Medical Progress Today
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Volume 4, Number 9
March 2, 2007


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News

Drug Partnership Introduces Cheap Antimalaria Pill
International Herald Tribune, 3-1-07

Editor's Notes:

Kudos to the pharmaceutical company Sanofi–Aventis and the charity group Doctors Without Borders for joining hands to launch a new combination antimalarial treatment in poor nations where the disease is endemic. It is also refreshing to see that DWB has done something to work constructively with "Big Pharma" companies as opposed to simply bashing them.
Continue reading . . .

Emerging Drugs Show Promise Against HIV
Wall Street Journal, 2-28-07

Editor's Notes:

Antiretroviral drugs have helped transform AIDS from a death sentence into a serious, but manageable chronic disease for millions of patients around the globe. But the AIDS virus quickly mutates to develop resistance to these drugs, meaning that without a steady stream of new treatments, older medicines will eventually become obsolete.
Continue reading . . .

Bargaining Down That CT Scan Is Suddenly Possible
The New York Times, 2-27-07

Editor's Notes:

The Times chronicles how the growth of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and other forms of consumer–directed health insurance are forcing providers to offer more transparent prices for their services.
Continue reading . . .

New drug to fight cancer may get the cold shoulder
Chicago Tribune, 2-27-07

Editor's Notes:

This Tribune story opens a window into the expensive and unpredictable world of drug development—and explains why intellectual property rights (patents) help drive medical innovation.
Continue reading . . .

Independent Lens; Counter-detailers help doctors wade through drug company marketing
The Boston Globe, 2-27-07

Editor's Notes:

Dr. Jeffrey Avorn, a Harvard Medical School professor and longtime critic of the pharmaceutical industry, has found a way to inject his point of view on the relative value (or lack thereof) of new drugs into doctor's offices: "counter–detailers" who try to present a different view of the usefulness of new medicines than the "detailers" used by drug companies to promote their wares.
Continue reading . . .

Clinical Trials: Are Drugmakers' Studies Biased?
Newsweek, 2-26-07

Editor's Notes:

Cancer researchers released a study this week finding that studies of cancer drugs by industry sponsors reported positive results more often than those that were not sponsored by companies.
Continue reading . . .

To Save Later, Employers Offer Free Drugs Now
The New York Times, 2-21-07

Editor's Notes:

The Times reports that many large employers are finding that it is more cost effective to offer free or very low cost prescription drugs to their employees with chronic illnesses like asthma and heart disease.
Continue reading . . .

Commentary

The Fear Industrial Complex
John Stossel, Real Clear Politics, 2-28-07

Stossel, a correspondent for ABC News 20/20, examines how a culture of medical fear mongering has led parents to withhold potentially life-saving vaccines from their children.
Continue reading . . .

If profit is bad, why choose Michigan?
Chuck Moss, Detroit News, 2-28-07

Moss, a representative in the Michigan legislature, points out the irony that Michigan politicians are simultaneously considering lifting a law banning frivolous lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies and trying to convince those companies to relocate their businesses into the state.
Continue reading . . .

Overdose of restraints could sicken industry
Michael H. Davidson, Chicago Sun-Times, 2-27-07

Michael Davidson argues that the public's current negative perception of the pharmaceutical industry may have very serious consequences for public health.
Continue reading . . .

Intensive Care for RomneyCare
Sally C. Pipes, Wall Street Journal, 2-26-07

Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute, writes that Massachusetts' new health care plan, which includes a mandate for consumers to buy health insurance, is already showing signs of being far more expensive for the state (and consumers) than it was originally billed.
Continue reading . . .

What price health?
Investor's Business Daily, 2-23-07

The editors at IBD point out that recent reports bemoaning the high cost of American health care have fixated on the costs of services (the costs of drugs, doctors, and hospitals) while ignoring one central feature of our health care system that exacerbates health inflation: third-party payers.
Continue reading . . .

The Rise of In-Store Clinics Threat or Opportunity
New England Journal of Medicine, 2-22-07

Dr. Bohmer examines the rise of inexpensive in–store health clinics (like RediClinic) and finds that the business and health care models presented by these clinics are valuable and worth pursuing further.
Continue reading . . .


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In this week's issue:

NEWS

Drug Partnership Introduces Cheap Antimalaria Pill
Emerging Drugs Show Promise Against HIV
Bargaining Down That CT Scan Is Suddenly Possible
New drug to fight cancer may get the cold shoulder
Independent Lens; Counter-detailers help doctors wade through drug company marketing
Clinical Trials: Are Drugmakers' Studies Biased?
To Save Later, Employers Offer Free Drugs Now

COMMENTARY

The Fear Industrial Complex
If profit is bad, why choose Michigan?
Overdose of restraints could sicken industry
Intensive Care for RomneyCare
What price health?
The Rise of In-Store Clinics Threat or Opportunity

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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