A bit of wisdom from John Gerard Duffus of Edinburgh:
Hae freens and hae life!
(Good friends result in a full life!)
The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, or the Older Scottish Chronicle as it is sometimes known, is the only surviving narrative account to derive from the nascent kingdom of Scotland. It recounts the careers of the kings from Cináed mac Ailpín (d.858) to the middle of the reign of Cináed mac Maíl Choluim (971-95), and is mostly an account of internecine strife, raids on Northumbria and campaigns against the Vikings. Whilst it is not a work of any great literary merit it is the only native source to the history of this period which has otherwise to be reconstructed from later fanciful poetry and chronicles or the occasional notice of 'Albanian' affairs by Irish and English chroniclers. It is thus a unique source into how the kings of Alba and their associates saw the birth of the kingdom.
Click here for the Chronicle of the Kings of Alba
Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England
THEODOSIA'S FATE STILL SUBJECT OF DEBATE
Vice President Aaron Burr
had only one legitimate child, his precocious daughter, Theodosia. As a
teen-ager, she won renown for her beauty and brilliance, married future South
Carolina Gov. Joseph Alston and bore him a son. At 30, sickly and distraught
over her son's death, she vanished while sailing to meet her father, who had
just returned from exile.
After 188 years of bad
poetry, drama, fiction, journalism and broadcasting, she remains an absorbing
character, unique despite facile comparisons with Chelsea Clinton and Amelia
Earhart. Her almost-mysterious fate enhances her appeal.
A movie was inevitable, so
videographer Kevin Duffus
created only mild astonishment when he mentioned Paige Rowland's screen
adaptation of the dreary 1945 novel "My Theodosia" by Anya Seton.
Singer-actor Meat Loaf has signed on. Shooting is scheduled for October.
While the corn pops, let's
review the few known facts in this case. On Dec. 30, 1812, Theo left Georgetown,
S.C., for New York on the schooner Patriot. A storm hit. She never arrived. That
might've been the end of the story had newspaper editors not immediately blamed
pirates. Burr and Gov. Alston discounted such speculation, and no evidence
supported it. But like Theo's memory, it's immortal.
In the 1830s, Alabama papers
busied themselves with a nameless merchant who had heard from an anonymous
physician about an unknown Mobile man who had forced Theo to walk the plank
"till it tilted over with her."
Although third-hand deathbed
confessions are powerful stuff, walking the plank was rare. As Joseph Schwarzer
of the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras points out, "In all of
recorded piracy, there's maybe one instance."
Moreover, this kind of
plank-walking is especially inefficient. Dispatching a large number of captives
on an unsecured plank would use up a lot of wood.
Beginning in 1875, Gulf
Coast papers printed the plank-free recollections of Louisiana nonagenarian Jean
Baptiste Callistre, who said that one of Jean Lafitte's associates, Octave
Chauvet, burned the Patriot and held Theo prisoner until she died.
The plank story kept bobbing
to the surface, however. The plank appears again, this time secured to prevent
tilting, in an 1872 novel wherein another Lafitte crony, Dominique You, admits
to making Theo take the plunge. Before long, magazines and papers carried
reports of similar stories from a Texan and two men later hanged in Norfolk,
Va., all anonymous. In 1879, Theo's fourth cousin Stella Drake notified the
Washington Post of a Michigander's plank-walking confession, which her
grandmother had gotten from a minister's wife 29 years earlier.
Against iron-clad testimony,
nothing except physical evidence can prevail. Dr. W.G. Pool of Elizabeth City
may have found it in 1869, when a Nags Header gave him a portrait that she said
had come from a wreck. Theo's relatives saw a resemblance. But in the 25 years
that his discovery took to reach the national press, Pool died and pirates
barged in once more.
In 1895, Century Magazine
published an illustrated poem in which John Palmer connected all the dots -
painting, pirates, plank and a newish etymology of Nags Head. Theo, he
theorized, went diving after Outer Bankers had lured the Patriot aground with a
lighted horse. (Kids, don't try it.) He described the Banks as rocky, and he
apparently didn't consider that someone who plank-walked off a grounded vessel
into chest-deep water could escape.
