The People's Pharmacy Radio Program Everything from home remedies to the latest breakthrough drugs are discussed on The People's Pharmacy. Pharmacologist Joe Graedon and medical anthropologist Terry Graedon talk to leading experts to discuss issues relating to drugs, herbs, home remedies, vitamins and related health topics.
The People's Pharmacy Radio Program

The People's Pharmacy Radio Program

From North Carolina Public Radio

Everything from home remedies to the latest breakthrough drugs are discussed on The People's Pharmacy. Pharmacologist Joe Graedon and medical anthropologist Terry Graedon talk to leading experts to discuss issues relating to drugs, herbs, home remedies, vitamins and related health topics.

Most Recent Episodes

Show 1287: Managing Stress and Anxiety During COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has been dragging on for longer than most people imagined possible. With each new variant, cases surge and people need to make complex risk calculations about school, work and social interactions. Needless to say, all this can create a great deal of anxiety. Health care workers are under enormous strain. So are families who have been faced with serious illness. Our guest, Dr. Jeffrey Rediger, offers ideas on managing stress during these difficult times. Managing Stress During the Pandemic: COVID-19 has had significant impact on mental health. In some places, people who need inpatient psychiatric care are spending days in the emergency department because there are no available beds in the hospital. This was already a problem even before the pandemic began, but it has been aggravated with so many people needing hospital care for COVID. It's little wonder that many medical workers are feeling burned out. Younger people have also suffered. A record number of college students have responded to a survey that they have contemplated suicide. What can parents, teachers and adult friends do for young people in distress? How can they help children with managing stress? Recognizing Red Flags: How do you know when someone is having trouble managing stress? Certain signs suggest a person may be having difficulty with depression or anxiety. Sometimes people who are feeling especially uncertain or distressed, they may behave badly and act rude. A depressed person might withdraw or have trouble sleeping. Changes in appetite, irritability and trouble meeting deadlines could be other red flags. Older people may feel especially isolated, whether due to restrictions on visitors in care facilities or because it is difficult for them or their family members to travel. How can we alleviate that situation? Coping Strategies for Managing Stress: Medical professionals are not the only ones who need coping strategies. Many other people who are expected to enforce public health recommendations, such as teachers, flight attendants or even town council members, have faced resistance or worse. They need to practice self-compassion as well. In the airline metaphor, put your own oxygen mask on first so you can effectively help others. Some people may feel guilty or ashamed if they end up contracting COVID-19, even though it is not their fault. Such a reaction can add to the pandemic stress. How can we foster resilience for ourselves and those around us? This Week's Guest: Jeffrey D. Rediger, MD, MDiv, is medical director for the McLean SouthEast Adult Psychiatric Programs and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He has a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and publishes in the fields of medicine, psychiatry and spirituality. Dr. Rediger is the author of Cured: Strengthen Your Immune System and Heal Your Life Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, after broadcast on Jan. 22. You can stream the show from this site and download the podcast for free. Download the mp3

