Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Dec 16, 2013 Glaxo Says It Will Stop Paying Doctors to Promote Drugs
QUOTE: The British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline will no longer pay doctors to promote its products and will stop tying compensation of sales representatives to the number of prescriptions doctors write, its chief executive said Monday, effectively ending two common industry practices that critics have long assailed as troublesome conflicts of interest.
New York Times Dec 02, 2013 As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500
QUOTE: A day spent as an inpatient at an American hospital costs on average more than $4,000, five times the charge in many other developed countries...Rising costs of drugs, medical equipment and other services, and fees from layers of middlemen, play a significant role in escalating hospital bills, of course. But just as important is that mergers and consolidation have resulted in a couple of hospital chains — like Partners in Boston, or Banner in Phoenix — dominating many parts of the country...
New York Times Sep 28, 2013 In cancer drug battle, both sides appeal to ethics
QUOTE: Andrea Sloan is dying of ovarian cancer. Having exhausted all standard treatment options, her doctors say her best hope now is a new class of cancer drugs called PARP inhibitors....But she's not getting the treatment because the company is refusing to give it to her. That's because this drug she wants is still in clinical trials, and the company says hasn't been proven effective.
CNN (Cable News Network) Apr 11, 2013 Emirates’ Laws Trap a Doctor Just Passing Through
QUOTE: Foreigners have long faced unexpected legal trouble in the emirates, where the legal system often differs considerably from what they expect at home.
New York Times Dec 11, 2012 Scientists Propose Central Database for Disclosing Conflicts of Interest
QUOTE: a lack of standardization in COI disclosures increases the administrative burden on physicians and increases the chances of being accused of incomplete and misleading statements. As a solution, their committee — facilitated by the Institute of Medicine — recommends the creation of a centralize database for the disclosure and reporting of interests.
Scholarly Kitchen Mar 19, 2012 A Drumbeat on Profit Takers
QUOTE: Their joint crusade, stated repeatedly in editorials for the journal and since expanded in books and dozens of articles in the lay press, is against for-profit medicine, especially its ancillary profit centers of commercial insurance and drug manufacture — in Dr. Relman’s words, “the people who are making a zillion bucks out of the commercial exploitation of medicine.”
New York Times Mar 09, 2012 The Web Is Awash in Reviews, but Not for Doctors. Here’s Why.
QUOTE: RateMDs now has reviews of more than 1,370,000 doctors in the United States and Canada. But getting in the faces of the previously untouchable professional class has inevitably led to legal threats. He says he gets about one each week over negative reviews and receives subpoenas every month or two for information that can help identify reviewers, who believe they are posting anonymously.
New York Times Feb 28, 2012 Virginia Senate Passes Ultrasound Bill as Other States Take Notice
QUOTE: Changing course after an unwelcome national uproar, the Virginia Senate adopted a revised bill on Tuesday that still requires doctors to perform an ultrasound on women before they have an abortion, but also says that women cannot be forced to have an invasive vaginal ultrasound....The Senate vote came after a bitter debate in which Democrats pleaded with the body not to adopt a bill that they said remained — even with the changes — demeaning to women and insulting to doctors.
New York Times Feb 11, 2012 Dishonest doctors: Why physicians lie
QUOTE: although two-thirds of doctors agree they should share serious medical errors with their patients, one-third did not completely agree. Nearly two-fifths of the respondents said they did not disclose their financial relationships with drug and device companies. And more than 55% of physicians said they often or sometimes described a patient's prognosis in a more positive manner than the facts might support.
CNN (Cable News Network) Nov 30, 2011 Patient sues dentist over gag order, gets Medical Justice to backtrack
QUOTE: A patient has filed a class-action lawsuit against his New York dentist over her attempts to use copyright law to gag the patient's online reviews of her services. Robert Lee, who recently moved to Maryland, has asked a New York federal court to declare that his comments are protected under copyright's fair use doctrine, that the dentist's attempts to gag him breach dental ethics, and that the "privacy agreement" the patient was forced to sign is invalid and illegal under New York law.
Ars Technica Sep 04, 2011 As Sports Medicine Surges, Hope and Hype Outpace Proven Treatments
QUOTE: growing problems in sports medicine, a medical subspecialty that has been experiencing explosive growth. Part of the field’s popularity, among patients and doctors alike, stems from the fact that celebrity athletes, desperate to get back to playing after an injury, have been trying unproven treatments, giving the procedures a sort of star appeal. But now researchers are questioning many of the procedures, including new ones that often have no rigorous studies to back them up.
