Medical Progress Today
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Volume 4, Number 18
June 1, 2007


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News

Bush AIDS Plan Gets Bipartisan Praise
Washington Post, 5-31-07

Editor's Notes:

This week, President Bush proposed doubling the funding (from $15 billion to $30 billion) for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has received high marks for bringing antiretroviral AIDS drugs to millions of patients in Africa, Guyana, Haiti, and Vietnam.
Continue reading . . .

FDA Remains Unsettled in Wake of New Questions
The New York Times, 5-31-07

Editor's Notes:

The New York Times habitually portrays the FDA as an agency in "crisis", unable or unwilling to grapple with safety questions surrounding new drug approvals. This article offers the same narrative regarding questions about the safety of the diabetes drug Avandia, which may (the data is uncertain at this point) be linked to a small but significant increase in heart disease in some patients.
Continue reading . . .

Why Health Care No Longer Makes Politicians Leery
Wall Street Journal, 5-30-07

Editor's Notes:

This article tries to make the case that the American electorate is finally willing to "think big" about health care and sanction a larger role for the government in this area. And politicians from both parties are following the political head winds:
Continue reading . . .

GlaxoSmithKline shares fall after report shows U.S. doctors shunning Avandia drug
Associated Press, 5-29-07

Editor's Notes:

The AP reports that U.S. physicians are "shunning" Avandia in the wake of a report in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that patients taking the drug may have an increased risk of heart attack.
Continue reading . . .

Doctors' list puts a price on care
Los Angeles Times, 5-28-07

Editor's Notes:

The L.A. Times writes that "California's largest private physician practice", with over a half million patients, has posted prices for many routine medical procedures on its Web site, following the example set by convenient care clinics like RediClinic and MinuteClinic.
Continue reading . . .

Facing cancer without insurance
Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5-28-07

Editor's Notes:

Although liberal and conservative policy experts may disagree on the exact solution to our health care woes, one thing we can all agree on is that the current tax preference for employer–provided health insurance does a grave disservice to the uninsured, particularly those with chronic illnesses.
Continue reading . . .

Commentary

Glaxo Letter Defends Avandia
Wall Street Journal, 5-31-07

In response to the study by Dr. Nissen and his colleagues in the New England Journal of Medicine which we linked to last week) GlaxoSmithKline issued a letter in the Lancet defending the safety of Avandia based what they believe is the best available data. The Lancet has also issued its own editorial on the issue.
Continue reading . . .

The Obama Health Plan
Atul Gawande, The New York Times, 5-31-07

Gawande, a guest columnist in the New York Times, continues his series on health care issues by discussing Sen. Barack Obama' latest plan. Gawande notes that while there are flaws in all existing plans—and all existing health care systems—reform is imperative.
Continue reading . . .

Evolving Beyond Traditional Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance
Stuart Butler, Brookings Institution, 5-31-07

Butler's piece makes for good reading with Dr. Gawande's op–ed, as it focuses on how we can move beyond the current employer–based health insurance system.
Continue reading . . .

Journalistic Malpractice
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Wall Street Journal, 5-29-07

Gottlieb criticizes the New England Journal of Medicine for rushing a study on Avandia into print even as the FDA was engaged in a more thorough review of the same data.
Continue reading . . .

Research

The State Children's Health Insurance Program
Congressional Budget Office, 5-1-07

As Congress debates the renewal of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) the Congressional Budget Office has released a paper summarizing the history and design of SCHIP, and discussing key issues that are likely to emerge as the debate moves forward. One problem that policymakers should pay careful attention to is how SCHIP has "crowded out" private insurance coverage for some parents and their children.
Continue reading . . .


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In this week's issue:

NEWS

Bush AIDS Plan Gets Bipartisan Praise
FDA Remains Unsettled in Wake of New Questions
Why Health Care No Longer Makes Politicians Leery
GlaxoSmithKline shares fall after report shows U.S. doctors shunning Avandia drug
Doctors' list puts a price on care
Facing cancer without insurance

COMMENTARY

Glaxo Letter Defends Avandia
The Obama Health Plan
Evolving Beyond Traditional Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance
Journalistic Malpractice

RESEARCH

The State Children's Health Insurance Program

COMING SOON!!

New book by Regina Herzlinger: Who Killed Health Care: America's $1.5 Trillion Problem - and the Consumer-Driven Cure (McGraw-Hill, June 2007)

Advanced copies available now at Amazon

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