Show 1286: What You Need to Know About Hoarding Disorder

We have heard that some people used their time locked down at home during the pandemic to clean out their closets and clear away the clutter. For others, though, we suspect that such projects would have been overwhelming or possibly even undesirable. Perhaps you know someone with hoarding symptoms such as excessive acquiring activities, difficulty discarding things or trouble organizing clutter. Where do we draw the line between such hoarding behaviors and hoarding disorder? What You Need to Know About Hoarding Disorder: There is a difference between collecting and hoarding. Most people are proud of their collections and enjoy showing them off. Usually they get pleasure from organizing the items in the collection. People with hoarding disorder might not know where each plastic food container came from or why it is special, but the idea of getting rid of it is distressing. Plenty of us may find that papers pile up over time. Filing or getting rid of them can be a difficult undertaking. But a messy desk in itself doesn't mean that a person has a hoarding disorder. However, if someone gets to the point where they are keeping papers in the oven because every other surface or space is already occupied, that could be a red flag. It also means that you can't use the oven for its intended purpose, which is one of the criteria of hoarding disorder. Living with a Hoarder: When a partner starts to accumulate stuff that seems to be interfering with the usual function of a household, it can be a real challenge. Even though hoarding may have some overlap with other psychiatric disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder or depression, treatments for those conditions don't always help an individual faced with a huge heap of clutter. Instead, cognitive behavioral therapies tailored specifically for hoarding disorder may be most helpful. Focusing on the individual's values and goals is essential before they starty to practice discarding items. How can motivational enhancement contribute to managing this problem? How Friends and Family Members Can Help: Once a person begins to be able to discard unnecessary items or make room for essential household functions like cooking or sleeping, they will need social support in the home to maintain their gains. Therapists have found that one approach that is not helpful is criticizing the person with hoarding disorder. On the other hand, when the behavior puts the community at risk (just think about keeping papers in the oven in an apartment building), there is room for a community-based harm reduction approach. How does that work? Our guests describe the most important things for us to know about hoarding disorder. This Week's Guests: Dr. Gail Steketee is Dean Emerita and Professor Emerita at the Boston University School of Social Work. Her work has focused on the nature of hoarding symptoms including difficulty discarding, clutter, and excessive acquiring. She has developed and tested cognitive and behavioral treatments for OCD and hoarding. She is the author of several books, including Hoarding, What Everyone Needs to Know (with Christiana Bratiotis). The photo is of Dr. Steketee. Christiana Bratiotis is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at The University of British Columbia and Associate Director of the UBC Center for Collaborative Research on Hoarding in Vancouver, Canada. She pioneered work in the formation and operation of multi-disciplinary community hoarding task forces and is the leading global authority on implementing community-based interventions for hoarding. Her current research interests center on hoarding treatment and intervention efforts in the context of affordable housing and community-based organizations. Professor Bratiotis is the author of several books, including Hoarding, What Everyone Needs to Know (with Dr. Gail Steketee). Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, after broadcast on Jan. 15. You can stream the show from this site and download the podcast for free. Download the mp3

Show 1285: The Plant Hunter's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines

Cassandra Quave is an explorer and an ethnobotanist uncovering potential ways that plants can benefit human health. She has a particular interest in multi-antibiotic resistant infections. Not only do these pose a grave risk for people around the world; her professional interest is also personal. When she was three years old, she suffered a post-surgical infection that very nearly took her life. As she grew older, she learned about both medicine and anthropology. A research trip to Peru started her lifelong quest for nature's next medicines from plants. The Quest for Nature's Next Medicines: Science does not happen only in laboratories. Moreover, knowledge is not limited to scientists. Indigenous people around the world have developed detailed plant-based pharmacopeias. This could be essential to those in the industrialized world, since superbugs threaten to overwhelm us. We need a paradigm shift away from ever stronger antibiotics. As the microbes are developing resistance at a terrifying pace, our economic model for antibiotic development is foundering. Plants may offer part of the solution. We know of approximately 374,000 species. Of these, about 33,000 are used by humans for their healing power. Even those with no antimicrobial properties may help fight infections. In particular, plants that disrupt biofilm formation, such as the Brazilian pepper tree, can be useful in this regard. The Power of Ethnobotany: The history of utilizing plants as medicine is rich and deep. In fact, some of the most important drugs we use on a regular basis were initially derived from plants. For example, artemisinin and quinine compounds are prescribed for malaria. It would be difficult to treat pain adequately without aspirin or opioids. Digoxin is an old-fashioned medication from foxglove (digitalis) that helps to combat heart failure. Paclitaxel, on the other hand, is a relative newcomer for fighting a range of cancers. However, it too is a plant derivative. The quest for nature's next medicines has taken Dr. Quave around the world. The work is urgent, as biodiversity shrinks. In addition, traditional knowledge is dynamic. As the speakers of indigenous languages die out, their ecological understanding and plant-oriented wisdom is dying with them. It is crucial to learn how to benefit from their knowledge without taking unfair advantage of them. That is a critical part of Dr. Quave's quest. She also shares some of the cool discoveries that she and her colleagues and students have made in her lab. This Week's Guest: Cassandra Quave, PhD, is the herbarium curator and an associate professor of dermatology in the School of Medicine as well as associated professor in the Center for the Study of Human Health in the College of Arts and Sciences at Emory University. There, she leads anti-infective drug discovery research initiatives and teaches courses on medicinal plants, food, and health. Dr. Quave is the author of The Plant Hunter: A Scientist's Quest for Nature's Next Medicines. The photograph is copyright Kemi Griffin. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, after broadcast on Jan. 8. You can stream the show from this site and download the podcast for free. Download the mp3

