Disease mongering
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Disease mongering
Overdiagnosis of disease: a modern epidemic sickness.
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Five Medical Practitioners Indicted for Taking Bribes in Exchange for Referring Patients to Medical Imaging Centers Run by Criminal Enterprise

Five Medical Practitioners Indicted for Taking Bribes in Exchange for Referring Patients to Medical Imaging Centers Run by Criminal Enterprise | Disease mongering | Scoop.it
The state grand jury handed up the indictments against the four doctors and one chiropractor this morning. The medical practitioners were accused of taking kickbacks from Rehan Zuberi. Zuberi, 46, of Boonton, pleaded guilty last month to charges that he led a criminal enterprise that paid several million dollars of bribes and kickbacks to dozens of doctors from 2008 to 2014. The plea agreement calls for Zuberi to receive a 10-year state prison sentence with a four-year non-parole eligibility stipulation.
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John Oliver explains how tobacco companies are keeping their business strong overseas - YouTube

Thanks to tobacco industry regulations and marketing restrictions in the US, smoking rates have dropped dramatically. John Oliver explains how tobacco compan...
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Half of heart disease deaths could be prevented - Harvard Health Blog

Half of heart disease deaths could be prevented - Harvard Health Blog | Disease mongering | Scoop.it

Eliminating five common risk factors would prevent more than half of all deaths from cardiovascular disease in the United States.   Heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases kill nearly three-quarters of a million Americans each year. They are the leading cause of death, accounting for nearly 30% of all deaths in the United States. But according to a new study published online yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, many of these deaths can be prevented. 

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Dottor Franco Berrino: alcol, miti e danni alla salute.YouTube

Dal bicchiere di vino presente sulle nostre tavole alla birra con gli amici; dallo spumante all’aperitivo. Sono tante e diverse le occasioni in cui beviamo alcol. Del resto: “Le bevande alcoliche fanno parte della nostra tradizione culturale, fanno parte anche della dieta mediterranea tradizionale” - dice il dottor Franco Berrino in apertura di questo video

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Should we welcome multinational companies’ involvement in programmes to improve child health?

It is essential that children in remote areas have access to regular supplies of oral rehydration salts and zinc; however, the link to Coca-Cola is an ethical minefield. While Coca-Cola can legitimately claim that it did not initiate the link, it undoubtedly benefits from the association, not least in the name ColaLife (I initially assumed it was funded by the company, although it is in fact independent) and in Coca-Cola’s logo appearing on historical ColaLife material posted on the web. Although today ColaLife’s kits have no direct distribution link with Coca-Cola, and the products make no reference to Coca-Cola or even to ColaLife, ColaLife still lends legitimacy to a company that markets some unhealthy products from which it makes huge profits while stoking obesity and diabetes epidemics. ColaLife also counts among its partners the alcoholic drinks multinational SABMiller, Coke’s bottlers in Zambia.

Aside from the ethical dangers of promoting unhealthy products, linking public health initiatives to companies such as Coca-Cola may be seriously problematic in other ways. Coca-Cola is ranked 11th in tax avoidance among the US multinational companies compared in a report by the US Senate published in 2012, with $13.9bn (£9bn; €12bn) in cash in offshore accounts.6 And similar behaviour has been noted in Vietnam and Greece.7 8 The development charity ActionAid has also accused SABMiller of organising its corporate structure to avoid paying tax in Africa, which the company refutes.9 Were these companies to engage in tax avoidance in countries like Zambia, the resulting loss of revenue would reduce the ability of those governments to fund preventive strategies such as efficient distribution of diarrhoeal treatment and more fundamental public health measures such as infrastructure for water and sanitation to protect children against diarrhoea.

It is emblematic of the unequal power relations between governments and huge multinationals, particularly in poor countries but also in the US, that whereas the Zambian government cannot ensure the supply of simple medicines to its clinics in remote areas, Coca-Cola has the resources to make sure its sugary products find their way into the mouths of children in the remotest areas.

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Knee surgery 'waste of time', researchers argue - NHS Choices

Knee surgery 'waste of time', researchers argue -  NHS Choices | Disease mongering | Scoop.it

"Knee surgery is 'pointless and potentially harmful' for thousands of patients," the Daily Mirror reports.

