Archive for March, 2015

The Number of Heroin Deaths Triple in the Last Three Years03.05.15

 According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) the number of deaths from heroin overdoses has tripled between 2010 and 2013. The number of fatalities from prescription painkillers has stayed the same. Despite this rise in heroin overdoses, the death rate of death from opioids is still higher. In 2013, 8,257 people died from heroin while 16,235 persons died from pain killers. While most deaths from heroin used to occur among older black men today the victims are white men between the ages of 18 and 44 stated here for full article. The reason for this increase has to do with the availability of painkillers particularly Oxycontin. Between 2002 and 2011 about 25 million persons began to use opioids. Approximately 12 million did so without a prescription. In order to combat this Purdue Pharma, the company that produces OxyContin reformulated the drug so that it couldn’t be crushed and snorted. The U.S. government rescheduled the drug making it a schedule 2 drug that makes it much harder to get. Sadly an unintended side effect was that people began to use heroin at a higher rate when they couldn’t get the Oxycontin. It will not be easy to solve according to health officials.

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Patent Law Needs to Be Protected for Progress in Civilization03.02.15

Patent laws are meant to foster innovation by enabling those who spend the time and money to come up with an invention or process to have exclusive rights to it for a certain number of years. Businessman, Ricardo Guimarães explains in this article I just read on that this is actually necessary so that individuals and companies can recoup their research and development costs that they poured into coming up with new breakthroughs. There is, however, a disturbing trend in patent law today. In a nutshell, Lawyers and financial backers start up shell companies and buy old patents and then file lawsuits against companies claiming that these companies violated ‘their’ patent. There have been two attempts to reform the patent system to try to cut down on what are called “patent trolls” that have failed, and now a third attempt is coming before the Congress.

 Everything that we take for granted today, an electric light that we turn on with the flick of a switch, the various components of the car we drive down the road, the toaster we put bread in to produce the miracle of toast, were all invented by someone who had a patent to protect their invention. That there are scummy lawyers and others who are taking advantage of this system of necessary protections to sue companies that truly innovate and advance our civilization needs to stop now!

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