- Families urge Congress to reform drug safety system
Last week, over a dozen families traveled to DC to urge Congress to pass strong drug safety reforms this year.
- No more free lunches
There is a movement to stop industry financing of medical education by a group out of Georgetown University. Last year, the drug industry spent around $1 billion on Continuing Medical Education courses or CME’s for physicians.
- Medicare negotiation passes House!
The US House of Representatives yesterday voted 255-170 in favor of requiring the HHS secretary to negotiate drug prices with drug manufacturers for Medicare Part D plans…
- Senate Told to Strengthen Drug Safety Bill
The U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee held a hearing yesterday on an important bill to reform the FDA. For the most part, everybody asked the panel to make the bill stronger, according to a story in the Washington Post. Everybody that is, except the drug industry.
- Med schools coaching students on how to handle drug reps effectively
Some med schools now are starting up projects for their students to help them challenge drug company sales reps when they attempt to wine and dine docs.
- Study says Medicare Part D premiums to jump 87%
The Washington Post reported today on a new study suggesting premiums for Medicare prescription drug plans will rise by a whopping 87% next year. The report by Families USA, a national health consumer group, also says fewer states will have plans offering full coverage for most drugs needed by seniors.
- Time to stop playing games with generic drug approvals
“When is a citizen not exactly a citizen? When it’s a pharmaceutical company looking to increase its profits,” writes Consumers Union President Jim Guest in a column in the current issue of Consumers Reports. Jim’s column explains how brand-name drug companies interfere with the marketplace by unfairly blocking generic drugs from competing with the brand names.
- Millions of Californians will soon enjoy lower drug prices
On August 31st the California legislature passed a bill that would require drug companies to lower their prices, or risk being shut out of the state’s Medicaid program, or Medi-Cal. Governor Schwarzenegger is expected to sign the measure. Many thanks goes to our CA activists who helped us achieve this victory!
- Many hospitals overuse double CT scans, data show Source: Washington Post (Saturday June 18, 2011)
Hundreds of hospitals are routinely performing a type of chest scan that experts say should be used rarely, subjecting patients to double doses of radiation and driving up health-care costs.
- Flacking for Big Pharma
Harriet Washington: “Drugmakers don’t just compromise doctors; they also undermine top medical journals and skew medical research.”
- Pa. moves to revoke license of facility where hidden camera captured alleged abuse of patient Source: Washington Post (Friday April 29, 2011)
A suburban Philadelphia elder-care facility where a hidden camera allegedly captured aides assaulting and mocking a half-naked dementia patient may be forced to shut down after state regulators said Friday that their investigation uncovered violations that demonstrate gross incompetence, negligence and misconduct.
- New law requires transparency from boards that discipline doctors Source: Seattle Times (Friday April 22, 2011)
A new law gives new rights to Washington patients and families who file complaints about alleged medical errors with state disciplinary boards.
- Harrison infection rates improve, but remain higher than state averages Source: Kitsap Sun (Monday March 28, 2011)
WA hospital says infection reporting is helping
- Report: State boards don’t punish all doctors sanctioned by hospitals Source: Washington Post (Wednesday March 16, 2011)
Public Citizen reports that, “State medical boards have failed to discipline 55 percent of the nation’s doctors who were sanctioned by the hospitals where they worked, according to a report released Tuesday by Public Citizen.”
- Legislative measure seeks medical-board transparency Source: Seattle Times (Thursday March 17, 2011)
A Washington couple encouraged a bill to be filed that would provide more transparency to the medical complaint process. House Bill 1493 has passed the House and is scheduled to be heard by a Senate committee Thursday, March 17, 2011.
- 9 Md. hospitals report higher-than-average rates of complications Source: Washington Post (Thursday February 24, 2011)
Patients at one of every five Maryland hospitals suffered higher-than-state-average rates of infections, pneumonia and other complications last year, and most of those medical centers will face a financial penalty as a result, regulators say.
- FDA plans modest changes to medical device system Source: Washington Post (Wednesday January 19, 2011)
FDA takes delays decision on granting the government more authority to police medical device makers.
- Consumers deserve to know more about their health-care providers Source: Washington Post (Thursday January 13, 2011)
Letter to the editor by Robert E. Oshel: Congress should open the [National Practitioner] Data Bank so we can learn as much about the safety of our doctors as we can about our toasters.