The committee tries to attack Steven Nissen with some laughable questions:

Congressman Chris Cannon, Utah (R-Utah) tried to make Nissen cry about all the money pharma companies lose when the public hears bad news about drugs or the industry -- in other words, he thought the messenger, not the message should be blamed.

The congressman, in fact, went all the way back to the Clinton era to make ...


Is Januvia next?

If it were up to Public Citizen, we should not be taking any new drugs until they were on the market for at least seven years:

Nearly lost in the controversy over Glaxo's Avandia is a strongly worded statement issued the other day by Public Citizen, the advocacy group, about Merck's relatively new diabetes pill, which was approved last fall by the FDA. On its web site, the group cautions ...


"Money talks."

Apparently, soldiers are going to the ER after taking Hydroxycut. The Angry Doctor comments: "I can't imagine losing weight would be my first priority if I were in Iraq."

Pancreatic cancer

A pictorial, from initial studies to pathology.

With no clear guidelines, recommendations are all over the map:

"Patients have asked questions about Avandia," said Dr. Patrick Cogley, a primary care doctor in Iowa. "I have told them to continue taking their Avandia."

Cogley added, though, that he has not given out any new prescriptions for Avandia, and a committee in his practice is further investigating the drug's safety.

Dr. Stanley Mirsky has taken an ...


Blogging article

The International Medical News Group of journals has written an article on medical blogging featuring yours truly and GruntDoc.

What a horrible logo. And dangerous too:

An animated display of London's jigsaw-style 2012 Olympics logo, which has drawn an unfavorable public response, was removed from an official Web site Tuesday following concern it could trigger epileptic seizures.

Epilepsy Action, a British health charity, said 10 people had complained about the animation and some had suffered seizures from watching images depicting a diver plunging into a pool.

Eric Turkewitz continues his interview with plaintiff's counsel as well as an analysis of the Boston Globe coverage:

No matter what some might think of the comments Flea made, the punishment that the Globe sought to inflict upon him seems vastly disproportional to any sins he committed with his blog.

The latest on the Avandia Congressional hearings from the WSJ Health Blog and Pharmalot.

Is GSK's marketing strategy going to backfire?

A JAMA study reveals that P4P doesn't improve outcomes:

Researchers looked at information from hospitals treating 105,383 patients over three years beginning in 2003. They evaluated such factors as whether the hospitals prescribed aspirin and widely accepted cardiac drugs called beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors, and whether patients were counseled to quit smoking.

Compliance rose to 94.2% from 87% at the pay-for-performance hospitals. At the others, compliance also rose, ...


For those who subscribe to the WSJ, an inspiring story about a man's mission to help his brain-injured brother.

Dr. Wes plays 20 questions with an online diagnosis site.

First thing I had to look up was what the hell a didgeridoo was.

BMJ with more ground-breaking scientific conclusions:

Regular didgeridoo playing is an effective treatment alternative well accepted by patients with moderate obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome.

#1 Dinosaur thinks not:

The problem is that specialist do not do primary care very well at all. They find high blood pressure and refer to the cardiologist. They see an elevated blood sugar and refer to the endocrinologist. They all say "Stop smoking" and think of it as tobacco counseling. Virtually none of them do immunizations, especially gynecologists, who like to think of themselves as providing Primary Care ...


Proceduralists dominate discussion on physician reimbursement. It's time to get tough:

Everyone knows that medicine is a guild with little response to the free market. But here we have a situation in which a critical commodity (primary care) is systemically and significantly undervalued in a command-and-control economic system.

If I am wrong, and primary care is unnecessary, family medicine (and perhaps internal medicine, as well) will no ...


Physicians grade the payers, and the scores are not pretty.

Bingo: "Judging medical quality from claims data is like judging a restaurant by looking at its grocery bill."

The magic bullet? This family physician takes no insurance nor Medicare and charges a flat fee of $45 per visit.

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