The Illness: Secrecy by Aides and Silence by Doctors Persists, and What Killed Arafat Is Still a Mystery
More speculation.

Elizabeth waited too long
"Elizabeth Edwards admits she did not get a mammogram for four years - an oversight that may have allowed her breast cancer to remain undetected."

Emphasizing the importance of breast cancer screening.

Biopsy finds Elizabeth Edwards' breast cancer has not spread
Good news indeed.

New Study Links Pfizer's Bextra, Similar to Vioxx, to Heart Attacks
"This is a time bomb waiting to go off."

The data is retrospective, and thus not nearly as robust as the Vioxx data, which was randomized. That being said, a black box warning adds to the bad day Bextra is having, for an association with Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

Pfizer defends the allegations, but ...

Read more...

Tenn. may dissolve state health care program
Medpundit foresaw the end last month.

Canada Warns It Cannot Be the Drugstore to U.S.
"It is difficult for me to conceive of how a small country like Canada could meet the prescription drug needs of approximately 280 million Americans without putting our own supply at serious risk."

High doses of vitamin E may be risky
The study wasn't sure of the cause of this increased risk. Many people take additional vitamin E supplements for the prevention of heart disease. There is strong evidence against this practice. Many of the "beneficial" studies were observational studies, often the poorest form of evidence. A randomized trial showed no evidence that vitamin E prevented any cardiovascular ...

Read more...

Long-term success seen in obesity drug
The next big thing - a medication for obesity and smoking cessation. However, before everyone jumps on the bandwagon, remember prior cautionary tales (Fen-phen and Vioxx to name a couple).

Diary of a death
Illustrating the importance of patient support that is not always provided by physicians.

Arafat Dead, Say Palestinian Sources Amid Confusion
Hard for me to understand what's going on in Paris. Death really shouldn't be a diagnosis that is debatable.

Grand Rounds 7
GruntDoc hosts this week's best of the medical blogs. Come visit and spread the word.

Today, it was reported that a trial has shown that BiDil, a combination of hydralazine and isosorbide dinitrate, improved survival in blacks with congestive heart failure (CHF):

The final phase trials, involving more than 1,000 African Americans, were stopped early in July because of the "significant survival benefit", according to the drug's makers, NitroMed.

The treatment, which is a combination of two existing drugs, isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine, ...

Read more...

Did the French kill Yasser Arafat?
CodeBlueBlog continues his investigation with two articles today.

Doctors Eye Apologies for Medical Mistakes
A reader brings this story to my attention. I have written before that there is a disconnect between patients' and physicians' expectations when it comes to medical error:

Patients wanted disclosure of all harmful errors and sought information about what happened, why the error happened, how the error's consequences will be mitigated, and how recurrences will be prevented . . .

Although ...

Read more...

Liability premium increases slowing, yet rates remain at record highs
Bottom line: tort reform works.

Testing Drugs in India
"Pharma outsourcing to India has the potential to pick up due to several distinct factors. In US, the time to get the drug to market has increased from 7.5 years in 1970s to 12.5 years in 1990s. This is less by as much as 30-40% if done in India. Moreover, administrative costs incurred by pharma companies in India are 30-50% lower than those in the ...

Read more...

Uninsured caught in costly twist
"When a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts member suffers a stroke, the giant insurer pays the hospital $7,000 on average to cover the care. Medicaid pays an average of $5,441.27.

But when John Hernon had a stroke, the bill for his hospital stay rang up to $23,280.80, plus $23,018.10 for doctors fees and nine months of follow-up care."

Two teens died after being prescribed pain-relief patch: Health Canada
"Two teenagers died after being prescribed a pain-relief patch designed for adults being treated for chronic pain, says a Health Canada report . . .

The girl was prescribed Duragesic for chronic headache and was 'discovered unresponsive and with respiratory depression' 21 hours after the patch was first applied, the newsletter says . . .

The boy, ...

Read more...

Young adults struggle to afford health care, insurance
The plight of young adults without health insurance.

What is killing Yasser Arafat?
Chris Rangel with an opinion. CodeBlueBlog plays CSI Medblogs, speculating he may have AIDS.

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