MedSmarts

~ Becoming CEO of the rest of your life

Beyond Cholesterol – Part 2

The CVD Trio As noted in Part 1 of this 3-part series – Making Sense of Your Cholesterol Scores – cholesterol measures alone have been insufficient for predicting and preventing cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke. Over half of these occur in people with normal cholesterol levels. As a result, researchers continue to look […]

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Fighting Cancer With Ethical Bribes

Cut Cancer With Cash   If you’ve read a single post here – much less the entirety of Our Healthcare Sucks – you no doubt recognize the central and predictive role that money plays in American healthcare. Patients, employers, and the government all pay dearly for insurance coverage. Insurers, patients, and the government all pay […]

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HDL cholesterol

Making Sense of Your Cholesterol Scores

The Cholesterol Conundrum Because aggressively reducing patients’ LDL cholesterol has failed to prevent many cardiovascular events, there’s been renewed effort over the past decade to find better ways to “risk-stratify” patients – especially those at “moderate risk” using the conventional Framingham Risk Score (FRS). The FRS has been found satisfactory for identifying people at high […]

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Where Does It Hurt? – Painful Times for the FDA

The FDA Needs to Put Pain in Perspective FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg is under renewed pressure from public health advocates and law enforcement officials over the agency’s lax and inconsistent approach to powerful and addictive opioid painkiller medications. This follows on the heels of appeals to repeal the FDA’s approval of a controversial painkiller […]

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are you addicted to a depressing diet?

Hidden Meaning in Latest Weight Loss Drug Approval?

Are YOU a Junk Food Junkie?   The seemingly endless search for an effective weight loss drug continues apace with last week’s FDA approval of Contrave, a weight loss drug composed of two drugs previously approved to treat depression and addictions. And therein lies perhaps its greatest meaning – as the drug itself is unlikely to […]

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Healthcare Malaise Promises More Misery

Healthcare Performance Anxiety? This summer seems to be ending on a dour note for America’s healthcare system.  The past week has seen a spate of reports about lingering problems across many fronts. Let’s see if I can do them justice…  A System in Name Only First up is a report by the estimable Sarah Clift […]

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Does Your Medication Actually Work?

Medication Effectiveness Ain’t What It’s Cracked Up To Be Many of the medications we’re prescribed have a reasonable probability of not working for the problem for which they’re being prescribed. According to a senior physician executive with GlaxoSmithKline…  “The vast majority of drugs – more than 90% – only work in 30 or 50 percent […]

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Is Malpractice Reform a License to Kill?

Malpractice Reforms That Enable Malpractice It appears that many malpractice-prone doctors flee to nearby states that enact laws that purport to “reform” medical malpractice by capping non-economic damages patients may receive. That, at least, is the conclusion of a recent malpractice report in the Journal of Law and Economics. This means doctors guilty of frequent […]

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Defensive Medicine Makes Us All Sitting Ducks

Defensive Medicine Quackery “Defensive medicine” is the term applied to medical tests and procedures ordered by many physicians in order to protect themselves in the event of a malpractice claim filed by or on behalf of their patients.   These tests and procedures are often not necessary and can lead to further testing and invasive […]

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Healthcare USA: Pricey, Preferential, and Provocative

Healthcare USA – Beyond the Politics This week’s report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that the rate of growth in US healthcare spending has tapered off compared to that of other high-spending countries (Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Canada in this case). This is considered a good thing, even though […]

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