Outsourcing radiology

The Public Health Press writes about the increasing practice of outsourcing radiology services to overseas physicians, otherwise known as “nighthawking”.

More on direct-to-consumer advertising

Medrants links to a NY Times article on direct-to-consumer advertising in the wake of the Vioxx debacle, along with poignant commentary.

Grand rounds #3

It is my pleasure to host the third edition of Grand Rounds, a weekly best of the medical weblogs. The blog format provides a unique and powerful opportunity to bring medicine, “behind-the-scenes”, to light.

This edition features a diverse collection of voices – ranging from physician commentary on breaking medical news to personal stories from nurses, EMTs, and medical house staff. I invite you to browse and read the …

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Rest in peace, Superman

As has been reported, Christopher Reeve passed away yesterday of complications from pressure sores:

Reeve went into cardiac arrest Saturday while at his home in Pound Ridge, New York, then fell into a coma and died Sunday at a hospital surrounded by his family. . .

. . . In the last week, Reeve had developed a serious systemic infection from a pressure wound, a common complication for people …

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Medicine and politics

A slew of health-care headlines today in advance of the upcoming election.

The NY Times writes about the factors hindering the new Medicare law.

The San Francisco Chronicle and the Boston Globe comparing the candidates’ health-care positions.

The Washington Post supports Kerry’s approach.

Smokers need not apply

More companies are discriminating against smokers, citing increased health care costs:

Smokers cost employers an average of $753 per year more in medical costs than nonsmokers, and miss an average of two more workdays a year than nonsmoking colleagues, the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s literature states.

Another reason why smoking harms more than your health.

Blame

Don’t blame the doctor” for rising health costs, writes a pulmonologist in the Washington Post.

Nitty gritty detail

Graham posts an illustration for the drug mechanism of Viagra from a pharmacology text. Priceless.

The candidates on med-mal reform

Overlawyered takes a look at the medical malpractice exchange between Bush and Kerry at the second presidential debate.

Grand rounds reminder

Grand rounds is a fantastic way to publicize and expand our corner of the blogosphere. Both editions have been linked by Instapundit, and have been a success thus far.

I already have some great articles for this week’s edition – but there’s room for more. Submission guidelines can be found here. Please email me your submission with the subject heading “Grand Rounds”, by Read more…

Supply and demand

With any shortage, the possibility of price gouging inevitably arises. The flu vaccine is no exception.

Policy shift

Dr. Henry Miller, in an editorial, writes that the FDA needs basic policy shifts to prevent another shortage with the flu vaccine.

Prolonging life

There is a debate in Britain on withholding and withdrawing life-prolonging treatment.

The Lancet on Vioxx

The Lancet with an editorial on Vioxx. Some choice words, implicating direct-to-consumer marketing:

. . . in their review paper specifically highlighting the cardiovascular sideeffect profile of COX-2 inhibitors. Concerns were shared by the FDA, who implemented labelling changes in 2002 to reflect the findings from the VIGOR trial.

However, even following these warnings, and in the face of mounting evidence for the cardiovascular side-effects of rofecoxib, aggressive …

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CNN news, brought to you by Ambien

Ambien is now sponsoring CNN news segments, as well as having an increased presence on CNN’s web site:

Prescription sleep aid Ambien entered into a deal with CNN ad sales to sponsor the “Morning Papers” segment on CNN’s NewsNight with Aaron Brown. CNN ad sales COO Greg D’Alba brokered the deal with Sanofi-Synthelabo, a member of global pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis Group.

Under the multi-media partnership, Ambien will also get …

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Vioxx debacle: A class effect?

NEJM with two early release articles. One by cardiologist Eric Topol, and the other questioning whether Celebrex and other COX-2’s have similar cardiovascular risk.

The repercussions of the flu vaccine shortage

As we have all heard, the big news is the flu vaccine shortage by half. Last year, 87 million got vaccinated. This year the demand was expected to be even higher, but only 54 million of the inactivated vaccine and 2 million of the live FluMist are available. The efficacy data of the flu vaccine is well-established.

With healthy adults, a systematic review showed a significant …

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An upcoming nightmare

Chiron announced that it won’t make the flu vaccine this year, because of problems at its plant in Britain. It had planned to supply 48 million of the 100 million doses this year . This is terrible news – more to come.

Update:

The press release from Chiron.

The FDA with their response:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is convening its Advisory Committee on …

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Grand rounds – call for articles

I will be hosting Grand Rounds next week. Submission guidelines can be found here. Please email me your submission with the subject heading “Grand Rounds”, by Monday, October 11th at 9pm EST.

If you are interested in hosting future weeks, please contact Nick at Blogborygmi.

Chlamydia screening

It has been recommended that all sexually active women under the age of 25 be screened for Chlamydia. The reason being that most initial infections in women are asymptomatic but may progress to more serious diseases such as pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and chronic pelvic pain.

In the recent issue of the Annals, this strategy has proven to be cost-effective and only emphasizes the importance …

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