Health Updates 19 August 2011

  • Drug shortages are leading to price gouging: “With the nation in the midst of a record shortage of prescription drugs – including vital medications used in everything from surgery to chemotherapy – unscrupulous marketers are stockpiling hard-to-find drugs and attempting to sell them back to hospitals at up to 50 times their normal prices, a new report says.” (USA Today)
  • Study finds black researchers get less grant monies than white researchers: “He says African-Americans who do get jobs in academia tend to focus on teaching and clinical practice, which they see as serving their communities, instead of research.  And blacks often come into science without all the personal connections that others may have….The grant gap was quite substantial.  Getting a grant is never easy, but in round numbers, white researchers succeeded about 25 percent of the time, and blacks succeeded about 15 percent of the time.  An obvious question is whether this is the result of overt racism.” (NPR)
  • ADHD numbers increase, but meaning is unclear: “Case counts of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have risen by nearly one-quarter in the past decade, but whether the increase was real or an artifact of more aggressive diagnosis and reporting remains unclear, the CDC reported….Among boys ages 5 to 17, the apparent prevalence rose from 9.9% to 12.3%.  The condition was diagnosed much less frequently among girls, but the number with diagnoses increased just as fast, from 3.6% to 5.5% over the study period.  The increases were seen in every ethnic group except those of Mexican ancestry, but they were largely confined to children in households with below-average incomes.” (John Gever, MedPage Today)
  • Doctors question Texas Governor Rick Perry‘s stem cell back treatment: “Perry ‘exercised poor judgment’ to try it, said Dr. George Q. Daley, of Children’s Hospital Boston and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.  ‘As a highly influential person of power, Perry’s actions have the unfortunate potential to push desperate patients into the clinics of quacks,’ who are selling unproven treatments ‘for everything from Alzheimer’s to autism.'” (Associated Press)

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