Wednesday, April 30, 2008
An intensive educational program for physicians and midwives that stresses giving women the drug oxytocin just after a vaginal delivery resulted in significantly fewer cases of excessive bleeding, according to a study done in two South American countries.Click here to access.
Monday, April 28, 2008
The Report acknowledges the new policy directions being implemented in many medical schools and teaching hospitals to address industry support of medical education, and it urges all academic medical centers to accelerate their adoption of policies that better manage, and when necessary, prohibit, academic- industry interactions that can inherently create conflicts of interest and undermine standards of professionalism. Although the charge to the Task Force was focused on funding from the pharmaceutical and device industries, institutional policies on conflicts of interest should be comprehensive and encompass providers of equipment and services as well. Concomitantly, industry should voluntarily discontinue those practices that compromise professionalism as well as public trust.Click here to access the report.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
A draft report from the National Toxicology Program, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, notes that there is no direct evidence that human exposure to BPA harms reproduction or infant development. “I don’t think there’s anything in this brief that should lead to alarm,” said Dr. Michael D. Shelby, director of the Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction, who oversaw the report. “It means we’ve got a limited amount of evidence from some studies that were done in laboratory animals.”
The main concern is the possible risk to infants and pregnant women, although Canada has begun a study to monitor BPA exposure among about 5,000 people to assess any danger to adults.
Click here to access the NYT article.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
The University of Cincinnati will increase scrutiny on a psychiatry professor for not reporting all of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate research money she received from a pharmaceutical giant during the last decade.
Melissa DelBello now has to review all of of her interactions with companies with her department chairman, UC vice president of research Sandra Degen said Friday.
Click here to access the article.
There was a steady increase in mortality inequality across the US counties between 1983 and 1999, resulting from stagnation or increase in mortality among the worst-off segment of the population. Female mortality increased in a large number of counties, primarily because of chronic diseases related to smoking, overweight and obesity, and high blood pressure.
Click here to access the online article.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
The refined compliance model is designed to aggressively reduce potential or perceived conflicts of interest inherent in consulting relationships between the industry and healthcare professionals—while preserving the best of the collaboration that drives innovation in medical devices and services. The model includes fundamental changes in the areas of product development, marketing, surgeon training, educational and charitable funding, and transparency.Click here to access.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Drug-industry representatives are descending on the capital to protect their freedom to advertise their wares directly to consumers and to push for looser government restrictions on their ability to promote off-label uses of their medicines.Click here to access the WSJ article (sub. req.).
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
No longer will they be paid for speaking at meetings or for sitting on advisory boards. They may still work with companies. It is important, they say, for knowledgeable scientists to help companies draw up and interpret studies. But the work will be pro bono.Click here to access.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Copies of letters that Senator Grassley received from drug makers in response to his request for them to follow Eli Lilly’s lead and disclose financial contributions to continuing medical education are posted with this statement at http://finance.senate.gov. Right now,Senator Grassley does not plan to pursue disclosure legislation separate from the Physician Payment Sunshine Act. He will carefully monitor implementation of the disclosure plans described in these letters and consider additional initiatives, including legislation, if transparency is not achieved.Click here to read this press release and the response letters from these companies.
Leafing through the report and fizzing indignantly about the performance of some of the hospitals, I was overheard by Bernadine Healty, my next-office physician colleague (a former medical school dean and director of the National Institutes of Health). She reminded me that there could well be reasons for a number that seems outrageous. A hospital might treat a disproportionate number of patients vulnerable to infection because of HIV or old age, for instance. The data are important and impressive, she said, but the primary purpose is to alert a hospital with high numbers that something may be badly amiss. "Before jumping to conclusions, you need to drill down into the data," she said. "Investigate. Find out what's going on."Click here to access the USNWR article. Click here to access the "Hospital-Acquired Infections in Pennsylvania" Report (98 pages).
Click here to access the WP article. Click here to access these Joint Commission recommendations.
"The vast majority of countries utilize the metric system, and the recommendations for pediatric medication use are based on the metric system," said Dr. Peter Angood, vice president and chief patient safety officer for The Joint Commission, which announced the "Sentinel Event Alert" at a teleconference."Sadly, there seems to be a lack of widespread appreciation even among health-care providers that children have unique safety and medication needs," said Dr. Matthew Scanlon, assistant professor of pediatrics-critical care at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a member of the Joint Commission's Sentinel Event Advisory Group.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Thursday, April 10, 2008
One in five respondents to a new survey in the journal Nature say they've used drugs to boost their brain power.Click here to access the article.
"We were putting our finger in the air to see what our reader response would be. And it was tremendous," said Brendan Maher, an editor with the widely read scientific publication. "What it's suggesting is there are a high percentage of adults using these drugs."
The informal, nonscientific survey, conducted online, polled 1,400 people in 60 countries. Most of the responders, the majority of whom said they worked in biology, physics, medicine or education, reported taking the drugs to improve their concentration.
The CDC's Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, called FoodNet, began tracking cases of food-borne illnesses in 1996 in 10 U.S. states. The idea is to track infection trends for the 10 most important causes of food poisoning.Click here to access the article. Click here to access the April 11 issue of the MMWR (page 6).
"There is not a particularly important change from the last few years," said Robert Tauxe, MD, MPH, deputy director of the CDC's division of food-borne diseases. "A lot of things have been going on to improve food safety, and we think they are likely to bear fruit ... but we cannot say we have made tremendous progress in the last year."
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
From 2004 through 2006, patient safety errors resulted in 238,337 potentially preventable deaths of U.S. Medicare patients and cost the Medicare program $8.8 billion, according to the fifth annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study.Click here to access.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
An ounce of prevention may have been worth a pound of cure in households down through the ages, but in the world of health economics the adage, alas, is not true.Click here to access the WP article. Click here to access the PLoS Medicine article "Lifetime Medical Costs of Obesity: Prevention No Cure for Increasing Health Expenditure." Ummmmm
An ounce of prevention is sometimes worth more than an ounce of cure (although rarely worth 16 times as much, or the equivalent of a pound). Usually, an ounce of prevention is worth considerably less. Often it is worth (to mix measures) only a gram of cure. Or even just a milligram.This is a seemingly illogical truth.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
Friday, April 04, 2008
Intensifying criticism from academia, the media, and regulators has been directed at perceived bias in the large proportion of CME content that often favors a newly marketed product or off-label use of a product manufactured by the sponsor. The Senate report is primarily concerned about such influence on drug expenditures for Medicare and Medicaid.Click here to read the article.
A demonstration program at UCSF today reported a 56.8% reduction in medication administration errors – increasing the administration accuracy rate at participating hospitals to 93%. These gains were achieved through adherence to a set of six “best practice” procedures for medication administration identified by CalNOC (the California Nursing Outcomes Coalition). The study also reported a reduction in procedural errors of 78.5% – increasing adherence to these “best practice” procedures to 95.6% after 18 months. This study is the first to directly validate a specific set “best practices” for medication administration.
Click here to access the article.