They do it because it works:

The $258 Merck lunch, for example, cost the company only $10.75 a person and fell clearly within industry guidelines allowing modest meals. But it could easily return thousands of dollars for the drug maker in prescriptions for the osteoporosis medication Fosamax and the asthma treatment Singulair, the two drugs discussed during lunch with two Merck representatives.

An unlikely combo to be sure, but he serves up some malpractice views from the other side:

As to the counter, from reading in the medical blogosphere, I think that many physicians simply don't like adversarial settings. That's true of most of us, even most lawyers, but I think physicians in particular are acutely sensitive to it. Maybe it's the fact that they (like preachers) aren't ...

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The last two weeks focuses on colon cleansing and liver flushes.

No surprise, as has been discussed here previously. (via PointofLaw.com)

More details can be found here. Here is an excerpt:

. . . T.M., Nurse Executive and Director of Education for Lifecare Hospitals, advised affiant that on Thursday, September 1, 2005, conditions at Memorial Medical Center had deteriorated. Lifecare patients were located on three floors awaiting evacuation. There were several patients remaining on the seventh floor of Memorial Medical Center. That morning, Dr. Pou came up to the ...

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Due to intense interest in the Anna Pou story, the following post will be republished to stay current.

Original post date: 7/18/2006

Some more details are emerging from this desperate time.

NOLA.com:

Dr. Anna Pou, an ear, nose and throat specialist, and nurses Lori L. Budo and Cheri Landry were each booked with four counts of second-degree murder.

"We feel they abused their ...

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Due to intense interest in the Anna Pou story, the following post will be republished to stay current.

Original post date: 7/19/2006

Waking Up Costs offers his support:

I just learned that a former colleague and friend has been charged with second degree murder in the death of four patients at a New Orleans hospital after Katrina. I worked with Dr. Anna Pou in the operating ...

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Find out here.

Comment moderation

Is temporarily on as there has been a surge in comment spam today.

Update -
I've tried turning on word verification instead.

Some hope from Congress:

Under the system, payments to doctors would have to be cut by 5 percent a year through 2016 to meet program spending targets, according to federal estimates.

That is unlikely to happen. Lawmakers fear that any reduction in payments could add to the record increases in Medicare premiums and drive doctors from the program.

Rep. Michael Ferguson, R-N.J., said the mandated cuts system is ...

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There are pros and cons to each. However with the fragmented nature of today's health care, continuity of care is dwindling. That is a poor prognostic sign for FP:

But Wright's situation rests on the fact she's had the same insurance for 13 years.

In the modern U.S. economy, the benefits of having a long-term physician may never accrue anyway. Most people don't stay for decades in one ...

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Which is not a bad strategy, sad to say:

At least six retail clinic chains have emerged in the past few years - all betting there are millions more like Mui, who either don't have insurance, don't have a provider, or don't have the time to spend in a doctor's office for a minor health problem.

Due to his Mennonite beliefs:

Rebuffed by the doctor, the woman called her gynecologist, who wrote the prescription. Her local pharmacy told her it was out of the drug and referred her to a sister store in Reading.

The former medical director of the hospital said he sees nothing strange about asking a woman from eastern Lebanon County to drive to Reading for a drug.

"People drive to ...

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It actually does the smart thing, and plans on releasing its HDL-raising medication torcetrapib by itself:

Previously, Pfizer had said it would sell torcetrapib only in combination with Lipitor, one of several medicines called statins that lower levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol. Cholesterol-reducing medicines are the largest prescription drug category, with worldwide sales of $32 billion last year.

By offering torcetrapib only in a combination pill, Pfizer ...

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Inappropriate ER use is commonly discussed here. Apparently this article doesn't do the topic justice:

Dr. O'Keeffe took an article on a desperately important topic and trivialized it with a silly list.

Dr. O'Keeffe then compounds the offense by finishing the article with a list of bullet points to consider when choosing a pediatrician. I thought this was an article about inappropriate use of emergency services!

In case you were wondering, but the short answer is no.

A tragic outcome, and this physician wonders about whether an inevitable patient death equates to a large windfall:

Several years have passed since this case was closed, and I still have trouble sorting out how I feel about it. I'm still surprised by my reaction to the huge settlement given to Mrs. Rios' family. Undoubtedly they suffered a horrible tragedy. But I still don't understand how that equates with their ...

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Another way how being obese can hurt you:

"In the past 10 years or so, medicine has become so dependent on imaging," Uppot said. "Instead of doing very meticulous clinical examinations, a lot of doctors now rely on CT scans, ultrasounds, etcetera, to tell them what's happening inside the body. What happens when you're too big to fit on a table? Or you can fit on a table but the ...

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Sounds like he was dismissive of the prisoners' complaints:

"He appeared to think that the majority of patient inmates seeking care were faking, and thus he did very little to examine them or treat them," Hepps said. "As a result of this behavior, Dr. Nuygen was referred to as `Dr. Death' by inmates." . . .

. . . Prisoners complained the doctor, who attended medical school in ...

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Nurses strike back

They aren't too happy about a physician rant against them. Here is their response.

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