Every week, I am asked by patients if their heartburn medicine causes osteoporosis. The most effective heartburn medicines are called proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs. If you watch more than an hour of TV per week, then you have seen ads for some of them. Nexium, Prilosec, and Protonix are three examples of these medicines. Many of them are now available over-the-counter at reduced dosages. Patients today are incredibly informed, and sometimes ...

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We, like many in the hemophilia community, were excited to see extended half-life (EHL) factor VIII and IX products start coming to market over the last few months. These products -- and expected future products -- promise equivalent or greater prophylactic bleeding control with fewer infusions, and so could greatly enhance patients' quality of life. Yet, as we noted in our recent editorial in Haemophilia, we are greatly concerned that ...

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shutterstock_282098786 Everyone has an angle. Everyone. Your doctor? Sure. But, he or she isn’t the only one. The pharmaceutical company? Of course. The medical device company? The hospital? The insurance company? You get the point. Everyone has an angle. Everyone has a conflict of interest. Know it. Get over it. It’s time to focus on something else. Like filling up your car with gas. In ...

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shutterstock_206493670 A new paper in the journal Lancet Oncology evaluates outcomes after vaccination with Cervarix, which is the HPV vaccine that is effective against the 2 most oncogenic (cancer-causing) strains: HPV 16 and 18. The paper is actually a compilation of results from two studies of Cervarix among women ages 15-25 and now has four years of follow-up data on more ...

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Antibiotic resistance is an alarming and increasing threat to global public health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two million people a year become infected with bacteria resistant to antibiotics and lead to 23,000 deaths in the United States alone. Simply put, the bugs are getting stronger and smarter, our antibiotic arsenal has not kept pace, and we have overused our antibiotic resources in a manner ...

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shutterstock_133750277 In the movies, pain is glorious. The runner pushing to the edge. The magic of childbirth. The soldier battles impossible odds to conquer. Pain? “Suck, it up, maggot, pain is nature’s way of telling you that you’re alive.” But, to the cancer patient, in the real world? Pain is nature’s way of saying “you may soon be dead.” For a patient suffering ...

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shutterstock_32952331 As first-year family medicine residents, our patient care experiences really run the gamut, since our training truly encompasses “cradle to grave” care.  With the exception of most pediatric care, the issue of narcotic prescribing and addiction is seen in all specialties, as well as frequently in continuity clinic where we care for our own primary care patients.  As dangerous as opiate ...

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shutterstock_230894965 The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) called the question: Has criticism of the pharmaceutical industry, and of physician relationships with that industry, gone too far?  Are self-righteous “pharmascolds” blocking the kind of essential collaboration that brought streptomycin and other lifesaving treatments to market?  The editorial by Dr. Jeffrey Drazen and the lengthy threepart piece by ...

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shutterstock_150037820 Lately I've had the opportunity to work in an outpatient clinic where the regular doctor is out sick for a prolonged period of time. It is a breathtakingly beautiful little community, with green hills and a crystal clear river. It is also troubled by methamphetamine and prescription drug abuse. The little clinic in town is unwittingly a partner in this crime. Like ...

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Hepatitis C is one of the most common chronic infectious illnesses in the U.S. today and affects nearly 3.2 million Americans. Complications of hepatitis C infection include liver cancer as well as cirrhosis.  Many patients with chronic hepatitis ultimately develop liver failure and will die without liver transplantation.  In the last year,  a new drug class has entered the market and can produce cure rates in excess of 90 percent. These ...

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