Researchers have looked at previous studies that had compared arthroscopic (keyhole) knee surgery with exercise or sham surgery (placebo) for middle-aged people with knee pain – specifically, knee pain caused by osteoarthritis or a tear in the cartilage, but not those with a ligament condition.

They found that both exercise and arthroscopy improved knee pain. Arthroscopy was slightly better, improving pain by a small amount, which was described as the equivalent to using a painkiller such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. There was no difference between the interventions for function of the knee.

Current UK guidelines recommend arthroscopy for people with knee osteoarthritis and a clear history of "mechanical locking", where a person is unable to bend or straighten the knee. People with this symptom were not analysed separately in this research, so it remains unclear whether this recommendation would change on the basis of this study.

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Health groups petition FDA to ban eight food flavors

Health groups petition FDA to ban eight food flavors | Disease mongering | Scoop.it

Health groups are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban eight synthetic flavors in food that are known carcinogens.

The petition, led by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said the flavors, which have been used for over 40 years, are found in ice cream, candy, baked goods and beverages.


The petition asks FDA to revoke its 1964 approval that allowed seven of the eight flavorings to be used in food and overturn the industry’s 1974 self-approval of the eighth synthetic flavor, which they assert can be used under a loophole in the law for chemicals that are “generally recognized as safe.”

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Employers Increasingly Turn to Health IT To Improve Workers' Health - iHealthBeat

Employers Increasingly Turn to Health IT To Improve Workers' Health - iHealthBeat | Disease mongering | Scoop.it
Businesses are increasingly relying on digital health services to improve their employees' wellness and prevent costly health problems, such as diabetes. Meanwhile, a group of stakeholders is developing an "artificial pancreas" that it hopes to bring to the market by 2018. Bloomberg Business, Wall Street Journal.
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Overdiagnosis of bone fragility in the quest to prevent hip fracture





The dominant approach to hip fracture prevention is neither viable as a public health strategy nor cost effective. Pharmacotherapy can achieve at best a marginal reduction in hip fractures at the cost of unnecessary psychological harms, serious medical adverse events, and forgone opportunities to have greater impacts on the health of older people. As such, it is an intellectual fallacy we will live to regret.

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L'Italia dei parti cesarei. Annalisa Scognamiglio

L'Italia dei parti cesarei. Annalisa Scognamiglio | Disease mongering | Scoop.it

In Italia quasi quattro parti su dieci sono effettuati con un taglio cesareo. I numeri variano molto da provincia a provincia, ma al Sud si concentrano le percentuali più alte. Le possibili cause del costante aumento e le misure per limitare la pratica ai soli casi di effettiva necessità clinica.  ....   

I numeri mostrano invece come la frammentazione dei punti nascita possa costituire un elemento fondamentale per spiegare la variabilità geografica. L’incidenza di piccoli punti nascita (meno di 500 parti l’anno) è correlata con il tasso di cesareo tra province. Il parto naturale non è programmabile, quindi richiede disponibilità di assistenza continuata. Ciò genera elevati costi fissi che non sono recuperabili per volumi bassi di attività. Al contrario, il parto cesareo è programmabile, consente al medico di gestire e programmare la propria attività professionale, agli ospedali e case di cura di limitare i costi fissi e garantisce introiti maggiori (il rimborso per Drg di parto cesareo è generalmente più elevato del rimborso per parto naturale).

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U.S. has highest maternal death rate among developed countries

U.S. has highest maternal death rate among developed countries | Disease mongering | Scoop.it

U.S. women are more likely to die during childbirth than women in any other developed country, leading the U.S. to be ranked 33rd among 179 countries on the health and well-being of women and children. 

Women in the U.S. face a 1-in-1,800 risk for maternal death, the worst among the developed nations surveyed in Save the Children's 16th annual State of the World's Mothers report (PDF)

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Government Trove of Data on Doctors’ Prescribing Patterns Can Be Linked to #Pharma Payments to Docs

Government Trove of Data on Doctors’ Prescribing Patterns Can Be Linked to #Pharma Payments to Docs | Disease mongering | Scoop.it

The data released by Medicare today includes summary information, such as the total number of prescriptions written by each doctor in 2013, as well as more detailed information about each drug a doctor prescribed. It covers prescriptions worth more than $103 billion, not including rebates that lower the cost by an undisclosed amount.


