Vermont Gets Tough On Doctor/Pharma Relationships The new law “bans drug companies-and manufacturers of medical devices and biological products, such as vaccines-from paying for gifts, including meals and travel, to physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, pharmacists, and health plan administrators. Any allowable payments drug companies make to doctors, such as those for legitimate educational purposes, will be posted in a database on a public website maintained by the Vermont Attorney General.” [Consumer Reports Health]
If you get your prescriptions filled electronically, always double-check the dosage. Kimberly’s prescription was recently screwed up somewhere between the physician filling out the order online and Costco’s pharmacist receiving it. Luckily for her, the Costco pharmacist was incredibly helpful and fixed the problem for her, so Kimberly didn’t have to waste her copay or deal with the issue on her own. He also explained, however, that the current state of electronic prescriptions is a big mess.
Today I went to the doctor. All I wanted was a prescription to continue to go to physical therapy for my pulled groin muscles. The assistant said that the doctor likes to give new patients a full physical, which includes blood tests, EKG, and a chest x-ray. I said I had a physical recently (true) and those tests sounded unnecessary. She seemed disappointed. Unless I have wheezing or chest pains, I don’t see the need for a chest x-ray. See, doctors are like Best Buy. If you go in informed knowing exactly what you need, you’re fine. Otherwise they’re like oh you need Monster Cables and an extended warranty for your heart.
Man, those online review websites sure can be harsh. Some doctors think they’re totally unfair! That’s why a neurosurgeon in North Carolina has started a business called Medical Justice. The Associated Press says the company provides waiver forms for docs to give to patients. If you sign it, and then post a review online that can be traced back to you, the doctor can use your signed form as proof that it must be removed.
Seven state attorneys general, Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU have sued to overturn the so-called “conscience” rule, which allows doctors, pharmacists, and other health care workers to refuse to perform procedures or dispense medication that conflicts with their beliefs.
Dr. Bruce Rubin, “a longtime mucus researcher,” has found a potential link between Vicks VapoRub and surging rivers of mucus.
Starting January 1, drug companies will implement a voluntary moratorium on branded goodies from drug companies.
A combination of rising costs and low insurance reimbursements is forcing some primary care physicians to opt-out of the insurance game completely — accepting a flat fee instead of private insurance or Medicare. For a $4,500 annual fee, patients who formerly used their insurance to pay for doctor’s visits can get 24-hour access to doctors, unhurried appointments, home visits and state-of-the-art annual physicals. Or they can find another doctor.
The New York Times says that half of doctors responding to a nationwide survey admitted to routinely prescribing placebos.
The New York Times has an interesting article about the speed at which new medical devices are approved by the FDA. The article focuses on a breast cancer treatment that is widely prescribed, but which has not been conclusively shown to be as effective as traditional radiation. [NYT]
In our post earlier today about the 65-year-old doctor who tried to use the bathroom on a recent Southwest flight and was subsequently arrested, we noted that the airline sent him an apology letter and a $100 voucher. That seemed kind of inappropriate for the situation, right? It turns out the letter was never meant for Dr. Madduri and was sent to him by mistake. According to our reader RedwoodFlyer (Sockatume also picked up on it), the letter was actually about him and was sent to all the other passengers on the flight; he was never meant to see it.
A 65-year-old urologist, born in India but living in the United States for 38 years now, was flying from his home in Missouri to a medical convention in Las Vegas on June 26th, 2008. Did you notice that “born in India” detail? Apparently his attempts to go to the bathroom angered and frightened a flight attendant, who wouldn’t tell Dr. Sivaprasad Madduri why he couldn’t use the lavatory (the pilot was using it) and who wouldn’t listen to Dr. Madduri’s explanation that he was taking a medicine that acts as a diuretic. When the plane landed he was arrested, spent the night in jail, and was told the next day to plead guilty and pay $2500 if he wanted a quick resolution.
Have you heard, cellphones are deadly. Science told us so this week when Dr. Ronald B. Herberman of the esteemed University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute realized that cellphones emit death rays that fry your brain and turn you into a baby-eating Communist, or give you cancer or whatever. Dr. Despair isn’t a downer though! Inside, 10 practical ways to keep your precious little brain safe from those ubiquitous chirping cancer slabs…
Psychiatry is nothing more than a well-funded front for big pharma, according to lawmakers investigating the field’s premier organization, the American Psychiatric Association. Unlike psychologists, psychiatrists can write prescriptions, giving pharmaceutical companies a powerful incentive to lavishly subsidize both their lifestyle and profession.
The excellent blog, Passive Aggressive Notes has a submission from a reader who rejected his chiropractor. Clay decided not to go back after the doctor refused to show him his x-rays unless Clay attended a seminar about payment plans and treatment options. A few days later he got a note that said:
Remember Brian Persaud, the Brooklyn construction worker who tried to sue a New York hospital for performing a by-the-books rectal exam on him in 2003? On Monday, a Manhattan jury tossed his lawsuit, claiming he failed to show he suffered assault and battery.