jump to last post 1-8 of 8 discussions (58 posts)

Obamacare "death panels" advisor wants to ban big bottles of Tylenol

  1. profile image81
    Education Answerposted 4 years ago

    New York tried to ban sodas larger than 16 ounces.  Will the federal government try to ban medication bottles that hold more than 25 pills? 

    "We need to make it harder to buy pills in bottles of 50 or 100 that can be easily dumped out and swallowed. We should not be selling big bottles of Tylenol and other drugs that are typically implicated in overdoses, like prescription painkillers and Valium-type drugs, called benzodiazepines. Pills should be packaged in blister packs of 16 or 25. Anyone who wanted 50 would have to buy numerous blister packages and sit down and push out the pills one by one. Turns out you really, really have to want to commit suicide to push out 50 pills. And most people are not that committed."

    http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2013/06/03 … f-tylenol/

    1. psycheskinner profile image80
      psycheskinnerposted 4 years ago

      I hope you can see the irony of calling them a "death panel" in this context.

      Personally, having to buy two bottles instead of one seems like very much not a big deal. Especially if it does help prevent suicide.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I take blood pressure meds twice a day.  I buy them in a three month supply - 180 pills - because it's half the cost of a monthly prescription - 60 pills.

        Hate to think what 180 BP pills would do to someone taking them all at once, but would hate even more hitting the drug store weekly and paying 4 times the price.

        1. John Holden profile image60
          John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Bet they are in blister packs though!

          We are restricted to buying no more than 16 paracetamol at one go, it's no big deal, unless of course it saves a life, and then it's a really big deal.

          1. wilderness profile image95
            wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Nope - counted out by the pharmacist and dumped into a bottle.

            There are some drugs that it makes sense to limit, mostly those that are not expected to be taken long term.  Antibiotics, for instance, are very rarely taken for more that a couple of weeks - fine, blister pack individual pills if you want.  My wife had a tooth extraction yesterday and got a prescription for a handful of pain pills - again, blister pack individual pills if you want.

            Drugs that you will be taking for months on end, though - leave those alone and let the customer buy a 90 day supply or even more.  Drug costs are a major cost to many people; lets not make their life any harder than it already is by doubling or tripling the cost of needed meds and making weekly drugstore trips necessary because someone else might use them for suicide.

            1. John Holden profile image60
              John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              But not available over the counter though?

              Who has ever tried to kill themselves with antibiotics?

              Nobody should be taking none prescription painkillers for more than a day or two.

              1. Zelkiiro profile image85
                Zelkiiroposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Who CAN kill themselves with antibiotics?!

                LET'S SEE HOW YOU LIKE ALL OF THIS PENICILLIN, BODY!! I BET YOU WANNA SHUT DOWN NOW, DON'T YOU?!

                1. John Holden profile image60
                  John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  lol

              2. wilderness profile image95
                wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I don't know, but I would never have thought of using Tylenol, either.

                Pain killers; In my small group of close friends and family, at least 6 have been on painkillers for years for chronic pain management.  Whether I disagree with their "treatment" plan or not, millions of people are doing it.

    2. Mighty Mom profile image91
      Mighty Momposted 4 years ago

      For those who prefer to read the source document rather than the sensationlized
      spin offered in The Blaze, here is Dr.Emanuel's actual OpEd from the NYT.

      Simple Way to Reduce Suicides

      By EZEKIEL J. EMANUEL

      Ezekiel J. Emanuel on health policy and other topics.
      .
      Tags: Containers and Packaging, Deaths (Fatalities), Poisoning and Poisons, Suicides and Suicide Attempts, Tylenol (Drug)

      EVERY year about a million Americans attempt suicide. More than 38,000 succeed. In addition, each year there are around 33,000 unintentional deaths by poisonings. Taken together, that’s more than twice the number of people who die annually in car accidents.

      The tragedy is that while motor vehicle deaths have been dropping, suicides and poisonings from medications have been steadily rising since 1999. About half of suicides are committed with firearms, and nearly 20 percent by poisoning. A good way to kill yourself is by overdosing on Tylenol or other pills. About 90 percent of the deaths from unintentional poisonings occur because of drugs, and not because of things like household cleaners or bleach.

      There is a simple way to make medication less accessible for those who would deliberately or accidentally overdose — and that is packaging.

