Cheaper Medicines Bill
- Cause the greatest share of death and disability worldwide;
- Account for over 60% of deaths worldwide, four-fifths of those fatalities being citizens of low and middle income countries;
- Cause twice as many deaths as the combined total of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, maternal and pre-natal conditions, and nutritional deficiencies.
The initiative's leaders say their goals are "to galvanize the health, science and public policy communities into action on this epidemic," and to foster global debate, support and funding.
The Grand Challenges are grouped under six broad goals: (The Lancet proposal is essentially similar)
- Reorient health systems (e.g. Grand Challenge: "Allocate resources within health systems based on burden of disease");
- Mitigate health impacts of poverty and urbanization (e.g.: "Study and assess how poverty increases risk factors");
- Engage businesses and community (e.g.: "Make business a key partner in promoting health and preventing disease; Develop and monitor codes of responsible conduct with the food, beverage and restaurant industries");
- Modify risk factors (e.g.: "Deploy universally measures proven to reduce tobacco use and boost resources to implement the WHO framework Convention on Tobacco Control");
- Enhance economic, legal and environmental policies (e.g. "Study and address the impacts of poor health on economic output and productivity"); and
- Raise public and political awareness (e.g.: "Promote healthy lifestyle and consumption choices through effective education and public engagement").
Lifestyle ChangesAn American health journal summarizes the lifestyle choices you should do to help prevent chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke respiratory and certain types of cancer. If you have such disease or are at high risk to develop it, you should do the following:
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits while avoiding trans fats and saturated fats.
- Keep blood pressure in the normal range, ideally with a systolic blood pressure of less than 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).
- Don't smoke.
- Strive to keep your blood sugar levels normal.
- Manage stress.
- Become more physically active, and make daily exercise a priority at an intensity level recommended by your doctor.
Several factors contribute to high blood cholesterol:
Diet: Reduce your blood LDL cholesterol level by eating less fat, particularly saturated fat (as found in whole milk, cheese and meat). Low cholesterol foods are important, too. Studies have shown that your total cholesterol and your bad cholesterol levels may begin to drop two to three weeks after you begin your lower you intake of fat, calories and cholesterol.
A healthy diet:
- Contains healthy fats. Once you've cut way back on saturated fats and trans fats (the unhealthy fats), you can start adding healthy fats to your diet. Healthy fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated.
- Contains healthy sources of carbohydrates. Eat more whole grains — foods like whole-wheat bread, brown rice and oatmeal — to help lower cholesterol, improve blood sugar and insulin levels, control weight, protect the heart, guard against diabetes and keep your digestive system healthy.
- Relies on healthy sources of protein. For a healthier heart, cut back on red meat and switch to fish. The good fats in many types of fish help protect the heart against erratic rhythms and may prevent blood clots. Wild-range fish are preferable to farmed fish. The American Heart Association recommends that people eat fish (especially fatty fish) at least two times per week. Beans, nuts and seeds are also excellent sources of protein.
- Includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These foods have more powerful effects on your health than most pills.
- Tastes great. If it doesn't, you probably won't stick with it for long.
Exercise: Regular exercise or continuous physical activity may help a person control weight, lower blood pressure and increase the level of high-density lipoprotein, or HDL (good), cholesterol.
Genetic factors: Understand that lowering your LDL cholesterol levels through diet often is not enough to reach your goal. Many people are genetically programmed to produce cholesterol in the liver no matter how strictly they follow a diet.
Sex/age: Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability for both men and women in the
Alcohol: In some people, modest amounts of alcohol can increase the amount of good cholesterol (HDL). Modest intake means two or fewer drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. There is good evidence that moderate alcohol intake lowers the risk of coronary artery disease, whether or not the protection is due to increasing HDL levels. However, alcohol provides "empty calories" that can add to your weight, and because drinking can have serious adverse effects, present guidelines do not recommend drinking alcohol as a way to prevent heart disease.
Smoking: Smoking damages the heart by raising blood pressure, damaging blood vessels, promoting the buildup of fatty plaque in arteries, lowering levels of "good" cholesterol, making the blood more likely to clot and depriving the heart of oxygen. Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to prevent a heart attack.
Stress: Stress can increase chemicals within the body that may increase the risk of a heart attack. These fight-or-flight stress hormones, such as cortisol and epinephrine, excite the heart and make it work overtime.
Elements of the proposal were borrowed from other cities and countries. Some represent programs that had brief stints in
The proposal calls for the formation of a task force that would consider ways to get restaurants, grocers and food manufacturers to reduce their use of salt. Several countries, including
The plan keeps an open option as to whether to seek voluntary salt reductions or impose rules on restaurants and food manufacturers. This year,
Back to the progress of the Bill, Congress has only a few more days before their X’Mas vacation and tensions are building up. Congressman Pablo Garcia is unrelenting in blocking passage to a law he asserts is under lobby by Big Pharma, is a farcical placebo. Malacañan is cornered into a quandary, what move to take: support or veto a law that mandates lower prices for placebos?