Non-Human Primates in Medical Research

Animals continue to be extensively used as research specimen in almost every major medical breakthrough. Utility of animals in medical research has been widely acknowledged. A wide variety of animal species are used for research that range from fruit flies to non-human primates. Research using non-human primates is required for testing drugs, clinical trials, neurology studies, evolution, genetics, behavioral aspects, reproductive biology, cognitive science and even in Xenotransplantation. An estimated 65,000 non-human primates are used annually for research purpose in UK and USA alone.

Use of non-human primates is significant as their brains share structural and functional similarity with the human brain. Most commonly used non-human primates for research purpose include apes, gorilla, chimpanzee, macaques, marmosets, baboons and orangutans. However, the use of non-human primates has always been controversial as it is related with ethical issues.

As per the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human interests are protected by the law as they are considered legal persons. Non-human primates do not enjoy any such privilege. However, this status has always been a continuous topic of debate. Considering research on primates as unethical, various countries including Australia, Sweden, New Zealand and Netherlands have prohibited doing any kind of experimental using great apes, a biological family that comprises of gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans and humans. Considering the fact that animals do have a similar sense of pain and trauma as like humans, several organizations, animal rights groups, philanthropists, animal lovers, researchers, philosophers and primatologists are advocating for a world wide prohibition over the use of primates in research.

Fair Promotes Health and Fitness

One determinant of a healthy and progressive nation is healthy individuals. These individuals, in turn, make up the community which turns into a nation in terms of economic and social interactions. One good way to promote health and wellness is through health fairs that provide the basic health services. This is done to ensure that the basic health needs of individuals are met and community programs are implemented.

In connection to this, the Fitness Fiesta Health Fair Saturday at the Westside Community Center provided basic health services to the residents of New Braunfels, Texas. Several booths were set up to discuss diseases and other health programs like speech disabilities in children and health advice in early childhood. Parenting classes were also held during the day’s affair. The booth for the American Cancer Society, sponsored by Bob Peterson, handed out pamphlets about the early warning signs for cancer.

The health fair also provided free medical health screenings like blood tests. Free transportation to hospitals in New Braunfels, San Antonio and Seguin were also provided by Peterson and other volunteers for diagnostic tests and treatment. These were part of the American Cancer Society’s program on cancer patients.

The event proved to be a success as almost 700 people attended it. This is according to Rosie Sherrow of the Institute for Public Health and Education Research (TIPHER) where she is the fitness and health coordinator. The event is on its 5th year running and has been helping the people all the while. One who attended and benefitted from the said event was Awilda Ramos. She shares that she learned so many things like the importance of exercise as well as learned about the other services that the community offers. She also said that fairs like this serve as the venue for information dissemination as she got here free parenting classes.

One good way to living a healthy life is by equipping yourself with health information. Information on healthy foods and proper exercise are vital in keeping yourself healthy and fit. Another important factor to be considered in staying healthy is monitoring your health. On the average, a person will have to pay about $300 on annual tests every year. To some, spending this amount is quite hard on the budget. This now comes the benefit of health fairs. In addition, weight loss information is also being tackled during such events. Take advantage of these services and start living a healthy life.

Pet Meds Technology and Medical Treatments

You will find many thoughts about pet medications, cures and medical treatments today. This article discusses medical issues of pets and the author offers some insight on the subject and current state of pet meds.

Pet owners will say that the amount of medical problems and medical treatments for pets are just about equal to that of pet owners. Attending to physical, medical and dietary needs for our animals calls for a huge quantity of pet meds.

Examples of medical issues and diseases for dogs are, but not limited to; tapeworms, hookworms, liver or kidney disease, ulcers, hernia, parasites or cancer.

Examples of medical issues and diseases for cats are, but not limited to; feline leukemia, tape-worm, cancer, diabetes or poisoning.

Growing up, I never imagine the range of medical needs for pets. As a pet owner today, I have experienced a few extreme medical issues for pets. Many people spend a lot of money on medical and health problems for their pets.

That is in part due to the advancing medical technology for pets. Currently, there are a lot more options available for medical issues to animals than ever before.

In recent times, pet medicine and medical treatments have advanced dramatically- Hollywood pet psychiatrists excluded. You can find so much information and data very easily by browsing the internet on the topics of animal dental care to cancer treatment for our pets.

Furthermore, there are many fantastic and advanced medical treatments for pet diseases and pet ailments. Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine offers interesting information concerning different medical issues about pets. K-State is just one in an long line of higher education institutions engaging in research to advance the medical care and cures of our pets. You will frequently find general data on topics from health issues to the treatment of feline leukemia at the researchers web sites.