      We need to make it harder to buy pills in bottles of 50 or 100 that can be easily dumped out and swallowed. We should not be selling big bottles of Tylenol and other drugs that are typically implicated in overdoses, like prescription painkillers and Valium-type drugs, called benzodiazepines. Pills should be packaged in blister packs of 16 or 25. Anyone who wanted 50 would have to buy numerous blister packages and sit down and push out the pills one by one. Turns out you really, really have to want to commit suicide to push out 50 pills. And most people are not that committed.

      Sound ridiculous? Consider some data.

      In September 1998, Britain changed the packaging for paracetamol, the active ingredient in Tylenol, to require blister packs for packages of 16 pills when sold over the counter in places like convenience stores, and for packages of 32 pills in pharmacies. The result: a study by Oxford University researchers showed that over the subsequent 11 or so years, suicide deaths from Tylenol overdoses declined by 43 percent, and a similar decline was found in accidental deaths from medication poisonings. In addition, there was a 61 percent reduction in liver transplants attributed to Tylenol toxicities. (Although it was a long and detailed study, some studies got a different result. One in Ireland, for example, found no reduction in overdoses.)

      Not only can blister packs reduce suicide attempts by adults, but also poisonings of children. After the Food and Drug Administration required blister packaging for iron pills, which cause poisoning death in young children, the number of iron-ingestion calls to poison control centers in the country dropped by about 33 percent and the number of deaths went almost to zero.

      Why haven’t we seen more blister packages? One reason is money. Manufacturers would have to redesign packaging, and the blister packaging would cost more compared with loose pills in a bottle. The other main reason is that some consumers — notably people with arthritis — might find it challenging to open the packages.

      But considering the tens of thousands of deaths and emergency room visits, these reasons seem a bit feeble. The packaging should be changed.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        From http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15239078 there are about 458 deaths each year from acute liver poisoning due to acetaminophen.  The question in the short article is "By enabling self-diagnosis and treatment of minor aches and pains, its benefits are said by the Food and Drug Administration to outweigh its risks. It still must be asked: Is this amount of injury and death really acceptable for an over-the-counter pain reliever?

        The answer is yes.

        Other recent threads have discussed the legalization of currently illegal drugs; people have the right to take what drugs they like, regardless of potential damage to them or others.  Many apply the same reasoning to even hard drugs, drugs that will harm the user.

        Here, we see the flip side; we need Big Daddy Washington to protect us from ourselves.  Anyone else seeing the irony?

        1. Mighty Mom profile image91
          Mighty Momposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Good points, wilderness.
          458 deaths compared to 80,000.
          I think 80,000 is a scary number.
          I guess by the blisterpack logic, we should get rid of any bottles larger than the airplane size.
          http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm

          1. wilderness profile image95
            wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I hadn't though of alcohol, but you're right.  We have an almost unlimited supply of bigger fish to worry about, that all cause more than a small handful of deaths each year.

        2. Josak profile image60
          Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Have to agree. If someone wants to kill themselves it's not our right to stop them anyhow (I believe) I would argue there should be such a ban for purchasers under the age of 18 but that is it,

          1. John Holden profile image60
            John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            But is it our duty to make it easier for somebody to kill themselves?

            1. Josak profile image60
              Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              No, but equally I don't think it's our duty to make it harder.

              1. John Holden profile image60
                John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                But by not making it harder . . .

      2. Silverspeeder profile image60
        Silverspeederposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        No reduction overall in the UK though, maybe we should try blisterpacking bridges!

        1. John Holden profile image60
          John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          It isn't good enough to just believe that you are right, you need to back it up. Here's a bit of help

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21370910

          1. Silverspeeder profile image60
            Silverspeederposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            My point was John that although you can only buy 16 paracetamol at a time in the UK suicide rates went up 2010-2011 suggesting those who find themselves unable to go on will find other ways to commit suicide.
            For those who suffer the pain of losing a loved one to suicide it matters not how they do it and suicide is never easy whether someone is taking tablets or jumping from a bridge (like my brother in law) it's not easy.

            1. John Holden profile image60
              John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              The poiont being that taking pills is easy and can be done on the spur of the moment. Jumping off a bridge requires much more commitment.

              The fact that somebody who is determined to end their life can always find a way is no reason not to make accidental deaths or cries for help that go wrong more difficult.

              1. wilderness profile image95
                wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Nor is it a reason to demand that big government play nanny to it's citizens.  To help someone in trouble, certainly, but not at the cost of playing nanny to all citizens as if everyone out there is either insane (why else commit suicide) or simply incompetent to care for themselves.

                1. John Holden profile image60
                  John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Is the government playing nanny when it prescribes the measure of a gallon or the ounces in a pound?