Nearly everything published
since is mere embellishment. Pirates hold the plank, or they pull it from under
Theo's feet, as in an animated cartoon. Local or not, pirates are almost always
present. They do add color. But using them to explain Theo's no-show requires
eliminating more obvious hazards:
Her health. Theo was
depressed and ailing. If she died en route, the crew might've abandoned the
Patriot in preference to facing Aaron Burr, a notorious hothead.
The storm. It's well
documented, but Seton is the only author of any gravity to give it a second
The coast. In fair weather
and foul, strong currents, moving shoals and illusory inlets have brought
hundreds of ships to grief all along Theo's proposed route.
Audiovisual aids. The best
charts were sketchy or obsolete. Scattered beacons, buoys, and bells did little
good. In 1851 an astute naval officer deemed the first Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
"the worst light in the world." In Theo's time, the beam was weaker,
the tower was 60 feet shorter and no other artificial landmark between Cape Fear
and Cape Henry was nearly as useful to coastwise traffic.
The Royal Navy. The War of
1812 had raged for six months. British forces roamed the shipping lanes with
impunity. Before hostilities ended, they occupied Ocracoke, blockaded Chesapeake
Bay and burned Washington. Suggestions that Gov. Alston had arranged safe
passage for the Patriot are unverified.
The Patriot. The little
schooner was probably no match for a warship during its recent service as a
privateer, and conversion to civilian use may have cost some firepower. Weather
permitting, a British captain who recognized the Patriot might've sunk it before
getting a chance to read any letter from Gov. Alston.
The governor. He was rich.
We may never know whether the captain of the Patriot later changed his name and
bought a mansion in Barbados with gubernatorial gold.
Daddy. Aaron Burr had many
enemies, some of whom were gunning for him. He had won acquittal of murdering
Alexander Hamilton in the famous duel and of trying to establish a new country
beyond the Appalachians. But after Benedict Arnold, he was probably the man that
Americans hated most.
Pirates make lively copy.
But you can account for Theo's disappearance without buckling a single swash.
Loyola track and field
Hambleton had a hand in four
victories in the Mission League finals at Cal State Northridge on Friday. The
UCLA-bound sprinter won the 200 meters in 22.20 seconds and the 400 in 49.73. He
also anchored the Cubs' 400 relay team (with Matt Ware, Quentin Daniels and
to victory in 43.05 and ran the final leg of a 1,600 relay team (with Sean
Blanche, Mario Nicholas and Graham Riske) that won in 3:22.30. Hambleton, who
will compete in the Southern Section Division I preliminaries at Trabuco Hills
High on Saturday, helped Loyola capture its 13th consecutive league championship
and extend its dual-meet winning streak to 92, third best in state history.
Exercise gets senior citizens going!
By KARI NEERI
The Journal News (Original publication: July 24, 2001)
Dressed in white stockings and a bright green fluorescent hat, Henrietta Duffus hardly fits the part of a person about to partake in an exercise class. Regardless, the Mount Vernon resident feels comfortable. She takes a seat in a metal chair and places her cane and yellow and blue day bag underneath. It's nearly 11 a.m., and for the next 45 minutes, Duffus and other senior citizens gathered at the Shelton E. Doles Community Center will stretch and strain muscles they never knew they had. Not an easy feat for an 84-year-old, but Duffus doesn't seem to mind. "I enjoy exercise. I'm quite happy with it," she says. Seniors gather at the center for exercise class every Tuesday and Thursday morning. On this particular day they meet in the auditorium, and sit in folding chairs arranged in a full circle on the stage. The set-up and dim lighting resemble an opening scene of a play until Patricia Mallory-Smith, a Bronx resident and instructor of the class, pops some music into the tape player and begins her routine. At first, light jazz music plays for a series of breathing and stretching exercises. Then it's on to upbeat, techno-style music and more strenuous activity, including leg lifts and arm curls. The seniors stay seated the entire time, but nonetheless get the workout they're looking for. "How do you feel?" Mallory-Smith periodically yells to the group. "Good!" and "Tired!" they say. Duffus livens things up by putting some rhythm into her moves. She loves dancing, so it seems natural. "I just go along with the music," she says. By the end of the class at 11:45 a.m., many of the exercisers fan themselves with their hands, a sure sign they've worked up a sweat. "I had this on and I pulled it off," Emma Arnold, 81, says of her multicolored jacket. "Whew, I was sweating." Joe Otto likes to pace himself while exercising, and cheats a bit by taking small breaks. When finished he says he still feels he got as much out of the routine as his fellow seniors. "It was a good workout," Otto says. "I've been coming here for years and after exercising I feel stronger and different." Participants clapped for themselves and retreated to the senior citizens' room after class for socialization and refreshments. Around noon, Mattie Little comments on how many people with aches and pains haven't been bothered by them as much since they started exercising. Exercise is good for the mind and body, she says. "I feel better...much better," she says. "I think it is such a good program and gives us seniors something to look forward to."
