Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Archive for December, 2006

Drug coated stent: subtitle “Ah, yes — money.”

On Wednesday, The New York Times reported (“What Money Doesn’t Buy in Health Care“) reported on the relative ineffectiveness of drug-coated stents (aka drug-eluting stents). (For more information regarding what is a stent, visit the Angioplasty.org webpage.) On Friday, December 8th, the FDA recommended that “…doctors and patients be given stronger warnings about the dangers […]

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Influenza Vaccination: Part IV

What is the best method to immunize individuals? Vaccinations are typically delivered via scheduled or walk-in visits. Mass vaccinations, however, may offer a more efficient means to vaccinate large populations. The mass vaccination locations can take place at schools, convention centers, fair grounds, churches, parking lots or other places (see Arkansas’ Mass Flu Vaccine locations […]

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Health Wonk Review #22

This week’s edition of the Health Wonk Review is posted at MSSPNexus.

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Influenza Vaccination: Part III

Yesterday we examined the cost effectiveness of the influenza vaccine in children. Today I will look at two papers which focus on the same question using children as the sub-population of interest. Estimated influenza infection rate among young healthy children is between 35% and 50% each year. Cohen and Nettleman (2000) look at preschool children […]

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Influenza Vaccination: Part II

How does one measure the cost effectiveness of flu vaccination? Today we will examine a paper which attempts to do just that. Nichol, et al. (2003) preforms a cost-benefit analysis of live attenuated influenza vaccination (LAIV) for healthy, working adults. This type of vaccination is administered through a nasal spray than through an intramuscular shot. […]

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Euthanasia in Italy

The BBC reports (“Italian man…“) on a court case in which a paralyzed man suffering from muscular dystrophy is requesting that “his artificial respirator turned off and to be given sedatives to ease his pain until he dies.”  Euthanasia is illegal in Italy as it in the United States.  On the other hand, euthanasia and […]

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For those with a personal blog…

A recent Economist article (see a reprint at the Librarian’s Place blog) chronicles the career of Mena Trott.  Mrs. Trott (along with her husband) founded Six Apart, a company whose blogging enterprises include Typepad, Movable Type and Live Journal.  The most recent and perhaps most profound innovation by the couple at Six Apart is the […]

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Influenza Vaccination: Part I

According to Thompson, et al. (2003), approximately 51,000 people per year died annually due to influenza related diseases between 1990 and 1999. Mortality rates are appreciably higher for those over 65 years of age. In order to reduce mortality and morbidity from influenza in the U.S., the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) released […]

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Giants of industry push for electronic medical records

According to the Economist magazine (“Bit by bit“), firms such as Wal-Mart, Pitney Bowes, and Intel are announcing plans to launch an online patient-information service next year with the non-profit firm Omnimedix Institute. The consortium aims to develop Dossia, which—according to the institute—is “a secure, private, independent network for capturing medical information and delivering it […]

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Placebo vs. Placebo

Which treatment is more effective: placebo one or placebo two? This is the test researchers Ted Kaptchuk and colleagues investigated in their study published in the British Medical Journal and summarized in an April 2006 issue of Discover (“Placebo vs. Placebo“). Kaptchuk looked at 266 volunteers with chronic arm pain and randomly assigned each of […]

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