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December 2008 Mayo Clinic Health Letter Highlights: Colorectal Screenings, Lighting Tips for Low Vision and Generic Medications
Date:12/9/2008

  • Light up dark spots -- Install lighting in dark areas, such as inside closets. Keep a pocket flashlight handy for dark areas.
  • For better close-up vision:

    • Use bright, direct lighting -- Position an adjustable lamp about four to eight inches from reading material or a close-up task. Keep the lamp slightly to one side to reduce glare. If possible, position the light over the shoulder on the side of the better-seeing eye.
    • Use daylight -- To take advantage of natural light, position yourself so that windows are to the side or behind you.
    • Use a dark background -- When reading, reduce glare by using a piece of dark construction paper to cover areas of text you're not reading at that moment.

    Decrease Drug Costs - Go Generic

    ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Today, more than ever, consumers can opt for generic equivalents of brand-name medications at substantial cost savings. According to the December issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter, generic versions of brand-name prescription drugs can cost 30 percent to 90 percent less.

    Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a record number of generic drug applications, up more than 30 percent from 2006.

    Generics might look different from the brand-name drug because they can have different fillers or coloring agents. But the active ingredients are closely regulated by the FDA and must be within a small percentage of the brand-name medication.

    For a brand-name drug to become available as a generic can take decades. An initial patent life is 20 years, and patents can be extended for variations on the medication. When the patent expires, the FDA frequently grants one company six months of exclusive rights to produce the generic drug. Usually, the price drops sli
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    SOURCE Mayo Clinic
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