give good presence.
WHEN DANETTE JORDAN JOINED
New York-based Austin
Nichols & Co. Inc., owner and manufacturer of Wild Turkey Bourbon, as well
as other wines and spirits, as a marketing assistant, she wore suits--something
most of the other administrative assistants didn't do. It paid off. "My
first boss told me that she appreciated that I took the time to look
professional," says Jordan.
Soon, her boss started
asking Jordan to attend client meetings with her. Part of the reason, says
Jordan, 36, was that her appearance was "professional enough to make my
boss feel comfortable asking me to those meetings."
Jordan moved up and became a
brand manager. Three years ago, Jordan's profesionalism was rewarded when the
CEO tapped her to become a project manager in human resources. Jordan is now the
director of organizational development.
While it's important to have
the content down, says Jordan, "In the business world, your appearance is
often what people see first."
In an age where branding
yourself is important, standing out from the crowd and having a pulled-together,
professional presence is critical. Here's some expert advice to help you polish
your skill in four critical areas: appearance, verbal presentation, networking,
and business etiquette.
Strutting your Professional
If your goal is to move into
the upper echelons of the corporate world, image will play a major role. Michael
L. Smith, assistant store manager for American TV and Appliances in Waukesha,
Wisconsin, has found that a professional appearance helps him project authority,
both in dealing with the salespeople he supervises and with customers.
"I think it's easier
for customers to relate to someone who looks professional," says Smith, 31.
When he began his career with the company as a salesperson, he stood out by
occasionally wearing suits. He says his style changed after his move from sales
manager to assistant store manager.
"I now wear suits more
often and in darker colors, with maybe a yellow-accented tie," he says.
Smith says that while he enjoys wearing accessories, he sticks to his wedding
ring and a nice watch for work.
For women and men, the key
to executive style is to "dress for the particular office in which you work
and to use small status symbols that show you belong to your profession,"
note Marjabelle Young Stewart and Marian Faux in their book, Executive Etiquette
in the New Workplace (St. Martin's Press, $14.95).
The office not withstanding,
executives find themselves in many business settings that call for various modes
of dress. The challenge? Maintaining a seamless, professional look in all of
them. Whatever the situation, formal or informal, "You always want to
[project] a professional image," says Rica Duffus
Cuff, president and founder of Etiquette Works Inc. in Hoffman Estates,
Cuff offers these expert
* On the golf course or
tennis court. For men, good quality, conservative golf and tennis attire is
acceptable. Golf and tennis shoes should be well maintained. Cuff advises having
a sports coat handy, in case the outing turns into a dinner affair.
For women, the same general
rules apply. Collared shirts are acceptable for the golf course. Steer clear of
tight slacks or shorts and blouses that are sheer or have a plunging neckline.
* For black-tie or formal
events. It may be worth your while to buy a tuxedo if you attend enough formal
affairs (five or more per year). If you prefer to rent, do so from a reputable
establishment and heed the salesperson's advice, say Stewart and Faux.
