I’ve recently posted about the insane costs of health care, and about how defensive medicine is a big contributor. Prescription drugs are another huge cost, accounting for about 11% of the 2 trillion spent each year on health care in The United States. And it turns out that the marketplace for prescriptions is also rife with bizarre sources of waste and sneakery. First, some good news: prescription medications are ...

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by Kristina Fiore Claims of unintended benefits of statins appear to be largely unsubstantiated and known risks -- including liver and renal problems and myopathy -- confirmed, British researchers concluded based on findings from a large prospective open cohort study. The study involving more than two million people, "largely confirmed other studies that reported no clear association between statins and risk of cancers," Julia Hippisley-Cox, MD, and Carol Coupland, MD, of the ...

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As we have established repeatedly on LesliesList.org, prescription prices can vary a lot from one pharmacy to another. But did you know that some pharmacies will actually match a competitor's price? This could save you a ton of cash, but you have to know how, and whom, to ask for this service. Pharmacy retail chains all have different policies. I spoke to a pharmacist recently at each of the seven top ...

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by Nancy Walsh Primary care patients prescribed an antibiotic for a urinary tract or respiratory infection consistently developed resistance to that antibiotic lasting as long as one year, a British meta-analysis revealed. In five studies that included 14,348 patients treated for urinary tract infections, within one month of receiving an antibiotic an individual patient's odds ratio having a resistant pathogen was 4.40 (95% CI 3.78 to 5.12), according to Céire Costelloe, PhD, ...

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As someone deeply immersed in pharma communications, and especially the newer realm of social networking, I’ve been closely following the ongoing process of the industry/FDA dance, trying to figure out how social media/web 2.0 approaches “fit” with pharmaceutical manufacturers and their various audiences. And I keep wondering if we’re going about the whole thing the wrong way. Think about the fine print PI (Product Information) you see in a magazine, accompanying a ...

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It’s hard to look at the mug-shot of the 60-year-old woman charged with tampering with forensic drug evidence (basically, stealing police-confiscated cocaine) without wondering how things got to this point. I mean, surely they weed out the felons, and the known addicts, and do a background check, and then make you pee in a cup before they even hire you for a job like this. Right? So just exactly how can ...

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by John Gever A new FDA program seeks to enlist healthcare professionals in flagging improper sales tactics for prescription drugs. Although the agency calls the program "Bad Ad," its interest goes beyond broadcast and print advertisements to include misleading in-person presentations. Housed within the Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communication (DDMAC), the program is intended to increase the number of eyes and ears available to monitor pharmaceutical companies' promotional activities -- especially ...

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by Charles Bankhead Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) significantly increased the risk of both fracture and recurrent infection with Clostridium difficile, investigators in separate studies reported. PPI use increased the odds of spine, forearm/wrist, and total fractures by 25% to 50% over three years, but had no effect on the risk of hip fracture. Overall, the acid-fighters had a modest effect on bone mineral density (BMD), Seattle researchers reported in the May 10 ...

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As reported in MedPage Today, the FDA announced the end for CFC-propelled inhalers. Of the seven inhalers with deadlines for removal, only three are still being made: Flunisolide (Aerobid Inhaler System) on June 30, 2011 Albuterol and ipratropium combination (Combivent Inhalation Aerosol) on Dec. 31, 2013 Pirbuterol (Maxair Autohaler) on Dec. 31, 2013 The reason for this is because CFC's are harmful for the environment, and the newer inhalers have to be replaced ...

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In April 2010 the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) published updated guidelines for the management of chronic pain. The guidelines were based on a review of recent scientific evidence as well as a survey of expert opinion. As I read through the guidelines, summarizing the efficacy of various therapies for chronic pain ranging from epidural injection to medication management, some of my most challenging clinical cases involving pain management ...

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