February 20, 2014
We're Running Out of Antibiotics

February 5, 2014
The Real Reason CVS Isn’t Selling Cigarettes Anymore

CVS/Caremark announced this morning that it will stop selling tobacco products starting October 1. 
The pharmacy chain said selling cancer-causing products was incompatible with its overall mission of improving health, both through its pharmacies and its MinuteClinic walk-in primary care centers. The company will forgo $2 billion in annual tobacco sales by no longer carrying the number-one cause of preventable death. 
“We have about 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners helping patients manage chronic problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease, all of which are linked to smoking,” Larry J. Merlo, chief executive of CVS, told the New York Times. “We came to the decision that cigarettes and providing healthcare just don’t go together in the same setting.”
Read more. [Image: Jim Young/Reuters]

The Real Reason CVS Isn’t Selling Cigarettes Anymore

CVS/Caremark announced this morning that it will stop selling tobacco products starting October 1. 

The pharmacy chain said selling cancer-causing products was incompatible with its overall mission of improving health, both through its pharmacies and its MinuteClinic walk-in primary care centers. The company will forgo $2 billion in annual tobacco sales by no longer carrying the number-one cause of preventable death. 

“We have about 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners helping patients manage chronic problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease, all of which are linked to smoking,” Larry J. Merlo, chief executive of CVS, told the New York Times. “We came to the decision that cigarettes and providing healthcare just don’t go together in the same setting.”

Read more. [Image: Jim Young/Reuters]

12:55pm
  
Filed under: Business CVS Cigarettes Medicine 
January 30, 2014
Why Can’t We Prevent Alzheimer’s?

We got the human genome a decade ago. Where are the drugs?
Read more. [Image: joansorolla/Flickr]

Why Can’t We Prevent Alzheimer’s?

We got the human genome a decade ago. Where are the drugs?

Read more. [Image: joansorolla/Flickr]

December 19, 2013
In Nigeria, Miracles Compete with Modern Medicine

IBADAN, Nigeria — Marcus Chukwu was having a hard time coming to terms with the idea that he should refrain from evangelizing to a patient on his deathbed. “Religion is always effective, when the patient gets to the end of the road,” said Chukwu, who works as a nurse at an Anglican hospital in the southwestern Nigerian city of Ibadan. “When you are seeking medical help, and you know there is nothing left to do, then the next step is God; even a Muslim, in that situation, 70 percent of them will go to church.”
Chukwu and a handful of colleagues were gathered around a horseshoe of folding tables at the Center for Palliative Care in Ibadan, a cream-colored stucco bungalow that houses Nigeria’s oldest hospice program, established in 2007. The occasion was a three-day “Training for Carers”, which for the first time included a session on the role of spirituality and religion in end-of-life care. As an oversized fan hummed in one corner, Chukwu and other caregivers working for local religious organizations went over the basics and boundaries of palliative care.
Life-threatening illness can bring anyone face to face with the supernatural. In Nigeria, though, the supernatural peers out from posters and billboards everywhere. It invites you to attend “Miracle Arenas” and “Anointing Revivals,” and reminds you in block letters on hospital walls, “We care, God cures.” Nigeria is roughly 50 percent Christian, and an increasing number of the faithful are “Renewalists,” a subset of Protestant Christianity including Pentecostal and so-called Charismatic churches, whose adherents believe in God’s ongoing intervention in daily life. This is thought to occur through the physical presence of the Holy Spirit, which possesses believers and wards off illness and all manner of misfortune.
Read more. [Image: Rowan Moore Gerety]

In Nigeria, Miracles Compete with Modern Medicine

IBADAN, Nigeria Marcus Chukwu was having a hard time coming to terms with the idea that he should refrain from evangelizing to a patient on his deathbed. “Religion is always effective, when the patient gets to the end of the road,” said Chukwu, who works as a nurse at an Anglican hospital in the southwestern Nigerian city of Ibadan. “When you are seeking medical help, and you know there is nothing left to do, then the next step is God; even a Muslim, in that situation, 70 percent of them will go to church.”

Chukwu and a handful of colleagues were gathered around a horseshoe of folding tables at the Center for Palliative Care in Ibadan, a cream-colored stucco bungalow that houses Nigeria’s oldest hospice program, established in 2007. The occasion was a three-day “Training for Carers”, which for the first time included a session on the role of spirituality and religion in end-of-life care. As an oversized fan hummed in one corner, Chukwu and other caregivers working for local religious organizations went over the basics and boundaries of palliative care.

Life-threatening illness can bring anyone face to face with the supernatural. In Nigeria, though, the supernatural peers out from posters and billboards everywhere. It invites you to attend “Miracle Arenas” and “Anointing Revivals,” and reminds you in block letters on hospital walls, “We care, God cures.” Nigeria is roughly 50 percent Christian, and an increasing number of the faithful are “Renewalists,” a subset of Protestant Christianity including Pentecostal and so-called Charismatic churches, whose adherents believe in God’s ongoing intervention in daily life. This is thought to occur through the physical presence of the Holy Spirit, which possesses believers and wards off illness and all manner of misfortune.

Read more. [Image: Rowan Moore Gerety]

December 17, 2013
Experts Decisive Against Multivitamins: ‘Stop Wasting Money’

"We believe that the case is closed— supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough."
So reads an authoritative editorial today in one of the widest-read U.S. medical journals, Annals of Internal Medicine. The authors are five physicians from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Warwick Medical School in the U.K., including one of the journal’s senior editors. Each has at least five letters worth of postgraduate degrees after their name.
"Beta-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful,” they specify. “Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases.” 
Read more. [Image: lovingyourwork/flickr]

Experts Decisive Against Multivitamins: ‘Stop Wasting Money’

"We believe that the case is closed— supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults with (most) mineral or vitamin supplements has no clear benefit and might even be harmful. These vitamins should not be used for chronic disease prevention. Enough is enough."