For women, simple, elegant,
and tasteful is what you want to look for, explains Ann Marie Sabath in her now
out-of-print book, Beyond Business Casual: What to Wear to Work If You Want to
Get Ahead. Watch your hemline, and remember a general rule of thumb: show form
or flesh, not both.
"When attending formal
affairs, look for outfits in silk, crepe, or satin [for those winter
galas]," says Sabath. "While a velvet outfit limits your wear, since
this fabric should be worn between November and March, clothes made of this
material look regal."
Polished at the Podium
For even some of the most
seasoned professionals, the fear of public speaking still ranks up there with
the fear of bugs, snakes, and even death. "The big thing is most people are
simply afraid of being laughed at or judged," says Bart Johnson, a speech
coach and president and CEO of Executive Communication Consulting in New York.
Relate to the audience as if
speaking to one person, suggests Johnson. People often become overwhelmed at the
thought of speaking to 500 people.
Johnson's suggestions will
help you face your fear and grace the stage:
* Control your nerves.
Johnson says that people often get nervous because they make a bigger deal out
of giving a speech than is necessary. To deal with butterflies and sweaty palms,
Johnson advises breathing from the diaphragm--in and out instead of up and
down--by extending the stomach out as you inhale and let it go in as you exhale.
* Use natural gestures and
body movements. "Movement creates excitement and is a visual
stimulant," says Johnson, but stay away from planned and artificial-looking
gestures. Concentrate on your facial expressions and hand movements. We're often
unaware of the gestures we use. Use a video camera to tape yourself, and correct
* Speak up and speak
clearly. You want the audience to hear and understand you, so volume and pacing
are very important. Use inflection and tone to keep listeners interested in what
you're saying. Use a tape recorder to hear what you sound like, and get friends
or a coach to critique your performance.
* Use natural humor.
"Many people are afraid to use humor because they fear it will make them
appear unprofessional and not be taken seriously," says Johnson. You can
use humor as it relates to something you're talking about, but be careful about
telling a joke for the sake of telling a joke. That can easily backfire.
get to this point in your career, you've obviously done some serious external
networking. Upward movement in the executive ranks, however, will also hinge
heavily on your ability to rub shoulders with those in control within your own
After nine years as a
financial analyst for Shell Exploration and Production Co., a Houston-based
subsidiary of Shell Oil Co., Tahita Doyle began studying for her master's degree
in human resources management to move into the human resources field. Although
she didn't get the human resources position she applied for, the senior-level
human resources manager doing the hiring was impressed with her credentials. He
invited her to meet with him to discuss her career goals. She took him up on it,
and they began having informal discussions about how she might get into the
Shortly before completing
her degree, Doyle began applying for human resources positions and let the
senior manager know she was nearly finished with her studies. During this time,
she also met informally with another human resources executive, who helped her
secure her first human resources position.
"It's important to
build relationships with people not in your normal circle to expand your
influence," says Doyle, now a human resources representative. When she met
with the senior managers initially, it was just to build a relationship and
exchange information. She did not have a hidden agenda, she says. "I have
found that what strengthens relationships is being honest and sincere,"
The key to effective
networking internally rests with "being interested in other people,"
says Janice Smallwood-McKenzie, a Los Angeles-based networking coach and author
of The 101 Commandments of Networking: Common Sense But Not Common Practice
(1stBooks Library, $12.45). Incorporate Doyle's and Smallwood-McKenzie's advice
into your own networking strategy.
* Always be yourself.
"People often misrepresent who they are," says Smallwood-McKenzie.
Tell the truth about yourself and what you represent. Just remember not to
ramble on endlessly about yourself.
* Remember that networking
is other-centered. When some accomplished people talk, they get into an
"I-can-top-that-story" type of competition, she says, "Let others
have their moment. Let them feel special." You'll be remembered positively
* Follow-up. A little thanks
will always go a long way. "Remember to send a thank-you note when someone
sends you a gift, gives you a lead, or helps you in a special way,"
Smallwood-McKenzie reminds us.
