Medicine and Pharmaceuticals

Excited to report that a new study in Health Affairs provides us with another metric that we have previously known and repeatedly been shown in the literature (and in medical practice):  Life expectancy and well-being are positively linked.  

If you have ever practiced medicine, then you are used to constant email or text alerts from hospitals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the Department of Health, to name a few.  Most say urgent or emergent in the header.  Since patient results and inquiries are nonstop, being tethered to the phone is a modern reality for the practicing physician.  Often, while running between patients, procedures, facilities and electronic medical...

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics investigates a possible association between planned birth before 39 weeks gestational age and early childhood development.  It concludes that an early, scheduled delivery is linked to poor childhood development at school age.  

A population-based record linkage cohort study of those born in South Wales, Australia between 2002-2007 was performed on 153,730 live-born infants of greater than or equal to 32 weeks gestation with assessments of development in their first year of full-time school 2009 or 2012.  The five avenues interpreted: ...

Medicine bottle with warning label

Many people think they have a drug allergy, when in fact what they have is drug intolerance. According to the CDC, approximately 10% of all U.S. patients report having an allergic reaction to penicillin, but fewer than 1% of the population is truly allergic to penicillins. Furthermore, approximately 80% of patients with penicillin allergy lose their sensitivity after 10 years, but continue to report the allergy.

An allergic reaction is an immune-mediated response to a drug, which leads to skin rash, face or throat swelling, difficulty in breathing, and in some cases, life threatening...

A study by the UK National Cardiac Arrest Audit (NCAA) echoes previous global data that hospital survival is reduced for those admitted on weekends and at night. (1) 

Specifically, it concludes “IHCAs (in-hospital cardiac arrest) attended by the hospital-based resuscitation team during nights and weekends have substantially worse outcomes than during weekday daytimes.  Organizational or care differences at night and weekends, rather than patient case mix, appear to be responsible.”  

Translation:  The skeleton crew available during these shifts is being stretched thin and cardiovascular and alternative monitoring or lack thereof is inconsistent dependent upon location within a facility and between institutions.  Witnessed versus unwitnessed events are directly related to...

The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) is really stretching the word "medical" with some of their latest content. 

A recent article, "As Opioid Epidemic Rages, Complementary Health Approaches to Pain Gain Traction" written by Jennifer Abbasi, highlights the role of complementary medicine in pain management, while focusing on which techniques may be more useful for particular ailments. Ms. Abbasi summarized and highlighted the findings of a large study published in September in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings that analyzed the use of complementary medicine for recurring pain that may become chronic or debilitating.

But, when you dig a bit deeper, the conclusion of the article is ...

And, so it begins.   With yesterday’s release by The Daily Mail of Anthony Weiner’s alleged entry into a rehab facility for the treatment of sex addiction, the media headlines ignited.

Then, Reuter’s.  With domino-like precision, the other outlets soon succumbed as well.

The never-ending speculation of what goes on in sex rehab and whether sex addiction is or isn’t a legitimate diagnosis continues today.  Along with publications of salacious specific texts that hit the internet.  

The incendiary match was lit. 

Whether you think it is a PR stunt.  A hail mary.  Well or poorly spun mea culpa.  An orchestrated play of crisis management teams — a la the popular television show Scandal.  In the grand scheme, all are red herrings.

In this instance...

contraceptive

As it stands now, the burden of contraception rests heavily on a woman’s shoulders.  Male contraceptive options have been limited to the pull-out method, condoms, and the dreaded “V’ word – vasectomy.  Understandably, most men shy away from the latter because, well - it involves cutting; and the idea of sharp instruments near the reproductive organs is unfathomable. 

Researchers have been working on alternatives to male contraception for quite some time; but while there have been some positive results, no product has made it to the market. According to results of a recent study, injectable male contraception proved to be highly effective and comparable in efficacy to female contraceptives.

The study was done across 7 countries and involved 320 healthy couples with no...

The only difference between you and Denny Peck is luck.

His ran out this past September, when the Seattle pain clinic that had been supplying him with the powerful opioid drugs (1) and muscle relaxants that made his life bearable abruptly closed. Peck had suffered from chronic, debilitating pain for 26 years due to an accident on an Alaskan fishing boat, which left him with multiple crushed vertebrae.

Unable to find a doctor who would prescribe anything close to what he needed, Peck called 911 on September 15th, saying that he couldn't bear the pain. He got no help. Two days later, Peck committed suicide. He took no chances. Sheriff’s deputies found two guns sitting in his lap, one for each side of his head.

JoNel Aleccia, a...

Welcome to the conclusion of this two part series on the newest hot topics in melanoma research.  

In Tanorexia? The Latest Skinny on Melanoma, we debunked myths about who is at risk and addressed means of prevention along with rare, devastating forms.

I enlisted the help of three leading melanoma researchers from The Wistar Institute —our nation’s first independent biomedical research facility where I am a member of the leadership council.  Today, we focus on immunotherapy and the new frontier in the field of melanoma research and treatments.

Let’s continue the conversation with ...

Did you know Bob Marley died of melanoma?  Or, that Jimmy Carter was recently ‘cured’ of metastatic melanoma?  Many misperceptions abound with respect to skin cancer —specifically melanoma, so we will address them here in this two part series.  

To debunk myths about who is at risk, discuss hot topics in the field and learn what treatments loom on the horizon, I enlisted the help of three leading melanoma researchers from The Wistar Institute —our nation’s first independent biomedical research facility where I am a member of the leadership council.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States with melanoma being the most lethal form.  The Centers...