Despite the current controversy on importing medications, it seems a recent report has observed that Canadian pharmacies are pretty safe. In fact, some have stricter standards than US-based pharmacies:

Despite safety concerns voiced by opponents of prescription drug imports, congressional investigators said they encountered few problems with medicines purchased from Canadian Web sites.

In some instances, Canadian online pharmacies had stricter standards than those in the ...

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As a follow-up to what I wrote last week on the ER stories near Boston comes this report. Most of it we know already, but it's nice to see some concrete data:

One-fifth of patients coming to the ED did not have conditions requiring emergency care, and another one-fifth had urgent conditions that could have been treated in a primary care setting, the report shows.

Uninsured ...

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No waiting rooms

Some practices are eliminating waiting rooms altogether and bringing patients directly into the exam room. It seems like shifting the waiting from one place to another, but patients feel they are one step closer to seeing a physician.

Almost 1 in 3 had no insurance for at least one month in the past two years. Unacceptable.

More stories are coming out that demonstrate physicians taking the malpractice crisis in their own hands.

As a follow-up to what was written here last month, the AMA chimes in with their opinion.

. . . to help curb cigarette use. Shock tactics. I love it.

All cigarette packs sold in Singapore will soon carry gruesome messages including images of a cancerous lung and a sliced brain oozing blood to scare smokers into quitting, health officials said.

Here is one physician's extreme response to rising malpractice costs. It surely was meant to be inflammatory. The fact it was allowed to get this far reflects the deep frustration within the physician community. Some doctors are taking matters into their own hands.



I have three invitations to Google's upcoming Gmail service. It is currently in a beta-test stage, but many people are taking advantage of the invitation to secure their own preferred addresses before the service goes public.

If you're interested, email me an interesting medically-related story, anecdote, editorial or opinion. It could be from a patient or provider perspective. At the end of ...

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From today's Boston Globe comes a story detailing the controversy about allowing psychologists (non-MD's) to presribe medication. The state of Louisiana recently passed a law allowing this to happen. Here are some excerpts detailing the arguments on both sides:

. . . [the] president of the American Psychiatric Association, calls the Louisiana law ''really scary," saying undertrained nonphysicians will harm, and perhaps kill, patients. ''Without a ...

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Nice to see the AMA taking a stand against the sometimes biased drug company study data:

Proposals facing the American Medical Association include a measure seeking to make all drug study results public, even unpublished research funded by pharmaceutical companies that might reflect poorly on their products.

. . . It is critical for doctors to have all information on tested drugs so they can make ...

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A few weeks ago, a patient who sells these things gave me some magnet wristbands to try. They are meant for acute pain and osteoarthritis. I was dubious of their claims and was not aware of any supporting evidence. I recently came across this recent POEM from the Cleveland Clinic which cites a small study on this topic.

Medpundit gives a bottom-line take on why there is worsening access to mammograms today. I completely agree.

"On Being a Doctor" is one of my favorite journal reads from the Annals. This particular one is particularly poignant.

I don't think this is an evidence-based approach for asthma.

This solution to rising malpractice premiums makes the most sense to me.

An Alaska surgeon was sued because a patient ignored his advice to go to the emergency room. Again - a failure of personal responsibility has resulted in yet another malpractice suit. Fortunately, the jury was sensible and ruled in favor of the physician. I still have hope yet.

Medical Economics this month discusses the feasibility of no-fault malpractice, similar to automobile accidents and workplace injuries. A fascinating read.

Condoms on-call

Caught without contraception? No fear - in Sweden, they have the condom express to help curb the rise of chlamydia in that country.

So the big story today is how statins can ward off cancer. This is a classic case of media hype of questionable data that was discussed last week. In this case, the data is observational and can hardly be used for any recommendations. Even the article itself recognizes this (of course, not in the title):

However, researchers seem unanimous in saying the evidence is still ...

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