A bill is introduced that would bar physicians from asking about gun ownership:

A pediatrician who asks a child's parent about firearms in their home could lose his or her license or be disciplined under legislation being considered by a Senate committee today.

The bill would prohibit health care professionals from asking a patient about gun possession, ownership or storage unless the patient is being treated for an injury ...

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Welcome to Canada. A hospital is penalized for being too efficient:

The Health Department has ordered the hospital to stop doing hip and knee surgeries until the next fiscal year, which begins in April, according to Dr. Ethan Lichtblau.

The hospital in the Rosemont district has hit a government-set target number, and depleted its prosthesis budget for this year.

"The government has actually stopped our hospital for ...

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Derek Lowe looks further at the NEJM vs VIGOR authors war. "Y'know, it occurs to me that there are a few people who aren't as upset about all this editorial wrangling: the editors of JAMA and the other top-ranked medical journals. They'll be getting some manuscripts that otherwise would have gone to NEJM."

Lawyers will be on the clock at the next Vioxx trial. "It's the legal equivalent of a hurry-up offense."

By being transferred to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, did NY governor George Pataki get preferential treatment?

The easy way for Medicare to save money. Put more effort getting generics onto the market faster:

The Bush administration has proposed no increase in the office's budget of $28 million for 2007, even though the number of generic drug applications more than doubled in the past five years, to 777 last year from 320 in 2001.

The agency now has a backlog of 850 applications for generic ...

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How those selling body parts tried to hide their tracks.



"Assistant District Attorney Josh Hanshaft holds a photograph of an X-ray showing the pelvic area of a deceased person with PVC plumbing pipe inserted where bones should have been. On the table are pieces of PVC piping illustrating the type of material used."

Sounds like those truth ads may be working:

A survey of successful former smokers suggests that anti-tobacco spots on TV were instrumental in helping them break the habit.

That finding was reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The former smokers, all from Massachusetts, said that TV ads were a significant help as they struggled to stay smoke free for more than six months.

Why aren't drugs tested on pregnant women? The answer is so obvious, I thought the question was rhetorical:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says pharmaceutical companies have not tested drugs on pregnant women for ethical reasons, and especially because they're afraid of being sued if the fetus is harmed.

NY Times - Why doctors get it wrong:

But we still could be doing a lot better. Under the current medical system, doctors, nurses, lab technicians and hospital executives are not actually paid to come up with the right diagnosis. They are paid to perform tests and to do surgery and to dispense drugs.

There is no bonus for curing someone and no penalty for failing, ...

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Officials in Massachusetts are debating whether to ban handouts of formula to new mothers:

Backers of the ban say the formula gifts discourage new mothers from breast-feeding. Formula manufacturers call the ban unnecessary and doubt ending the decades-old custom would lead to a rise in the number of mothers who breast-feed.

Romney, who is weighing a bid for the White House in 2008, said mothers know what's best ...

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The VIGOR authors to the NEJM - "Bite me":

The letters come two months after the editors of The New England Journal of Medicine published their first "expression of concern" about the November 2000 article, sharply criticizing Merck "” and, implicitly, the outside scientists who were co-authors "” for failing to present a complete picture of Vioxx's heart risks.

In their letter yesterday, the outside scientists strongly disagreed. ...

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More supplements wilt in the face of evidence. This time it's glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for mild osteoarthritis:

Two hot-selling supplements used by millions of Americans, including President Bush, are of little help to most people with mild arthritis, concludes a large government study that is part of an effort to scrutinize unregulated health remedies.

For most arthritis patients with aching knees, the two supplements sold in ...

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Medtees.com: T-Shirts that empower patients with illnesses. Interesting site I read about recently in AMNews.



Washington's governor is being kudoed for brokering compromise. "There is more to do on malpractice, patient safety and doctor transparency, but this a strong beginning. Gregoire's hard-nosed negotiating skills prove once again to be one of her most successful leadership traits."

Mirapex and gambling. Doctor sues the drug company and casinos after losing $14 million:

Wells, a retired pathologist, was first diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2000, according to the lawsuit. After taking Mirapex for several months in 2004, Wells "developed an irresistible compulsion to gamble," the lawsuit said.

Wells, who Thomas said had been an occasional gambler, lost several thousand dollars gambling in Las Vegas and on the Internet, ...

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News flash: Health care costs continue to rise.

NY Times - Why patients don't listen to scientific studies:

It is medicine's eternal quest, these days, to sell impressive science to unimpressed patients, and it is hard to think of a group less equipped to do it than doctors. Doctors are specifically trained not to think like normal people, not to see what others see or to reason as others reason. They - er, we - come to ...

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Coming soon to the UK - "voluntary" physician audits:

The inspections are being described as 360-degree audits, as they would involve discussions with the doctor under review as well as the doctors` colleagues and his patients.

Inspection teams will include volunteers and medical experts, as well as external examiners.

The team will then submit a report to a performance committee who will decide if the doctor is ...

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Hell has frozen over. Lawyers and doctors compromise on a "mini-mal" solution in Washington state:

"I do applaud all sides for coming together to create a compromise solution," Hewitt said in a news release. "But I think it's important that we don't lose sight of the fact that we have not solved our medical liability problems. This solution could be summed up as 'mini-mal.' It's a bit like having ...

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