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Volume 3, Number 25
July 14, 2006


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In the Spotlight

Dreaming by the Bay
Why local politicians should stay out of the health insurance business

Sally C. Pipes, Medical Progress Today, 7-14-06

The push for mandate driven universal health insurance has taken center stage in the policy arena. Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has achieved near celebrity status with his plan to require individuals to purchase insurance or face fines. The American Medical Association voted at its June meeting to endorse a nationwide mandate on individuals to purchase health insurance. And my city may soon make national news if its mayor is successful in implementing a plan promising to provide universal coverage for San Francisco residents.
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News

FDA Clears Once–A–Day AIDS Drug
Washington Post, 7-13-06

Editor's Notes:

A new triple combination AIDS pill promises to make treatment for victims of the virus much simpler. The new drug, collaboration between Bristol–Myers Squibb and Gilead Sciences, combines three previously prescribed drugs into a single pill to be taken once daily.
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With Legislation in Limbo, CMS Launches HSA Demo
The Hill, 7-13-06

Editor's Notes:

Nothing worries defenders of large government programs like the introduction of market competition. And, this week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services gave them some new reasons to lose sleep.
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Patients With Rare Diseases Work to Jump-Start Research
Wall Street Journal, 7-11-06

Editor's Notes:

Patients with rare diseases face a number of hurdles in the search for effective treatments. Increasingly, these patients are banding together to spearhead research efforts and offer genetic materials that can help researchers plumb the origins of their disease.
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FDA Signals It's Open to Drug Trials That Shift Midcourse
Wall Street Journal, 7-10-06

Editor's Notes:

In a promising development at the FDA, agency officials have signaled their openness to allowing adaptive clinical trials for new drugs. Adaptive trials use Bayesian analysis, a type of complex statistical analysis, to determine which treatment may be succeeding or which drug combination offers the best result and allows researchers to adapt ongoing trials to home in on the best potential treatments. Drug companies and researchers hope that using adaptive trials will save both time and money, helping to accelerate the development of more effective Medicines.
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Fighting Diseases with Checkbooks
The New York Times, 7-8-06

Editor's Notes:

This recent New York Times article examines the benefits and potential pitfalls of medical research funded by private individuals. Warning against too much private discretion over research funds, the article argues that public or international research institutions can better determine fund allocation and research areas.
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Commentary

Drug Prescription Plan Works For Seniors
Candace Miller, Detroit News, 7-12-06

Michigan Representative Candice Miller argues that the new Medicare plan is providing the care that seniors need without the problems that critics had warned would accompany the new system.
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Who's In Charge?
Marc Siegel, MD, Washington Post, 7-11-06

Siegel, a physician, argues that it is the ultimately responsibility of patients to control their treatment, not the doctor. At their best, doctors simply act as guides or informants that help patients navigate their way through the healthcare system. While he admits that it can bruise his ego to have a patient question his medical judgment, he urges his readers to be informed and take charge of their health.
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Sick at the World Bank
Roger Bate, AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, 7-7-06

Bate investigates the failings of the World Bank in treating malaria. He cites a recent article that he coauthored in the medical journal, Lancet, that found that the World Bank failed to properly treat millions of victims of malaria, wasting money and lives in the process.
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A Sucker Is Born
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7-3-06

In this op–ed from the St. Louis Post–Dispatch, the writers decry the inability of the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices under the Medicare drug plan. Citing the success of the VA in controlling prices as a deep contrast to the failing Medicare system, the article calls for a drastic overhaul of the Medicare system that would entail a Canadian–style single payer system covering every American citizen.
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What's Wrong with Money In Science?
Thomas P. Stossel, M.D., David Shaywitz, Washington Post, 7-2-06

After this week's controversy surrounding the alleged failure of several authors of a JAMA article to disclose pharmaceutical industry ties, Stossel and Shaywitz provide a counter–argument that private money in medicine doesn't weaken medical research—it strengthens it.
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Medical Progress Today is published by the Center for Medical Progress at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

For more information about Medical Progress Today, please contact the managing editor, Paul Howard, at phoward@manhattan-institute.org, or via telephone at 212.599.7000.

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In this week's issue:

SPOTLIGHT

Dreaming by the Bay

NEWS

FDA Clears Once–A–Day AIDS Drug
With Legislation in Limbo, CMS Launches HSA Demo
Patients With Rare Diseases Work to Jump-Start Research
FDA Signals It's Open to Drug Trials That Shift Midcourse
Fighting Diseases with Checkbooks

COMMENTARY

Drug Prescription Plan Works For Seniors
Who's In Charge?
Sick at the World Bank
A Sucker Is Born
What's Wrong with Money In Science?
Center for Medical Progress 
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