We are all Britons
[Shape of Days]
You may remember the story several weeks ago about an Irish citizen who died the morning after a face lift in a plastic surgeon's office in New York. I've kept a Google Alert on this subject and this popped up today:
Organon is working on the first of a new class of drugs called selective relaxant binding agents (SRBA). The first drug, called Org 25969, is about to enter phase three trials in the US. These drugs can supposedly reverse neuromuscular blockade at any depth of neuromuscular block by binding the neuromuscular blocker.
Though this news release and the Organon website are short on details, this site has the scoop:
[via Medical News Today]
Via Medgadget: DOJ Subpoenas Issued to Orthopedic Companies:
Stryker Corporation (NYSE: SYK - News) announced today that it has received a subpoena from the United States Department of Justice requesting documents for the period January 2002 through the present as follows: "any and all consulting contracts, professional service agreements, or remuneration agreements between Stryker Corporation and any orthopedic surgeon, orthopedic surgeon in training, or medical school graduate using or considering the surgical use of hip or knee joint replacement/reconstruction products manufactured or sold by Stryker Corporation."Something major is going on. Any ideas?"
Based on an initial conversation with a Department of Justice representative, the Company understands that similar requests have been or will be directed to other companies in the orthopaedics industry. Stryker intends to fully cooperate with the Department of Justice regarding this matter.
Only the rampant attempts to influence orthopedic surgical residents and their attendings with dinners, trips to 'schools' to teach techniques, golf games, and on, and on.
Um. Can we show it in hospital waiting rooms?
[via Yahoo News]
FDA Clears the Way for Generic Versions of Transdermal Patches to Treat Chronic Pain
[Via Science Blog - Science News Stories]
The Fox News headline sums it up rather well: "A New Dawn of Democracy".
Iraq, our thoughts and prayers are with you--especially today. Let Freedom Ring!
A new DNA microarray test called the AmpliChip Cytochrome P450 Genotyping Test analyzes abnormalities in the gene coding for Cytochrome P450, the liver enzyme involved in metabolizing many drugs. The hope is that testing for the abnormality will allow better use/selection of drugs in these patients. As the list of cytochrome P450-metabolized drugs is long and includes NSAID's, inhaled anesthetics. Are we looking at a standard pre-op test? Perhaps. Polymorphism at this gene may explain some of the bell-shaped curve we see in responses not only to anesthetics, but to many commonly prescribed drugs. What we need now are outcome studies...and to be patient.
More information about genotyping in general is here (thanks, Google).
[Via WebMD Health Headlines]
We've been talking about how best to donate to relief efforts after the tsunami. As I write this, the Doctors Without Borders web site is redirecting to a search page, but you can still reach the donation page directly.
Other choices for helping out are detailed here.
First cloned pet delivered by a US company:
Fifty thousand dollars for a cat? For a dog, I could see it, but a cat?
[Via Medical News Today]
Sales Rep Pleads Guilty in Federal Court To Bribing Physicians:
And what of the physicians he bribed?
[Via UK Medical News Today]
Radiological Society of North America reports:
The iPod is not just for music any more. Radiologists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and their colleagues at other institutions from as far away as Europe and Australia are now using iPod devices to store medical images." "
'This is what we call using off the shelf, consumer market technology,' says Osman Ratib, M.D., Ph.D., professor and vice-chairman of radiologic services at UCLA. 'Technology coming from the consumer market is changing the way we do things in the radiology department.'
Dr. Ratib and Antoine Rosset, M.D., a radiologist in Geneva, Switzerland, recently developed OsiriX, Macintosh-based software for display and manipulation of complex medical image data.
Dr. Rosset set up the OsiriX software to automatically recognize and search for medical images on the iPod. When it detects the images, they automatically appear on the list of image data available - similar to the way music files are accessible by the iTune music application.
'It's easy to use and you don't have to worry about how to load and unload it from the iPod,' Dr. Ratib says. 'But the real beauty of it is that I can use the images directly on the iPod. I don't have to take the time to copy them to my computer. The iPod allows me to copy data from work to my laptop, but I don't have to do it if I don't want to.'
Dr. Ratib sees the iPod as a kind of giant memory stick, 'The performance is amazing.'
Medicaid’s Reimbursements to Pharmacies for Prescription Drugs (pdf)
This Congressional Budget Office report focuses on the markup paid to pharmacies by Medicaid for buying and dispensing drugs. For example, in 2002 medicaid reimbursed pharmacies an average of $46 per prescription. Of that amount, $14 was for purchase of the drug itself. The $32 difference constitutes the 'markup', which has been increasing at a rate of roughly 10% per year between 1997 and 2002.