Medical Progress Today
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Volume 3, Number 19
May 26, 2006


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In the Spotlight

They'd Sooner Fix Medicaid

Regina E. Herzlinger, Tom Coburn, Wall Street Journal, 5-18-06

The state Legislature here is working to finalize an agreement for Medicaid reform legislation creating personal health accounts (PHAs) for Medicaid enrollees. This comes hard on the heels of similar innovations in South Carolina and Florida. Reform is in the air—much the way it was when Wisconsin revolutionized its welfare system in the early 1990s, forerunning a stunning national success. Are we on the verge of consumer revolution in health care?
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News

AIDS Drug Trial Turned Away
Washington Post, 5-23-06

Editor's Notes:

Samuel Johnson is reputed to have observed that hell is paved with good intentions. The corollary to this should be "particularly the good intentions of activists." In this article, the Washington Post relates how AIDS activists have scuttled foreign trials of the AIDS drug tenofovir, which could—eventually—turn out to be the first successful drug prophylactic against the disease.
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Off label, off base? Many Drug Uses Don't Rest on Strong Science
Washington Post, 5-23-06

Editor's Notes:

This is a very interesting article on off–label drug use that is probably unduly alarming on the effects of off–label prescribing. Still, it is well worth reading for a window into the enormous complexity that doctors must grapple with in their attempts to help patients.
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When Cancer Runs in Your Family—Recent Research on Relatives Leads to Advances For Cancers of Kidney, Prostate, and Colon
Wall Street Journal, 5-23-06

Editor's Notes:

While we're all waiting for the next generation of personalized medicines, the best way to catch a glimpse of your own health future is to look carefully at your family history. This approach is also helping cancer researchers use new technologies to better understand the genetic roots of different cancers and help design treatments to fight them.
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States begin overhaul of health insurance for the poor
The San Diego Union-Tribune, 5-23-06

Editor's Notes:

One of the tipping points in the debate over welfare reform was the growing public consensus that welfare recipients had a responsibility to work in return for their benefits. A similar approach is now being applied in some state Medicaid programs, where policymakers are stipulating that poor Medicaid recipients "sign contracts" to abide by good health guidelines in return for certain types of health care coverage.
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Commentary

Government-Controlled Pharmaceutical Research and Development: A Recipe for Disaster
Richard Tren, Roger Bate, AEI Online, 5-22-06

In this Health Policy Outlook, Bate and Tren argue that increased bureaucratic control of international drug research and development will only harm the citizens of poor nations who are most in need of health care innovation.
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Price Gouging is Bad Medicine
Alexander Tabarrok, Wall Street Journal, 5-20-06

Tabarrok, the co-author of a recent study on medical malpractice premiums for the Manhattan Institute, weighs in here with a powerful op-ed that demolishes arguments by plaintiff's lawyers and their allies that rising medical malpractice insurance premiums are the result of industry price gouging.
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Research

Health Insurance and Job Creation by the Self-Employed
Aparna Mathur, AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, 5-22-06

There has been quite a bit of discussion on the impact of state health insurance mandates on the cost of health insurance for individuals and small businesses (and thus the likelihood that they will offer insurance coverage), but little public debate on the impact these mandates may have on the hiring decisions of small businesses. This is a particularly important issue since small businesses are the engine of new job creation in the U.S.
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In this week's issue:

SPOTLIGHT

They'd Sooner Fix Medicaid

NEWS

AIDS Drug Trial Turned Away
Off label, off base? Many Drug Uses Don't Rest on Strong Science
When Cancer Runs in Your Family—Recent Research on Relatives Leads to Advances For Cancers of Kidney, Prostate, and Colon
States begin overhaul of health insurance for the poor

COMMENTARY

Government-Controlled Pharmaceutical Research and Development: A Recipe for Disaster
Price Gouging is Bad Medicine

RESEARCH

Health Insurance and Job Creation by the Self-Employed
Center for Medical Progress 
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