Stop prescription drug ads

Something is wrong when a $400 tube of acne ointment in the U.S. costs $20 in Italy, or a week's worth of cancer treatment drugs costs $15,000 here and is free in the Netherlands. These are just two stories recently related to me by friends who experienced it themselves.

I understand that it is expensive to develop a new drug. Some claims are in the $2 billion range. But I have also read that as much as $19 is spent on advertising for every $1 spent creating the drug. I'm not sure I believe that, although watching TV in recent years makes it obvious that billions are being spent promoting these drugs.

The United States and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world which allow advertising of prescription drugs, perhaps capitalism at its best and worst. The tactic, which apparently works, is to get the patients to put pressure on their doctors to prescribe the "best, newest drug."

Doctors are only human, and making patients happy and confident is part of healing. Pressure on doctors unfortunately is part of the reason we got into the current ineffective antibiotic predicament we find ourselves. Maybe it's time to put a stop to advertising prescription drugs.

Grant Koch

Medford

Alleged Walden discrimination

The Mail Tribune recently published two letters taking Congressman Greg Walden to task for discriminating against disabled veterans. These letters were a result of an AP story the MT on Jan. 5 about Cody Standiford's discrimination complaint.

Walden did not comment on Standiford's departure from his staff because that departure was covered in a non-disclosure agreement which is still in force. Standiford violated that agreement by telling his story to The Oregonian and giving them copies of his complaint (where he mentions my employment status) and the signed mediation agreement.

Standiford says he was paid hush money. No, he received what private employers would call severance pay, and it was paid from Walden's staff salary account, not some secret slush fund. You can look it up at www.house.gov.

Standiford claims discrimination against disabled vets. Again, not so. I know of at least three disabled vets who have served on Walden's district staff before, during and after Standiford. Two are still there. As a matter of fact, there has been at least one veteran on Walden's staff from the day he took office. I am proud to have been one of those vets!

Retired Navy Cmdr. John F. Howard

Medford

Tired of Trump-bashing

I just finished reading the Jan, 29 issue of your wonderful newspaper, the Mail Tribune. This included articles from Associated Press, two syndicated columnists, letters to the editor, an editorial from The Washington Post and the political cartoon. This adds up to about seven different items that are highly critical of President Trump and his administration.

I'm getting more than a little bit tired of your "Bash Trump" items in your paper. I have never seen a more biased and slanted paper than yours.

Do you ever have anything positive to say about anything?

Richard Cody

Applegate