A reason why drug importation isn't working:

Perhaps an even bigger point is that huge numbers of Americans don't even pay for their drugs, but rather farm out their bills to an insurer. That's even more the case now that seniors are getting their drugs through Medicare. Joseph Bruno, the former Republican minority leader in Maine's legislature and now full-time CEO of a chain of pharmacies in that state, ...

Read more...

There's nothing to lose, suggests this letter:

In such cases the term "side effect" becomes a hilarious, though cruel, joke. The "side effect" from denial of treatment is further painful decline until death. When victims have reached this hopeless stage of disease or injury, the application of another untried, but potentially powerful, therapy is a golden opportunity to assess possibilities of the therapy.

Darshak Sanghavi tries to calm to hype on angioplasties for stable coronary disease in light of recent data. (via Kidney Notes)

Eloquently and powerfully stated:

In addition to being impractical, this principle differs from the common sense morality that we in fact adhere to. We acknowledge an obligation to help the needy, but that obligation is unconditional only in certain circumstances: with family-members, people we have previously agreed to help, or certain kinds of immediate need that appear in our presence"”such as the child drowning in a puddle as we're ...

Read more...

The veto showed the power of the trial lawyers:

For a case study in the political power of trial lawyers, consider Oklahoma. The public wants tort reform, the state Legislature wants it, and even Democratic Governor Brad Henry claims to want it. Yet that didn't stop Mr. Henry from recently vetoing an impressive reform bill at the urging of his plaintiff lawyer funders.

Oklahoma sure needs something. The ...

Read more...

Viagra and the mob

A neurologist gives a mobster Viagra samples, and faces up to a year in prison. (via Peter Rost)

For those who don't know me, I am an avid table tennis player. So this story caught my eye.

Players often use speed glue to glue their rubber to their paddle, resulting in more elasticity, increasing the speed and the spin. The problem is that the effect wears off after a few hours, so companies have been trying to manufacture longer-lasting speed glue. Unfortunately, ...

Read more...

Creators of the poster-child for prescription drug abuse gets their just desserts:

Purdue Pharma L.P., its president, top lawyer and former chief medical officer will pay $634.5 million in fines for claiming the drug was less addictive and less subject to abuse than other pain medications, U.S. Attorney John Brownlee said in a news release.

Purdue learned from focus groups with physicians in 1995 that doctors were worried ...

Read more...

ER crisis

It's hard to make noise when the alarms are already ringing. ER physician and Robert Wood Johnson health-policy fellow Arthur Kellerman tries.

Barack Obama gives fatigue as a reason for his "10,000 deaths" slip-up. Volokh says campaigning for President is indeed tiring. But it should be, as Glenn Reynolds points out:

Of course, being president is tiring too, and one of the arguments for a grueling campaign season is that it weeds out people who don't function well when tired.
Makes me wonder what kind of surgeons we're going to ...

Read more...

A psychoanalyst laments the disincentives for the next generation to enter medicine:

A smart health care system would offer powerful financial inducements and rewards to those of our children who enter Medicine. Instead, we are conveying the message to our young and future Doctors that they can expect to leave school with loans in the six figures and with increasingly onerous limitations on their ability to do good ...

Read more...

It's called the VA:

A shortage of surgeons, nurses and auxiliary staff has created a backlog of 500 patients awaiting orthopedic surgery at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in La Jolla, a surgeon who works at the hospital said Tuesday.

In some cases, those patients must wait as long as a year and a half for their surgeries, orthopedic surgeon Mark Murphy said, in response to questions from the ...

Read more...

What health insurers are doing to prepare for the release of Sicko.

I don't think that decision is evidence-based:

David Miller, 46, who is on full disability, said in an interview that his physician at the VA hospital told him last week to go home and pray or meditate in place of using medication to relieve the pain he was experiencing from kidney stones. When Miller complained to VA staffers that his physician suggested he turn to God to treat his medical ...

Read more...

A roundup in the NY Times.

David Catron says there is no such thing as a "hospital overcharge":

Fact # 1: Hospitals do not have separate price lists for patients based on insurance coverage or lack thereof.

Fact # 2: Most hospitals write off about 90% of the charges generated by uninsured patients.

Regarding the first fact, all hospitals bill their patients based on a single "charge master." When a patient comes in, her ...

Read more...

Dr. Crippen suggests that mothers who freebirth are opening themselves to lawsuits:

The controversial NHS doctor who writes an award-winning blog under the pseudonym "Dr Crippen" has proposed that at some future point women will be sued by their (damaged) offspring for having had a home birth (let alone an unattended one).

John Mack suggests that less may be more in Gardasil's case.

He's live-blogging his malpractice trial. Jury selection is the topic of the day:

Attorney Lunt eliminated six jurors with preemptory challenges. All were men and all were college-educated. We challenged two. Both were women. One sounded like she might accept the "Flea is a blithering idiot" argument. The other suffered from the disease that killed Flea's patient. That left nine women and five men (Flea realizes this sum makes ...

Read more...

Insightful analysis linking the Zubillaga scandal and AstraZeneca's purchase of MedImmune.

Most Popular