Category Archives: Medical Economics

Yet another study shows social value of monogamy

When it comes to marriage and family structure, there’s a good reason nearly every modern society has encouraged monogamy as the accepted norm: Because it’s good for society.

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Smartphone may be the future of medicine

The New York Times reports Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist at the Scripps Medical Institute in La Jolla, California, “is only half joking when he says the smartphone is the future of medicine – because most of his patients already … Continue reading

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Probiotics grow in popularity but don’t always deliver on promises

Probiotic supplements and foods containing “friendly” bacteria or yeast have become popular options for people hoping to improve bowel function or boost immunity. But many customers are confused by the vast array of choices.

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Report finds illicit drugs bought on Internet could be poison (Ya think?)

HealthDay reports, “A case study of two men who were poisoned and turned blue after ingesting what they thought was a recreational drug that they had bought on the Internet highlights the dangers of such purchases,” according to a study … Continue reading

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Survey: Nearly all orthopedic surgeons order unnecessary tests

HealthDay reports, “A shocking new national survey suggests that nearly all orthopedic surgeons may order unnecessary tests, referrals or hospitalizations to avoid being sued, to the tune of $2 billion a year.”

Posted in Medical Economics | 3 Comments

Physician: FDA should not approve weight-loss drug without being certain of safety

In a column for USA Today, Marc Siegel, MD, professor of medicine at the NYU Langone Medical Center, writes about concerns over the safety of Qnexa [phentermine/topiramate], a new obesity drug that has been recommended for approval by the Food … Continue reading

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Many physicians foolishly treat self, family members

American Medical News reports, “Professional ethics policies have long warned about the perils of physicians treating themselves or family members,” and yet, “a 2011 survey of more than 1,000 physicians in North Carolina found that nearly half had treated themselves … Continue reading

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Fish oil and multivitamins most popular supplements in survey

A survey of over 10,000 savvy consumers of supplements shows the most popular supplements to be fish oil, multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and CoQ10, in that order.

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Researchers warn consumers should “be wary” of buying statins on the Internet

HealthDay reports, “Be wary of buying the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins on the Internet,” British researchers said in a study published in the journal Pharmacoepidemiology & Drug Safety.

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Scientists argue sugar should be regulated like alcohol, tobacco

In a front-page story, the San Francisco Chronicle, “Like alcohol and tobacco, sugar is a toxic, addictive substance that should be highly regulated with taxes, laws on where and to whom it can be advertised, and even age-restricted sales, says … Continue reading

Posted in Medical Economics, Nutritional Health, Obesity | 1 Comment

Campaign to publish list of overused tests, treatments

The AP reports, “Chances are you’ve heard that many expert groups say cancer screening is overused, too, from mammograms given too early or too often to prostate cancer tests that may not save lives,” but “some of the nuts-and-bolts tests given … Continue reading

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FDA, FTC warn companies to stop selling HCG diet products

The AP reports that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to seven companies, ordering them “to stop selling an unproven weight loss remedy that uses protein from the human placenta.”

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PSA screening for prostate cancer. The debate continues.

ABC World News reported, “An earthquake in the debate over men and prostate cancer” regarding a “simple blood test called a PSA. Twenty million men use it to find out if they show a sign of risk, yet today, a … Continue reading

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The PSA Controversy: A view from family physicians.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, or USPSTF, has once again rejected the status quo, following the evidence to propose a recommendation some likely will find controversial. Here’s a viewpoint from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) that I find very … Continue reading

Posted in Cancer, Medical Economics, Men's Health | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The PSA Controversy: A view from the American Cancer Society.

To screen or not to screen for prostate cancer, that is the question. Or is it? Here’s the viewpoint of my friend, J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, MD, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the American Cancer Society. 

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Task force recommends “D” rating for PSA screening for prostate cancer

TV and print media have extensively covered the US Preventive Services Task Force’s (USPSTF) decision to give a “D” rating to PSA testing. What’s this mean for men? I’ll cover this controversy in the next few blogs.

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Is the US infant mortality ranking “shameful”? I say, “no,” but here’s the debate:

Of the over 2000 blogs I’ve posted, one of the most popular was Health Myth #1: “The U.S. has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the developed world.”. Now, in an editorial, USA Today points out that the … Continue reading

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CMS unveils new website with hospital quality data

CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) is beginning a new program to help health consumers compare hospitals based on quality.

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Rising Costs Complicate Vaccine Guidelines

The group that advises the U.S. government on vaccination thinks some new vaccines may NOT be worth the cost.

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Emergency medical care myths

In a Huffington Post report, Leigh Vinocur, M.D., debunked three emergency medical care myths. I must tell you that I believed each of these three “myths.” So, this article was very informative to me.

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Palliative care may prolong life, reduce suffering

Do you know the difference between “palliative care” and “hospice care”? I must confess that for sometime I did not. Now that I’m more educated on the topic, I’m finding that many patients – and even many doctors – confuse palliative medicine … Continue reading

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Patients knowingly given placebo report relief

Placebo treatment, it turns out, can actually significantly influence subjective symptoms.

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Investigator Planned to Make Vast Profit From Autism/MMR Vaccine Scare

Andrew Wakefield, the lead author on the 1998 study that reported a link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and a new condition of regressive autism and bowel disease called autistic enterocolitis (AE), was planning to market a prestudy diagnostic testing … Continue reading

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Obama Pushes to Rescind Conscience Rights For Pro-Life Doctors

A national organization of Christian doctors is strongly concerned about the Obama administration’s effort to rescind conscience protections the Bush administration put in place for medical professionals. The regulations provide additional protections and support for those doctors and nurses who don’t … Continue reading

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U.S. spending millions to see if herbs truly work

People have been using herbal supplements for centuries to cure all manner of ills and improve their health. But for all the folk wisdom promoting the use of such plants as St. John’s wort and black cohosh, much about their … Continue reading

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Obama Admin Working to Rescind Conscience Rights on Abortion

The Obama administration is still working to overturn conscience rights for medical professionals on abortion that were put in place at the tail end of the Bush administration. Here are the chilling details in a report from LifeNews: In 2008, … Continue reading

Posted in Bioethics, Medical Economics | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

As Healthcare Reform Takes Hold, 74% of Physicians Will Retire or Seek Other Alternatives

Healthcare reform, should it survive legal challenge, repeal, and/or non-funding, will usher in a new era of medicine in which physicians will, according to a report in Modern Medicine, “largely cease to operate as full-time, independent, private practitioners accepting third party … Continue reading

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ObamaCare Repealed in the House

The House of Representatives resumed debate this morning on H.R. 2, legislation to repeal ObamaCare. A final vote came this evening, and it, as expected, passed easily with the new GOP majority in control. Also, in the “breaking news” category … Continue reading

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Lower-Priced Resveratrol Supplements Pass Quality Tests While Some Higher-Priced Brands Flunk

Nature’s Code ResveratrexConsumerLab.com has reported that tests of supplements containing resveratrol — a compound promoted as “life-extending” — revealed that two products provided only 43.4% and 86.7%, respectively, of their listed amounts of resveratrol. These two products were among the … Continue reading

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“Mammography Saves Lives” Slogan Doesn’t Tell Full Story and May Mislead Many Women

The current “Mammography Saves Lives” campaign in the United States and previous campaigns promoting screening for breast cancer are not providing balanced information, because they underreport, or don’t mention at all, potential harms from the procedure, say critics. One expert … Continue reading

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