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Drugmakers Manipulate Orphan Drug Rules To Create Prized Monopolies Print E-mail
Written by Sarah Jane Tribble and Sydney Lupkin | KHN   
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 19:03

khn logo black More than 30 years ago, Congress overwhelmingly passed a landmark health bill aimed at motivating pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs for people whose rare diseases had been ignored.

By the drugmakers' calculations, the markets for such diseases weren't big enough to bother with.

But lucrative financial incentives created by the Orphan Drug Act signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 succeeded far beyond anyone's expectations. More than 200 companies have brought almost 450 "orphan drugs" to market since the law took effect.

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Last Updated on Monday, 06 February 2017 19:22
ASC Update for 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Jeffrey L. Cohen   
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 19:01

For years, Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) have dabbled with the notion of overnight stay for late scheduled procedures or those that require extended recovery beyond the usual 23 hours period.   The day of clarity may finally be upon us! HB 0145 and SB 0222 in the Florida Legislature are both aimed at the notion of creating the concept of recovery care centers at which post surgical recovery of 24 hours (in the Senate Bill) or 72 hours (in the House Bill) can occur. If the bills pass both houses, it means ASC care can move to possibly more complex cases and at least later scheduled cases. Regardless, it certainly means greater ASC case volume and could be a boon to the industry.
'We trained for this,' say doctors who treated shooting victims Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 09 January 2017 18:55

George Richards & Susan Miller Degnan reporting for the Miami Herald on 1/6/17:

It was a somber scene at Fort Lauderdale's Broward Health Medical Center following the mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Friday afternoon, as dozens of reporters and camera crews crowded the entryways to the trauma center.

Victims of the shooting were brought to the hospital soon after the attack occurred at the Terminal 2 baggage claim...

Dr. Ralph Guarneri, the trauma surgeon on duty, said five gunshot victims came into the trauma center and two were undergoing surgery. All five, Guarneri said, were in stable condition.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Last Updated on Monday, 30 January 2017 20:23
More Doctors On Board With Prescribing Medical Marijuana Print E-mail
Written by Daylina Miller | Health News Florida   
Thursday, 05 January 2017 00:00

Jamie Howe has been disabled for years after complications from a gastric bypass surgery, and was diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, which she said causes debilitating pain.

After opiates put her in the hospital and then into rehab, she looked to marijuana to alleviate the pain.

"I do get it on the black market. But it's not something I like to do," Howe said. "You know, I don't want to get busted. I don't want to go to jail, especially for healing myself. This should be treated as a health issue, not a criminal one."

Now she sees Dr. Daniel Rodriguez, a family practice doctor in New Port Richey in Pasco County.

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Hospitals and Surgery Centers Play Tug-of-War Over Knee Replacements Print E-mail
Written by Christina Jewett | KHN   
Thursday, 22 December 2016 00:00

khn logo black Five years ago, Dr. Ira Kirschenbaum, an orthopedic surgeon in the Bronx who replaces more than 200 knees each year, would have considered it crazy to send a patient home the same day as a knee replacement operation.

And yet there he was this year, as the patient, home after a few hours. A physician friend pierced his skin at 8 a.m. at a Seattle-area surgery center. By lunch, Kirschenbaum was resting at his friend's home, with no pain and a new knee.

"I'm amazed at how well I'm doing," Kirschenbaum, 59, said recently in a phone interview, nine weeks after the operation.

What felt to Kirschenbaum like a bold experiment may soon become far more standard. Medicare, which spends several billions of dollars a year on knee replacements for its beneficiaries - generally Americans 65 and over - is contemplating whether it will help pay for knee replacement surgeries outside the hospital, either in free-standing surgery centers or outpatient facilities.

The issue is sowing deep discord in the medical world, and the debate is as much about money as medicine.

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