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The FDA's Epic Regulatory Failure Print E-mail
Written by Brian Klepper, PhD | KevinMD   
Friday, 13 November 2015 16:41

A new study in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that two-thirds of cancer drugs considered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over the past five years were approved without evidence that they improve health outcomes or length of life. (This study closely corroborates and acknowledges the findings published last year by John Fauber of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Elbert Chu of MedPage Today.)
Follow-up studies showed that 86 percent of the drugs approved with surrogate endpoints (or measures) and more than half (57 percent) of the cancer drugs approved by the FDA "have unknown effects on overall survival or fail to show gains in survival." In other words, the authors write, "most cancer drug approvals have not been shown to, or do not, improve clinically relevant end points."

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Last Updated on Friday, 04 December 2015 17:49
Husbands & Wives Print E-mail
Written by A Country Doctor Writes   
Thursday, 12 November 2015 00:00

When a wife suddenly comes in for her husband's appointment, I usually worry a little; when a husband shows up for his wife's visit, I sometimes worry a lot.
Know Your Risks But Meat Still Isn't the Enemy Print E-mail
Written by Aaron Carroll | The Incidental Economist   
Thursday, 05 November 2015 00:00

Smoking tobacco causes cancer. So does eating salted fish, drinking alcohol, breathing polluted air and being exposed to the sun. All of these things are classified as cancer-causing by the World Health Organization. 

This week, processed meat has been added to that list, meaning that the world's attention has been focused on whether everyone should stop eating bacon, sausage or various charcuterie.

The short answer is no, you're probably fine. As with many pronouncements about food, this one is being overhyped by the news media, and potentially over-interpreted by scientists.

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It's Time We Stop Comparing Health Care to Manufacturing Print E-mail
Written by A Country Doctor Writes   
Friday, 30 October 2015 18:35

From ancient times, doctors have appreciated that, for all their similarities, no two patients are exactly alike. This understanding is what made physicians act like, and earn society's respect as, professionals.
The commercialization of health care has brought in managers from other industries and other branches of academia, and their rise to power has been predicated on their ability to treat patients and doctors not as individuals, but as small cogs in the new health care industry.
There is no doubt that healthcare today is an industry, but I disagree with the notion that it can be closely compared with manufacturing.

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Last Updated on Friday, 20 November 2015 07:28
We Must Inject More Care Into Healthcare Print E-mail
Written by Dr. John M   
Tuesday, 27 October 2015 00:00

A frail elderly woman has a leaky heart valve. It caused her legs to swell and increased her work of breathing when she pushed her walker around the house.
One doctor wanted to relieve her suffering. She suggested palliative care; she wanted to make her disease less severe but without removing the cause. Other doctors said no, the answer was to cut the bad valve out and fix the disease.
It's America; you know what happened.
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What if ICD-10 was a joke created by a 13-year-old boy? Print E-mail
Written by Roy Benaroch, MD | KevinMD   
Saturday, 24 October 2015 14:22

It turns out that the entire transition to the new ICD10 code set was just a joke perpetrated by a 13-year-old boy.
"I mean, who would take it seriously?" said RancheroBoy, using his screen name from He agreed to speak with us only on the condition that we not use his real name.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 November 2015 17:35
The Legend of the Avoidable Hospital Readmission Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Tuesday, 06 October 2015 16:03

A Country Doctor Writes in a 10.3.15 post:
A long, long time ago, hospitals existed to admit patients when they were sick, treat them with medicines or surgery and good nursing care, and discharge them after they became well.
Hospital care was at one time a charity, which evolved into a nonprofit service, before it became a Very Big Business...
...Medicare is now forcing the hospitals to spend more money than they receive during each such hospitalization, and, through the penalties, Medicare is giving itself a rebate every time one of these chronically ill patients gets readmitted appropriately, weeks after any shortcomings in the initial care would have been compensated for by the follow-up care or the passage of time.
Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>

Last Updated on Saturday, 24 October 2015 14:22
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