commentary, philosophy, and outright rants

Archive for December, 2009

Open letter to my congressman about the phlegm flute

After viewing the video about the Phlegm Flute, and seeing on the manufacturer’s site that the FDA currently bars its sale in the land of the free and the home of widespread, money-making drugs for COPD, pneumonia, and other things that must be protected so healthcare costs can be uncontained, I wrote the following to my Congressman, Rep. Chris Smith (R-4-NJ). (The first paragraph refers to the efforts he put in to restore Sean Goldman to his father, David Goldman.) Aside from the first paragraph, others may wish to write to their congressmen via .

First, I’d like to congratulate you on your handling of the Goldman case and getting that child back in the US. Great job.

As you know, there are several influenza virii circulating, as well as the usual colds, etc. There is a device – non electrical, not a drug, just a tube that helps vibrate the chest – called the lung flute. You can see a video of it at . However, the company that makes the device says on their site at that although non-Americans can obtain it, the FDA is blocking it and will make it available only by prescription. I see no reason why a non-intrusive (except for blowing into a tube) device, which has had excellent results in other countries, should be withheld from Americans by a hyperactive bureaucrat at the FDA. I generally lose 5-10 days work time per year to upper respiratory infections – luckily I get sick time at my job – and my mother has COPD. Two close friends have severe pneumonia, and have to take steroids which are themselves proven dangerous with side effects – but are the only things stronger than Robitussin/Mucinex available.

Please consult with your colleagues and with the FDA to make this device available to Americans immediately. Considering the amount of money spent on antibiotics, steroids, and guafenesin – not to mention lost productivity – this is a simple health plan that doesn’t need thousands of pages in the Congress, but simply reining in the FDA. Thank you for your attention to this matter.