Counterfeit vials were sold and distributed to more than a dozen offices and medical treatment facilities in the U.S. This event, which seems to have affected a small number of patients and practices, should sound a big alarm.
Methotrexate has been used in cancer wards for over 50 years. And like other beyond-patent meds, it’s become less profitable to manufacture MTX compared to much costlier new agents.
Dr. Donald Berwick left his position last week as head of CMS. He said this, as quoted in the WSJ’s Washington Wire, yesterday: “Maybe a real death panel is a group of people who tell health care insurers that is it OK to take insurance away from people because they are sick or are at […]
Over the weekend I developed another bout of diverticulitis. Did the usual: fluids, antibiotics, rest, avoided going to the ER, cancelled travel plans. One of my doctors asked a very simple question: is this happening more frequently? The answer, we both knew, was yes. But I don’t have a Personal Health Record (PHR) that in […]
A funny thing happened at my doctor’s appointment on Friday. I checked in, and after confirming that my address and insurance hadn’t changed since last year, waited for approximately 10 minutes. A worker of some sort, likely a med-tech, called me to “take my vitals.” She took my blood pressure with a cuff that made […]
A few days ago I had a colonoscopy to evaluate some gastrointestinal problems. Subjective summary: Yuck. Downing 3 liters of Nu-Litely, a hyper-osmotic colonic cocktail prep, does not make for a pleasant Sunday afternoon, evening or night. As for the procedure itself, I don’t know how Katie Couric did it on TV. But what made the […]
Today I visited my internist for a checkup and flu shot. We talked about how I’m doing, and she examined me, and we discussed what procedures I ought have done and not done. She’s been my doctor since the summer of 1987, when I was an intern at the hospital. We reviewed so much that […]
We’re up to point 9 on the list – and nearing the end – on Bending the Cost Curve in Cancer Care from the May 26 NEJM. The suggestion from Drs. Smith and Hillner is that doctors better integrate palliative care into usual oncology care. The authors start this important section well: We can reduce […]
Today’s New York Times features an op-ed by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, on the oncology drug shortage. It’s a serious problem that’s had too-little attention in the press: Of the 34 generic cancer drugs on the market, as of this month, 14 were in short supply. They include drugs that are the mainstay of treatment regimens […]
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Don Berwick speak at the annual meeting of the Association of Health Care Journalists. Berwick now heads the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. When he spoke in April, on transparency and how we might simultaneously cut costs and improve care, I thought his […]
Dr. Wes has a short post today, How to Optimize Your Care While Hospitalized that got me thinking. He writes: …A lone doctor listening to some highly experienced and capable nurses, reflecting on their work: “If the patient’s nice, it’s a lot easier to want to go back in that room with them. Their reputation […]
Last week I had some blood tests taken before a doctor’s appointment. I went to a commercial lab facility, one of several dozen centers for collecting specimens have opened up in otherwise-unrented Manhattan office spaces lately. I have to say I really like getting my blood work done at this place, if and when I […]
An article in the March 24 NEJM called Specialization, Subspecialization, and Subsubspecialization in Internal Medicine might have some heads shaking: Isn’t there a shortage of primary care physicians? The sounding-board piece considers the recent decision of the American Board of Internal Medicine to issue certificates in two new fields: (1) hospice and palliative care and (2) advanced heart failure and plans in-the-works for official credentialing in other, relatively narrow fields like addiction and obesity.
The essay caught my attention because I do think it’s true that we need more well-trained specialists
There’s a new study out on mammography with important implications for breast cancer screening. The main result is that when radiologists review more mammograms per year, the rate of false positives declines. The stated purpose of the research,* published in the journal Radiology, was to see how radiologists’ interpretive volume – essentially the number of […]
The Obama administration will cut a new Medicare provision to compensate providers for discussing end-of-life care, according to the New York Times. This is an unfortunate reversal. Too-often, doctors fail to have these discussions with their patients. This happens for many reasons including some physicians’ discomfort with the topic, their not wanting to diminish patients’ […]
Some weeks ago I discovered Happy’s hilarious Xtranormal videos on his anonymous blog. Yesterday I laughed watching the Hospitalist vs the ER: — I can’t tell you much about who the Happy Hospitalist is. His is one of the few anonymous blogs I read. Based on the apparent relevance of cars and parking lots in […]
Note to Self and to Physicians, Division Chiefs, Hospital Administrators and Everyone Else With Responsibilities for Other Humans
— (and to Other Physicians, Division Chiefs, Hospital Administrators and Everyone Else With Responsibilities for Other Humans): Yesterday I started but didn’t complete a post on the interesting concept of the Decline Effect. I got caught up with several extra-ML responsibilities that kept me busy until very late last night, which became morning before […]
A perspective in this week’s NEJM considers the Emerging Importance of Patient Amenities in Patient Care. The trend is that more hospitals lure patients with hotel-like amenities: room service, magnificent views, massage therapy, family rooms and more. These services sound great, and by some measures can serve an institution’s bottom line more effectively than spending […]
“If it’s chafed, put some lotion on it.”
– some practical advice, offered by the character portraying Andrew Jackson, speaking toward the audience in the last scene of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, a play written and directed by Alex Timbers
The 33 Chilean miners – mainly middle-aged and of modest means – zoomed up in high-tech capsules from the deep, would-be tomb where they’d been waiting for 69 days underground…
The amazing and nearly-too-good-to-be true news is that a top-notch team of engineers, doctors including the NASA/Johnson Space Center Deputy