An investigative newspaper article published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in cooperation with online periodical MedPage Today, chronicles the increased use of narcotics for chronic pain relief in the elderly. The article highlights how in 2009 the American Geriatrics Society put together a panel of geriatric pain specialists who published geriatric narcotic pain relief guidelines that have led to the dramatic increase in use of narcotics in the elderly. There is apparently ...

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As a geriatrician who believes strongly in prevention, my perspective is that the recent high volume of research on healthy aging, chronic disease and its association with vitamin D and calcium supplementation has done nothing but confuse the picture for us all. I have always been an advocate of healthy eating – a balanced diet that is prepared in a manner that retains and promotes the absorption of the foods ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 53-year-old woman is evaluated in the office for a 4-month history of tremor. The tremor affects both upper extremities and is present "most of the time." She has a 15-year history of type 2 diabetes mellitus; she also has a history of hypertension, gastroparesis, and chronic kidney disease. Medications are insulin glargine, insulin ...

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A law is a rule of conduct or action formally recognized as binding and enforced by a controlling authority. Law enforcement broadly refers to any system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to promote adherence to the law by discovering and punishing persons who violate the rules governing that society. The purposes of punishment for crimes include: 1. Punishment will stop them from committing further crimes. 2. Punishment ...

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Physicians who liberally prescribe empiric antibiotics are often maligned as irresponsible or unthinking by condescending colleagues and policy wonks. But are these doctors actually courageous and prudent, saving countless thousands of lives every year by refusing to bend to misguided pressure from antibiotic-conserving paper-pushers? As antibiotic resistance has emerged, many hospitals have begun requiring physicians to provide a rationale for every antibiotic dose prescribed. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) ...

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More than 80 percent of the United States supply of heparin, a commonly used blood thinner, originates from pigs reared in farm co-ops in China. Farmers scrape mucus from the intestines and send it to central processing facilities, where heparin is extracted and purified before being sold to U.S. pharmaceutical companies. But in 2007, blue-ear pig disease, causing a respiratory syndrome, became endemic in Asia—leading to a shortage of pigs ...

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Narcotic pain medication prescribing is an issue heavily laden with emotion these days. I have observed that most doctors tend to fall on one side of a spectrum bordered by these two extremes: "Undertreated pain is worse than addiction." On one end is the doctor who is deeply, morally troubled by patients in pain. This doctor is not unaware of the risk of addiction but is willing to risk being taken advantage ...

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The section of the Affordable Care Act, which calls for the creation of the biosimilar pathway, was recently upheld by the Supreme Court.  While not as headline-worthy as the news surrounding the individual mandate, the fact that the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (BPCIA) provision survived the process was significant for the biotech world. Biologics are some of the best treatment options for serious medical conditions such as cancer, autoimmune ...

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E-cigarettes seem to be a very popular product these days, so I thought I’d do a bit of research to figure out what the heck an e-cigarette is and to try to answer the question, “Are e-cigarettes safe?” It appears that the primary reason people use e-cigarettes is to avoid smoking, either as a way to get their nicotine in areas where smoking is prohibited, or as a means to try ...

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Media outlets are reporting the results of a small, but very important study regarding a new treatment for Alzheimer's Disease.  Most Americans are familiar with Alzheimer's because it is so common (President Reagan had it), so devastating, and without a cure.  This new study gives hope to people who have or are at risk for the disease. Recently at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2012 in Vancouver, researchers presented the ...

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