The top prescribed drug in the program in 2013 was the blood pressure drug Lisinopril, prescribed 36.9 million times, including refills. Medicare spent the most on Nexium, $2.5 billion, not including rebates. The drug taken by the most Part D patients was the narcotic hydrocodone-acetaminophen. More than 8 million users filled at least one prescription for it.


Eric Hammelman, a vice president at the consulting firm Avalere Health, said the prescribing data could unlock clues about differences in how doctors practice medicine. Take, for instance, antibiotics, he said, which are often prescribed for inappropriate reasons. While the new data won’t show which prescriptions are inappropriate, it may flag providers who should be asked questions because they prescribe the drugs to a high proportion of their patients.


Beyond that, if consumers compare the prescribing data to data on the payments drug companies have made to doctors, they can see how often doctors prescribe products sold by companies with whom they have financial relationships.


“Knock on wood, these files are coming out on a regular basis. I think some of the doctors and manufacturers would prefer this goes away,” Hammelman said.


Via Pharma Guy
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Italiani affamati di medicinali. Imbottiti anche i più piccoli. Cresce del 66% in 5 anni la spesa farmaceutica pagata dai cittadini

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Justifying conflicts of interest in medical journals: a very bad idea

A series of articles in the New England Journal of Medicine has questioned whether the conflict of interest movement has gone too far in its campaign to stop the drug industry influencing the medical profession. Here, three former senior NEJM editors respond with dismay

A seriously flawed and inflammatory attack on conflict of interest policies and regulations appeared recently in a most unexpected location: the venerable and trusted New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). In a series of rambling articles, one of the journal’s national correspondents, Lisa Rosenbaum, supported by the editor in chief, Jeffrey Drazen, tried to rationalise financial conflicts of interest in the medical profession.1 2 3 4 As former senior editors of the NEJM, we find it sad that the medical journal that first called attention to the problem of financial conflicts of interest among physicians would now backtrack so dramatically and indulge in personal attacks on those who disagree.

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Industry Payments To Doctors Are Ingrained, Federal Data Show

Industry Payments To Doctors Are Ingrained, Federal Data Show | Disease mongering | Scoop.it
The latest data on payments from drug and device companies to doctors show that many doctors received payments on 100 or more days last year. Some received payments on more days than they didn't.  

Few days went by last year when New Hampshire nephrologist Ana Stankovic didn't receive a payment from a drug company.

All told, 29 different pharmaceutical companies paid her $594,363 in 2014, mostly for promotional speaking and consulting, but also for travel expenses and meals, according to data released Tuesday detailing payments by drug and device companies to U.S. doctors and teaching hospitals. (You can search for your doctor on ProPublica's updated Dollars for Docs interactive database.)

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The Dark Side of #digitalhealth

The Dark Side of #digitalhealth | Disease mongering | Scoop.it
The Web makes health-related information almost universally accessible, but Googling your medical symptoms does not necessarily end in a resolution.

Via Mike Rucker
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Mike Rucker's curator insight, June 28, 2015 11:26 AM

My latest article for About.com

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Che c’è di male se lo sponsor è un’azienda?

Che c’è di male se lo sponsor è un’azienda? | Disease mongering | Scoop.it
Sul Bmj il caso di ColaLife, charity che distribuisce kit contro la diarrea in Africa. Un’operazione disinteressata?
La domanda è di quelle apparentemente innocue. È giusto far sponsorizzare a un’azienda iniziative che potrebbero migliorare la salute dei bambini?
A lanciarla è il British Medical Journal in uno dei suoi consueti Head to Head, un qualcosa che ricorda le interviste doppie delle Iene: una voce favorevole e una contraria e vediamo cosa succede. 
Così, quella che sembrava una domanda innocua, si dimostra in fretta molto scivolosa. 

