When Big Pharma makes the rules.

When Big Pharma makes the rules. And when should we break them.

The last year has been a year of some startling price changes in certain medications that fill a nitch market.
Let’s first talk about Isuprel. A cardiac drug that we use to increase the heart rate and allow us to activate a arrhythmia. In 2015 Isuprel went from $180 to $1,472. price increase
That is for a 2 ml vial. Almost 720%. Where does that cost goThe last few weeks has brought EpiPens into the limelight. Since 2007, the price for a two-pack has gone up from $93.88 to $608.61, an increase of more than 500%.
This week’s news letter is not to bitch about the cost of the drugs. This week we are talking about what to do to, to not get caught in the big pharma price trap.

Now a disclaimer. I am not a doctor. I do not treat, diagnose nor prescribe. Nor do I offer medical advice. Before using anything talked about in this or any news letter please consult your primary care physician .

With that out of the way let’s get down to business.
Anaphylaxis is deadly. It is a right now fix it or They. Will. Die. Emergency. Prior to the invention of epinephrine the majority of people with an anaphylaxis reaction died. There is no true alternative method, that I know of. Now I have heard of ephedra being used. But the main plant in the US is Mormon Tea, however it’s ephedra content is fairly low. While things are good, I recommend buying the Mu Huang plant. Ephedra is technically illegal to buy in the US. But growing the plant is perfectly legal. And it’s ephedra content is high enough to do good. But what to do while the plant is growing?

One option is Primatine. The inhaler is long gone due to explosion issues (NOTE. It’s not sure good idea to heat a pressurized glass container. ) The tablets are very effective, they contain Ephedrine HCl 12.5mg, guaifenesin 200mg. Guaifenesin has an expectorant. It can interfere with anaphylaxis treatment. Ephedrine be purchased by itself. And used as a tablet it will provide relief in 30 minutes or less. For anaphylaxis that is to long. I have heard of tablets being crushed and injected. DO NOT DO THIS. Human consumption tablets are usually bound with calcium carbonate. Talc. We see this in my field. IV drug users get a hold of percocett oxy or hydrocodone crush them and inject them. This causes the talc to deposit on the walls of the vessels or inhaled it deposits on the lungs. We call it Talcolsis. It is fatal.

In past Medic Shack radio shows I have mentioned that being a medic forces you to accept that certain things that we do may be distasteful. One method we talked about on an episode was the rectal adminstratio of certain drugs. I have seen both benadryl and ephedrine tablets crushed and dissolved and administered rectally. Now I would not use this in any but the most dire of circumstances. As in you have no epi pens, no injectable epi of any sort and they WILL DIE if you do nothing. Even then the liability is huge. As I said earlier I am not a doctor nor can I prescribe treatment. I am just relaying information I have seen in other shtf situations.

Lets first talk a bit about anaphylaxis.

The stages of anaphylaxis


Feelings of anxiety

Sensations of warmth and itching – particularly in the axillae / groin


Rash – erythematous or urticarial 

edema – face / neck / soft tissues

Abdominal pain




Hypotension – anaphylactic shock

Bronchospasm – wheezing

Laryngeal edema – stridor / aphonia / drooling

Arrhythmias – potentially leading to cardiac arrest

Hypoxeamia – cyanosis

If caught early then oral medications have the time to work. However sometimes you have zero minutes so you descions need to be made now.

If they were already in the latter stages I would probably Cric or intubate a patient first. My reasoning is that a protected airway would buy me time for a traditional pill form to work. My reasoning is that unless you have a solution prepared you will lose valuable time in the crushing, dissolving and administration. The protected airway will buy you those few precious minutes.  Now intubation is not in everyones job set. For those that can not inintubate then I suggest inserting an oral airway. That is with in the scope of most first aid providers. And it will give you something to work with. Just remember an oral airway may activate the gag reflex. An nasal air way may not make any difference. Fully deployed it does not extend much in to the main airway.


This week’s news letter is not so much on how to treat anaphylaxis as it is to point out the size of the thumb we are under. Modern medicine has forgot how to heal. We treat patients. We have long quit healing. We are also led by the nose of the big pharmacutical companies. I will not come out and say that HugeEffinDrugCompany is dictating to doctors the profits are higher if we give Junkinthetrunk type 2 diabetic medcine vs showing the patient how diet can help lower the HgbA1c. Or how after proper testing, certain types of high blood pressure can be cured with the deployment of a Stent in a certain artery vs expensive doses of LowermyBPandHeartratetilIfeelshitololI.

600 bucks.                                                                                                    10 bucks


We need big pharma drugs. There are drugs that heal us that no plant can do. But we also need to,
1.Get educated on the what and why am I taking this drug.
2. Find out what if any alternatives are avaiable and that work.

3. Quit believing every drug ad on TV. Just because the TV says you need to have this drug or you will die of the Knobbly Wobblies or the Blind Staggers. First check a see if you have the Knobbly Wobblies or the Blind Staggers. If you already have the Knobbly Wobbles or the Blind Staggers, is the current drug or treatment regime working? Are the side effects of and I quote “Up to and including death” worth it.
Be educated, be informed and do not be intimidated by Big Pharma or a doctor that insists you MUST HAVE the latest drug.

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