What are the real politics on Plan B?

The emergency contraception Plan B (what a name!) was recommended by the FDA to go over-the-counter, but the secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius, put the kibbosh on that idea in a rare Administration override to an FDA decision.

Sebelius is a career politician, has served as governor of Kansas, has been Barak Obama's Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the FDA. 

7-28-11 abstracts

Podcast file: 

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20: Conservative Versus Liberal Red Cell Transfusion in Acute Myocardial Infarction (the CRIT Randomized Pilot Study).
Am J Cardiol. 2011 Jul 24; [Epub ahead of print]

Interesting MEDLINE abstracts from 7/27/11

Podcast file: 

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7: Impact of maternal supplementation with probiotics during pregnancy on atopic eczema in childhood - a meta-analysis.
Br J Nutr. 2011 Jul 26;:1-6 [Epub ahead of print]

Scientists create blood from skin cells

Wow--we are finally living in the future.  Remains to be seen if these findings are reproducible, but for now, exciting news.  Full details here, new publication in the journal Nature here.  The journal also provides a summary of the article, linked here.

Beware the doctor rating services--lack of updates misleading!

Looks like a lot of these doc rating sites get their data from a small number of review sources.  The ongoing problem of lack of data credibility on the web affects medicine as well.

This from Barbara Duck--

Is health care a right?

I think George Carlin was on the mark when he said there are no rights.  If a country can imprison its own citizens (as in the Japanese internment camps during WWII) with no due process, there are no rights.

So where does that leave health care?

I think the word "dignity" is more apropos than "right" when it comes to health care.  The ability to see a doctor, to have a hospital nearby, to have a pharmacy nearby with good medicines and a skilled pharmacist, these are human dignities.

From Health News Review, Gary Schwitzer More robot hype - McGill's McSleepy joins DaVinci for McProstate removal


Impact of "off-label" use of experimental drugs in oncology--not as bad as you'd expect

A lot of fire and brimstone coming down from Reuters by way of Dr. Otis Brawley of American Cancer Society today, concerning the off-label use of experimental cancer treatment.

The quote from Dr. Brawley was that "many of these drugs end up not being the tremendous improvement that we hoped they would be," and certainly I share his frustration in the slow pace of innovation in the cancer research arena.  We have precious little innovation to show for the billions of dollars devoted yearly to cancer research.

Medical miracle of the week: industrial bleach

It'd be funny if it weren't sad.  You can't make this stuff up, but there's a guy on the internet hawking bleach as a potential cure for diseases from malaria to cancer.  Coverage was last month in the UK's Guardian newspaper online.

Wascher update: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and breast cancer risk

From the excellent Dr. Wascher website this month comes an update on HRT and breast cancer risk. 



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