Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Archive: April, 2011

Why the Federal Government Spends so Much on Medicare

Thursday, April 28, 2011, 11:13 PM
Medicare is going broke. Everyone agrees. Spending is rising at almost 8% a year, and the annual budget is now over half a trillion dollars. The program’s cost has more than doubled over the past 10 years. How did we get to this point? Is Medicare yet another example of government inefficiency?... Read more

Pharma Beset by Demons From Without and Within

Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 6:00 AM
Last week the pharmaceutical industry's largest supplier of retrospective marketing data, IMS Health, presented its annual scorecard for 2010. While sales growth during a recession year was respectable and pharma's margins remain the envy of all legitimate businesses, a perusal of some details raises... Read more

OTC benzocaine products can cause fatal blood disorder

Monday, April 25, 2011, 6:00 AM
Earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Administration warned the public about a rare blood disorder associated with benzocaine, available widely in over-the-counter (OTC) local anesthetic sprays, gels, creams and liquids. Local anesthetics numb pain when applied to the skin or mucous membranes. The... Read more

With overdoses soaring, here's a way to save lives: Give back your prescription drugs

Sunday, April 24, 2011, 8:05 AM
Habits that wreak havoc with your health — eating too much sugar, getting too little sleep — can be hard to break, and other people often can’t help all that much. Addiction is even tougher. Abuse of prescription drugs, particularly highly addictive painkillers, has soared over... Read more

Now It’s Democrats Attacking Obama on Health Care

Friday, April 22, 2011, 6:00 AM
The last thing President Obama needs is more opposition on health care. Especially from his own party, let alone from its liberal wing. But that is the latest twist in his political travails. Several Democratic members of Congress plan to challenge the foundation of his Medicare cost-control plan... Read more

A New Role for the Business Research Function in Pharma

Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 6:00 AM
The principal purposes of pharma's business staff functions have remained intact for generations. Marketing research, for example, assesses the attitudes and needs of customers to inform tactical planning for products. Competitive intelligence seeks to learn the thinking and planning at other companies... Read more

Antibiotic resistance – you’d better do your part

Monday, April 18, 2011, 6:00 AM
Antibiotics are a group of medicines used to treat infections caused by bacteria. For example, doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat a child with strep throat, which is caused by bacteria known as streptococcus. Antibiotics do not work against diseases caused by viruses. Using antibiotics indiscriminately... Read more

Can Obama Save Medicare?

Friday, April 15, 2011, 6:00 AM
President Obama thinks he can save Medicare from spiraling costs. Can he succeed? His approach contrasts starkly with the one that Congressman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) proposed last week. But, as it turns out, the two are surprisingly similar in an important way. Obama would leave the basic structure... Read more

Pharma Strategies: Some Old, Some New, Some Borrowed, Some Untrue

Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 6:00 AM
Many pharma CEOs think of themselves as either oracles or rock stars. Those in the former group give vent to blatantly self-serving ideas that they label as bold approaches to health care reform. The second bunch seeks even more publicity, but they do so in the manner of celebrities. Their promotional... Read more

Lots to learn from recent IV compounding deaths in Alabama

Monday, April 11, 2011, 6:00 AM
Late last month, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported infection outbreaks at 6 Alabama hospitals that left 9 people dead and 10 others injured. This tragedy should have major implications for FDA and state pharmacy... Read more
About this blog

Check Up is a blog for savvy health consumers, covering the latest developments, discoveries, and debates from the Philadelphia area and beyond.

Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section.

Charlotte Sutton Health and Science Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
Tom Avril Inquirer Staff Writer, heart health and general science
Stacey Burling Inquirer Staff Writer, neuroscience and aging
Marie McCullough Inquirer Staff Writer, cancer and women's health
Don Sapatkin Inquirer Staff Writer, public health
David Becker, M.D. Board certified cardiologist, Chestnut Hill Temple Cardiology
Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. Cardiothoracic surgeon in the Philadelphia area
Amy J. Reed, M.D., Ph.D. Anesthesiologist and Surgical Intensivist in the Philadelphia Area
Latest Health Videos
Also on
letter icon Newsletter