Healthcare updates, June 18



Men’s Health Week: AHRQ and Ad Council Encourage Men To Take Preventive Steps in Their Health Care
For most men, health usually takes the back seat. They lag behind women when it comes to taking care of themselves. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), compared to women, men are 24% less likely to see a doctor but 30% more likely to be admitted to a hospital for conditions that are preventable. June 16 to 19 is Men’s Health Week and health authorities are trying to “to raise awareness among middle-aged men about the importance of preventive medical testing”, in time for Father’s Day on June 20.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
Last Tuesday June 15 was World Elder Abuse Day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), abuse of the elderly is a significant public health problem not only in the US but worldwide. In the US alone, more than 500,000 people aged 60+ are mistreated, neglected, or become victims of violence every year.

FDA Fines American Red Cross $16 Million for Prior Failures to Meet Blood Safety Laws
It’s not only big pharma companies which get fined. Not-for-profit organizations also run into trouble with health authorities. The US FDA recently fined no other than the American Red Cross for non-compliance of blood safety laws. And such a hefty fine, too. $16.18 million: “$9.79 million for violations related to mismanagement of certain blood products and $6.39 million for Good Manufacturing Practice violations. Blood products include red cells, plasma and platelets.”

The Reality of Drug Shortages — The Case of the Injectable Agent Propofol
Propofol is making headlines again. This time, it is not being implicated in a high-profile death. There is currently a shortage of the popular injectable sedative-anesthetic. Only 3 companies are manufacturing propofol and 2 of them had recalls, thus leading to short supply. The issue of drug shortages in general, and the case of propofol in particular is discussed in an article in the recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The urgent need for US malpractice reform
An article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology is calling for major changes in US malpractice legislations. The current system, according to the authors led by cardiologist Dr James Dove of Prairie Cardiovascular Consultants, Springfield, IL, is very expensive and hard emotionally and psychologically on the doctors. They believe that about 70% of malpractice cases are unjustified. “Defensive medicine affects all practicing physicians who are acutely aware that behavior patterns based on the fear of litigation often add little to the care of the individual patient but add greatly to the financial costs to society.”

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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