A mistrial in the most recent Vioxx case. Some say this is not a good sign for Merck:

Legal analysts had predicted that the case would be decided in Merck's favor because the patient in question had taken Vioxx for barely a month. The mistrial points to some jurors' willingness to trace serious health problems to even short-term use of the drug, raising concerns for Merck as it faces ...

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Dr. Charles: "How to Stand In for the Doctor - A Primer for the Layperson".

"I'm salivating at the notion." So says Mark Lanier in the wake of Merckgate.

An orthopedic surgeon chooses not to practice in Guam . . . since it lacks liability caps. "My decision is pending the cap. To be honest, I am looking at other possibilities. If it takes too long, I'll have to pick something else."

Liability risk is causing a shortage of ER docs in Florida. ". . . if your health-care emergency doesn't qualify as trauma - as most do not - you might be better off in Broward, Miami-Dade or other counties that unlike Palm Beach have large public hospitals where emergency room doctors are more plentiful. Public hospitals typically offer doctors sovereign immunity from lawsuits, so they don't have to worry about ...

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Doc wanted. "In a new twist to the territory's doctor shortage, a man has resorted to newspaper advertisements in his hunt for a family physician.

Philip Gibson said he took out the ad in the Whitehorse Star because he has been searching for a family doctor for nearly a year and is still no closer to finding one."

Merckgate update

It seems that the lead author is off the hook:

A Toronto doctor does not appear to be involved in deleting heart attack data about Vioxx from a study that helped put the arthritis drug on the market, says the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Gregory Curfman, who on Thursday published an "expression of concern" about inaccuracies in the study, said yesterday that two of ...

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Uh, that's the point: "According to the survey, more than 70 percent of those enrolled in consumer-driven programs said their plans made them consider costs when deciding to see a doctor or fill a prescription compared with fewer than 40 percent of those enrolled in traditional plans, which had lower deductibles."

The Vioxx jurors can't come to a consensus verdict.

Consumer Reports publishes its "drugs of last resort". "The drugs and drug types with undetected or underestimated risks at the time of approval are sold under many names and include -

- Celebrex, a pain reliever - Crestor for cholesterol - the contraceptive Depo Provera - Elidel and Protopic for eczema - Isotretinoin for severe acne - Lariam to prevent malaria - Meridia for weight loss - Ovide for ...

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Dr. Do-Right Eric Topol is demoted. "The hardest thing in the world is just trying to tell the truth, to do the right thing for patients, and you get vilified. No wonder nobody stands up to the industry."

CancerDoc thinks something here doesn't pass the smell test:

It's pathetic. At my institution, many of the professors put up this stance that they are so pure and intellectual. However, ...

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The oral HIV diagnostic test is showing an alarming rate of false positives in San Francisco. "Forty-seven people who tested positive after using the OraQuick Advance HIV test in city clinics were not infected at all, the San Francisco Department of Public Health said this week."

The face transplant patient signed a movie deal about her groundbreaking surgery.

Snowy

Snowy

Should be about 10 inches today.

The HIV skeptic sure picked a winner to back her up. "In recent weeks, Maggiore has been touting a report by toxicologist Mohammed Ali Al-Bayati, who practices in Dixon, Calif., that concludes that Eliza Jane died of an 'acute allergic reaction' to amoxicillin. Less than two days before she died, she was given the drug to treat what Maggiore said was an ear infection. Al-Bayati's 44-page report, dated Oct. 25, ...

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Behold the 9-hour physical. "When he turned 50, Steven Jackson decided it was time for a complete physical. But instead of going to his usual doctor, he spent $2,000 for a daylong assessment at a cushy health center loaded with amenities.

Jackson said that despite the cost, the concept offered at the Baylor Tom Landry Health & Wellness Center in Dallas appealed to him: having the tests done while ...

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Tort reform leads to lawyer layoffs in Texas. "Silber Pearlman closed its Houston office Nov. 14, laying off five attorneys, and furloughed another three lawyers at the plaintiffs firm's headquarters in Dallas.

Steven Baron, an equity partner in Dallas who manages the firm, says the cutbacks are directly linked to tort reform. The firm handles litigation filed by plaintiffs suffering from diseases caused by asbestos and silica, and ...

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Watergate for Merck? The NEJM has uncovered some data in Vioxx's VIGOR trial - suggesting a cover-up:

A top editor of the New England Journal of Medicine says that he was stunned to find out that data linking Vioxx to cardiovascular risk was deleted from a major study his journal published five years ago--and that it appears that Merck researchers may have deleted that data.

"I was somewhere ...

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Congratulations, Dr. Levy: Hired gu . . . er . . . Doctor of the Year. "Dr. Levy ultimately produced 1,239 diagnostic evaluations in 72 hours; the judge noted he devoted less than four minutes on average to each of his evaluations in the litigation.

What really astounded the judge, however, was that Dr. Levy appeared to show no regard for the professional ethics he himself has advocated in ...

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A malpractice plaintiff should "be on his knees thanking God and Memorial Hospital every day." "According to Bauer, he lost function in his right knee and leg and the ability to walk independently without significant effort or aid, endured significant pain and suffering, and caused damage to his hip due to the increased strain.

The complaint alleges that the defendants failed to properly align one or more of the ...

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