Opinion: Market-driven medicine
"While it is morally and ethically a necessity to take care of those who are without adequate resources, those able should accept first-dollar responsibility for their medical costs by contributing to HSAs (health savings accounts) and purchasing high-deductible insurance. If you control where you buy care, you are more likely to see a market-driven economy resulting in reduced medical costs. Most important, take personal responsibility for ...


FDA panel questions safety of female sex-dysfunction drug
"A federal advisory panel voted unanimously yesterday that the first drug to enhance the sex drive of women should not be approved because there is not enough information about its long-term safety."

Not surprising in the wake of Vioxx and hormone replacement therapy. Expect the FDA to increasingly act on the side of caution.

Consumer Reports - Best Buy Drugs
"Visitors to the Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs website will be able to view the latest findings about the comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of many widely used prescription drugs. We will tell you what you need to know when you talk to your doctor about switching to more cost-effective medications."

I'm looking forward to this and curious how they're going to implement ...


40 Percent in U.S. Use Prescription Drugs
"The annual report on Americans' health found that just over 44 percent of all Americans take at least one prescription drug, and 16.5 percent take at least three . . .

Prescription drugs, which make up about one-tenth of the total medical bill, were the fastest growing expenditure."

Put two and two together, and it's small wonder why health costs are ...


'Blog' No. 1 word of the year
"Merriam-Webster Inc. said on Tuesday that blog, defined as 'a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments and often hyperlinks,' was one of the most looked-up words on its Internet sites this year."

A testament to the surging popularity of the blog format. My blog was started in May 2004, and now has grown to 10,000 unique ...


Reefer madness hits the Supreme Court
Chris Rangel writes about the current issue of medical marijuana that the Supreme Court is pondering.

Here is what the Mayo Clinic writes about the medical applications of marijuana.

Clinic probed after illnesses
Sounds like a case for CSI Medblogs (via Medpundit).

"I eat a lot of ice"

A reader writes:

This was the chief complaint of a 45-year old female. She's been doing this for several months, but worse over the past several days. She would go into the freezer and nibble on ice cubes and ice chips constantly throughout the day. No other complaints, and does not have any other abnormal food cravings. She does report more fatigued than usual, but denies nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, ...


Grand Rounds 10
Come get your weekly best of the medical blogosphere.

Why Good Friends Don't Always Make Good Doctors
"Even when someone is quite ill, the doctor can't worry about hurting the person or the person's feelings. Sorry, but the next biopsy or the next surgery or the next awful test must be done. Trying to soften the blow in the name of friendship invites disaster. Stated another way, a better question to ask your doctor is: 'What would you ...


Backing off of VBAC
I was going to blog on this story from the NY Times today, but Bard-Parker writes an excellent commentary regarding this.

A nation of hypochondriacs?
"The ads routinely urge consumers to consult their doctors. But they also encourage them to ask for specific drugs. Doctors are trained as medical experts, but they are also trained to empathize with patients. When a patient demands a specific drug, doctors can experience significant conflict if they refuse to prescribe it. Some patients are known to change doctors if their requests are refused."


Should we allow direct to consumer advertising of prescription medications?
"Even though I have been an advocate of free markets in the business of health care, I have not thought that direct to consumer advertising (DTC) is such a good idea. In my opinion, DTC of prescription medical products is inherently problematic. It is way too easy for these ads to be misleading and quite often they are."

Chris ...


MRI backlash: Crackdown on costs of imaging
"Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, based in Wellesley, Mass., started a preauthorization program in July. Practices are required to submit information to National Imaging Associates, a radiology utilization management firm based in New Jersey, before ordering a test. About 10% of the time, doctors end up having to discuss the case with a National Imaging Associates representative, who may suggest a different course ...


Rising costs force hospitals to end use of midwives
Another casualty of rising malpractice costs.

Doctor: Illinois Would Do Well To Follow Wisconsin's Example
"Wisconsin has drawn six obstetrician-gynecologists (Ob-Gyns) from LGH. These doctors have reportedly fled Illinois to practice medicine under cheaper insurance premiums. In Wisconsin, Ob-Gyns pay $23,677 in yearly medical liability premiums, while the same doctor in Cook County pays $230,428 annually. . .

Because Illinois has eliminated punitive damages from medical malpractice suits, many doctors in Illinois, including Narasimhan, believe ...


What's the problem with medicine from Canada?
"If you listen to drug companies such as Pfizer or Merck, or to Bush administration health policy officials such as Tommy Thompson or Mark McClellan, or to congressional leaders such as Bill Frist, you will hear that it is absolutely necessary to ban drug imports from Canada to protect Americans from adulterated or poisoned medicines.

They are lying."

Q&A: Doctor examines drug companies' role in care
An interview with Dr. Jerome Kassirer, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, talking about the relationship between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry.

CSI Medblogs: A Death in Error . . . What happened to Mary McClinton?
Another excellent installment by CodeBlueBlog, this time discussing a recent case where a patient was mistakenly injected with chlorhexidine.

Florida Passes Three-Strikes Malpractice Law
". . . the lawyers 'trumped the doctors' with the three-strikes amendment, because lawyers will rush to sue in the hope that doctors will settle to avoid a 'strike.'"

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