Most of us do not know the basics of economics, although we should. It impacts every one of us every day that we are alive. Yet, for most of us, once we get beyond the law of supply and demand, our knowledge of the subject starts to vaporize. I can't explain fiscal or monetary policy. While I regard economics as a science, it seems that experts routinely interpret data differently, ...

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I recently asked, “Who’s to blame?” for patients not taking their medications and cited a couple of papers describing the poor state of medication adherence. I concluded nonadherence was a huge problem, and doctors failing to educate their patients was not a major cause. To support my contention that physicians are not the reason why patients do not take their medications as ordered I submit the following new information. A 
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Nothing seemed to help the patient — and hospice staff didn’t know why. They sent home more painkillers for weeks. But the elderly woman, who had severe dementia and incurable breast cancer, kept calling out in pain. The answer came when the woman’s daughter, who was taking care of her at home, showed up in the emergency room with a life-threatening overdose of morphine and oxycodone. It turned out she was high ...

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What is it like living in pain? Those of us who have ever experienced unremitting pain for months or years know that it is enveloping and all consuming. I struggled with intractable pain for several difficult years, and I am fortunate because my pain finally got better — what if your pain never did? That is a horrible reality millions of people are living in right now. The chronic pain population ...

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Good pain physicians are dying. Recently, Dr. Todd Graham was shot dead in a parking lot over refusing to prescribe opioids to a man’s wife. Physicians who care deeply and try to do the right thing are being murdered for not prescribing opioids. I prescribe very few opioids in my chronic pain practice. I do so in a judicious and safe manner for my patients. I have excellent training, and I ...

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STAT_LogoIt is easy to mock the ridiculous and potentially harmful health advice and product lines promoted by Gwyneth Paltrow and her team at Goop. Sleeping near healing crystals, lugging around jade eggs in the vagina, swilling moon juice, undergoing raw goat milk cleanses, dabbing on sex dust, and snapping photos of your aura are ...

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The WHO’s recent announcement of multi-drug resistant strains of gonorrhea raises the specter of a worldwide SuperClap Attack that even the Avengers couldn’t foil. It also comes as yet another ominous reminder of the perils of rampant and indiscriminate antibiotic use. There’s plenty of blame to spread around. True, here in the U.S., consumers can’t buy antibiotics over the counter, but that hasn’t kept physicians and other providers from over-prescribing them ...

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None of us wants to live in a world without access to lifesaving antibiotics. No patient should be subject to an allergic reaction or organ dysfunction from these drugs. No one wants to contract a potentially deadly form of diarrhea, claiming roughly 30,000 lives a year in the U.S., that can take hold after antibiotics wipe out healthy gut bacteria. Yet, every day, patients are prescribed antibiotics that they did ...

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Physicians are influenced by marketing. That's no surprise. So are most consumers, as evidenced by television and radio commercials, billboards, pop up ads and targeted ads for drugs on your computer screen. Big Pharma markets not only to physicians, but also directly to consumers. In a recent Washington Post op-ed, Dr. Nicole Van Gronigen made the case that Big Pharma successfully influences physician prescribing behavior via marketing. Specifically, drug ...

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Recently in Missouri, a bill was proposed that would ban women on oral contraceptives (OCP) from working. In the world of politics, the use of contraceptives has been discussed ad nauseam, often without medical consideration. As physicians, in order to continue to uphold our Hippocratic Oath: "First do no harm," it is imperative that we continue to challenge any law that goes against scientific evidence, and our voices must be ...

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