Do you have H1N1 flu? Probably! Aaaugghh! But before you haul your feverish butt to a clinic or a doctor, consider taking this free online flu self-assessment test from Emory University. It probably could have been combined into a one-page flowchart, but that’s not as much fun as pressing YES/NO buttons.
Apparently the new generation of med students aren’t as concerned as you might like them to be about sharing your medical information on Facebook or Twitter, says Time.
Haters of Big Pharma, rejoice! Pfizer has been smacked with a $2.3 billion (yes, with a B) civil penalty which includes a $1.2 billion criminal fine after they did some very, very bad things while promoting painkiller Bextra and other drugs. That’s the largest criminal fine in American history. Let’s hope they’re proud!
My mom would like his advice.
Nick suffers from back pain and thought he’d seek chiropractor care for some pain relief. What he got in return was the sting of a nasty hospital bill because his insurance wouldn’t pay for his x-rays, even though the nurse and doctor assured him the scans would be covered.
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]