Schooled in the Social Graces
As an executive, you'll find
yourself in many business situations, both at home and abroad. Being able to
communicate with anyone will give you an advantage, says Cuff.
John J. Harris, president of
the pet care division of Friskies, has done business in nearly every country.
Patience and courtesy are critical to doing business successfully overseas, he
says. It's important to know a country's customs and how it does business before
you arrive. Eating, in particular, can take on significance, he says.
"The eating experience
is longer. It's not unusual for a meal to take three to four hours to
complete," Harris says. Professionals from other countries view meals as an
opportunity to get to know you and assess how sensitive you are to local
customs, he explains.
You'll come across as
respectful and professional if you take the time to do your homework and
prepare. Harris prepared for his first business trip to Japan by reading a short
book on Japanese history and business etiquette, signing up for a study tour,
and visiting the country's factories. "I met with expatriates who had
worked in Japan, and learned the do's and don'ts from them," he adds.
For short-term business
dealings, learning a few key phrases in the language of the country you'll be
visiting, as well as familiarizing yourself with its courtesies, will go a long
way toward demonstrating respect.
Knowing how to behave in
various business settings is also critical to your advancement. "It's
usually better to err on the side of overpreparedness," says James D.
Carter, president of Ophelia DeVore Associates Inc. in New York, a consultant on
self-development. This is no time to be cavalier, he says. In business
situations, be it a meal or an outing, "seldom if ever is our manager our
friend, our customer our friend, or our direct report our friend. These are
Cuff and Carter share these
essentials of executive etiquette:
* Dining with a client. As
the host, it's your responsibility to make the client feel as comfortable as
possible. When dining out, ask your client if they have any dietary restrictions
or preferences; think about the purpose of the meeting; and make sure that you
pick an environment conducive to conversation, if that's important, says Carter.
Cuff adds that as the host,
you, of course, should allow your guest to order first and you take care of the
bill. Follow up the next day with a phone call expressing how much you enjoyed
the meeting. "It gives closure to the outing," says Cuff.
* Doing business overseas.
To prepare you for a stint overseas, your organization may send you to courses
and activities. But if it doesn't, be proactive and go to the library or
bookstore and check out a book on the business etiquette of a particular
country, advises Cuff. You want to behave as if you respect their culture, she
says. You may be able to conduct business without prior preparation, but you'll
be more successful if you embrace and respect their way of doing things.
First actions against Bayer on Baycol
The first legal actions have
been filed in the US courts against Bayer AG following the worldwide recall of
its cholesterol-lowering drug Baycol/Lipobay. Two Oklahoma lawyers, Don Strong
and Stephen Martin, specializing in medical law, have launched actions, alleging
that the drug was "unusually dangerous" both at the time of its
manufacture and its sale.
Mr Strong also said that
Bayer had failed to inform doctors and patients adequately over the risks
associated with the drug, and told a German newspaper that he expects there to
be a large number of people involved in the claims for damages who will want to
be part of the group actions.
Another specialist lawyer,
in North Carolina, is reported by the Trierische Volksfreund as saying that he
has a list of 500 patients waiting to file claims, and Mr Duffus is expected to join forces with Munich, Germany-based, lawyer Michael
Witti in legal action.
Bayer maintains that the
claims for damages against the company are unfounded. However, the German TV
channel ZDF has underlined in a recent report that the US Food and Drug
Administration challenged Bayer over its Baycol advertising as long ago as
Drug's Problems Raise Questions on Warnings
When Baycol, a
cholesterol-lowering drug, was approved in 1997, it appeared to be a potentially
lifesaving drug with few side effects. It had been tested on more than 3,000
patients, and no serious problems had turned up.
Baycol was a statin, one of
a class of powerful anti-cholesterol drugs that save thousands of lives by
preventing heart attacks and strokes. Six statins are now on the market in the
United States, and about 12 million people take them. Statins have proved so
effective that in May, a national panel said 36 million Americans should be
taking them. Sales of Baycol alone were expected to reach $800 million this
But on Aug. 8, Baycol, also
known by the generic name cerivastatin, was taken off the market. Its
manufacturer, the German company Bayer A.G., took that step after 31 patients on
the drug had died and the cases cast suspicion on Baycol.
