Archive: October, 2010
Parents of children with autism or relatives of people with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s sometimes turn to so-called chelation products purchased on the internet and elsewhere to treat these serious health conditions.
Chelation products are intended to remove heavy metal from the body, but Thursday the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers that there are no such products approved for over-the-counter sale.
Moreover, the federal agency warned that there are “serious safety issues associated with chelation products, which can alter the levels of certain substances in the blood. Even when used under medical supervision, these products can cause serious harm, including dehydration, kidney failure, and death.”
Researchers at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia have identified a protein that can play a critical role in the growth and spread of various forms of cancers, including breast cancer.
The loss of the protein, Nedd9, initially slows the growth of tumors, but over time the cancer cells that develop are more aggressive and spread to other parts of the body more quickly. But the lack of the Nedd9 protein makes the cancer more susceptible to an existing class of drugs Src inhibitors.
The researchers tested one of those drugs -- dasatinib -- on the tumors without the Nedd9, and found that it quickly killed the cancer cells. Dasatinib is sold under the brand name Sprycel by the drug company Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., which did not fund the study. It was published online in the journal Cancer Research. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and other independent sources.
Inquirer medical writer Marie McCullough reported from Wednesday's hearing in Trenton:
TRENTON - The New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners on Wednesday temporarily suspended the license of abortion doctor Steven Chase Brigham, ruling that the Voorhees-based entrepreneur is "a clear and imminent danger to the public health and safety."
A federal judge in Florida has ruled that a suit challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act may go to trial, the Associated Press reports.
The ruling by Florida District Judge Roger Vinson Thursday came a day after a federal judge in Michigan threw out a similar suit.
Here’s an early version of the report from AP reporter Melissa Nelson:
By guest blogger Daniel Hoffman:
Last winter the federal government’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Studies (CMS) eased funding for physicians to adopt electronic medical records (EMRs), even as the agency also announced reimbursement penalties for those who refuse to make the conversion by 2015. While that may appear as merely a pedestrian matter related to bookkeeping, the fact is EMRs will bring major changes to medical practice and every other aspect of the healthcare system.
For the pharmaceutical industry the fact that all US physicians will maintain digital patient records represents both an embarrassment and a challenge. For several generations the clinical trials designed and sponsored by pharma companies provided the principal basis on which physicians selected drug therapies. The advent of universal EMRs in this country will soon permit retrospective analysis of these electronic databases as an alternative foundation for selecting cost-effective therapies. One factor behind the adoption of this new standard is the increasing percentage of physicians that implicitly say they don’t trust pharma’s clinical data.
Reported by Inquirer medical writer Marie McCullough in Trenton:
Abortion doctor Steven Brigham was portrayed as a dangerous scofflaw and a skilled and conscientious care giver in dueling presentations at the start of a hearing in Trenton to determine whether he will keep his New Jersey Medical license.
The start of the Brigham hearing was delayed. After the hearing began The Associated Press filed the following:
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The New Jersey attorney general’s office says an abortion doctor was “grossly negligent” for transporting some patients to Maryland to take advantage of disparities in the two states’ abortion laws.
The Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that it would require label changes to bisphosphonates – the class of drugs prescribed to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women – to warn of an apparent increased risk of rare thigh fractures from the medications.
The FDA noted that the factures of the femur are uncommon, accounting for less than 1 percent of hip and thigh fractures. The federal drug agency stated “Although it is not clear if bisphosphonates are the cause, these unusual femur fractures have been predominantly reported in patients taking” the drugs.
The drugs affected by the change are only those approved by the FDA to treat osteoporosis. These include: Actonel, Actonel+Ca, Aredia, Boniva, Didronel, Fosamax, Fosamax+D, Reclast, Skelid, and Zometa and their generic versions.