Bodybuilding and steroids on the rise in Afghanistan
Bodybuilding and steroids on the rise in Afghanistan
Steroids were on sale last week at Bush Bazaar, a maze of stalls named after President George W. Bush because merchants hock U.S. military surplus and other American wares, including bodybuilding vitamins, shakes and powders with names like Mega Mass and Great Gainer.
Among the vendors was Zalmai, 23, who goes by one name and keeps steroid vials and tablets stashed on a shelf in his shop behind bottles of “power capsules” sporting the likeness of Jay Cutler, former Mr. Olympia.
Steroids for sale include systanol, testoviron and deca durabolin. He also sells human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG, a hormone used to enhance steroids’ effects.
Each box of steroids sells for about $5, he said. The Health Ministry inspector who visits regularly does not ask about the steroids — he mainly checks to make sure the protein powders have not expired. Steroids are not illegal, so Zalmai — an aspiring bodybuilder himself — has never had a problem.
“These are only for professionals,” he said, adding that he makes those new to the sport wait four months before selling them steroids.
“The people who don’t know how to use it are damaging their bodies,” he said.
It was rumored that steroids contributed to the death of last year’s Mr. Afghanistan heavyweight title winner. Arif Sakhi, 26, died last June after suffering liver and kidney failure, typical side effects of longtime steroid abuse.
Ustaad Bawar Hotak, the head of the Afghanistan Bodybuilding Federation, and others in the Afghan bodybuilding community deny that Sakhi was doping. In a country rife with corruption and organized crime, where conspiracy theories abound, they insist he was killed by his enemies.
“It wasn’t about using drugs,” gym owner Sherzad says. “He just had problems with people who poisoned him.”
But both Sherzad and Hotak concede that doping is common among Afghan bodybuilding amateurs and professionals, and that more could be done to expand testing at professional competitions.
“We don’t have the systems to do the doping tests here, because it’s expensive,” Hotak says, and the country does not have specialized labs to handle testing.
Last year, Afghanistan’s National Olympic Committee joined the World Anti-Doping Agency, which has promised drug-testing equipment and funding in coming months, according to the committee’s president, Lt. Gen. Mohammad Tahir Aghbar.
Last month, Aghbar created a team of investigators who inspect Kabul’s gyms, quietly looking for steroids. During the next few months, they will report which gyms have the most people using steroids, he says, and his office plans to mount an educational campaign in Kabul and other provinces geared toward zero tolerance.
Dude, the govt sucks for buckling under the big pharma lobbies. It scares the shit out of me how they want to regulate things all based on money and nothing about common sense or health/safety. I'm just waiting for the day I have to get a script from my doc for Vit C.. I wonder if they will start regulating orange juice & broccoli?
Another thing we already see that really bothers me is how docs are perpetually prescribing anti-depression medication to people w/ things like low test. WTF does an AD have to do w/ someone's declining test levels? Or what if their progest is off and they want to commit suicide. Holy Shit. Quick!Here's some Zoloft!
All posts are for entertainment. Consult a doctor before using any medication.
The 10 Most Prescribed Drugs Most-Prescribed Drug List Differs From List of Drugs With Biggest Market
By Daniel J. DeNoon
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD
April 20, 2011 - The 10 most prescribed drugs in the U.S. aren't the drugs on which we spend the most, according to a report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
The institute is the public face of IMS, a pharmaceutical market intelligence firm. Its latest report provides a wealth of data on U.S. prescription drug use.
Continuing a major trend, IMS finds that 78% of the nearly 4 billion U.S. prescriptions written in 2010 were for generic drugs (both unbranded and those still sold under a brand name). In order of number of prescriptions written in 2010, the 10 most-prescribed drugs in the U.S. are:
Hydrocodone (combined with acetaminophen) -- 131.2 million prescriptions
Generic Zocor (simvastatin), a cholesterol-lowering statin drug -- 94.1 million prescriptions
Lisinopril (brand names include Prinivil and Zestril), a blood pressure drug -- 87.4 million prescriptions
Generic Norvasc (amlodipine besylate), an angina/blood pressure drug -- 57.2 million prescriptions
Generic Prilosec (omeprazole), an antacid drug -- 53.4 million prescriptions (does not include over-the-counter sales)
Azithromycin (brand names include Z-Pak and Zithromax), an antibiotic -- 52.6 million prescriptions
Amoxicillin (various brand names), an antibiotic -- 52.3 million prescriptions
Generic Glucophage (metformin), a diabetes drug -- 48.3 million prescriptions
Hydrochlorothiazide (various brand names), a water pill used to lower blood pressure -- 47.8 million prescriptions.
The 10 Best-Selling Drugs
It shouldn't be a surprise that these generic drugs are not the ones bringing in the big bucks for pharmaceutical companies. The drugs on which we spend the most money are those that are still new enough to be protected against generic competition.
The IMS reports that Americans spent $307 billion on prescription drugs in 2010. The 10 drugs on which we spent the most were:
Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering statin drug -- $7.2 billion
Nexium, an antacid drug -- $6.3 billion
Plavix, a blood thinner -- $6.1 billion
Advair Diskus, an asthma inhaler -- $4.7 billion
Abilify, an antipsychotic drug -- $4.6 billion
Seroquel, an antipsychotic drug -- $4.4 billion
Singulair, an oral asthma drug -- $4.1 billion
Crestor, a cholesterol-lowering statin drug -- $3.8 billion
Actos, a diabetes drug -- $3.5 billion
Epogen, an injectable anemia drug -- $3.3 billion
U.S. Prescription Drug Use: 2010 Factoids
Who's paying for all these drugs? Commercial insurance helped pay for 63% of prescriptions, down from 66% five years ago. Federal government spending through Medicare Part D covered 22% of prescriptions.
For Americans covered by insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid, the average co-payment for a prescription was $10.73 -- down a bit from 2009 due to increased use of generic drugs. The average co-payment for branded drugs for which generic alternatives were available jumped 6% to $22.73.
Other facts from the 2010 IMS report:
Doctor visits were down 4.2% since 2009.
Patients filled more than half of their prescriptions -- 54% -- at chain drugstores, possibly because of discounts on generic drugs.
Brands that lost their protection from generic competition led to $12.6 billion less spending in 2010 than in 2009.
The price increase for drugs without generic competition led to $16.6 billion more spending in 2010 than in 2009.
Drug companies offered $4.5 billion in rebates to assist patients with the high cost of brand name drugs for which there was no generic alternative.