Psoriatic arthritis can be a debilitating condition. It can lead to painful complications such as neuropathy. Its treatments can lead to complications such as shingles, which can leave a patient with continuing pain. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome is for most patients a painful condition that leads to spontaneous dislocations, early arthritis, and frequent migraines. My husband and I have decades of experience between us in living with these conditions. My husband and I ...

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Activism over prescription drug pricing has reached a fever pitch. The recent House subcommittee hearings featuring testimony (or non-testimony in the case of bad-boy Martin Shkreli) from Turing Pharmaceuticals and Valeant executives provided an outlet for public outrage over those companies’ price gouging on life-saving drugs. Meanwhile, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have both talked up plans to rein in spending on prescription drugs, and even Donald Trump ...

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Dear drug reps, I write you today as a primary care provider who -- at the risk of giving you “the keys to the kingdom” -- has advice for you. First, I am not anti-pharma.  I recognize the need that my patients and I have for new medications, and I believe that innovation in medicine can grow from free enterprise.  But it’s rare that I walk away from an interaction with you ...

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Foria wants you to know they are selling vaginal suppositories of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) called Fiora Relief for menstrual cramps. Each suppository contains 60 mg of THC and 10 mg of CBD. Foria claims they can treat the pain of menstrual cramps and endometriosis. Is this possible? THC and cannabidiol (CBD) are compounds found in marijuana. The psychoactive (i.e., high) from marijuana is believed to be due to the ...

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A grandmother develops a boil that turns out to be a difficult-to-treat staph infection (MRSA). She needs high-powered antibiotics. A middle-aged man who received a blood transfusion decades ago now has hepatitis C and needs anti-viral medicine. A young woman with HIV develops golf-ball-size lesions in her brain, has toxoplasmosis and needs anti-parasite medicine. The marvel of medicine today is that we can treat all three infections, and save the lives ...

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Addyi (flibanserin), the drug to increase female libido had a timid entry into the market with very few prescriptions considering the “hype.” Bloomberg Business reported 227 prescriptions in the first month. That’s a pittance considering Valeant paid $1 billion for the drug. I am unlikely to help Valeant recoup their investment, because the more I read about this drug, the worse it looks. Here’s why: It barely works One of the study ...

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I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories. I never believed a second shot was fired. Nor do I believe that Bill Clinton was stalked on the grassy knoll. So I won’t speculate that Martin Shkreli’s arrest for alleged securities fraud that happened years ago is related to his raising Daraprim’s price by 5,500 percent. Just because something isn’t suspicious doesn’t mean that it isn’t odd. Shkreli is a perfect poster child for rapacious ...

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american society of anesthesiologistsA guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. With the holiday season upon us, there is no better time to reflect on how we as physicians can better serve our patients -- not only in the treatments we provide -- but in how we tackle growing health issues such as the overuse and ...

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The American Medical Association (AMA) recently called for a ban on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs and medical devices, arguing that this type of advertising drives the nation's escalating drug bill by creating demand for new, expensive medications that are often no more effective than older ones. Since the first televised prescription drug ad aired in the U.S. in 1983, pharmaceutical companies have spent billions ...

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“Help me stop doing this.” Mr. G was a 55-year-old homeless man who uttered these words to us during his fifth hospitalization for problems related to his alcohol use:  intoxication, falls and alcohol withdrawal. He was on a downward spiral through the hospital’s revolving door and felt helpless. As a medical team, we felt helpless too. We did not know how to address his real problem -- his cycle of addiction. Hospitalized ...

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