"There is a proliferation of media and plaintiffs' lawyers pounding the pavement and saying there is no crisis. We need to stop that discussion, acknowledge there is a problem and work for a realistic solution."
That was said by a lawyer. It's encouraging to see that some attorneys are seeing the light.

The NY Times writes about the rise and fall of body-scanning clinics
This has pleasantly caught me by surprise as well. I'm happy that patients are doing the right thing and not getting these useless scans, despite the ceaseless amount of DTC advertising (via Faughnan's Notes).

Winter wonderland

Just thought I'd share some pictures of this historic storm hitting New England. The National Weather Service is calling this "a potentially life threatening situation for those who venture out during the height of the storm this morning".

I've been watching a lot of football lately (go Patriots!), and of course, I've been seeing a lot of those Levitra ads. I have always found that the warning near the end of the commercial strangely comical. I'm sure you've all heard it:

In the rare case an erection lasts for more than four hours, seek immediate medical attention.
I've seen some articles refer to this as "the warning ...


Drug ads are amongst the fastest growing segments of online advertising

Does knuckle-cracking lead to arthritis?

This doctor throws the evidence behind screening tests out the window
Dr Thomas Stuttaford defies the evidence and offers the following tests for routine screening:

Annual haematology, biochemistry, blood pressure "every time a patient visits a doctor, even when you're in for flu," annual resting and exercise electrocardiograms, electron beam cardiac scanning, annual mammography, prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing, computerised body mole mapping, and ophthalmoscopy"”all are on his long list.
He ...


Medical Economics takes a detailed look at physician pay-for-performance, calling it a "double-edged sword"

It's too bad Naproxen is being lumped in with the COX-2s. Its data is so preliminary, it may not even be statistically significant. I guess physicians aren't taking any chances.

A mistrial has been declared in a medical malpractice trial after the doctor being sued rushed to the aid of a juror who collapsed

I'll take another shot at DTC marketing
"The two popular painkillers Vioxx and Celebrex, heavily marketed as 'super-aspirin', were prescribed for millions of patients who did not need them or should not have taken them, researchers said on Friday.

'We found a rapid, nationwide shift away from older, inexpensive drugs with better established safety and efficacy to newer, costly drugs with no real history,' said study author G. Caleb ...


Anabolic steroids were listed as books on eBay

"'Until you brought this to our attention, it wasnÂ’t getting as close a look as it should have,' said Rob Chestnut, an eBay vice president, former federal prosecutor and the companyÂ’s point man on rules enforcement. 'They were titling it as a book and we were missing it. ThatÂ’s our bad.'"

"You're knocking granny in the head. She's paying your health care."
"As officials look to trim costs for the county's indigent health care program, a Hillsborough County commissioner wants to kick people off the plan if they are convicted of three or more felonies."

Falling by the wayside: Soaring malpractice insurance claims another doctor group
"St. Mary's Medical Center's last cardiologists said Thursday they are leaving the West Palm Beach hospital because its high-risk patients drove their medical malpractice insurance premiums too high."

Doctor prevails in malpractice case, but was it frivolous to begin with?
It was a case of a bronchoscopy for hemoptysis. The patient apparently consented to the procedure, but not the subsequent biopsy that occurred (which is normally routine in these procedures). A damned if you do or don't situation. What if a suspicious lesion was found, but wasn't biopsed? Surely the doctor would have been ...


Why I had to help my brave sister in 26-hour suicide
"A man who comforted his terminally-ill sister while she attempted to commit suicide will not face charges."

A letter to the editor by the defendant physician's wife leads to a mistrial
The physician was then ordered to pay the plaintiff's legal fees thus far.

A tort reform bill moves forward in Virginia

The NEJM published a study suggesting that Plavix (clopidogrel) had a higher-than-previously-thought risk of ulcers:

We enrolled 320 patients (161 patients assigned to receive clopidogrel and 159 to receive aspirin plus esomeprazole). Recurrent ulcer bleeding occurred in 13 patients receiving clopidogrel and 1 receiving aspirin plus esomeprazole. The cumulative incidence of recurrent bleeding during the 12-month period was 8.6 percent (95 percent confidence interval, ...


Wired magazine writes an extensive story on 24-hour heroin detox

$15,000 buys you rapid detox with intravenous naloxone. The acute withdrawal symptoms can be so severe that the patient needs to be sedated with general anesthesia - which is shown in the picture above (taken from the story). This physician has turned "instant detoxification" into a thriving business.

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