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Category Archives: Medicine

Antibacterial Drug Shortages From 2001 to 2013

Antibacterial Drug Shortages From 2001 to 2013: Implications for Clinical Practice. Clin Infect Dis. (2015) doi: 10.1093/cid/civ201

Background. Previous studies have described drug shortages; however, there has been no comprehensive evaluation focusing on US antibacterial shortages.

Methods. Drug shortage data from the University of Utah Drug Information Service database were analyzed, with a focus on antibacterial agents from 2001 to 2013. We used descriptive statistics to describe trends in drug shortages, analyze drug classes commonly affected, and investigate whether drugs experienced multiple periods of shortages.

Results. One hundred forty-eight antibacterial drugs were on shortage over the 13-year study period, with 26 drugs still active on shortage as of December 2013. The median number of new shortages per year was 10 (interquartile range [IQR], 7). The number of drugs on shortage increased at a rate of 0.35 additional drugs every month (95% confidence interval, .22–.49) from July 2007 to December 2013 (P < .001). The median shortage duration was 188 days (IQR, 366.5). Twenty-two percent of drugs experienced multiple shortage periods.

Conclusions.  There were a substantial number of drug shortages from 2001 to 2013, with a dramatic rise in shortages since 2007. Shortages of agents used to treat multidrug-resistant infections are of concern due to continued transmission and limited treatment options.”

New GAO Reports – Drug Discount Program, Homeland Security, James Webb Space Telescope, NASA, Unmanned Aerial Systems

Drug Discount Program: Status of GAO Recommendations to Improve 340B Drug Pricing Program Oversight, GAO-15-455T: Published: Mar 24, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 24, 2015. Homeland Security: Action Needed to Better Assess Cost-Effectiveness of Security Enhancements at Federal Facilities, GAO-15-444: Published: Mar 24, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 24, 2015 James Webb Space Telescope: Project Facing IncreasedContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Border Security, DOJ Budget, Medicare, National Nuclear Security Administration, Nuclear Waste, Private Health Insurance

Border Security: Additional Efforts Needed to Address Persistent Challenges in Achieving Radio Interoperability, GAO-15-201: Published: Mar 23, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2015. Department of Justice: Alternative Sources of Funding Are a Key Source of Budgetary Resources and Could Be Better Managed, GAO-15-48: Published: Feb 19, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 2015. Medicare: Payment MethodsContinue Reading

Two out of 3 people with invasive cancer are surviving 5 years or more

CDC press release: “Two out of 3 people diagnosed with cancer survive five years or more, according to a CDC study published in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report found that the most common cancer sites continue to be cancers of the prostate (128 cases per 100,000 men), female breast (122 cases perContinue Reading

CRS – Genetic Testing: Background and Policy Issues

Genetic Testing: Background and Policy Issues. Amanda K. Sarata, Specialist in Health Policy. March 2, 2015. “Congress has considered, at various points in time, numerous pieces of legislation that relate to genetic and genomic technology and testing. These include bills addressing genetic discrimination in health insurance and employment; precision medicine; the patenting of genetic material;Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Antipsychotic Drug Use, Defense Acquisitions, Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, Federal Research, Information Security, Medicaid Information Technology

Antipsychotic Drug Use: HHS Has Initiatives to Reduce Use among Older Adults in Nursing Homes, but Should Expand Efforts to Other Settings, GAO-15-211: Published: Jan 30, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2015. Defense Acquisitions: Better Approach Needed to Account for Number, Cost, and Performance of Non-Major Programs, GAO-15-188: Published: Mar 2, 2015. Publicly Released: MarContinue Reading

Kaiser – New Online Tool Gives Patients Insight Into The Cost Of Medical Care

Jay Hancock – Kaiser Health News: “Buying health care in America is like shopping blindfolded at Macy’s and getting the bill months after you leave the store, economist Uwe Reinhardt likes to say. A tool that went online Wednesday is supposed to give patients a small peek at the products and prices before they openContinue Reading

The Measles: Background and Federal Role in Vaccine Policy

CRS Report – The Measles: Background and Federal Role in Vaccine Policy. Matthew B. Barry, Section Research Manager; Jared P. Cole, Legislative Attorney. February 9, 2015. “The earliest accounts of measles date back over 1,000 years. This report presents basic  information about this infectious disease, its history in the United States, available treatments to preventContinue Reading

Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?

National Geographic – March 2015: “We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge—from the safety of fluoride and vaccines to the reality of climate change—faces organized and often furious opposition. Empowered by their own sources of information and their own interpretations of research, doubters have declared war on the consensus of experts.Continue Reading

Paper – New Ideas in Invention

New Ideas in Invention by Mikko Packalen, Jay Bhattacharya. NBER Working Paper No. 20922. Issued in January 2015. “A key decision in research is whether to try out new ideas or build on more established ideas. In this paper, we evaluate which type of work is more likely to spur further invention. When recent advancesContinue Reading

Law, Ethics, and Public Health in the Vaccination Debates: Politics of the Measles Outbreak

Gostin, Lawrence O., Law, Ethics, and Public Health in the Vaccination Debates: Politics of the Measles Outbreak (February 12, 2015). JAMA Online, February 2015. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2564724 “This article explores the legal and ethical landscape of vaccine exemptions. While all states require childhood vaccinations, they differ significantly in the types of religiousContinue Reading

Data-driven journalism project revealed racial disparities in U.S. nursing homes

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein via Storybench – part of the Media Innovation track at Northeastern University’s School of Journalism:  “In 2009, while at The Chicago Reporter, I took a deep look at racial disparities in the quality of care in nursing homes in Chicago, Illinois and nationally. For a project that the Center for Public Integrity published inContinue Reading