Imagine the fallout from successfully suing the world's most popular prescription medication:

Lawsuits filed this week claim that drug-maker Pfizer has failed to warn doctors and patients about serious possible side effects of the cholesterol-lowering drug.

The two lawsuits claim that Lipitor caused lasting, debilitating muscle and nerve problems -- including memory loss. Mark Jay Krum, a lawyer based in New York and Philadelphia, last Wednesday filed the ...

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Check out his new digs.

Too bad that litigation worries are impeding technological advances in medicine. All the more reason why e-consults and internet communication with patients won't be embraced in the US:

For medical malpractice attorney Veronica Richards of Pittsburgh's Richards & Richards, a former nurse practitioner, the increased use of virtual house calls is cause for concern. Internet communication doesn't offer the clarity and directness of a face-to-face diagnosis, she warned, ...

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The chief reason is consumers don't know what is going to be done prior to an office visit.

More news on UnitedHealth's hardball tactics going awry:

New York State has banned United Healthcare's managed care plan, an arm of the nation's second-largest health insurer, from signing up most types of new customers. State regulators say they took the rare action because the company has persistently defied state rules.

For at least three years, United Healthcare has repeatedly filed late, incomplete or inaccurate reports to the state ...

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Maybe this will send UnitedHealth a message. They are clearly the worst payer in the country, while their CEO makes billions:

This time, however, local doctors say they were stunned by contracts -- offered after the merger -- that offered up to 30 percent less than they had previously received. The cuts rankled, they say, because the merger between the two insurers made many executives rich. UnitedHealthcare CEO ...

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Sign of the times:

Next to a horrifying diptych of game characters strangling each other on a crude gibbet, the text claims that "20% of all gamers" can get hooked, and many "have neglected family, romance, school, and jobs" and "food and personal hygiene."

Apparently, there's going to be stiff resistance to start up public performance measures.

As the World Cup approaches, consider this interesting presentation of toxic shock syndrome:

Blisters from new football boots can do more than slow down budding soccer stars - they have the potential to kill.

A team of doctors reported two cases of toxic shock in young footballers, caused by infected blisters from new boots.

Both players, a girl aged 13 and an 11-year-old boy, were treated in ...

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He claims that British midwives want mothers to suffer.

Congratulations. They have a nice collection of bloggers over there.

So very true. ER docs assume the worst, and then move on the less severe diagnoses:

The correlate of this emergency paranoia is that you, the patient, will get poked and prodded much more than you would if you just went to your outpatient doctor. Your stomach ache isn't just a stomach ache in the ED; it could be a heart attack, an aortic dissection, pancreatitis, a kidney stone, ...

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No surprise, since the barriers to obtain an EHR are so great:

U.S. doctors increasingly have access to computers to look up information on their patients, but more than half still don't have digital health records or the ability to write electronic prescriptions, a study released Wednesday found.

Twenty-two percent of doctors surveyed by the Center for Studying Health System Change last year had access to electronic prescription tools ...

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VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarean) was banned due to rising malpractice costs. This continues to be a liability risk because of the small chance of uterine rupture (0 to 7 per 1000 births).

He talks about the latest issue, guest-blogging at GruntDoc.

More insurances are reimbursing for e-consults:

When Tamara McCartney's chronic sinusitis flared up this year, she knew she needed a prescription antibiotic.

But instead of embarking on a long drive to the doctor's office in St. Cloud, Fla., and missing as much as a half-day of work, she spent less than 15 minutes at home completing an online questionnaire from her doctor. The next day, her Avelox prescription ...

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A deterrent for felons who abuse the system for medical care:

Inmates at the Northumberland County Prison will now have to pay to see a doctor or a nurse.

The prison board Wednesday approved a policy requiring inmates to pay a $3 fee to see a nurse and $7 to see a doctor.

It would look something like this.

Coupled with no-fault malpractice, this is what some want nationwide. Let's see how it does in PA. I think that any reform like this will get shot down by the special interests, as there's just too much opposition to a single-payer system.

The latest evidence can be found in patient-centered oncology magazines:

Direct-to-consumer advertising of oncology medications typically focuses on the drugs' benefits, as would be expected, but it does so in a manner that might lead some cancer patients to not appreciate equally the drugs' potential side effects and risks.