Advocates for the legalization of medical and retail marijuana are quick to point out all the possible benefits that a community might see from such a venture. These include increased jobs, increased tax revenue, possible medical benefits and they advertise it as “safe” and “healthy” and “organic.” Many people who have voted for legalization thought they were talking about the marijuana of the 1960s to 1980s when the THC content ...

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Chemotherapy drugs have become ridiculously expensive. Many new drugs come to market costing more than $100,000 per patient for a full course of treatment. Often, patients have to pay a significant portion of these costs. For example, a 20% co-insurance rate, typical for basic Medicare coverage, leaves patients responsible for more than $20,000 of chemotherapy costs, an often crippling burden. Fortunately, ...

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A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. I recently attended a state medical society’s annual meeting where the agenda consisted of an awards program, several speakers and a keynote address.  The highlight of the evening, however, was listening to patients share their stories with the local medical community.  We’ve all heard ...

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Many people think eradicating cancer is unattainable. But for cervical cancer, we are well on our way to doing just that. Cervical cancer was once the leading cause of death in women in the U.S. But we are on the cusp of vanquishing this disease thanks to regular pap screening and a vaccine that protects women and men from developing the human papilloma virus (HPV), the cause of nearly all cervical ...

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Pharmacists play an essential role in today’s ever-expanding health care system today. They check for drug interactions, watch for signs of opioid overprescribing and try to determine whether a drug for one condition prescribed by one doctor will negatively impact the patient because of another diagnosis the patient has. In hospital units, their roles have become yet more complex — often serving on various quality committees, managing daily dosages of ...

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Sometimes it is hard for hospitals to provide expensive care to poor patients. When a low-income patient needs $20,000 of chemotherapy, a hospital loses money if that patient cannot pay for the medicine, or pays through Medicaid, with its relatively stingy reimbursement. Fortunately, the federal government created a program for hospitals that care for a disproportionate share of low-income patients, whereby they can purchase those medicines at a discount. The program ...

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Marijuana has been used for reported medical purposes for thousands of years when the plant had THC content of 0.5 to 3%. The most common reported medical use is for pain. Several states and the District of Columbia have some form of legalized marijuana, with many states having legalized for recreational use. There has been discussion about how cannabis will help curb the opioid epidemic. It’s been reported that medical cannabis ...

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We are writing as a parent and a dentist to spread a message to parents and dental health care providers across Canada: there are alternatives to prescribing opioids after wisdom tooth removal. Removing wisdom teeth is considered by many as a rite of passage for teenagers. It is one of the most common surgical procedures done in young people aged 16 to 24. Amy’s 16-year-old son, Felix recently had his wisdom teeth ...

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The over-the-counter sale of probiotics is a huge industry. They are heavily promoted on social media as a cure-all for a wide variety of ills. Probiotics are live cultures of what are often called “good bacteria,” and there are solid physiological reasons for recommending them. But, and this is a huge but, actual clinical data demonstrating their usefulness behind some well-defined disorders is pretty scant. Their potential usefulness in many ...

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Many Americans hold beliefs about the flu vaccine that are at odds with the best available scientific evidence. For example, a recent study found that more than two-fifths, or 43 percent, of Americans believe that the seasonal flu vaccine can give us the flu. Scientific research strongly suggests that this is not true. Because most modern flu shots do not contain a live virus, ...

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