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Volume 2, Number 33
September 16, 2005


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In the Spotlight

Focusing the spotlight on the real Scott Gottlieb
Not just the one the media invented

Robert Goldberg, Ph.D., Medical Progress Today, 9-15-05

In recent weeks, the media has been focusing on Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Deputy Commissioner at the Food and Drug Administration. Unfortunately, they've been focusing on everything but his track record, medical background and vision. They have tried to characterize him as the pharmaceutical industry's puppet.
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News

Medicare's Drug Plan: What to Do Now --- As Key Sign-Up Dates for Benefit Approach, Seniors Face Series of Decisions; Choosing a Policy
Wall Street Journal, 9-14-05

Editor’s Notes:

The new Medicare “Part D” drug benefit is probably the most controversial federal program since the New Deal. As such, it is drawing an enormous amount of flack—some deserved, some less so. The going conventional wisdom is that the Medicare drug benefit that will be offered beginning in January 2006 is so complex and bewildering that seniors will avoid it in droves. The Journal notes that
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Cancer prevention studies involving Celebrex resume
Associated Press Newswires, 9-13-05

Editor’s Notes:

COX-2 drugs like Vioxx may yet prove to be vital weapons in the war on cancer. Unfortunately, the unmitigated media and legal assault on the entire COX-2 class has overshadowed their value and continues to hinder research into their anti-cancer properties.
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Diabetes Drug Cuts Heart Attacks
Forbes, 9-12-05

Editor’s Notes:

Diabetes is not just about blood sugar. It is a syndrome that affects the entire body and can lead to other devastating illnesses unless it is carefully controlled. According to the American Diabetes Association, “2 out of 3 people with diabetes die from heart disease and stroke”.
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Vioxx trials to pain industry
Washington Times, 9-9-05

Editor’s Notes:

At a recent legal seminar on the litigation surrounding Vioxx one personal injury attorney argued that if “Merck had been forthcoming about Vioxx and did a true clinical trial on the cardiovascular risks, the drug might still be on the market for a limited number of consumers.” Ironically, companies have few incentives to conduct such studies, largely thanks to America’s system of jackpot justice.
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Pfizer Inhalant Drug For Diabetics Wins Support of FDA Panel
Wall Street Journal, 9-9-05

Editor’s Notes:

No life-saving medicine in the world is any good unless patients can be convinced to use it correctly and consistently. Consequently, last week’s vote by an FDA advisory committee to recommend FDA approval for a new type of inhaled insulin may represent a significant improvement in diabetes treatment—even if the drug is not, in the abstract, any more powerful than existing therapies.
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Commentary

UN plan to keep poor in their place
Philip Stevens, Business Day, 9-14-05

Stevens, health program director at the International Policy Network, argues that the United Nations has shown a repeated preference for bureaucratic wealth redistribution and aid programs that benefit elites in poor countries—as opposed to free market reforms that have been proven to create wealth and improve health in impoverished nations.
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Health Savings Accounts: The News Keeps Getting Better
Derek Hunter, Heritage Foundation, 9-6-05

Although it is hard to find much good news about American health care in the media these days, consumer-driven plans (high-deductible insurance plans including health savings accounts or HSAs) appear to be one bright spot. Costs for these plans are growing much more slowly—or even falling—and HSAs appear to be gaining momentum among consumers and business firms.
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In this week's issue:

SPOTLIGHT

Focusing the spotlight on the real Scott Gottlieb

NEWS

Medicare's Drug Plan: What to Do Now --- As Key Sign-Up Dates for Benefit Approach, Seniors Face Series of Decisions; Choosing a Policy
Cancer prevention studies involving Celebrex resume
Diabetes Drug Cuts Heart Attacks
Vioxx trials to pain industry
Pfizer Inhalant Drug For Diabetics Wins Support of FDA Panel

COMMENTARY

UN plan to keep poor in their place
Health Savings Accounts: The News Keeps Getting Better
Center for Medical Progress 
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