Show 1117: What Can Chinese Centenarians Teach You About Long Life? (Archive)

More Americans are living to old ages, but frequently their later years are plagued with chronic diseases. Is there a way to stay healthy into the ninth and tenth decade of life? To find out, we take a virtual trip to visit centenarians in a remote village in southern China. Visit to Longevity Village: Dr. John Day, an interventional cardiologist fluent in Mandarin, became concerned about his own health prospects in his mid-40s. At the same time, he began learning about a village in rural China where centenarians were unusually common and exceptionally healthy. What was going on there to explain this? He and his wife Jane set out with their family to find out. Lessons of Longevity: Once the Day family got to Bapan (no mean feat), they were amazed by the vitality of the elders there. These centenarians were happy to teach them their secrets of a long healthy life: good food, a positive mind-set, staying in motion, connecting with community, following your own rhythm and living with purpose. How can Americans incorporate this wisdom into their own lives? The Days tell us how we can benefit from what they have learned. This Week's Guests: John Day, MD, is a cardiologist and medical director of Heart Rhythm Services at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. He earned his medical degree at Johns Hopkins University and completed his cardiology training at Stanford University. Dr. Day is a former president of the Heart Rhythm Society and is currently president of the Utah Chapter of the American College of Cardiology. His website is DrJohnDay.com. He and his wife Jane are co-authors, with Matthew LaPlante, of The Longevity Plan: Seven Life-Transforming Lessons from Ancient China. Jane Day has master's degrees from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has a passion for international living and business strategy. Ms. Day is also enthusiastic about healthy comfort foods and hiking in the mountains with her family and dog. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. Download the mp3

Show 1117: What Can Chinese Centenarians Teach You About Long Life? (Archive)

Show 1258: Preparing for Post-Pandemic Relationships (Archive)

Can you have too much togetherness? After a year of pandemic restrictions that kept many couples cooped up together for months, some have discovered that minor annoyances loom larger. Couples have had to negotiate their roles and responsibilities more intensely than ever. This has put quite a strain on some relationships. Pre-existing problems have been amplified, but so have the strengths. How can we prepare for better post-pandemic relationships? Principles for Creating Better Relationships: To bring out the best in each other, you have to learn to work as a team. Since relationship problems have been created together, it takes teamwork to figure out how to solve them. It is a good idea to learn how to capitalize on your differences; utilize the strengths of each person to improve the function of the team as a whole. How can partners accomplish this? Making Arguments More Productive: Two different people with different perspectives are going to disagree from time to time. How they do that can have a major impact on their relationship. Some individuals grew up thinking that being right is more important than anything else, possibly even more important than their partner's feelings. Others fall back on blame, shame or guilt when they start feeling defensive. Needless to say, such arguments are not likely to be productive. But with just four words (so long as they are sincere), you can turn the argument into a discussion. The words: What do you think? Getting in Sync: How do you demonstrate love and respect for your partner even when you are annoyed? It can be challenging. However, there is one simple technique that might be surprisingly effective. Go for a walk together. You don't have to talk, just walk, and you'll find your steps become synchronized. Arriving home, you'll feel better. Then you may feel ready to do something for yourself that you can feel proud of. Envision how you want to create successful post-pandemic relationships. This Week's Guest: Dr. Peter Pearson and his wife, Dr. Ellyn Bader, founded The Couples Institute in Menlo Park, California in 1984. They have co-authored two books: Tell Me No Lies and In Quest of the Mythical Mate: A Developmental Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment in Couples Therapy (now in its 19th printing). Their website is https://www.couplesinstitute.com/ Dr. Pearson specializes in coaching couples who desire to become a strong team to realize their professional and relationship goals. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available Monday, December 27, 2021, after re-broadcast on December 25. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. Download the podcast.