                  And levelling a charge of insanity at somebody desperate enough to end their own life is rather lacking in sympathy don't you think?

                  1. wilderness profile image95
                    wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    You're equating setting standard measurement values to telling someone how to live "properly"?  What to eat, what to wear, and anything else govt. thinks is unsafe for you? 

                    Lacking in sympathy?  I guess I could have used other words, made it PC and all, but it seems to me that anyone wanting to suicide is either in a terminal situation anyway, in tremendous pain all the time (which will drive one insane) or in some not think clearly (definition of insane).

                    1. John Holden profile image60
                      John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Hardly! They aren't saying you can only buy . . . just you can only buy in small quantities, nothing to stop somebody calling at half a dozen shops and buying a small quantity in each.
                      If that prevents accidental overdoses and spur of the moment suicides then who am I to begrudge anybody that chance of life?

                      It's not a matter of PC, it's understanding of the human condition. I could as easily argue that anybody who chooses to carry on living is insane but I suspect that would not be popular..

                2. Josak profile image60
                  Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  I have to agree with John, you don;t have to be insane to want to kill yourself. (All the more reason not to ban it I guess.)

                  There are certain circumstances I can imagine wanting to, for example discovering I had degenerative dementia.

                  1. wilderness profile image95
                    wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    dementia is not insanity?

                    1. Josak profile image60
                      Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Sure but now as a sane person, I would rather die than go through it, lose my mind, dignity etc.

    3. psycheskinner profile image80
      psycheskinnerposted 4 years ago

      In terms of nanny things I object to, this would be very, very low in the list because the inconvenience to me is very small, and the potential benefits to others is very high.

    4. psycheskinner profile image80
      psycheskinnerposted 4 years ago

      Indeed.  Quite why a private citizen would need a bottle of 100 loose Tylenol I don't know. The right to do so is maintained here anyway, you just need to buy more units.  Big whoop.

      Doctors etc will still be able to buy it in bulk.  Private buyers will be out the cost of a few grams of plastic. I just can't get too outraged about this.  I doubt my pharmacist sells bottles of 100 anyway. I don't recall every seeing bottles that big.

    5. Mitch Alan profile image85
      Mitch Alanposted 4 years ago

      If the market demands 100ct bottles then the manufacturers should be allowed to offer that size bottle. If there is a demand for blister packs by the purchasing public, then manufacturers will produce those. There is no legal Constitutional reason for the federal government (speaking for the U.S.A.) to be involved in this argument at all as per the 10th Amendment and the enumerated powers of the Constitution. If I choose to purchase a 44oz. soda to wash down a few Tylenol, then that is my choice. While I don't think suicide is ever a good answer, I do believe that if someone want to kill themselves they will.

    6. Mighty Mom profile image91
      Mighty Momposted 4 years ago

      First article stats from CDC on number of suicides and how.
      Firearms should come in blister packs, perhaps?

      http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suicide.htm

      More concerning is alarming rise in suicides among Baby Boomers.
      Maybe Tylenol bottle of whatever size should have printed in big, big numbers
      the suicide prevention line.
      The overuse, dependence on and addiction to prescribed painkillers needs
      cooperation of doctors and pharmacists.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/03/healt … in-us.html

    7. Seth Winter profile image80
      Seth Winterposted 4 years ago

      Who cares about the small and sometimes frail elderly that have a hard time popping the blister packs, if they die from...well whatever their pills would of helped with then it's a small price to pay for stopping a person from killing themselves, when they don't want to live.

      If a person wants to kill themselves, it might not feel right to others, but it is their choice.

      1. wilderness profile image95
        wildernessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Hmmm.  You're not very PC are you?  The very thought - that people have a choice in how to live (or not) - is totally abhorrent to any good liberal.

        Perhaps you should go back to school?  Any California college will quickly disabuse you of such quaint notions.

      2. John Holden profile image60
        John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        And what about the frail elderly who forgets just how many Tylenol they have taken and destroys their liver, purely by accident.

        1. Seth Winter profile image80
          Seth Winterposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          And they'd remember the blister tab any better if they are that forgetful?

          Your right though Wilderness never got exposed to enough college to have them PC'ify me enough....and I"m a male nurse. I've seen patients beg for death, and family members with power of attorney making sure their loved ones live long (often miserable) lives. I just hope that the detached family members get their just reward in the end, when their kids put them in LT care.

          1. John Holden profile image60
            John Holdenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            As a male nurse then you will be well aware that the gap between a therapeutic dose of Tylenol and a toxic dose is very close indeed.

     
    working