This is probably the most engaging and equally uninformative news surrounding the swine flu pandemic. Quoting Bernama:

BEIJING, July 23 (Bernama) – Chinese herbs have proved effective in the cure of Influenza A(H1N1) in Ditan Hospital, Beijing where 88 out of 117 patients treated for the disease only on the herbs fully recovered and were discharged.

Holy pigs! This is good news, right? That was my first impression too. Seriously, 88 out of 117 is over 75% success rate. Amazing is an understatement!

As I continued reading, I was happy to find out that this treatment is not only effective, it’s also very cheap:

“Treatment cost per patient using Tamiflu is about RMB56 a day whereas using traditional herbs it cost only around RMB12.”

Google tells me that RMB56 is about USD$8.20; whilst RMB12 is just above USD$1.75 (RM29 and RM6.20 respectively).

Then comes the clincher:

“We have even tested using the method on high risk patients since July 1, and the results proved favourable.” said Wang.

However, Wang did not reveal the herbs used to cure the patients.

Depressing isn’t it? Especially considering that 90% of all medical news for the past two months has been about H1N1.

And here I was, thinking that this would potentially be Nobel prize winning stuff. But until I see real evidence; I count this as vaporware.

Intrinsa: Treatment for Premature Menopause

Photo Credit: Catarina by Rodolfo Nunez

Procter and Gamble has developed Intrinsa; a patch that it’s marketing as the first treatment for women with low sex drive. Personally, I find this to be a step in the right direction in recognising that female low sex drive is a health issue that needs attention.

Basically, Intrinsa delivers its testosteronepayload via skin absorption. Being in clear patch form makes it inconspicuous and easy to apply. The BBC has more info regarding Intrinsa.

Although the comparison is inevitable, P&G prefers Intrinsa to not be described as Viagra for Women. Instead they prefer to portray Intrinsa as a weapon against premature menopause. Quoting the linked BBC article:

Dr Nick Panay, of the Daisy Network, a support group for women with premature menopause, said low sex drive in such women could cause a great deal of distress and concern about their relationship.

“Intrinsa offers real medical hope to these women as studies showed that the patch increases sexual desire and satisfying sexual activity while reducing associated distress.”

But GPs said one drug is incapable of addressing the “complex reasons” for low sex drive.