The deaths were caused by a
disorder called rhabdomyolysis, in which muscle cells break down, flooding the
kidneys with masses of cellular waste. Death occurs if the kidneys are
overwhelmed and shut down.
Experts say the story of
Baycol shows the kind of communication failure that has occurred before and may
well occur again with other drugs. When muscle problems and deaths linked to
Baycol were reported, Bayer and the Food and Drug Administration warned doctors
to be cautious in prescribing it, but the warnings failed to stem the problem,
and Baycol finally had to be taken off the market. A more effective warning
system is needed to alert doctors to drug side effects and problems, many in the
medical profession say.
''If there is a dangerous
cliff and people keeping falling off it,'' said Dr. Alistair J. J. Wood, a
professor of pharmacology at Vanderbilt University, ''you have to stop relying
on the sign that says, 'Dangerous Cliff Ahead.' Something additional is
needed.'' Dr. Wood is a practitioner in the new field of pharmaco-epidemiology,
the study of the use of drugs in society.
Problems with Baycol had
become apparent by December 1999, more than two years after it went on the
market, because several reports of deaths from rhabdomyolysis had come in. The
F.D.A. and the drug's maker, Bayer, cooperated in warning patients and doctors
how to avoid the trouble.
Doctors were advised not to
start patients on the highest dose available and not to give patients both
cerivastatin and Lopid, or gemfibrozil, a nonstatin drug that lowers blood
triglyceride levels and cholesterol. Patients taking both seemed more likely to
develop muscle problems, doctors were told. A little over a year later, a second
warning was sent to doctors.
But reports of deaths linked
to Baycol continued to come in, so it was taken off the market. The availability
of other cholesterol-reducing drugs was a factor.
The problems with Baycol
caught many patients by surprise. One patient who suspects her muscle problems
were caused by Baycol, Charlotte Collins of Havelock, N.C., said: ''I was
standing up and just raising my foot to put on my pants, and my back gave out on
me. The muscles stopped working.''
Ms. Collins heard news
reports about symptoms similar to hers, then responded to an advertisement
placed by David Duffus,
a lawyer in Greenville, N.C., to find Baycol patients having problems. She said
she had not yet decided whether to sue.
Ripples from the Baycol case
are still being felt.
The other anticholesterol
drugs can also lead to the muscle disorder, but Baycol has been linked to the
potentially fatal disorder at a rate that may be 10 times as high as the other
drugs, for reasons yet unknown.
In the United States, Public
Citizen's Health Research Group, a medical watchdog organization in Washington,
petitioned the F.D.A. yesterday to put clearly visible warnings on the remaining
anticholesterol drugs to try to prevent more injuries or deaths. The group wants
the warnings presented to both doctors and patients. The European Medicines
Evaluation Agency has said it will review its warnings for those drugs.
In a new report, the Health
Research Group said it had found 81 reports of deaths from rhabdomyolysis linked
to statin drugs other than cerivastatin since the late 1980's. Those drugs are
used by more than 12 million patients. Baycol, in comparison, was associated
with 31 deaths in less than four years in a patient population of 700,000 -- a
much higher rate of reported problems.
''These estimates are very
conservative -- we didn't count many possible cases,'' said Dr. Sidney Wolfe,
director of the Health Research Group. ''The other statin drugs apparently don't
cause problems at the same rate cerivastatin did, but the problems for them are
still very serious, more serious than people have suspected.''
Because doctors and
hospitals are not required to report adverse reactions, academic, industry and
government statisticians have calculated that there were probably about 10 cases
of side effects for each case reported to the F.D.A.
Any drugs that are
beneficial, like the statins, can also cause unwanted side effects. But there
are few tools available to make sure that doctors know about and heed warnings
and safety instructions on drug labels.
Such warnings often fail to
work, said Dr. Wood of Vanderbilt.
