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Volume 3, Number 28
August 11, 2006


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News

TV Ads for Prescription Drugs Fuel Further Debate
Lexington-Herald Leader, 8-10-06

Editor's Notes:

Critics of prescription drug advertising claim that the high volume of ads, particularly for "lifestyle" drugs like the sleep aid Lunesta, are causing a surge in the number of patients demanding treatment for symptoms that would be better treated through non–medical means and driving up the nation's health care bill.
Continue reading . . .

Congress to Probe Policies at NIH
Los Angeles Times, 8-10-06

Editor's Notes:

The National Institutes of Health is under renewed pressure from Congress to tighten its conflict of interest policies as a result of an article in the Los Angeles Times alleging that Thomas Walsh, a senior NIH researcher, did not disclose his industry ties when serving on a FDA advisory committee.
Continue reading . . .

New Tests May Help Treat Lung Cancer
Wall Street Journal, 8-10-06

Editor's Notes:

A recently released study in the New England Journal of Medicine holds promising news for patients suffering from lung cancer. The study found that researchers can use genetic markers to better predict the best treatment options for patients suffering from non–small–cell lung cancer.
Continue reading . . .

Administration Aims to Set Health–Care Standards
Washington Post, 8-7-06

Editor's Notes:

The Bush administration recently detailed plans to improve the quality of U.S. health care by requiring health professionals to set uniform standards for treatment and improve reporting of patient outcomes. It is hoped that these new requirements will raise the quality of care for federally funded facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid patients, but Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt also urged state officials to enact the same reforms for state subsidized services.
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Medicare Drug Plan is Prescribing Profits, Business Gains Could Diminish As Program Evolves
The San Francisco Chronicle, 8-4-06

Editor's Notes:

Critics of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit have bemoaned the higher profits that some companies have realized from the plan. But it is also very much a calculated risk for insurers and drug manufacturers. The threat of government intervention into the market (price controls masquerading as "negotiation") and the concern over rising health care costs for larger cohorts of older Americans could mean trouble for the private partners who participate in the plan.
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Commentary

Drug Snares: Tariffs Take Their Toll in Poor Nations
Roger Bate, Kathryn Boateng, AEI Online, 8-9-06

Authors Bate and Boateng report on the effects of drug tariffs on medicinal access in developing nations. They argue that these tariffs keep valuable medicines out of the hands of desperate patients while funding corrupt bureaucracies. They call for the international community to push for the elimination of drug tariffs to help the world's poorest citizens gain access to critical medical treatments.
Continue reading . . .

Justice Scams
Ted Frank, AEI Online, 8-8-06

Frank offers a disturbing look into medical malpractice and its effect on drug development and medical progress. He argues that fraudulent malpractice suits have become pervasive and, as a result, safe and effective medical treatments have been taken from the market and medical innovation has suffered as companies avoid products viewed as litigation magnets.
Continue reading . . .

Giving the Sick a Chance for Help, Hope
Jerry Fensterman, The Boston Globe, 8-3-06

Fensterman details his experiences as a cancer clinical trial participant in order to galvanize reforms that can help patients get better access to cutting edge treatments. He argues that the increasing lack of trial participants can be traced to the great expenses and hardships inherent in navigating the clinical trial enrollment process. Reforming the system, he contends, will attract more participants and help researchers speed more effective treatments onto the market.
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Research

Tariffs, Corruption, and Other Impediments to Medicinal Access in Developing Countries: Field Evidence
Roger Bate, Kathryn Boateng, Lorraine Mooney, Richard Tren, AEI Online, 8-1-06

This recently released study of the effect of tariffs and government corruption on drug access for needy patients in Third World nations details the problems with drug delivery in the developing world. The paper's authors call on government and health officials to eliminate drug tariffs in order to open the medicinal market for those in the developing world and to end tariff corruption by Third World governments.
Continue reading . . .


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In this week's issue:

NEWS

TV Ads for Prescription Drugs Fuel Further Debate
Congress to Probe Policies at NIH
New Tests May Help Treat Lung Cancer
Administration Aims to Set Health–Care Standards
Medicare Drug Plan is Prescribing Profits, Business Gains Could Diminish As Program Evolves

COMMENTARY

Drug Snares: Tariffs Take Their Toll in Poor Nations
Justice Scams
Giving the Sick a Chance for Help, Hope

RESEARCH

Tariffs, Corruption, and Other Impediments to Medicinal Access in Developing Countries: Field Evidence
Center for Medical Progress 
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