Of life’s two certainties, death, and cataracts, it seems statins defer one and prompt the other, although not necessarily in the same person. If you blindly love life, you may be blinded by your love for life. In the HOPE-3 trial, ethnically diverse people without cardiovascular disease were randomized to 10 mg of rosuvastatin daily and placebo. The treatment group had fewer primary events: death from myocardial infarction (MI), non-fatal ...

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Opioids, also known as opiates, serve as important prescription medications in medical practice. But within the last decade or so, because of their overuse, misuse and abuse, they’ve also emerged as a leading cause of addiction and death. Sadly and surprisingly, those most instrumental in creating this epidemic -- however unwittingly -- are physicians and the pharmaceutical industry. The question is, how could this crisis have happened? What responsibility should physicians take, ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 32-year-old woman is evaluated for anticoagulation management after an uncomplicated vaginal delivery of a healthy newborn. She was diagnosed with a bilateral pulmonary embolism at 25 weeks' gestation and was treated with therapeutic low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH). The LMWH was discontinued at the onset of labor and was restarted 6 hours after ...

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It takes a big person to admit when you're wrong.  And on April 1st, ZDoggMD admitted he was wrong about vaccines in a big way.

Health care is often really costly. And with increasing frequency, a significant chunk of those costs is being passed on to patients in the form of high deductibles, copays, or other out-of-pocket expenses. As a result, millions of Americans struggle to pay medical bills each year. What’s a poor patient to do? For starters: They can talk to their doctors about these costs. According to a study my colleagues and ...

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An excerpt from Free Refills: A Doctor Confronts His Addiction. It was a frigid winter day in February 2005, when two officers -- one from the state police, one from the Drug Enforcement Agency -- arrived at my office and sat waiting amid the spellbinding view of the neighboring arboretum and ...

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Activism over prescription drug pricing has reached a fever pitch. The recent House subcommittee hearings featuring testimony (or non-testimony in the case of bad-boy Martin Shkreli) from Turing Pharmaceuticals and Valeant executives provided an outlet for public outrage over those companies’ price gouging on life-saving drugs. Meanwhile, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have both talked up plans to rein in spending on prescription drugs, and even Donald Trump ...

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Dear drug reps, I write you today as a primary care provider who -- at the risk of giving you “the keys to the kingdom” -- has advice for you. First, I am not anti-pharma.  I recognize the need that my patients and I have for new medications, and I believe that innovation in medicine can grow from free enterprise.  But it’s rare that I walk away from an interaction with you ...

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Recently, two states in India halted all use of Avastin for the treatment of eye disease following the report of 15 patients who underwent emergency surgery for potentially blinding infections at the C.H. Nagri Municipal Eye Hospital in Ahmedabad.  Though further investigations are ongoing, there is worry that the cluster of infections centered around a tainted lot of compounded Avastin. This most recent event serves as a reminder of ...

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I had a patient last week who was a real pain in the ass.  Wait.  No.  He was actually a really nice guy.  He wasn't a pain in the ass; he had a real pain in the ass.  Literally. I was initially concerned about a pilonidal cyst, given the unfortunate fact that he was previously afflicted with this condition (which I consider to be incontrovertible proof of Satan).  But, fortunately to ...

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