New York Times Jul 06, 2011 Spain Confronts Decades of Pain Over Lost Babies
QUOTE: Prodded by grieving parents, Spanish judges are investigating hundreds of charges that infants were abducted and sold for adoption over a 40-year period. What may have begun as political retaliation for leftist families during the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco appears to have mutated into a trafficking business in which doctors, nurses and even nuns colluded with criminal networks.
New York Times Jul 04, 2011 Think Inside the Box
QUOTE: Bombarded with pharmaceutical ads listing what seems like every conceivable side effect, American consumers might think they are already getting too much information. But they — and their doctors — are not getting what arguably matters most: independent, plain-English facts about the medication. Fortunately, there is a simple model for getting such information across.
New York Times Jun 30, 2011 Would your doctor pay for wasted time? (Empowered Patient)
QUOTE: In years gone by, doctors would likely have scoffed at the suggestion they reimburse patients for time spent waiting. But Farstad's doctor sent her a check for $100, the full amount she requested, and some tardy doctors tell CNN they give patients money (or a gift) before the patient even asks.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jun 26, 2011 U.S. Plans Stealth Survey on Access to Doctors
QUOTE: Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of “mystery shoppers” to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it....In response to the drumbeat of criticism, a federal health official said doctors need not worry because the data would be kept confidential.
New York Times Jun 13, 2011 Bahrain doctors go on trial, alleging torture to extract confessions
QUOTE: Prosecutors alleged Monday that automatic weapons and ammunition were discovered in the hospital, that the defendants "hijacked" the hospital building and controlled it...Activists and human rights groups allege that the medical workers are being prosecuted for treating protesters.
CNN (Cable News Network) May 31, 2011 Sales Tactics on Implants Raise Doubts
QUOTE: an implant industry where producers seek to influence the brand of device that patients receive long before a diagnosis....big makers of implants like heart devices and artificial joints, including Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific and St. Jude Medical, have settled Justice Department charges that they illegally promoted sales. The enforcement effort has sought to reduce the role of corporate influence over medicine through tactics like bogus or inflated consulting deals with doctors.
New York Times Jun 10, 2010 Bringing Comparison Shopping to the Doctor’s Office
QUOTE: there has been no easy way for consumers to shop for the best deal on a colonoscopy or blood test. A start-up financed by prominent venture capitalists and the Cleveland Clinic, Castlight Health, aims to change that by building a search engine for health care prices.
New York Times Mar 21, 2010 When drug makers' profits outweigh penalties
QUOTE: As large as the penalties are for drug companies caught breaking the off-label law, the fines are tiny compared with the firms' annual revenue. The $2.3 billion in fines and penalties Pfizer paid for marketing Bextra and three other drugs cited in the Sept. 2 plea agreement for off-label uses amount to just 14 percent of its $16.8 billion in revenue from selling those medicines from 2001 to 2008.
Bloomberg News Nov 09, 2009 Do We Have a Winner?: How to reform the broken medical malpractice system. (prescriptions)
QUOTE: here's the dilemma: On one hand, doctors believe—despite some evidence to the contrary—that there are too many frivolous lawsuits, and they respond by ordering a lot of unnecessary testing and treatment... On the other hand, patients often get harmed by negligent medical care, and lawsuits are their only way to fight back.
Slate Oct 22, 2009 Research Uproar at a Cancer Clinic
QUOTE: community [research] centers may not always be adhering to the rigorous protocols of research medicine that the National Cancer Institute expects them to follow.
New York Times Oct 05, 2009 Power to the Patients: The mantra has always been: Doctor Knows Best. But consumers need to seize control of their own health care. And they can, thanks to advances in science and technology.
QUOTE: Doctors and patients alike are accustomed to the firmly entrenched Doctor Knows Best status quo. But it is only by empowering patients... that health care can be made significantly more efficient and effective.
Atlantic Online, The (Atlantic Monthly) Oct 01, 2009 When the Doctor Is Distressed (Doctor and Patient)
QUOTE: [medical] Residents who suffered from burnout and depression could pose as much risk to patients as those doctors-in-training who were exhausted, regardless and independent of their level of fatigue.
