Difficult diagnostic cases were solved by Google in most cases:

Hangwi Tang and Jennifer Hwee Kwoon Ng, doctors at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, in Brisbane, simply entered words from the case records into Google. The words reflected the symptoms described, and for each case they picked between three and five.

They then looked at the first three pages of the Google output "” thirty items "” and chose what ...

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The recently announced $4 generic drug program is luring buyers to its website and boosting its internet sales for other products. Pretty smart move:

The program, in which a month's supply of 314 generic drugs sells for $4, has been introduced in 27 U.S. states beginning in September. The company's online pharmacy has had "triple-digit growth,'' the strongest increase in the Web site's history, as customers place drug orders ...

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You only can squeeze down reimbursement so far:

Here's what one physician wrote to me about her efforts to stay afloat last year: "We pinched pennies. We cut back. We let go of employees. We cut back our benefits plans. We did all that we could to save money. And all the while, working like a dog, staying here until 7 at night, doing surgery one day a week ...

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I normally don't have much good to say about Dr. Gott, but this time he lays the smackdown in this letter:

Alternative remedies are, for the most part, understudied. Their production is not supervised by responsible government agencies.

Some alternative drugs appear to show promise, but, if you are willing to be honest, drugs are drugs.

What is the difference between an herbal remedy and a prescription ...

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He kept his cool under fire, and his interview didn't make it into the movie:

"It was the most bizarre conversation I've had in my whole life," Newkirk said. Borat asked him a series of strange and inappropriate questions about plastic surgery. "He wanted a pot belly because in his country that was a sign of wealth," Newkirk said. "I told him he could eat enough junk food while he ...

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Due to pieces of metal in the pills. The chances of serious injury however, is less likely:

A company investigation turned up metal in roughly 200 pills, after passing 70 million of the caplets through a metal detector, according to the FDA.

Consumers who swallow any of the contaminated pills could suffer minor stomach discomfort or possible cuts to the mouth and throat, the FDA said, adding ...

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Is this affecting the diversity of the physician work force? These authors seem to think so:

More than 1,000 students from three Minnesota medical schools were surveyed and minority students were found to have a lower sense of personal accomplishment and quality of life than their nonminority peers. They were more likely than nonminority students to have experienced a personal illness in the past year and to have ...

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It's sad that there is demand for something like this:

Jikei Hospital in southern Japan said it plans to install what it is calling a "stork's cradle," consisting of a flap in an outside wall which opens on to a small incubated bed.

An alarm bell would ring within minutes after a baby was deposited so hospital staff could come and care for the infant.

"By installing the ...

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The Catholic Church is very reluctantly accepting condom use:

Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan in April said the pope had asked the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care and other scientists and theologians to study condom use as a means of HIV prevention, and the Vatican expects to release a document on the subject. Although some Catholic clergy have suggested that the use of condoms to curb HIV transmission would be ...

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Their response was that the disease was not "biologically based."

The options scandal continues to escalate for this corrupt health insurer:

Less than a month after ousting its CEO over the options scandal, the suburban Minneapolis health insurer told investors Nov. 8 that it expects to take "significantly greater" charges than the $286 million it had previously predicted. The company also said its financial statements for the past dozen years are suspect and shouldn't be relied on, pending restatements. The ...

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Health Care Renewal exposes a physician with a more-than-disclosed relationship with Aetna in a recent Annals P4P article:

If the Annals, or any other medical journal for that matter, wants to let the former CEO, current Chairman, and major stock-holder of a large commercial managed care organization lecture us on pay-for-performance, a topic clearly related to the company's vested interests, that is the journal's right. However, the journal should ...

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He sounds like he's gone off the deep end:

Sporting partially blue hair with a non-matching tie and accompanying outfit, the founder of the Gesundheit! Institute called President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney "mass murderers," predicted VUSM's doctors-in-training will live to see the extinction of the human race and advised the physicians-in-training to withhold prescribing psychotropic medications for mental illness patients.

"Our government is worse than ...

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Was it really ALS? The neurologist has doubts:

Joe Glaze said his wife's doctor told him he had never seen a patient with ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, lose their voice and regain it.

"Lou Gehrig's disease is a continually deteriorating disease that continues until a person dies," said Dr. David Schmeidler, De's physician. "It's a neurological disease and they gradually go down, lose control of their muscles ...

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More on how Merck may prevail after all:

On the other hand, attorney Ted Mayer, a partner at Hughes, Hubbard and Reed in New York, provides some numbers of his own, specifically how only four of the 20 cases against Merck, the manufacturer of Vioxx, scheduled to be brought to trial have resulted in a plaintiffs verdict.

"I don't know. I think it might surprise people," said Mayer, part ...

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There seems to be differing opinion as to whether there will be major change. One school of thought would push for Medicare to negotiate drug prices, a sticking point with Part D.

Update:
Is Pharma scared? I don't think so:

Despite the Wall Street jitters, though, the threat to drugmakers is more imagined than real. "It is a headline risk," explains Loss. "Investors don't like to feel ...

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Common Good and the Harvard School of Public Health, who have been advocating for the creation of special health courts, will be webcasting their upcoming event, Health Courts and Administrative Compensation: Opportunities for Safety Enhancement.

Key elements of the health court model include: trained judges, court-appointed neutral expert witnesses, schedules for non-economic damages, reliance on evidence-based practice guidelines, and strong ...

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According to Money Magazine, it's bargaining:

According to a 2005 Harris Interactive poll, about two-thirds of adults who negotiated for lower prices with a hospital or dentist succeeded, as did three out of five adults who bargained with their doctor.
I'm sure many physicians would like to spend non-reimbursed time bargaining down their already reimbursement-reduced visits.

Almost never, to the relief of Big Pharma:

Tarn and her team taped 185 outpatient appointments with a total of 44 doctors in 1999, at which 243 new drugs were prescribed. Patients asked their physician about the cost of the medications or concerns they had about insurance coverage at just 2% of these encounters, the team reports in the American Journal of Managed Care.
(via a reader tip)



The 8,000 calorie Quadruple Bypass Burger. (via FARK.com)

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