Remember, the lists presented below of medical issues for dogs and cats are abbreviated. Their information is presented as a small range of possible medical conditions of pets today.

Without a doubt, with the many advancements in medical technology for pets, there are medical safety issues as well. Even though animals have tough digestive systems, they remain vulnerable to a range of health issues.

In February 2007, an article by Reuters reported that one brand of cat food was found by the FDA to contain salmonella in some of the batches.

Note: Reuters is said to be the world’s largest international multimedia news agency.

Both, pets and pet owners alike, are thankful that the research for advancement of pet meds continues today.

We all should offer thanks to the many scientists and researchers continuously working to improve medical treatment, cures and meds for our pets.

Breakthroughs in Medication Management – Automatic Pill Dispensers and Medication Compliance

In 2007, Americans spent $227.5 billion to fill over 3.3 billion prescriptions (Rx). Over 50 million people take three or more prescriptions concurrently, however the average “compliance” with taking medications as prescribed is only 50% nationwide. Disturbingly the non-compliance rates for medications used to treat serious disorders are not much better than the average compliance rate for all prescriptions.

Overall Prescription Drug compliance for selected diagnosis

Average: 50%
Acute Asthma: 43%
Mental Disorders: 25%-75%
High Blood Pressure: 51%
Epilepsy: 30% to 50%
Diabetes: 40% to 50%
Clinical Trials: 43%-78%

Average compliance rates do not tell the whole story as the compliance persistence curve slopes steeply downwards. Research shows that the longer a person is on a prescription drug, the less likely they are to take it in compliance as prescribed. A recent study conducted on the compliance rates of 4 different prescription drugs (Cozar, Fosamax, Zocor and AI) showed that compliance rates fell off rapidly for all 4 medications. And after one year, compliance is reduced by 50%. After five years, it is as low as 29-33%, with the greatest decline in medication adherence in the first six months.

As the data suggests, the aging trend of the USA will dictate that more people will be taking more medications, for longer periods, and sometimes for the rest for their increasingly long lives. This represents a healthcare crisis, given the current rates of non-compliance in the taking of prescription medications.

Cost of health care from non-compliance

According to the Center for Disease Control and other sources, the impacts or costs for health care from non-compliance with medication management are significant. Some highlights include:

10% of all hospital admissions
30% of all hospital admissions for elderly
22-40% all Skilled Nursing Facility admissions
125,000 deaths annually
$100,000,000,000 (B): annual cost of total unnecessary admissions
$150B – $300+B Total annual cost/waste due to medication management alone

The cost of noncompliance is not static. The same forces that are driving up healthcare costs are also exacerbating the costs of non-compliance. The most significant drivers are:

The aging population demographic of the USA
The increased use of prescription medications
The growing shortage of traditional health care resources to meet the increasing needs of the aging population

Longer life spans and relatively low birth rates have combined to raise the nation’s average age over the years. Simply put, the United States is getting older, and the older one gets, the more medications a person typically requires. As the number of prescriptions increase so too does the amount of non-compliance. As a result, the cost to the health care system due to non-compliance is rising significantly.

Health Care Shortage today and the future

Another critical factor in “fueling” the need for the use of technology in the delivery of health care outside of traditional methods is the documented current and increasing shortage of health care workers, services and facilities in the USA. As one example, according to the AHA, hospitals nationwide report vacancy rates of 21 percent for pharmacists, 18 percent for radiology technicians and 12 percent for laboratory technologists. The Health and Human Services Administration reports that 21% more facilities are required as well.

What can be done

This points to a looming crisis in health care, and to the solution that telemedicine represents. In short, combined with more demand for services (due to the aging demographic) and the real issue of reduced overall health care delivery capacity, the need for a significant change is real. Telehealth is the solution to make the existing capacity more effective by increasing the throughput of the existing workers and infrastructure, while allowing people to receive care in the best place possible for them, the home.

Compliance can be significantly improved through better education, home monitoring of the patient, and organizing dosages through the use of pill boxes and other devices, reminders to take pills and alerts to care givers when dosages are not taken. Telehealth based medication management devices can significantly improve compliance rates by utilizing all of these strategies. The DAP from HealthOneMed is a telehealth product that provides automated dispensing of pill based medications for specified doses, notification of the time to take each dose, alerts to caregivers and health care professionals when doses are not taken, instructions, indications (what the medication is for) and warnings. It is the only home health care product on the market capable of all of these functions.