So reads an authoritative editorial today in one of the widest-read U.S. medical journals, Annals of Internal Medicine. The authors are five physicians from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Warwick Medical School in the U.K., including one of the journal’s senior editors. Each has at least five letters worth of postgraduate degrees after their name.

"Beta-carotene, vitamin E, and possibly high doses of vitamin A supplements are harmful,” they specify. “Other antioxidants, folic acid and B vitamins, and multivitamin and mineral supplements are ineffective for preventing mortality or morbidity due to major chronic diseases.”

Read more. [Image: lovingyourwork/flickr]

December 4, 2013
The Most Notable Health Stories of 2013

3:25pm
  
Filed under: Health Medicine 2013 
December 2, 2013
After Antibiotics, the Feces Pill Remains

Some people with potentially lethal gut infections find that the only effective treatment is an orally-administered fecal transplant. The treatment is gaining acceptance among physicians.
Read more. [Image: B*2/Flickr]

After Antibiotics, the Feces Pill Remains

Some people with potentially lethal gut infections find that the only effective treatment is an orally-administered fecal transplant. The treatment is gaining acceptance among physicians.

Read more. [Image: B*2/Flickr]

November 29, 2013
Would Lincoln Have Survived If He Shot Today?

Abraham Lincoln often spoke and dreamed about being assassinated, convinced that he would not outlast the rebellion when his work would have been done. Prior to his inauguration, he received letters warning him that he would be killed before reaching Washington. After he died an envelope with eighty such letters was found among his effects, and although twice while president he had his hat shot from his head by unknown assailants, he deprecated all attempts to guard his life.
Read more. [Image: Wikipedia]

Would Lincoln Have Survived If He Shot Today?

Abraham Lincoln often spoke and dreamed about being assassinated, convinced that he would not outlast the rebellion when his work would have been done. Prior to his inauguration, he received letters warning him that he would be killed before reaching Washington. After he died an envelope with eighty such letters was found among his effects, and although twice while president he had his hat shot from his head by unknown assailants, he deprecated all attempts to guard his life.

Read more. [Image: Wikipedia]

November 21, 2013
The Quest to End the Flu

On April 28, 2009, a box containing a newly isolated virus showed up at Doris Bucher’s lab. She and her colleagues at New York Medical College opened it up right away. Thousands, or perhaps millions, of lives might depend on what they did next.
The virus was a new kind of influenza, known as 2009 H1N1. It had abruptly started spreading across North America in the previous month, and was beginning to appear in countries around the world. Once scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed it, they realized that the vaccine already in production for the next flu season probably wouldn’t be effective against it. And because it was so new, people’s immune systems might also be unable to stop the virus, which meant that it could become a global outbreak—a pandemic.
No one knew how bad 2009 H1N1 might prove to be, but the experts did know that the virus had the capacity to be very bad. Flu pandemics had occurred three times in the previous century, and the worst of them, the so-called Spanish Flu of 1918–19, had killed an estimated 50 million people. It, too, was an H1N1 virus. Once researchers at the CDC got hold of the 2009 H1N1 virus, they had one urgent mission: make a new vaccine.
The first step was to send batches of the virus to a handful of vaccine experts like Bucher. As soon as she received her supply of 2009 H1N1, she got to work on creating a “seed stock” of modified viruses that could be used to produce hundreds of millions of vaccine doses. Manufacturers for the most part still make flu vaccines the way they did in World War II: in chicken eggs. Bucher had to transform the viruses, which grow very well in human airways, so that they would grow very well in eggs.
Read more. [Image: Kevin Van Aelst]

The Quest to End the Flu

On April 28, 2009, a box containing a newly isolated virus showed up at Doris Bucher’s lab. She and her colleagues at New York Medical College opened it up right away. Thousands, or perhaps millions, of lives might depend on what they did next.

The virus was a new kind of influenza, known as 2009 H1N1. It had abruptly started spreading across North America in the previous month, and was beginning to appear in countries around the world. Once scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed it, they realized that the vaccine already in production for the next flu season probably wouldn’t be effective against it. And because it was so new, people’s immune systems might also be unable to stop the virus, which meant that it could become a global outbreak—a pandemic.

No one knew how bad 2009 H1N1 might prove to be, but the experts did know that the virus had the capacity to be very bad. Flu pandemics had occurred three times in the previous century, and the worst of them, the so-called Spanish Flu of 1918–19, had killed an estimated 50 million people. It, too, was an H1N1 virus. Once researchers at the CDC got hold of the 2009 H1N1 virus, they had one urgent mission: make a new vaccine.

The first step was to send batches of the virus to a handful of vaccine experts like Bucher. As soon as she received her supply of 2009 H1N1, she got to work on creating a “seed stock” of modified viruses that could be used to produce hundreds of millions of vaccine doses. Manufacturers for the most part still make flu vaccines the way they did in World War II: in chicken eggs. Bucher had to transform the viruses, which grow very well in human airways, so that they would grow very well in eggs.

Read more. [Image: Kevin Van Aelst]

November 21, 2013
The Home Remedy for Old Age

Medical treatment for elderly, chronically ill patients is costly and often ineffective. Why better care may be found outside the hospital system.
Read more. [Image: Javier Jaén Benavides]

The Home Remedy for Old Age

Medical treatment for elderly, chronically ill patients is costly and often ineffective. Why better care may be found outside the hospital system.

Read more. [Image: Javier Jaén Benavides]

Liked posts on Tumblr: More liked posts »