While the vast majority of measles cases in the U.S. and worldwide are occurring in unvaccinated children, a fair percentage is also occurring in adults.  With more-widespread transmission of measles, it’s becoming more important for all of us – yes, that includes parents – to make sure we’re well-protected. Measles is probably the single most contagious infection that humans face. The key to preventing the return of widespread measles is in ...

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A lot of parents ask me, about the HPV vaccine, "Isn't that the optional one?" Well, let me walk you through why my answer to that question is a hard "no." Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that causes warts and several types of cancer. There are over 200 different strains of HPV, some of which tend to cause warts on the hands, feet, or face. Other strains ...

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Much media attention has been paid to the new guidelines from American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) on the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Based on new clinical trial data, ACC/AHA no longer recommends that healthy adults without cardiovascular disease -- emphasis on without cardiovascular disease -- take daily aspirin for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. This change, while significant, is highly nuanced and dependent on ...

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Our community had one of “those” providers — a midlevel who was the local pain person. If you had pain, go to her. She would write you for anything you could want and more. It’s unclear if she was unscrupulous or just inept. But last year, the DEA finally figured out what she was doing and yanked her license. There was nothing in the news. Nothing on the internet. We ...

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What if I told you that your adolescent child could contract a disease that can never be cured, but only maintained? That it would be a lifelong struggle that could change their personality, compromise their potential and values, destroy their relationships and have a long-term detrimental effect on their overall and mental health? That this disease can even be fatal, when ineffectively maintained? What if I told you that the ...

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Recently, I was at a health care facility in a semi-urban region, less than 100 miles from a major metro. It had a whiff of industry from good times that have long drifted by. I tried to locate a Starbucks. Google Maps spotted one and took me towards the local university campus. As I drove there, I noticed several pain management clinics advertising themselves in unusual ways for "relief." Once inside the ...

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An excerpt from Frankie: How One Woman Prevented a Pharmaceutical Disaster. Between September 1960 and November 1961, when the news broke around the world about thalidomide’s responsibility for the birth of deformed babies, Dr. Frances Kelsey -- Frankie -- of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Cincinnati drug company Merrell, that was desperate to launch its ten million thalidomide tablets ...

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I recently had a patient whose blood sugar was well controlled until he lost his health insurance. He purchased his diabetes pills because they’re cheap, but he couldn’t afford the insulin. His diabetes had been well controlled. Now, almost a year later, his hemoglobin A1C was 14, or double what it should be. The HbA1C measures sugar control over the last three months. The bee sting kit or EpiPen cost hike ...

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In recent years, it feels like we’ve been inundated by stories of greedy pharmaceutical companies jacking up the price of important generic medications. In 2015, “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, recognized that no other generic companies were manufacturing Daraprim, a drug used to treat infections common among people with AIDS, from $13.50 a pill to $750, confident that no generic competitor was around to cut into his market 
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When I completed my residency training in 2017 I never imagined so much of my clinical efforts would be directed towards educating patients about controlled substances. As I stepped into clinical practice and took over patients who had long-term relationships with providers that had retired or moved to other positions I began to notice a preponderance of patients, some elderly, taking benzodiazepines daily, frequently at high doses. Often conditions other ...

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