Show 1284: The Book of Hope–A Survival Guide for Trying Times

Jane Goodall is an eminent naturalist who spent years studying chimpanzees in their natural habitat. It was she who first reported that we humans are not the only primates to make and use tools. She transformed our understanding of these animals. Now she is an elder stateswoman speaking out for action to help reverse climate change. Over the last few years, she and author Doug Abrams had in-depth conversations about her reasons for hope that we can act in time. The Book of Hope: Jane Goodall warns that we should not confuse hope with wishful thinking. Turning to fantasy won't help, nor will wallowing in fear. But with hope, we can identify realistic goals and a possible pathway to reach them. We also need confidence and social support. According to Jane Goodall, hope is a survival trait. It is also a social gift. Four Reasons for Hope: The Book of Hope explores in depth the four reasons that Jane Goodall holds up for hope that we can make change in time. They include the amazing human intellect that could be deployed in the service of positive change. She also sees the resilience of nature, the power of young people and the indomitable human spirit as factors that can help us. When we combine the powers of head and heart, we end up with wisdom. Eco-grief is essential to allow us to process our pain and motivate action. When we rise to our human potential, we can look to a future that is better than the present. What we are learning now is crucial to allow us to face our challenges with grit and courage. Both the book and the conversation are uplifting. This Week's Guest: Douglas Abrams is co-author of the New York Times bestseller, The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, with the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. His latest book, co-authored with Jane Goodall, is The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times. Douglas is also the founder and president of Idea Architects, a literary agency and media development company helping visionaries to create a wiser, healthier, and more just world. The photo of Mr. Abrams is by Dina Scoppettone. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, after broadcast on Dec. 18. You can stream the show from this site and download the podcast for free. Download the mp3

Show 1283: What We Should Learn About the Coming Plague

Almost thirty years ago, Laurie Garrett published The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance. In this thorough, carefully researched analysis, she laid out why public health authorities should be watching for new pathogens and how they should respond if that happened. Since then, of course, a number of bacteria and viruses have appeared, including SARS in 2002, Ebola in 2014 and, most recently, SARS-CoV-2 in 2019. Public Health Systems Were Not Ready for COVID-19: Although Garrett has been warning that such emerging diseases threaten not only health, but also national security, we were not at all ready for COVID-19. National stockpiles of PPE (personal protective equipment) were depleted. In the US, not enough personnel were available or trained to do contact tracing to help stop chains of transmission. What should we have learned from The Coming Plague? And what can we learn from our recent experience to help us respond better to emerging pathogens in the future? What Should We Learn From the Coming Plague? Laurie Garrett has been paying close attention to this pandemic and to responses around the world. Many governments made some serious errors in their initial reactions. The international systems that should have helped stop the spread of the infection failed to do so. This breakdown of international solidarity has impeded vaccination efforts worldwide. Misinformation also contributed to bungled responses, including difficulty encouraging people to get vaccinated. What did she think when she first heard of an infection showing up in China in 2019? For Laurie Garrett, who reported from China during the SARS epidemic, it felt like déja vu. By early 2020, it seemed clear to her that we were headed for a global pandemic. Listen to the interview to find out what lessons we need to learn from this current experience so that we can prepare better for the coming plague of the future. This Week's Guest: Laurie Garrett is a Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist, recently named as the 2021 Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Awardee by the Rutgers School of Public Health. Laurie Garrett's work to educate the public continues through the COVID-19 pandemic as the science contributor to MSNBC and NBC News and a columnist for Foreign Policy. Garrett is a member of the Presidential Council of Advisors for the Human Vaccine Project, the World Economic Forum on Global Health Security Advisory Board, the Council of Foreign Relations, and the National Association for Science Writers. She also has a quarter of a million followers on Twitter (@Laurie_Garrett), where she actively shares breaking news, updates, and other information. Laurie Garrett is the best-selling author of four books: The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World out of Balance, Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health, I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks and Ebola: Story of an Outbreak. Look for them at Amazon.com. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available Monday, Dec. 13, 2021, after broadcast on Dec. 11. You can stream the show from this site and download the podcast for free. Download the mp3

