Medical Progress Today
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Volume 3, Number 13
April 14, 2006


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In the Spotlight

Direct to Consumer Communications: Better Health and Better Information
Europe can improve on direct to consumer advertising, if they are willing to empower patients.

Peter J. Pitts, Medical Progress Today, 4-14-06

I've just returned from Europe where I had the opportunity to speak with various think tanks, thought leaders, and pharmaceutical companies on the issue they call "information-to-patients" (ItP). That's what we "on the other side of the pond" refer to as "direct-to-consumer communications."
Continue reading . . .

News

Comparison of Schizophrenia Drugs Often Favors Firm Funding Study
Washington Post, 4-12-06

Editor's Notes:

This article raises the question of whether or not drug trials sponsored by pharmaceutical companies are trustworthy. Some researchers and industry critics, like Marcia Angell, worry that these trials are more about marketing than real science. However, these worries are, for the most part, probably overblown—primarily because, in order to enter the market at all, drugs must first pass strict FDA scrutiny and prove that they are reasonably safe and effective.
Continue reading . . .

Most Seniors Enrolled Say Drug Benefit Saves Money
Washington Post, 4-12-06

Editor's Notes:

After reporting nothing but negative reactions to the Medicare drug benefit for a number of months, the media seems to be moderately surprised that seniors who've signed up for it said that they are saving money and that "the paperwork [to join] was easy to complete."
Continue reading . . .

Pharmaceutical Giants Continue to Raise Prices Higher Than Inflation AARP's Latest Drug Price Study Shows
AARP, 4-10-06

Editor's Notes:

The AARP has released yet another report that singles out prices for a handpicked group of branded pharmaceuticals and alleges, in essence, that the industry is price™gouging American patients.
Continue reading . . .

Commentary

Health Care for Everyone? We’ve Found a Way
Mitt Romney, Wall Street Journal, 4-11-06

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney signed into law this week a bipartisan plan for universal health insurance in the Bay State based on an individual mandate. But before he signed the mandate into law, he defended his program as a mix of personal responsibility and insurance reform on the op–ed page of the Wall Street Journal.
Continue reading . . .

Massachusetts will fail
Sally C. Pipes, USA Today, 4-9-06

Sally Pipes, president of the San Francisco–based Pacific Research Institute, takes issue with the Massachusetts mandate—arguing that it will lead to Canadian–style government run health care.
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Health Savings Accounts: It’s All Good
Grace-Marie Turner, Galen Institute, 4-6-06

Grace–Marie Turner weighs in with more information supporting the viability and utility of Health Savings Accounts for a wide variety of Americans:
Continue reading . . .

Evaluating Doctors with Medicare Data
The New York Times, 4-12-04

The New York Times weighs in with a thoughtful editorial advocating that Medicare release more data on physician quality, albeit with safeguards to ensure that physicians who treat sicker patients or more complex ailments aren't penalized for their efforts.
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Research

HPV Vaccine May Be Safe and Protective
Medscape, 4-11-06

Cancer vaccines are one of the fastest growing areas of cancer research, and one of the few vaccines that has already proven its worth is a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, which is most commonly caused by a viral infection. In this article, Medscape reports that the vaccine also offers long lasting protection to patients.
Continue reading . . .


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In this week's issue:

SPOTLIGHT

Direct to Consumer Communications: Better Health and Better Information

NEWS

Comparison of Schizophrenia Drugs Often Favors Firm Funding Study
Most Seniors Enrolled Say Drug Benefit Saves Money
Pharmaceutical Giants Continue to Raise Prices Higher Than Inflation AARP's Latest Drug Price Study Shows

COMMENTARY

Health Care for Everyone? We’ve Found a Way
Massachusetts will fail
Health Savings Accounts: It’s All Good
Evaluating Doctors with Medicare Data

RESEARCH

HPV Vaccine May Be Safe and Protective

Reader Survey
Center for Medical Progress 
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