Top stories in health and medicine, October 1, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Targeted Drugs Build on Efficacy Record in Melanoma. Targeted therapy solidified and clarified its role in the treatment of advanced melanoma, as studies showed superiority over chemotherapy, and that two targeted drugs outperform one.
  2. Fish Oil Flops Again in Afib Study. High-dose fish oil failed to reduce atrial fibrillation ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, September 15, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Diabetes Pathogenesis Takes Center Stage. The research focus in diabetes may be shifting from developing new treatments to better understanding the pathogenesis of the disease.
  2. The Yelp Phenomenon. Patients can complain about their medical experiences on Yelp, snap photos of doctor's offices for their Instagram account, and even post ...

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On September 16, 2010, I attended Fact or Fiction: ADHD in America, a Capitol Hill Forum, along with Val Jones of Better Health and Rob Lamberts of Musings of a Distractible Mind. The event, coinciding with ADD/ADHD Awareness Week, was a panel discussion discussing the impact ADHD has on our society. It was sponsored by Shire, in partnership with the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) and the Lab School of Washington [Disclosure: ...

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It’s been more than a decade since the seminal report “To Err is Human” by the Institute of Medicine.  The report made waves when it estimated that 1.5 million people are affected by medical errors and that nearly 100,000 die annually as a result of medical errors. Some of those numbers have been debated, but there is no doubt that medical error is a significant issue in medicine that needs ...

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Mark Perry provides an interesting inference from two news stories: a WSJ article that suggests consumers are using less health care and another that reports a big jump in MinuteClinic volumes.

Consumers aren’t necessarily consuming less health care like the WSJ suggests; rather, they are shifting their demand for health care away from expensive, conventional physician offices with limited hours to affordable and convenient retail ...

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Do you know that the price of a contraceptive pill in Chicago pharmacies varies from $9 (Trinessa, aka generic Tricyclen, at Target pharmacy) to $84 (Loestrin 24 at Kmart pharmacy) a month? That means, over the course of the year, depending on what pill you take and where you shop, you could drop as little as $84 or -- let me get my calculator here -- $1008! These prices are if you pay out ...

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Thank you all for your patience. The migration took longer than expected, but now the blog is running on WordPress and the acclaimed Thesis theme. Many thanks to Aaron Brazell, aka Technosailor, for doing the job and navigating the obstacles along the way.  I am aware that the "Previous entries" link on the bottom of the main page, the Archives, and the RSS feed are not working properly.  They are being worked ...

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There will be no posts over the next few days, as the blog will migrate to WordPress. Furthermore, comments will be temporarily turned off to ensure all of them make the transfer. With over 19,000+ posts, at least twice as many comments, and close to 500 MB of data, it's a major undertaking. When it re-emerges, expect an updated look, better functionality, and improved navigation. The most dramatic changes will be "under ...

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Here are some of the more interesting comments readers have left recently.

1. Carla Kakutani on the lack of primary care access in Massachusetts:
So we have a chicken and egg problem. Do we wait health care reform until we have revived US primary care, or is that even possible without health care reform to create the disruption needed to change our entrenched fee-for-service, procedure-happy payment ...

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Well said.

NYU's Marc Siegel writes a poignant op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, echoing much of the sentiment on this blog.

"With more and more doctors dropping out of one insurance plan or another, especially government plans," writes Dr. Siegel, "there is no guarantee that you will be able to see a physician no matter what coverage you have."

He goes on to cite the ...

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