Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Failed State, Unable to Care for Itself, Pleads for Help from Better-Educated Neighbor

We'd been referring to the Failed State of Arizona as the "Venom Belt" for months (before deciding that "Bile Belt" was funnier), unaware that toxicologists had long been using the term. Apparently, in addition to all the other things that make the FSoAZ the worst place to live in America, it's also the scorpioniest state in the union. We're as amazed as you are to find them #1 at anything.

Of course, even Arizonans - a people not known for their abundance of common sense - agree that fatal scorpion stings are a bad thing. But, having been let down by the free market in their quest for an effective antivenom, and failing to leech more research dollars from the federal gub'mint, they turned to the one place that can help them:

"Mexico has been in the antivenom field for many years, and over many years we have accumulated a big experience on how to make good antivenoms," says Dr. Alejandro Alagon, a professor of biochemistry at Mexico's Autonomous National University....

"We discovered that our Mexican colleagues had pushed the technology of antivenom development way beyond what we had done in the U.S.," Boyer says....

"It's allowed us to treat patients who either could have died or been seriously ill and would have been sent to the intensive care unit," Fox says. "Now we can treat them and actually send them home from here."

Scorpion stings are only one problem, however. Across the U.S., there is a severe shortage of antivenom against all kinds of venomous animals from spiders to snakes. Currently, hospitals across the country are testing two more drugs from Instituto Bioclon. One is an antivenom to treat black widow spider bites; the other, to treat rattlesnake bites.

It's not clear to us how the anti-scorpion serum makes it over the border and into the heavily-fortified Failed State. Presumably Instituto Bioclon employs a squadron of blond, blue-eyed couriers with their papers conspicuously in order. We would never wish a deadly scorpion sting on anyone, of course, but it would be funny to watch Sheriff Arpaio trying to decide whether to take the antidote or not.

2 comments:

Crazy Rita said...

I am guessing that you will never be a snowbird wintering in Arizona?

Anonymous said...

Hola Burro. Do you know how much extra cost the FDA certification/bureaucracy added to the price? 3 treatments for UDS10,000.

In Mexico it's like $20 a shot. So avoid the extra cost for the FDA certification and buy it in MX.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/08/06/138993899/scorpion-venom-meets-its-match

"The drug, marketed by Rare Disease Therapeutics of Nashville, Tenn., isn't cheap. The wholesale price per vial of Anascorp will be $3,500, the company tells Shots. And the recommended dose is three vials per patient, so treatment will typically cost more than $10,000."