An observer at a recent GI conference notes the pharma influence:

The Shire Pharmaceuticals' booth offered weary physicians a park-like atmosphere complete with gently rolling grassy hills, stone paths, park benches, and free hot dogs. The Abbott booth contained a mini-movie theater. On every aisle, companies provided free slushies, gourmet espressos, coffee, tea, sweets, hot dogs, and fresh pretzels. They also offered beach towels, blankets, movies, free internet access, ...

Read more...

David Phillips rips major media, Steven Nissen and the NEJM in this scathing entry:

Like the yellow journalism that set us on a collision course to war with Spain in 1898, many journalists are sensationalizing Nissen's opinions to sell newspapers and/or magazines"”with little regard for those most likely to be impacted by the findings"”type 2 diabetes mellitus patients currently taking Avandia (and who might make unilateral decisions to stop taking ...

Read more...

Peter Rost further stirs the pot on Pfizer promoting the off-label use of Mirapex for restless leg syndrome (RLS). The thing is, Mirapex really is recommended as first-line treatment for RLS (via UptoDate):

Begin with pramipexole [Mirapex] (0.125 mg) or ropinirole (1.0 mg) approximately one hour before the usual time of symptom onset; the dose is titrated upward according to response. These drugs are effective and well ...

Read more...

Hilarious codes for things EMTs may encounter in the field. I like 20-301, "Overdose on normal dose of Ambien (also known as sleep)."

Brett Skinner: "Canada's public health insurance monopoly is failing and millions of Canadian patients wait so long for treatment that they are no better off than uninsured Americans."

Canada is planning a US-style war on drugs. Don't, says this op-ed:

Instead, there are signs -- such as the Conservative distaste for safe-injection sites that are a key component of the "harm-reduction strategy" -- that Ottawa is tilting toward a more aggressive, U.S.-style war on drugs. If that is the case, it would be an unfortunate mistake with predictable and very disappointing outcomes.

While Washington from ...

Read more...

How you play golf can point to a variety of health problems:

You ride the golf cart. If a golf cart is essential, you probably need to improve your fitness . . .

Short drives. If your drives aren't going very far, it's often a sign of a flexibility problem in your lower body, particularly your hip muscles. . .

Accuracy problems. If the ball is consistently ...

Read more...

The WSJ jumps on the bandwagon against the NEJM, as discussed in the blogosphere last week:

At what cost do political machinations of the medical journals come? NEJM editors have long favored more drug regulation. But medical journals have also historically played a special role in helping to define medical practice standards. Even decisions they make on how prominently to place a study, let alone how they ...

Read more...

Edwin Leap thinks not:

Attention patients and families of patients, regulators, government officials, commentators, angry bloggers and reporters: I am the physician. That makes me the expert. I realize that we live in the age of polls, surveys, empowerment and self-help. I realize that the opinion of the masses generally matters more than the opinion of the educated. But as one of the educated, ...

Read more...

Great news and welcome back!

To soothe turf battles, hospitals are sharing revenue between departments and signing so-called cooperative agreements:

To reduce patients' confusion, increase revenue, and improve care, the 50 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center doctors who work in the cardiology, cardiac surgery, and vascular surgery departments, along with senior hospital executives, have formed an independent corporation. For the first time, the doctors plan to share some of the revenue they generate. They ...

Read more...

I've certainly stopped prescribing it to new patients. Despite the shakiness of the meta-analysis data, there is too much uncertainty for physicians to start new patients on the drug.

Pfizer on Rost

"Rost is on that website everyday, accusing people here of everything from wife beating to God knows what."

An upcoming article in Fortune will profile Peter Rost and his continuing needling of Pfizer and the rest of Big Pharma.

The token of appreciation that airlines offer sometimes isn't worth the cost and liability a physician risks by treating patients on flights.

Ezra Klein says practicing preventive medicine is difficult:

Meanwhile, the reason doctors are constantly prescribing statins along with admonitions to exercise and eat better is because using public policy to change diet and exercise habits is really, really, hard, unless you're prepared to be very heavy-handed (i.e, outlawing trans fats in restaurants, setting portion limits, etc). Indeed, part of the problem with preventive health measures is that, rather often, ...

Read more...

A look at how some of the shady data was obtained for this flawed antibiotic.

What's the harm? Plenty:

Researchers found that the most common mistake users of herbal remedies make is believing that the substances they take actually work. An earlier National Institutes of Health study showed that about 19% of Americans take herbal supplements and more than half the time they're using the substances to treat a specific health condition instead of just for general well-being. That's fine, provided the supplements treat those ...

Read more...

Most cost cutting in the NHS?

But the report found that some trusts had actually removed midwife posts from wards, replacing them with maternity support staff posts.

Some maternity support staff were carrying out tasks which would normally be left for a fully-trained midwife.

A man with ALS turns his disease into an entrepreneurial idea:

With the help of his business school buddies and luminaries in neurology research, Kremer, now 32, started a scientific competition called Prize4Life , modeled on the X PRIZE , which rewards adventurers if they complete a certain challenge. Neurologists said they have never heard of anything quite like it.

Usually, researchers get grants as seed money on ...

Read more...

Greedy Trial Lawyer on the Avandia scandal:

I am sick and tired of all this gibberish about medicine clogging up the media. What this country needs is a separation of scientific discourse (including medicine) from the public. What possible good comes from public awareness and discussion of scientific matters? We should ban any scientific thought and discourse by anyone without a Dr. before his name.

Most Popular