Health

Medicare funding unsafe prescriptions

A story in the Huffington Post says that a Medicare program meant to provide medications for the elderly and disabled is subject to widespread abuse.

An analysis by public advocacy journalism Website ProPublica found that that healthcare professionals throughout the country are prescribing large quantities of drugs under the program that are potentially harmful or addictive, and that the federal officials charged with overseeing the program have done little to curb the ...

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Diabetes group wants drug-makers to release info

According to a story in MedPage Today, the American Diabetes Association is calling for makers of diabetes drugs such as Byetta and Januvia, classified as “incretin therapies,” to release all of the data on their drugs for a review.

The ADA’s demands come as a growing body of evidence links drugs such as Byetta and Januvia to a potentially deadly inflammation of the pancreas called pancreatitis, and to pancreatic cancer. Byetta has ...

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Man represents ‘new breed’ of mesothelioma plaintiff

An article in the Wall Street Journal tells the story of a Texas man who died from the form of cancer called mesothelioma, and the attempts on his and his family’s part to get compensation from the company responsible.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium, which is the protective lining that covers many of the body’s internal organs. In the vast majority of cases, it’s caused by exposure to asbestos — ...

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EU Doctors urge caution when prescribing Lipitor

Some European medical professionals are urging their colleagues to use caution in prescribing the class of cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins, following reports linking the medications to a higher risk of diabetes.

In a study published in the British Medical Journal, Canadian researchers said powerful statins such as Lipitor may increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 22 percent compared with weaker drugs. The researchers analyzed a sample of 1.5 million ...

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Medical device regulations criticized

A story in Canadian news magazine MacLean’s deals with the haphazard nature of medical device regulation, characterizing the problem as a “scandal in the making.”

According to the article, flawed oversight of medical devices – essentially any medical product that doesn’t work through a chemical process – is an international problem that exists in the United States and Europe, as well as Canada.

The article specifically mentions two medical devices that serve as ...

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Opinion piece on blood pressure treatment considered controversial

An article in Forbes analyzes the likely impact of an opinion piece published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine, which journalist Peter Lipson concludes is “sure to start some fights.”

In the JAMA column, retired but respected physician Iona Heath argues that mild high blood pressure is over-treated, and that medical professionals should raise the blood pressure rate at which they begin prescribing medication.

Not only might the blood pressure ...

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