Last week in The Journal of
the American Medical Association, F.D.A. doctors published a study based on such
a case, that of a diabetes drug called Rezulin, or troglitzone. As a few reports
associating Rezulin with liver failure came in, the federal drug agency and the
drug's maker sent four separate warning letters to doctors, asking them to watch
out for the problem and to order liver tests for patients taking the drug.
The F.D.A. study showed that
most doctors did not get or did not heed the message. Even after four entreaties
from the company and the drug agency, only 44.6 percent of the patients taking
the drug got the recommended liver tests. Even though liver monitoring was
supposed to continue monthly for such patients, only 5 percent of doctors were
regularly testing the liver function of patients on the drug five months after
Rezulin was pulled from the
market in March 2000 after reports of more than 60 deaths caused by liver
failure among patients taking the drug. Rezulin proved effective for many
diabetics who could not otherwise keep their blood sugar levels under tight
control, and the drug agency waited until two similar, but presumably safer,
drugs became available before taking that step.
The F.D.A. report concluded
that in the Rezulin case, the warnings had not worked. Dr. David J. Graham, who
is an associate director at the Office of Postmarketing Drug Risk Assessment at
the agency and is the lead author of the paper, wrote: ''This study suggests
that labeling changes, including 'black box warnings' and instructions to
monitor patients closely, as well as repeated 'Dear Health Care Professional'
letters to physicians, cannot be assumed to be effective means of risk
management. More effective strategies are needed.''
Dr. Jerry Avorn, chief of
the pharmaco-epidemiology division at the Brigham and Women's Hospital,
affiliated with Harvard Medical School, said problems with warnings that go
unheeded would continue and might multiply in the future.
''This will keep happening
as medicine gets more sophisticated and drugs that are fantastically helpful,
but have unexpected problems, come along,'' Dr. Avorn said. ''The problem may
get more acute. The new treatments that will come from the genome work, or from
stem cell research, will not be risk-free.''
Other factors that make it
harder for doctors to keep abreast of the latest information about new drugs is
that such drugs are being approved faster than ever and that very large numbers
of patients are now being given these drugs soon after they reach the market,
even when equivalent and better-known drugs are available.
Pharmacologists say it is
not fair to blame doctors alone in instances when warnings are not heeded.
Studies show that doctors get most of their information on prescribing drugs
from the drug sales agents who visit doctors' offices, advertising and the
Physicians Desk Reference, which contains material from the drug industry. The
P.D.R. is often out of date because it is published annually and often uses data
gathered before a drug was marketed rather than updated information.
Experts say doctors need a
way to get independent, reliable information rapidly. That would require an
up-to-the minute database of drug information that would compare treatments and
be independent of drug companies.
A service like that may be
housed in a federal center for drug studies or in coordinated university
centers. It has been advocated, in one form or another, for a couple of years by
researchers like Dr. Avorn at Harvard and Dr. Ray Woosley and Dr. David
Flockhart at Georgetown.
Dr. Avorn said that kind of
database would be inexpensive. ''The computer data is already out there and is
used right now, at warp speed, to collect marketing information on drugs,'' Dr.
Avorn said. ''If you want to know what neighborhood doc in Brooklyn is
prescribing anticholesterol drugs and what brand, you can get it instantly. For
relatively little money, it would be possible to use similar databases to get
information on problems with drugs.''
The F.D.A. requires drug
manufacturers to pass on to the agency any reports they get of adverse
reactions, and the agency can require special monitoring after a drug is on the
market. But requiring companies to carry out expensive studies for all drugs
after they have been tested and put on the market would be a major change in
drug regulation law. And the agency does not have the money to carry out such
continuing studies itself.
''Unfortunately, once these
incidents are over, they go away,'' Dr. Wood said. ''Historically, changes seem
to come only after a big catastrophe. I hope that's not the case on these
Bayer Falls as Lawsuit Spooks Investors
Story Filed: Wednesday,
August 15, 2001 8:45 AM EST
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Shares
in Bayer AG fell four percent on Wednesday as investors feared Germany's largest
pharma firm could face further costly U.S. lawsuits over deaths linked to its
withdrawn Baycol anitcholesterol drug.
