Medicines Without Borders
"I have a confession to make. I am a drug company executive who believes we should legalize the reimportation of prescription drugs. I know that I have a different opinion from that of my employer on this matter, but to me, importation of drugs is about much more than money; it is about saving American lives."

Op-ed from the Pfizer insider, Peter Rost (via ...

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Is Kaiser the Future of American Health Care?
"In Northern California alone, Kaiser spends $55 million a year on chronic-care management programs. "But what's really expensive is if we don't take care of these people and manage their chronic conditions," said Dr. Robert Mithun, chief of internal medicine at Kaiser's medical center in San Francisco.

Dr. Mithun's comment may seem like no more than common sense, but it ...

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In American Health Care, Drug Shortages Are Chronic
"Imagine being unable to find supplies of a medicine that limits damage from a spinal cord injury, a medicine that improves the health of a premature baby, or a medicine that fights systemic bacterial infectious.

Each of these drugs, and dozens of others, are in shortage in the United States right now. On any given day, 50 to 80 drugs, ...

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Stop the Shakedown
"Voters in six states will decide, on Nov. 2, the fate of ballot measures on lawsuit reform. In the past lawyers have prevailed in nearly all such battles. Will things be different this year?" (via Overlawyered).

Arafat watch

Here is the latest update on Yasser Arafat:

Yasser Arafat underwent medical tests on Saturday and a senior Palestinian official said doctors had ruled out for the time being that the PLO leader was suffering from leukemia . . .

Palestinian officials said the first of a battery of tests for cancers and other disorders showed no immediate risk of the 75-year-old dying. They said a full analysis could ...

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Workers prefer better health coverage to a raise
"Given the choice between a raise and more generous health care coverage, most workers would opt for the coverage . . ."

I'll be attending Pri-Med in Boston tomorrow at the new Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (I'll take a break for the Red Sox parade). I know that drug companies provide a lot of the funding, but this is going a bit too far.

First, my registration credentials folder was compliments of Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly. Opening up the folder greeted me with this: ...

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FDA Holds Off Approval of New Merck Drug
As expected, the FDA is holding off on Merck's new COX-2, Arcoxia. I've been bombarded with ads saying it's "coming soon". I guess not.

Chlamydia Testing Disappointingly Low
"Only 26 percent of women enrolled in commercial health plans who were eligible for screening were tested in 2001 . . . Only 38 percent of eligible women in Medicaid plans were screened, the report said."

Screening for Chlamydial infection is important since it can cause urethritis, cervicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and result in ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and chronic pelvic pain in women. ...

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For Inventive Business (and Health) Officials, Flu-Shot Specials
"On the mad, mad quest for a flu shot? Take the flu-shot special, a high-speed ferry from Seattle to Victoria, B.C., that offers a scenic ride across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and a vaccine stop in Canada; 2,000 people already have reservations. Or hop on the Flu Bus from Grand Forks, N.D., for a rollicking journey to immunity ...

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U.S. Trails Others in Health Care Satisfaction
"The study shows that people in the U.S. face longer wait times to see doctors and have more trouble getting care on evenings or weekends than do people in other industrialized countries. At the same time, Americans were more likely to receive advice on disease prevention and self-care than others."

Stop-gap medicine
"With the suturing and unsuturing of Curt Schilling's ankle, the dawn of "episodic medicine" has arrived. Episodic medicine is aggressive treatment for the now, and it inherently contradicts our "quality of life" policy . . .

But there are consequences. What about the cost? Who pays for these procedures? What are the limits? Already, new technologies, new pharmaceuticals, and new procedures are stretching the medical dollar. ...

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What has evidence based medicine done for us?
BMJ with a theme-issue on evidence-based medicine.

Malpractice Prescriptions
PointofLaw is hosting a featured discussion on medical malpractice: "This month, we're looking into medical malpractice once more. In lieu of a back-and-forth format, this month we're inviting comments from some leading thinkers on medical malpractice reform to discuss a new paper by Daniel Kessler of Stanford Business School . . ."

Wyoming med-mal study
"The Milliman actuarial firm projects what will happen if Wyoming enacts a cap on non-economic damages. According to Martin Grace's summary, the study's simulation model 'suggests that the cap [at a level of $250,000] will reduce losses and loss adjustment expenses by about 15%.'"

Playing Doctor
"Lying on a résumé isn't a crime - except when a doctor does it."

A Precarious Exchange
What an interesting article in bringing up a salient point.

To a physician, this scenario is all too familiar "” we call it "sign-out" "” but in a way, the anthropologist would be right: it is a peculiar ritual, this daily transfer of patients from one medical team to another. As I write this, at the end of a frantic afternoon, 18 residents are simultaneously handing ...

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Sleepy Interns Committing Key Errors, Study Shows
"The researchers, led by Charles Czeisler at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, found that interns working more than 80 hours a week committed 36 percent more serious medical errors than interns who kept a less arduous schedule.

When it came to diagnosing illness, the sleep-deprived interns made 5.6 times more serious mistakes than their rested colleagues, the research showed."

The ...

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The Australian: Where the health system is failing us
"About 35 per cent of Australian women do not have regular Pap smears and more than 60 per cent of people visiting a GP do not receive any diet or lifestyle advice that would improve their overall health.

Patient dissatisfaction also was high, with 23 per cent of Australians surveyed saying the local health system should be rebuilt completely."


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Stomach Acid Drugs May Raise Pneumonia Risk
"The risk is not huge. But the drugs work so well and so safely -- and are advertised so aggressively -- that they're among the most-used drugs in the U.S. . . .There seems to be one extra case of pneumonia among every 100 people who take acid-suppressing drugs for one year."

The study is from JAMA and is found
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