New York Times Sep 17, 2009 Why Don’t Doctors Wash Their Hands More? (Doctor and Patient)
QUOTE: Over the last 30 years, despite countless efforts at change, poor hand hygiene has continued to contribute to the high rates of infections acquired in hospitals, clinics and other health care settings.
New York Times Sep 05, 2009 Who Will Care for the Newly Insured? (Prescriptions)
QUOTE: 2013. That’s the year everyone would have to have health insurance under the House version of the health care bill. ...many experts say it’s not nearly enough time to beef up the supply of physicians necessary to care for the tens of millions suddenly entering the health care system.
New York Times Sep 03, 2009 When Patient Handoffs Go Terribly Wrong (Doctor and Patient)
QUOTE: Physicians who are signing out may inadvertently omit information, such as the rationale for a certain antibiotic or a key piece of the patient’s surgical history. And doctors who are receiving the information may not assume the same level of responsibility for the care of that patient.
New York Times Sep 02, 2009 The Fix Is In: The hidden public-private cartel that sets health care prices.
QUOTE: Fundamentally, the entire payment model of American health care drives medical centers, doctors, and hospital managers to push for more fancy procedures at the expense of primary care doctors.
Slate Aug 18, 2009 Live From the O.R.: The problems with broadcasting surgeries as they happen.
QUOTE: Combining education with entertainment and patient care with promotion, live telesurgery is a fixture at surgical conferences and marketing campaigns by hospitals and medical device manufacturers
Slate Aug 06, 2009 Who’s to Blame for a Missed Diagnosis? (Doctor and Patient)
QUOTE: Diagnostic failures, or diagnoses that are delayed or in error, are an increasingly popular topic of research in patient safety.
New York Times Jul 31, 2009 Doctors Reap Benefits By Doing Own Tests
QUOTE: A host of studies and reports by academics and the federal government shows that physicians who own scanners order many more scans than those who do not. As a result, Americans pay billions of dollars in extra taxes and insurance premiums.
Washington Post Jul 30, 2009 Does your child need ADHD drugs? (Empowered Patient)
QUOTE: Does my child really need drugs for ADHD, and if so, is there a point when he or she should stop taking them?...Because drug companies tend to give samples for only the most expensive drugs, once the samples run out, you'll end up paying more than if your child had been prescribed a generic drug.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 29, 2009 Texas Hospital Flexing Muscle in Health Fight
QUOTE: One of the largest sources of campaign contributions to Senate Democrats during this year’s health care debate is a physician-owned hospital [Doctors Hospital at Renaissance] in one of the country’s poorest regions that has sought to soften measures that could choke its rapid growth.
New York Times Jul 28, 2009 Call to reverse Nicaragua's abortion ban
QUOTE: The human rights group [Amnesty International] argues that banning so-called therapeutic abortions - undertaken in order to preserve the health of the mother - not only endangers lives but also puts medical professionals in an "unconscionable" position.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Jul 26, 2009 Does your doctor judge you based on your color?
QUOTE: While it's extremely difficult to tell in any given situation how much race -- consciously or subconsciously -- plays a role in a doctor's decision making, multiple studies over several decades have found doctors make different decisions for black patients and white patients even when they have the same medical problems and the same insurance
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 16, 2009 Bridging the Culture Gap (Doctor and Patient)
QUOTE: Clinicians who are unaware of cultural influences may not only miss important medical implications for a patient but can also inadvertently exacerbate an often already tenuous therapeutic relationship.
New York Times Jul 16, 2009 When doctors can't say 'no' (Empowered Patient)
QUOTE: Experts on doctor behavior said physicians often have a tough time saying no to requests from a patient -- even when the patient isn't a celebrity.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 06, 2009 A Doctor by Choice, a Businessman by Necessity (Essay)
QUOTE: The rising [medical] commercialism, driven in part by increasing expenses and decreasing reimbursement, has obvious consequences for the public: ballooning costs, fraying of the traditional doctor-patient relationship.
New York Times Jun 20, 2009 At V.A. Hospital, a Rogue Cancer Unit
QUOTE: For patients with prostate cancer, it is a common surgical procedure: a doctor implants dozens of radioactive seeds to attack the disease. But when Dr. Gary D. Kao treated one patient at the veterans’ hospital in Philadelphia, his aim was more than a little off. Most of the seeds... landed in the patient’s healthy bladder... It was a serious mistake, and under federal rules, regulators investigated. But Dr. Kao, with their consent, made his mistake all but disappear.
