What’s New?

Amazon.com reached an agreement with the State of California legislature, so the Silver Buzz Cafe Store is back. :-)


“Green” Blogging


We believe in protecting our environment, so the Silver Buzz Cafe web site is hosted on a server in a "green", energy conserving data center. 100% of the power for the datacenter is bought from suppliers that use renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectric, windmill and solar plants.


The Big Pharmas - Part 8 - It's Time To Take a Pill

In this series we’ve looked at the big pharmaceutical companies (“Big Pharmas”), how they bring new drugs to market, their competitors and the many challenges that they face. We’ve also looked at their triumphs and their corporate behavior. There’s no doubt that the Big Pharmas are worried about being able to continue increasing their, already astronomical, profits. Imminent patent expiration, pressure from states and governments to negotiate lower prices and competition from the legal and illegal generic drug manufacturers are all forcing a gradual slowdown in the rates at which their profits are increasing. However, as we’ve seen in the previous article in this series, we aren’t getting value for our money as consumers of their products. In this, the final article in the series, we’ll look at some of the many reforms that have been suggested to rein in the Big Pharmas and get them back to being the responsible corporations that many of them once were. [...]

The Big Pharmas - Part 7 - The Dark Side

A prevailing attitude about the Big Pharmas is that they make excessive profits and rip off consumers. That’s not surprising, as the top fifteen companies made almost $400 billion in revenues in 2008 and they’ve been raising prescription drug prices by around 9% per year, far above inflation levels and increases in Gross Domestic Product. In the early days of the current health reform debate they stayed on the sidelines. However, as it became apparent that there might be more price controls, particularly for Medicare drugs, they have started a strong campaign to limit or defeat the health reform bill, a move that has big implications for seniors. In today’s article we’ll look at that issue and other criticism leveled at the Big Pharmas. We’ve grouped the issues to align with the sequence in which we covered topics, starting with revenues. [...]

Interesting News Items

Today’s news roundup articles cover: some observations on common nutrients; a traditional herbal tea that seems to work as well as Aspirin as a pain reliever; a study that found a relationship between the occurrence of multiple chronic pains and the incidence of falls; a 1930′s drug used for treating sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that has unique cancer halting side effects; and a very interesting study of the effect of the relationship between Alzheimer’s disease patients and caregivers on the progression of the disease. [...]

The Big Pharmas - Part 6 - Medical Triumphs

Countless millions of patients are treated and saved every year because of the effectiveness of modern medicine. Every successful drug saves or improves lives. We’ve looked at the top ten pharmaceutical companies and examined how they operate and the many challenges that they face. A panel of experts in the field, including two historians, the head of pharmacology at a leading British university, and the first president of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), singled out ten drugs as the most important of all time and seven more drugs or techniques that have been almost as important. [...]

The Big Pharmas - Part 5 - Patents

We started this series by looking at the top ten pharmaceutical companies, four of which are based in the USA. We looked at the complex series of phases involved in bringing a new drug to market. Then we looked at the many challenges facing the Big Pharmas, ranging from competition from the other large [...]

The Big Pharmas - Part 4 - Regulations and Price Controls

We started this series on the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies by looking at who and where they are. We then covered the extremely complicated series of phases that a new drug goes through between the discovery of a potentially beneficial compound and being allowed to go to market. After targeting a disease or condition [...]

Eating Dark Chocolate May Combat Stress

In a week in which the United Kingdom chocolate giant is under takeover pressure from Nestles in Switzerland and Hershey in the USA, some interesting research has emerged. Chocolate cravings may be the result of stress and dark chocolate may help. Researchers at the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland recently published the results of a study1 into the effects of eating dark chocolate when healthy adults are stressed out. We should note that Nestles is one of the world’s largest food manufacturers, including chocolate. [...]

The Big Pharmas – Part 3 – Competition

it can take ten to fifteen years to bring a new drug discovery to market. Only about one in ten thousand promising chemical compounds is proven to be medically effective, survives rigorous experimentation and trials and makes it to market. Unfortunately for the pharmaceutical companies, that’s not the end of the yellow brick road. In the first article of this series we looked at the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the world, four of which are based in the United States. In the second article we looked at the complex process involved in taking a promising compound from discovery to the market. In this article we’ll look at the Big Pharmas’ competition (both from within and without). [...]

Senate Health Care Reform Bill Moves to Debate Stage

The Senate voted 60-39 at 8pm EST to allow the health care reform bill to move forward to the debate stage. It was almost stopped by Senators Mary Landrieu (AR), Ben Nelson (NB) and Mary Landrieu (LA.), but last minute pressure swung them back to the Democrats’ side.

Senator Joseph Liebermann (CT), formerly [...]

Another Online Scam That You Need To Avoid

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing on November 17 to better understand a new scam that has surfaced on the Internet. Members of the committee claim that marketers Vertrue, Webloyalty, and Affinion generated more than $1.4 billion by tricking Web shoppers into joining fake customer loyalty programs. Web retailers accepted big money, a combined sum of $792 million, to share their customers’ credit-card information with the marketers. Sites such as 1-800 Flowers, Buy.com, Classmates.com, Continental Airlines, Fandango, Orbitz and Priceline.com made millions of Dollars by participating in the scam. [...]

The Big Pharmas - Part 2 - R&D On Steroids

The top 15 pharmaceutical companies (the “Big Pharmas”) dominate the world market for pharmaceuticals. In this article we’ll look at what they actually do. As the costs of research and manufacturing have risen and regulators have become increasingly restrictive, the industry has seen a series of multi-national mergers and acquisitions aimed at reducing costs and improving profits. Most of the Big Pharmas earn almost 100% of their revenue from pharmaceuticals that they develop, manufacture, market and sell, others also manufacturer medical devices or other health care products. One thing that they all have in common is the huge proportion of their expenditure that is spent on research and development (R&D). [...]

Sarah Palin Reads Silver Buzz Cafe!

Sarah Palin was interviewed by Sean Hannity on Fox News yesterday (Wednesday) evening. In an obvious reference to her infamous response to CBS anchor Katie Couric during the Presidential campaign, Hannity asked her what she actually reads. Palin replied – “I read Newsmax and the Frontiersman and Wall Street Journal and everything online. I absorb the news via many, many sources.” Whoopee! Sarah reads our blog. :-) Sarah reads our blog! :-) Sarah reads… :? :? :? There’s a prize for best comment. [...]

The Swine Flu Vaccine Safety Debate Continues

Many people have voiced concerns about the safety of the H1N1 “Swine” Flu vaccine. They range from a fear that new and untried manufacturing techniques to concerns about the lack of traceability that might occur if schools are allowed to vaccinate children. The vaccine is available and is being administered to the people who are most at risk and who want it.However, many people, even some health care professionals, have been scared into not being vaccinated. A number of media and blogging sites have carried articles looking at the concerns, so we’ll summarize what they’ve found, citing sources wherever possible. [...]

The Big Pharmas - Part 1 - Introduction

The big pharmaceutical companies (“Pharmas”) are hedging their bets on the outcome of the health reform debate. They’ve raised their prices by 9 percent over the past year, the largest increase since 1992. They promised to shave $8 billion a year off of the nation’s drug prioces after the legislation takes effect in return [...]

Well, Twitter Me Facebook!

Let’s face it, we’re not all quite as up-to-date with the latest technology fads as our teenage relatives. If you don’t want to look like a fuddy-duddy to them, read on. If you’re OK as you are, it’s time to skip over to the Silver Buzz Cafe Store.

This is a quick beginner’s guide [...]

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