Da una parte Simon Berry, Jane Berry e Rohit Ramchandani tra i fondatori o membri dalla ColaLife, charity nata da una costola della Coca-Cola e da altre aziende con un’idea geniale. «La Coca-Cola sembra essere dappertutto nei Paesi in via di sviluppo», spiega sul proprio sito. «Ma i farmaci essenziali no. Perché? ColaLife usa gli stessi principi e network della Coca-Cola» per distribuire un kit anti-diarrea di facile utilizzo e affidabile contenente sali per l’idratazione e supplementi di zinco.

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Quand le patient ne vient pas au rendez-vous : une enquête de l’URPS #hcsmeufr

Quand le patient ne vient pas au rendez-vous : une enquête de l’URPS #hcsmeufr | Disease mongering | Scoop.it
Paris, le mardi 23 juin 2015 - L’URPS (Union régionale des professionnels de Santé) d’île de France a réalisé une enquête auprès de 2 822 médecins libéraux (hors chirurgiens, gériatres et néphrologues) sur les « exigences et incivilités des...

Via MyPharmag, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek
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MyPharmag's curator insight, June 23, 2015 2:11 PM

#MEDECINE #INFO  #hcsmeufr

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Corruption: medicine’s dirty open secret

Corruption: medicine’s dirty open secret | Disease mongering | Scoop.it

Doctors must fight back against kickbacks

Healthcare is a high risk sector for corruption. Best estimates are that between 10% and 25% of global spend on public procurement of health is lost through corruption.1 This is big bucks. Total global spend on healthcare is more than $7 trillion each year. Corruption takes many forms, depending on the country’s level of development and health financing system.2 The United States, for example, lost between $82bn and $272bn in 2011 to medical embezzlement, mostly related to its health insurance system.3 No country is exempt from corruption. Patients everywhere are harmed when money is diverted to doctors’ pockets and away from priority services. Yet this complex challenge is one that medical professionals have failed to deal with, either by choosing to enrich themselves, turning a blind eye, or considering it too difficult. Transparency International, a watchdog on these matters, defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain, which in healthcare encompasses bribery of regulators and medical professionals, manipulation of information on drug trials, diversion of medicines and supplies, corruption in procurement, and overbilling of insurance companies.4 This is no dirty little secret. It is one of the biggest open sores in medicine.

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Saviez-vous que les sodas "light" augmentent la graisse abdominale ?

Saviez-vous que les sodas "light" augmentent la graisse abdominale ? | Disease mongering | Scoop.it
Lorsque nous avons une envie de soda, nous hésitons souvent entre la version classique ou « light ». 

Cette dernière est souvent plébiscitée, car elle est censée contenir moins de sucre, et donc être plus saine.

Même si nous savons tous que les sodas sont mauvais pour la santé, nous en buvons régulièrement car leur saveur nous plaît, et nous sommes persuadés qu’en consommer une fois de temps en temps, n’est pas si nocif pour notre santé.

Cependant, il est important de prendre en compte plusieurs facteurs.

Si vous ne souhaitez pas prendre de poids, la meilleure chose à faire est de ne pas consommer de soda, et encore moins de sodas estampillés « light », car plutôt que de vous aider à perdre du poids, ils augmentent la graisse abdominale.

Lisez cet article pour tout connaitre sur les sodas « light » et les risques qu’ils représentent pour votre santé.
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Tobacco Industry Makes $7,000 For Each Smoking Related Death

Tobacco Industry Makes $7,000 For Each Smoking Related Death | Disease mongering | Scoop.it

Foundation (WLF), the The tobacco industry gains $7,000 for every one of the approximately 6 million people who die each year from smoking-related illness.

The study states than more than 5.8 trillion cigarettes were smoked last year, a figure similar to that from 2013. China is experiencing an increased tobacco use in China, while in other countries it decreases.

The World Lung Foundation and the American Cancer Society announced in their Tobacco Atlas that in 2013 the tobacco industry profits were almost $45 billion. In the same time, 6.3 million people lost their lives from smoking-related illness, which leads to an equivalent of $7,000 profit for each death caused by tobacco.

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US guideline may have led to drop in PSA testing among primary care physicians, studies find

The controversial US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines that recommended against routine prostate cancer screening with the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test may be changing the practice of primary care physicians in the United States, two small studies have shown.

