“The thing that few people talk about, and that no serious policy proposal attempts to fix—the arrangement that accounts for much of the difference between #health spending in the U.S. and other places—is the enormous administrative overhead costs that come from lodging health-care reimbursement in the hands of #insurance companies that have no incentive to perform their role efficiently as payment intermediaries…”
‘Merck made a “hit list” of doctors who criticized Vioxx, according to testimony in a Vioxx class action case in Australia. The list, emailed between Merck employees, contained doctors’ names with the labels “neutralise,” “neutralised” or “discredit” next to them.’
Merck made a “hit list” of doctors who criticized Vioxx, according to testimony in a Vioxx class action case in Australia. The list, emailed between Merck employees, contained doctors’ names with the labels “neutralise”, “neutralised” or “discredit” next to them.
According to The Australian, Merck emails from 1999 showed company execs complaining about doctors who disliked using Vioxx. One email said:
We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live …
The plaintiffs’ lawyer gave this assessment:
It gives you the dark side of the use of key opinion leaders and thought leaders … if (they) say things you don’t like to hear, you have to neutralise them … It does suggest a certain culture within the organisation about how to deal with your opponents and those who disagree with you.
The court was told that James Fries, professor of medicine at Stanford University, wrote to the then Merck head Ray Gilmartin in October 2000 to complain about the treatment of some of his researchers who had criticised the drug.
“Even worse were allegations of Merck damage control by intimidation”, he wrote, … “This has happened to at least eight (clinical) investigators … I suppose I was mildly threatened myself but I never have spoken or written on these issues.”
The allegations come on the heels of revelations that Merck created a fake medical journal — the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine — in which to publish studies about Vioxx; had pop songs commissioned about Vioxx to inspire its staff, and paid ghostwriters to draft articles about the drug.
‘A way to naturally regrow damaged teeth has been discovered by scientists in a breakthrough that could significantly reduce the need for fillings. Researchers at King’s College London (KCL) found that a drug designed to treat Alzheimer’s disease was able to stimulate the tooth to create new dentine capable of filling in large cavities. Teeth can already cope with small areas of damage using the same process, but when the holes become too large a dentist must insert artificial cements or the tooth will be lost.
“Indeed when fillings fail or infection occurs, dentists have to remove and fill an area that is larger than what is affected, and after multiple treatments the tooth may eventually need to be extracted.
“As this new method encourages natural tooth repair, it could eliminate all of these issues, providing a more natural solution for patients”.’
“They’re doing so in ways that shortchange taxpayers.”
“Concerns about the inner workings of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been mounting in recent months amid disclosures of cozy corporate alliances. Now a group of more than a dozen senior scientists have reportedly lodged an ethics complaint alleging the federal agency is being influenced by corporate and political interests in ways that shortchange taxpayers…”
Continue reading: The CDC is being influenced by corporate and political interests
“Scientists have discovered that a protein in wheat triggers the inflammation of chronic health conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, and also contributes towards the development of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity.”
“With past studies commonly focusing on gluten and its impact on digestive health, this new research, presented at UEG Week 2016, turns the spotlight onto a different family of proteins found in wheat called amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs). The study shows that the consumption of ATIs can lead to the development of inflammation in tissues beyond the gut, including the lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen and brain. Evidence suggests that ATIs can worsen the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma, lupus and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as inflammatory bowel disease.”
“You may want to check those chicken nuggets in your freezer before feeding them to your kids. Tyson Foods is voluntarily recalling more than 130,000 pounds of the pre-cooked breaded delights, because they may contain hard plastic.”
Continue reading: RT America
“A team of DIY enthusiasts calling themselves Four Thieves Vinegar have published plans that will allow anyone to build a device to self-inject epinephrine on the cheap.”
Continue reading: It Costs $30 to Make a DIY EpiPen.
“These are the 50 hospitals in the United States with the highest markup of prices over their actual costs. That means that they are charging out-of-network patients and the uninsured, as well as auto and workers’ compensation insurers, more than 10 times the costs allowed by Medicare, according to new research published Monday.”
These results, which the study authors call “striking,” add to the growing body of evidence that no- and low-calorie sweeteners may come with health concerns. Though scientists are still puzzling through the mechanisms by which diet soda seems to have the unintended consequence of weight gain, they have some ideas. Sugar-free sodas contain substances that sweeten up soda at 200-600 times the sweetness of sugar…
Continue reading: Diet Soda and Weight Gain: It’s Not Your Imagination
Hospitals across the United States are throwing away less-than-perfect organs and denying the sickest people lifesaving transplants out of fear that poor surgical outcomes will result in a federal crackdown…
…As a result, thousands of patients are losing the chance at surgeries that could significantly prolong their lives, and the altruism of organ donation is being wasted.
“It’s gut-wrenching and mind-boggling,” said Dr. Adel Bozorgzadeh, a transplant surgeon at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass.
Continue reading: Hospitals refusing to perform transplants to keep ratings high
“Most scholars and analysts conclude that, particularly when fully accounting for the various government subsidies for individual insurance coverage, the ACA significantly increased individual market premiums.”
“The more money doctors receive from drug and medical device companies, the more brand-name drugs they tend to prescribe, a new ProPublica analysis shows…”
“ProPublica has compiled the disclosed payments from pharmaceutical companies to doctors and other health care providers. Pharmaceutical companies have paid out 3.49 billion dollars in disclosed payments: 681,020 to doctors, 81,135 to hospitals, and 21,565 to companies.”
Search for your doctor in their interactive database at: http://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/