Show 1282: How Climate Change Affects Our Health

In September, more than 200 top medical journals around the world took the unprecedented step of publishing the same editorial. It was "Call for Emergency Action to Limit Global Temperature Increases, Restore Biodiversity, and Protect Health." In it, editors of various journals identify climate change as the greatest threat to global health. As a consequence, they urge their readers to take urgent action "to aid the transition to a sustainable, fairer, resilient, and healthier world." How Does Climate Change Affect Health? When you think of climate change, healthcare professionals may not spring to mind. Preventing a global temperature rise of not more than 1.5 degrees C is an important goal. Without further explanation, though, it sounds rather technical. You might imagine meteorologists or possibly even geologists being more involved with climate change research. However, as our guests points out, higher temperatures pose hazards in and of themselves. In addition to heat-related illnesses, there are risks from floods, fires and air pollution. Warming permits the spread of insects that can carry disease. Respiratory and cardiovascular complications increase, pregnancy becomes more challenging and malnutrition becomes more widespread as crop yields drop. As a result of more or different pollen counts, allergies and asthma might be more severe. The Public Health Response to Climate Change: How could public health agencies respond to this existential crisis? Our guests urge healthcare professionals to become advocates to encourage governments, financial institutions and businesses to set targets and make plans to achieve them. In particular, they argue that such plans must take equity into account, because otherwise they cannot succeed. Addressing health disparities is a moral imperative. Beyond that, it is of immense strategic importance. This Week's Guests: Caren Solomon, MD, MPH, is a deputy editor at The New England Journal of Medicine and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She oversees submissions related to climate change and health and has authored Perspective articles for the New England Journal of Medicine on that topic. At Harvard Medical School, she is co-chair of the climate change subcommittee of the Harvard Medical School Faculty Council. At Brigham and Women's Hospital, she is a member of the Climate Action Council. She is also a founding member of Climate Code Blue, a group of Boston area physicians engaged in education and advocacy regarding climate change, health, and environmental sustainability. Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH, is the Interim Director of The Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE). He is also a pediatrician at Boston Children's Hospital, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bernstein regularly testifies before Congress on the child health impacts of climate change, drawing from his personal experience as a pediatrician having to treat children with breathing difficulties, vector-borne diseases, and trauma from natural disasters. Dr. Bernstein leads Climate MD, a Harvard Chan C-CHANGE program to encourage physicians to transform climate change from an issue dominated by politics and concerns about the future or faraway places, to one that matters to every person's health here and now. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, after broadcast on Dec. 4. You can stream the show from this site and download the podcast for free.

Show 1281: New Antiviral Pills and the Future of COVID-19

Before this pandemic began, a small group of researchers were already paying close attention to coronaviruses and their potential for causing serious illness. Virus experts around the world recognized our guest, Dr. Ralph Baric, as the coronavirus hunter for his outstanding work in this area. In this episode, he joins us to discuss the future of COVID-19. Predicting the Pandemic: When we first spoke with Dr. Baric, it was May 2020. Scientists were working on vaccines but had no idea how long the process would take. In the preceding decade, Dr. Baric had worked with colleagues to develop a drug called remdesivir. However, the FDA had not approved its use for treating COVID-19. A year and a half later, a lot has changed. More than 5 million people have died worldwide, with more than 768,000 deaths in the US. We ask Dr. Baric what was predictable and what about the pandemic has surprised him. The Future of COVID-19 Case Counts: It seems that we have been on a roller coaster when it comes to case counts. From country to country and month to month, there are huge swings up and down. What should we expect in the future? New Antiviral Pills and the Future of COVID-19: The FDA is currently reviewing data on two new antiviral pills. One is from the partnership of Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Called molnupiravir, it resulted from some of the early research done by Dr. Baric and his colleagues. The other pill, Paxlovid, was developed by Pfizer. Both appear to be quite effective at preventing hospitalization and death, and both Merck and Pfizer have made some provision for these pills to be manufactured and distributed in lower-income countries. What will they cost in the US? What side effects might they trigger? One great advantage of antiviral pills is that they can be dispensed through pharmacies and taken at home. Not only is this far more convenient than the IV infusions needed for remdesivir or monoclonal antibodies, it also does not require a person with COVID to leave home and expose others in traveling for treatment. That is why they are important for the future of COVID-19. Vaccines for the Future of COVID-19: The mRNA vaccines that were developed to protect us from this infection were actually twenty years in the making. The technology was under development all that time, which explains how the companies could leap into action as soon as the genome of the virus was known. Although it is clear that both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines have stronger effects following the booster, it seems unlikely that we will need new boosters every year as we do with the influenza vaccine. Pandemic Preparedness Plan: The lessons we have learned in the course of COVID-19 should help us plan pro-actively for the future. Policy makers should consider ways to strengthen public health approaches such as PPE stockpiles and protocols and staffing for contact tracing. Builders should be paying much more attention to adequate ventilation, especially in public spaces. Moreover, scientists should continue their work on a universal sarbecovirus vaccine that would cover a range of viruses related to SARS and SARS-CoV-2. That would help us prepare for a future pandemic. This Week's Guest: Ralph Baric, PhD, is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a Harvey Weaver Scholar from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and an Established Investigator Awardee from the American Heart Association. In addition, he is a World Technology Award Finalist and a fellow of the American Association for Microbiology. He has spent the past three decades as a world leader in the study of coronaviruses and contributed greatly to UNC-Chapel Hill's world leadership in coronavirus research. Dr. Baric received the 2020 North Carolina Award for Science in recognition of his work to develop treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, after broadcast on Nov. 20. This week, the podcast contains some additional information that we couldn't squeeze into the radio broadcast. Dr. Baric describes the history of lethal pandemics and discusses the importance of being proactive instead of reactive. Regarding the future of COVID-19, we will need to adapt as a society if this virus becomes endemic (as seems quite likely). What behavior will serve us best? You can stream the show from this site and download the podcast for free. Download the mp3