New York Times Jun 01, 2009 With deep brain stimulation, experts want to tread carefully
QUOTE: With the flurry of tests being done on deep brain stimulation for a variety of conditions, some warn that the field is moving too fast.
Los Angeles Times May 25, 2009 Referral System Turns Patients Into Commodities
QUOTE: Physician-to-physician referrals are the currency of day-to-day transactions in medicine, but as with any currency, they can be manipulated.
New York Times May 21, 2009 'Miracle drug' called junk science: Powerful castration drug pushed for autistic children, but medical experts denounce unproven claims
QUOTE: Desperate to help their autistic children, hundreds of parents nationwide are turning to an unproven and potentially damaging treatment: multiple high doses of a drug sometimes used to chemically castrate sex offenders.
Chicago Tribune May 15, 2009 Oprah's bad medicine: Given her influence, it's a shame the TV star offers unbalanced health and medical advice.
QUOTE: It's not the first time Winfrey's advice on health issues has raised concern. In the past, the media mogul has been criticized for promoting cosmetic therapies that were untested and later deemed dangerous.
Salon Apr 21, 2009 Rare F.D.A. Meeting to Discuss Complaints on Device Approval
QUOTE: Nine dissident scientists signed letters to President Obama and others in the administration charging that agency officials had acted illegally and that patients were routinely put at risk by medical devices approved for sale despite significant and often unanimous objections from scientific reviewers.
New York Times Mar 06, 2009 Sniffle While You Work: Why doctors go to work sick
QUOTE: there's another reason [why people become infected in a hospital], which no one who works in a hospital likes to talk about: Doctors tend to show up to work sick.
Slate Dec 09, 2008 Uninsured Put a Strain on Hospitals
QUOTE: As increasing numbers of the unemployed and uninsured turn to the nation’s emergency rooms as a medical last resort, doctors warn that the centers — many already overburdened — could have even more trouble handling the heart attacks, broken bones and other traumas that define their core mission. Even before the recession became evident, many emergency rooms around the country were already overcrowded, with dangerously long waits for some patients...
New York Times Nov 13, 2008 The New Old Age: Rationing Health Care
QUOTE: The biggest change in the last 40 years, Mr. Callahan said to me, is that there are no limits. There's nothing we can't do for an old person, and there's a lot of pressure to do it. This is considered progress, and its considered ageism to be skeptical. But we can't go on this way. It's unaffordable. And it's the hardest dilemma in our society because theres no good way to deal with it other than saying no.
New York Times Oct 31, 2008 Growth hormones for kids: Normal boys and girls are taking growth hormones for being short. That’s a bad prescription.
QUOTE: There is an ethical dilemma to consider about GH and the entire lifestyle drug market. Once a lifestyle drug is readily available and widely consumed, it can lead to a shift in what society considers normal. If height can be enhanced by "plastic endocrinologists" for the right price, we're redefining normal, and leaving those who can't afford these services behind.
Salon Oct 21, 2008 Being Difficult: For Some Patients, It's a Coping Mechanism
QUOTE: "I tried being the 'good patient,' " said Mayer, who until illness forced her to retire was an assistant research professor in the school of public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Becoming difficult -- some, she said, might call it "empowered" -- was her "natural reaction" to doctors who were "incompetent, rude or domineering."
Washington Post Oct 15, 2008 Prozac on the Playground: The dangers of off-label use of psychiatric medications in children.
QUOTE: Off-label use accounts for somewhere between half and three-quarters of all medications used in children and is also commonly used for adult treatment. Pediatricians are often uncomfortable with this practice, but they consider it the lesser of two evils when confronting an illness with effective adult treatment but nothing for children. Most medications behave similarly in children and adults, but that rule has exceptions, as we sometimes discover too late.
Slate Oct 14, 2008 Equal Treatment for the Uninsured? Don't Count on It. Lack of Compensation Can Tempt Doctors to Tailor Their Care to a Patient's Coverage
QUOTE: It's not uncommon for patients with no insurance or poor insurance to receive different treatment. A 2006 study of 25 primary care private practices in the Washington area showed that in nearly one in four encounters, physicians reported adjusting their clinical management based on a patient's insurance status; nearly 90 percent of physicians admitted to making such adjustments.
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