While diligently perusing a stack of unread journals, a piece in the July 25, 2011 issue of Modern Healthcare caught my attention. Titled "What's the Agenda?" this special report deftly navigated the murky waters of "physician participation on advisory boards" and managed to present an accurate appraisal of the issues. Here is a brief recap. Back in the days before "medical ethics" issues were commonplace, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers were accustomed ...

Read more...

The reality is that my job constantly challenges my sanity. Sometimes, I just want to scream. Patient:  "Doc, I don’t want to put any poisons in my body!  Isn’t there a 'natural' remedy I can take?" Doc: "No, I want you to take my poison!  I haven’t poisoned my quota of patients this month and need to reach my goal." Poisoning patients really isn’t good for business.  Why would a patient believe that ...

Read more...

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is obviously a hot-button issue. And I'm not taking sides, nor am I proposing a solution.  But here's where it affects me. There's a Parkinson's Disease medication called Azilect. It has some unique properties, and there's no generic, or direct competitors, currently available. It's manufactured by Teva, a company that does most of their business in generic drugs. It's the world's largest generic drug manufacturer, and if you've ...

Read more...

Do you, or many of your patients, have a little more belly fat around your and their middle than you and they would like? Me, too. Turns out that there are two decent published studies from reputable places that report that a person may rub a cream on their skin over the fat spots and make the fat go away. Wow, what a deal. The first study addresses fat thighs, with each ...

Read more...

What disease do people fear most? It’s no contest: Cancer. At one time we fantasized about having a weapon against cancer that’s better than early detection. Now we do, and I’m not just talking about better treatment. We have vaccines to actually prevent some cancers by preventing the viral infections that lead to them. So why doesn’t everyone get these vaccines when they should? The youngest generation, if they received the complete ...

Read more...

I recently received a declaration of war from one of the major healthcare insurers.  Not happy with its current record profits, this insurer has decided to reduce its reimbursement on immunizations and injectable medications by 40%.  I do not have a 40% margin on immunizations and injectable medications.  My margin is at most 10%.  This means that with a 40% reduction, I will have to pay at least 30% ...

Read more...

There was news of yet another high profile death from an uncertain cause in a star with addiction history.   Media accounts included reference to the "27 club" -- a lengthy list of famous artists who have perished by their own hand, often unintentionally, at the age of twenty seven. The reality is that too many fatal overdoses responsible for the deaths of the famous and not-so-famous are from medications ...

Read more...

I like Iceland. It is a really neat place; great people; terrific scenery; lively nightlife; surprisingly temperate climate, considering the latitude, thanks to the Gulf Stream. Of course, it is true that some of the Iceland bankers, poorly regulated and without scruples, were even more predatory than many of the American Wall Street investment bankers, taking the money and running to lead a pack of nations into international fiscal calamity, a ...

Read more...

My iPhone vibrated with an urgent message that read: "Please call … the INR on your atrial fibrillation patient scheduled for cardioversion is too low.  He is on that new blood thinner, Pradaxa.  What do you want to do?" I responded, sounding like an expert: "It’s ok.  Pradaxa thins the blood adequately, it just doesn’t change the INR." She astutely responded, "How do know the blood is thin?  What if ...

Read more...

Boniva continues to use Sally Field as a celebrity spokesperson for their product but as John Mack pointed out, should any prescription drugs be paying celebrities to endorse their products?  Well, according to an Ace Metrix study the answer to that is "probably no." The Ace Metrix study found of more than 2,600 ads that celebrity ads do not perform any better than non-celebrity ads and in some case ...

Read more...

Most Popular