See more healthcare stories from around the web over at my other blog at EPMonthly.com
Interesting analysis by David Neumann about the effectiveness of Roche’s influenza treatment Tamiflu. Roche had hidden several studies regarding the effectiveness of Tamiflu until last year. Now that those studies have been reviewed, researchers have concluded that Tamiflu essentially amounts to a bunch of overpriced sugar pills. Tamiflu had no impact on patient symptoms or on development of serious illness in several study populations.
We’ll see how long it takes for Roche to be prosecuted for consumer fraud.
Hat tip to Nick Genes.
Meanwhile, a 13 year old with a computer is schooling everyone on how to fight the flu. Eric Chen’s computer model on how to develop influenza medications beat out more than 1500 other competitors to win the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. He took home a $100,000 grand prize.
Meanwhile, I can’t get my 13 year old to stop playing Modern Warfare.
In many households, there could soon be a battle for the Viagra pills. Researchers found that women who had significant menstrual cramps had good relief from Viagra pills administered intravaginally.
Don’t go there. Just don’t.
Florida surgeon arrested for practicing medicine without a license. Interesting story, though. He would allegedly consult with potential clients in his Florida office, describe a surgical technique he had pioneered, state that he wasn’t licensed in Florida, then tell the potential clients that the surgery would have to be performed in Mexico.
He was charged with practicing medicine or with offering to practice medicine without a license.
Hat tip to Skeptical Scalpel for the story.
USDOJ puts emergency physician in jail for a year for failing to file income tax returns. When faced with the opportunity to choose between employee and independent contractor, it is becoming more advantageous to be an employee. Too many issues can arise with independent contractor status.
Another article on my little fascination with the gut microbiome. Gut bacteria and the gene activity of those bacteria change rapidly with changes in diet. Even a vegetarian who suddenly ate meat had sudden changes in bacteria adapted to digesting meat.
Now that we know that the microbiome can be rapidly changed, we have to determine what bacteria are good and bad for each individual. Excited to see to what extent (if any) that diet can affect disease.
My prediction is that there will be a few subsets of bacteria that are beneficial for most humans, but that there will be a large variance in which other bacteria are most beneficial for each individual.
One step further down the path to complete government control. Doctors who order more tests than the government deems appropriate will be forced to get “prior authorization” from the government (i.e. jump through additional hoops) to order the tests for their patients.
Of course, spending all of that extra time with the patients will increase the level of billing on every single patient in which doctors have to spend that extra time, so I suppose payments will all even out in the end.
Note that since the criteria apply to Medicare claims, the effects will disproportionately affect our nation’s elderly population.
Speaking about Obamacare’s adverse effects on seniors, Effective January 1, 2014, the funding to care for homebound senior citizens will be cut by 3.5% every year for the next 4 years. The feds estimate that 40% of the existing home health companies will go out of business due to the cuts. Other organizations estimate that the loss of home health companies will be more like 75%, which will put nearly half a million home health workers out of work.
Isn’t it great how many more patients will have insurance, though?
It is the 50th anniversary of the measles vaccine. Estimates are that 30 million lives have been saved from measles vaccination during that time. Or, if you’re Jenny McCarthy, we’ve spread death and pestilence everywhere by injecting toxic waste into our childrens’ bodies.
Even now there are clusters of measles outbreaks within the US. 90% of those clusters are in unvaccinated individuals. Wonder how those people choosing not to vaccinate themselves and their families would feel if they and their children were refused medical care for measles and its complications.
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