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Pharmaceutical free speech is anything but free Print E-mail
Written by Kenneth Lin, MD | KevinMD   
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 00:00

The American Medical Association (AMA) recently called for a ban on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs and medical devices, arguing that this type of advertising drives the nation's escalating drug bill by creating demand for new, expensive medications that are often no more effective than older ones. Since the first televised prescription drug ad aired in the U.S. in 1983, pharmaceutical companies have spent billions of dollars on DTC advertising, including $4.8 billion in 2014. The ads are worth every penny. According to Kantar Media, 76 percent of Americans have seen at least one DTC ad on television in the past 12 months, and 1 of 3 who viewed these ads took some action as a result.

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Last Updated on Friday, 01 January 2016 15:21
 
Was Granny Sent Home from the Hospital Too Soon? Print E-mail
Written by MD Whistleblower   
Tuesday, 15 December 2015 00:00

Over the years, I have heard families bemoan that their relative who was just readmitted to the hospital was sent home too early just a few days ago. Are they right?
 
First, let me say that in some instances they may be correct. It is certainly possible that the hospital, under increased pressure to kick folks out, may have pulled the discharge trigger too soon. The hospital is not always right even if their 'discharge check list' seemed to be in order. Of course, patients are not adequately represented by a check list any more than physicians' quality can be fairly measured in the check off, cookbook method that the government and insurance companies are now championing.

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T'was the night before the First Tuesday after the First Monday in March, and all through the House (and the Senate...) Print E-mail
Written by Dave Davidson | Florida Healthcare Law Firm Blog   
Thursday, 19 November 2015 00:00

It's that time of year. People are scrambling around, deciding what they want to give and what they want to get. Brand new packages are being wrapped up and filed away. Excitement and tension fill the air. Everyone can't wait for the big day; but in this season that big day doesn't happen until the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March. But it's never too early to start getting ready, right? In fact, the Florida Legislature is currently in session, drafting and filing bills that the sponsors hope will be considered in March and will become law in 2016. And as usual, health care is on a lot of legislative wish lists. Although all of these bills are subject to significant revision, and some may never make it out of a subcommittee, here's a sneak peek of some of the proposed health care legislation (without editorial - for now)...

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 December 2015 09:31
 
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
 
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