Bayer shares dropped to a
22-month low after lawyers said on Tuesday they had lodged the first U.S. suit
involving Baycol, which Bayer withdrew last week over concerns about potentially
deadly side effects caused by muscle weakness.
The company's debt
protection costs also rose, dealers said.
The stock has now shed 23
percent since the recall of the drug which Bayer, one of the last
chemicals/pharmaceuticals hybrids and the inventor of aspirin a century ago,
said was linked to 52 deaths worldwide.
The debacle has also forced
the Leverkusen-based group to consider taking its undersized pharma unit into a
joint venture without management control, or even selling it off entirely.
Bayer said this week that
two top pharmaceuticals groups were interested in the drugs unit, and U.S.-based
and Eli Lilly, Franco-German
Aventis SA and Switzerland's Roche
and Novartis have all been
named as possible partners.
But the stock's drop on
Wednesday was its deepest in a week after investors learned that the family of
an Oklahoma man who died of kidney failure had sued Bayer, alleging the product
was defective and led to injury.
In addition, German magazine
Focus Money reported that North Carolina Lawyer David Duffus
was also considering suing Bayer, saying that as many as 200 people may have
died from Baycol's side effects. He also said Bayer's assets in the United
States could be confiscated, according to the report.
The stock was down 4.0
percent at 34.80 euros around midday.
Re: robert duffus
P.S my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
email Dated: Sat, 4 Nov 2000 21:46:10 +1100 From: Vera Feketey
Subject: Allan Duffus
Ferret Races at Duffus..... Northern Times article, etc.
Don't know if I sent you this info before or not (I drink... I forget). Also been hectic around here as Cindy's dad died & we've been dealing with the particulars & the emotions. Anyway, there were some 'charitable' Ferret Races held in Duffus Village with the proceeds going to the upkeep of the Duffus Village Hall. I thought that you might mention this fact in the next newsletter & anyone who felt like it might throw a few dollars to the group responsible. It is, after all, OUR village hall:
Treasurer: Kath Fraser
Hope that everything turns out ok for you...... don't work too hard. Few
of us are remembered for our 'work'...... just the good things which we
might manage to stumble into doing. Seems right, somehow.
Thanks for the family 'hook' with Margaret........ I love this stuff
but wish that I'd known about it when we were all getting blitzed at the
Duffus Inn during the Gathering. Not that the conversation could have
been any better but the knowledge would have provided us with another
His address is:
I, being a Scot, don't know what he charges as I got mine for free :-)
This 'being a new grandfather' thing is alright. I'm really enjoying it.
I can't wait until I can load up Daryn with sugar & then send her home.
Payback really is a bitch :-)
"In The Footsteps of Robert Bruce"
"Robert the Bruce's Rivals: The Comyns, 1212-1314"
Both good reads if you can find the time.
That's it from me for now. Again, good luck with your meds...... we wish you only the best. Say hello for us.
Subject: Rev. John Duffus (19th century New Zealand missionary)
Subject: family stuff
'Twas good to get your e- mail come in. I rather thought you were either pretty busy on something or maybe that you'd just got choked with the whole thing to do with the web page. Frankly, this would not have surprised me but for reasons other than here I thought it was likely the first. Anyroadup, (which I think comes from the North of England) there is a bit letter on the stocks & I have a book which I will send on presently. The Scots Dialect Dictionary as it turns out- however as they say- dinna haud yir breath. I have now been out of work for several weeks & because I am not yet completely strapped I'm not doing over much. Enough of that. In a way this is a sort of reminder to me to get this done. Enough the now- maybe in the next couple of weeks or so.
All the best,
I am formerly the Megan Duffus that was working on my Master's Degree at
Ohio University. After getting married last year, I am now Megan Garnett, and have completed my degree from OU. I am back in the Washington, DC area
and now work as an Associate Video Producer for the Freedom Forum/Newseum in
Arlington, Virginia. I don't know if you've ever heard of the Newseum, but
Subject: Re: family tree
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