy therapy physicians nationwide allowed to prescribe a then-new drug for opioid dependancy therapy: Subutex (generic buprenorphine).

Buprenorphine eliminates opioid cravings with no withdrawal unwanted side effects related to the cessation of narcotic ache capsules … all with not one of the addictive euphoric results synonymous with narcotic opioids. Inside a matter of minutes of taking my first dose, I awoke from my 15-year slumber of dependancy. Fairly merely, buprenorphine is a right away on-ramp to sobriety for opioid addicts with the need to stop. I’ve been on a every day dose to at the present time and, though my RA is attempting to take me out (I’ve since had each shoulders and each hips changed and each wrists reconstructed), I dwell a standard, clear-headed wholesome life with my spouse whereas being in one of the best form of my life; following surgical procedures with prescribed ache meds for the transient restoration course of, I simply remained clear and sober with a lot of the ache capsules left unused and correctly disposed. (A aspect good thing about buprenorphine is that it was initially meant to battle ache, so the advantages for me are twofold.)

Each ER ought to give buprenorphine to all opioid abusers whereas occupying their beds. It really works inside minutes as soon as the affected person is in partial withdrawal; then the ER sends the affected person on to a physician to deal with their dependancy. Buprenorphine saves lives. It saved mine.

— William Ward, Enid, Oklahoma

Agree. “How ERs fail” = “How drugs fails” = “How society fails”This poor younger man died 3 months after an ER go to.

— 𝗚𝗿𝗮𝗵𝗮𝗺 𝗪𝗮𝗹𝗸𝗲𝗿, 𝗠𝗗 (@grahamwalker) July 18, 2021

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