Sections SEARCH Skip to content Skip to site index Health Subscribe Log In Log In Today’s Paper Health | Top Cancer Doctor, Forced Out Over Ties to Drug Makers, Joins Their Ranks Supported by ByKatie Thomas and Charles Ornstein Jan. 7, 2019 This article was reported and written in collaboration with ProPublica, the nonprofit journalism organization. Dr. José Baselga, who resigned his position as the top doctor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center after failing to disclose millions of dollars in payments from drug companies, is now going to work for one of them. AstraZeneca, the British-Swedish drug maker, announced on Monday that it had hired Dr. Baselga as its head of research and development in oncology, a newly created unit that reflects the company’s shift toward cancer treatments, one of the hottest areas in the drug industry. In a statement, AstraZeneca’s chief executive, Pascal … [Read more...] about Top Cancer Doctor, Forced Out Over Ties to Drug Makers, Joins Their Ranks
Drug and device development
COLUMBIA, South Carolina— Desperate for relief after years of agony, Jim Taft listened intently as his pain management doctor described a medical device that could change his life.It wouldn't fix the nerve damage in his mangled right arm, Taft and his wife recalled the doctor saying, but a spinal-cord stimulator would cloak his pain, making him "good as new."Taft's stimulator failed soon after it was surgically implanted. After an operation to repair it, he said, the device shocked him so many times that he couldn't sleep and even fell down a flight of stairs. Today, the 45-year-old Taft is virtually paralyzed, a prisoner in his own bed, barely able to get to the bathroom by himself."I thought I would have a wonderful life," Taft said. "But look at me."For years, medical device companies and doctors have touted spinal-cord stimulators as a panacea for millions of patients suffering from a wide range of pain disorders, making them one of the fastest-growing products in the $400 … [Read more...] about Device treating pain draws thousands of injury reports
In case you ever wondered, October 20th is World Osteoporosis Day. In preparation, two advocacy groups — the National Osteoporosis Foundation and the National Bone Health Alliance — have joined forces with Medtronic, the world’s largest medical device maker, to raise awareness about what they consider to be an “under-diagnosed” problem: vertebral compression fractures (VCF) from osteoporosis. (This news was brought to our attention via an emailed announcement from a public relations company.) This should raise eyebrows for a few reasons. First, there’s growing concern amongst some health care professionals that osteoporosis is already over-diagnosed and over-treated. Second, many bone experts feel VCF (when bones in the spine weaken and get squished) is a self-limiting condition that often only requires temporary pain management. Finally, these two advocacy groups are conflicted by financial relationships with Medtronic, and yet they … [Read more...] about Osteoporosis and vertebral compression fractures: Advocacy groups and medical device maker spin misleading message
Verbeck bears a resemblance to Bryan Cranston's Walter White character from the TV series Breaking Bad, in which a high school chemistry teacher — chasing fast money — begins making meth with a former student.Verbeck embraces the look and once dressed up as White for a lecture. But Verbeck says he and Kiselak's aims are more noble than just making money. He said he primarily wanted to help solve the opioid crisis that has hit communities across the country. He said if someone on opioids or other drugs was unresponsive and needed medical treatment, they could breathe into the device so doctors could diagnose them quickly and give them appropriate treatment. Public safety uses could be in the offing as well. In Texas, it's illegal to drive under the influence of drugs. While an officer can perform a field sobriety test, they have no means to confirm the person is impaired because of drugs other than alcohol. They would have to order a blood or urine sample to … [Read more...] about Breaking Breath: University of North Texas professor makes meth in his lab for drug test device
A study published yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) raises important questions about the implications of widespread screening for atrial fibrillation — our most common abnormal heart rhythm (or, “arrhythmia”). Atrial fibrillation (“AF” or “AFib” for short) is an irregular beating of the heart’s two upper chambers, and is considered a risk factor for stroke. The study looked at diagnosing AF — not by the traditional electrocardiogram (ECG) performed during an office visit — but by using a wearable, self-applied ECG patch; specifically, in people over age 55 at high risk for developing the arrhythmia. The study found that at 4 months Afib was diagnosed in 53 out of 1,366 patients wearing the patch (3.9%) compared with 12 out of 1,293 patients (0.9%) in the control group; an absolute difference of 3%. After a full year the rate of AF diagnosis more than doubled in the monitored group (from 2.6 to … [Read more...] about Screening for atrial fibrillation with a wearable patch: Seek and ye shall find … and then what?