The USPSTF issued its recommendation in 2012 after concluding that the reduction in prostate cancer mortality 10 to 14 years after the introduction of PSA based screening was “at most, very small, even for men in the optimal age range of 55 to 69 years,” while the risk of harm from follow-up studies and treatment was substantial.1 The USPSTF recommendations applied to men without symptoms who did not have a history of prostate cancer.

Many urologists, however, have disagreed with the USPSTF’s conclusions, and the American Urological Association currently recommends that PSA screening should be based on a shared decision making process for men aged 55 to 69.2 Nevertheless, two studies presented on 17 May at the association’s annual meeting showed that the USPSTF recommendations may be reducing the use of PSA testing among primary care physicians.

In the first study, researchers at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon, found that PSA testing by primary care physicians had dropped significantly after the USPSTF released its findings.3 OHSU is the home of the Northwest Evidence Based Practice Center, which provided the analysis on which the USPSTF based its recommendations.

In the study Ryan Werntz, lead author and urologic surgery resident at the university, and his colleagues compared PSA testing at OHSU’s Family Medicine and Internal Medicine clinics before and after the task force made its recommendations.

The researchers identified 12 345 men who were seen as a new patient appointment from 2008 to 2013. They found that, before the task force published its recommendations, 1463 (14%) of these patients received a PSA test, while after the recommendations were released only 223 (7%) were tested (P<0.0001).

No significant difference was found in PSA testing frequency before and after the 2012 recommendations in men aged 40 to 49 (4.2% v 4.4%) or in men over 70 (10.2% v 9.3%), but significant decreases were seen in PSA testing in men aged 50 to 59 (19.2% v 8.5%; P<0.0001) and 60 to 69 (19.3% v 7.7%; P<0.0001).

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La dictature de la connexion

La dictature de la connexion | Disease mongering | Scoop.it
La nouvelle vague technologique, celle des objets connectés, mise sur l'individualisme. Et nous rend accros. Notre vie n'est-elle plus qu'un flux de données ?  « Une vie dans laquelle nous aurions des règles qui nous seraient ajustées comme un excellent tailleur ajuste nos vêtements serait effectivement l'esclavage total », écrivait le philosophe Cornélius Castoriadis. Approcherait-on tranquillement, avec enthousiasme même, de ce « bagne idéal » ? Nous voici capables désormais d'exercer sur nous-mêmes une surveillance parfaitement taillée à nos mesures. Combien de pas avons-nous effectués aujourd'hui ? Combien de calories avons-nous ingérées ? Et nos cycles de sommeil, sont-ils bien réguliers ? Plus question de rester dans l'ignorance maintenant que déferle en France la nouvelle vague technologique, celle des objets connectés. L'an dernier, ces petites merveilles high-tech ont séduit pas moins de 640 000 personnes dans l'Hexagone, et ce n'est qu'un début. Leurs promesses ? Irrésistibles... ou peut-être cauchemardesques : à voir.
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The Big Business Of Cancer: 100 BILLION Dollars Was Spent On Cancer Drugs Last Year Alone

The Big Business Of Cancer: 100 BILLION Dollars Was Spent On Cancer Drugs Last Year Alone | Disease mongering | Scoop.it

By Michael Snyder

If you are an American, there is a 1 in 3 chance that you will get cancer during your lifetime.  If you are a man, the odds are closer to 1 in 2.  And almost everyone in America either knows someone who currently has cancer or who has already died from cancer.  But it wasn’t always this way.

Back in the 1940s, only one out of every sixteen Americans would develop cancer.  Something has happened that has caused the cancer rate in this nation to absolutely explode, and it is being projected that cancer will soon surpass heart disease and become the leading cause of death in the United States.

Overall, the World Health Organization says that approximately 14 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed around the globe each year, and the number of new cases is expected to increase by about 70 percent over the next 2 decades.  There are very few words in the English language that cause more fear than the word “cancer,” but despite billions spent on research and all of the technological progress we have made over the years this plague just continues to spiral wildly out of control.  Why is that?

In America today, more money is spent to treat cancer than to treat any other disease by far.  In fact, according to NBC News, 100 BILLION dollars was spent on cancer drugs just last year alone…


Via Hans Gruen
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