Show 1280: Learning Lessons from the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been overwhelming, not only in terms of the huge numbers of people who have gotten sick or died. We have also been engulfed with information about the virus, the infection, the risk factors, what we should do and what we can expect. Much of this information has been contradictory. We turn to a leading expert in digital medicine and technology to find out how we can start learning lessons from the pandemic. Learning Lessons on the Pandemic: With enormous variability in case rates around the world, predicting the future spread is a challenge. We discuss regional differences and the controversy over vaccination vs. "natural" immunity. The only way to gain natural immunity is to recover from COVID, but the course of the disease is far from predictable. That's why we asked about boosters: who benefits the most? How important are they? Is it ethical for older people in wealthy countries to get booster shots when so many people in the world have not yet had their first? Ethics aside, why do world vaccination rates matter to people in the US? A New Antiviral Drug: Merck has asked the FDA to grant its new antiviral molnupiravir emergency use authorization. This pill could be taken at the first hint of infection. If taken early, it can reduce the rate of hospitalization by 50%. In the trial, nearly 15% of those on placebo needed hospital care for their COVID infections. Just over 7% of those taking molnupiravir ended up in the hospital for their infection. Dr. Topol discussed the cost of molnupiravir with us. Merck is making the formula available to drug makers in low-income countries without royalties. That is commendable. In the US and probably in the UK and Europe, however, the drug is likely to cost a pretty penny. Will Technology Help Us Learn Lessons from the Pandemic? Even in our age of artificial intelligence and elegant digital technology, many of us have been learning lessons from a previous pandemic. Steps taken during the 1918 flu pandemic have proven to be some of the most effective against COVID-19 as well: good masks, stringent distancing, effective ventilation. Why are we so far behind the curve when it comes to learning lessons from the pandemic? We need good data collection and unbiased analysis. Public health measures need muscle. How will we prepare for the next pandemic, which is more a matter of when than if? This Week's Guest: Dr. Eric Topol is the Founder and Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute and Professor of Molecular Medicine. He is the Executive Vice-President of Scripps Research and holds the Gary and Mary West Endowed Chair of Innovative Medicine. As a researcher, he has published over 1,200 peer-reviewed articles, with more than 250,000 citations. Dr. Topol was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and is one of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine. His principal scientific focus has been on genomic and digital tools to individualize medicine. Dr.Topol is the author of several books. His most recent book is Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again. You can find him on Twitter @EricTopol. The photo of Dr. Topol is by Michael Balderas. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, after broadcast on Nov. 13. You can stream the show from this site and download the podcast for free. Download the mp3