Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

A safer, more effective morphine may soon be possible (& drug information resources)

A safer, more effective morphine may soon be possible

From the March 24 2011 Science Daily news item

ScienceDaily (Mar. 25, 2011) — An orphan drug** originally used for HIV treatment has been found to short-circuit the process that results in additional sensitivity and pain from opioid use. The study by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine is reported in the March 25, 2011 issue of Brain, Behavior and Immunity***….

** Information on this orphan drug, AMD3100, may be found  through Drug Information Portal (US National Library of Medicine) at the Plerixafor [USAN] Web page

For related drug information resources, please see my previous posting Drug Information Product…

 

***For suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here

 

March 27, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Medical and Health Research News, Professional Health Care Resources, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Sexually active teens need confidential health care, study finds

Sexually active teens need confidential health care, study finds

From the March 24 2011 Science Daily news item

ScienceDaily (Mar. 24, 2011) — After reviewing existing research regarding the common practices of health care providers who see adolescent patients across the country, Rebecca Allen, MD, MPH, a clinician and researcher at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, and her colleague, Michelle Forcier, MD, MPH, an adolescent medicine specialist at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, asserted that the nation needs to offer more confidential care for teenagers who are sexually active.

This includes access to effective contraception, noted the doctors in the paper “Adolescent Sexuality and the Use of Contraception,” which was published in a recent issue of the professional journal SRM: Sexuality, Reproduction and Menopause.***

“With almost half of teens in high school being sexually active, effective contraception screening and counseling is a critical component of adolescent health visits,” explained Dr. Allen, who is affiliated with Women & Infants’ Contraceptive Consult Clinic and is an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

“Given the high rate of unintended adolescent pregnancies in the United States, effective adolescent contraception continues to be an elusive goal.”

Forty-six percent of American teens aged 15 to 19 have had sex at least once, and 20% have had sex by the age of 15. Although 83% of females and 91% of males report using contraception, approximately 750,000 teens aged 15 to 19 become pregnant each year. This rate is 2 to 4 times higher than the birth rates among adolescents in such developed countries as Great Britain, Sweden and France where more adolescents use contraception.

“Counseling adolescents about using contraception and ensuring access to contraception to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases is critical,” Dr. Allen said.

The article includes tips for promoting contraceptive success in adolescents, including the use of the “Quick Start” method, which allows females to start hormonal contraceptives the same day as the doctor’s visit regardless of the day of their menstrual cycle. Dr. Allen also stated that because adolescents might have more difficulty taking daily pills consistently, providers should discuss weekly or monthly methods, IUDs and implants…….

***For suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here

 

March 27, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wild birds may play a role in the spread of bird flu, new research suggests

Wild birds may play a role in the spread of bird flu, new research suggests

This bar-headed goose (Anser indicus) was marked with a satellite transmitter at Qinghai Lake, China, in an effort to understand the role that wild birds play in avian influenza. (Credit: Diann Prosser, USGS)

From the March 25 2011 Science Daily news item

ScienceDaily (Mar. 25, 2011) — Wild migratory birds may indeed play a role in the spread of bird flu, also known as highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1.

A study by the U.S. Geological Survey,[free full text at this link] the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the Chinese Academy of Sciences used satellites, outbreak data and genetics to uncover an unknown link in Tibet among wild birds, poultry and the movement of the often-deadly virus.

Researchers attached GPS satellite transmitters to 29 bar-headed geese — a wild species that migrates across most of Asia and that died in the thousands in the 2005 bird flu outbreak in Qinghai Lake, China. GPS data showed that wild geese tagged at Qinghai Lake spend their winters in a region outside of Lhasa, the capitol of Tibet, near farms where H5N1 outbreaks have occurred in domestic geese and chickens….

 

 

 

March 27, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News, Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Dispense as written’ prescriptions may add $7.7 billion to annual health care costs in U.S.

‘Dispense as written’ prescriptions may add $7.7 billion to annual health care costs in U.S.

From the March 25 2011 Science Daily news item

ScienceDaily (Mar. 25, 2011) — Approximately five percent of prescriptions submitted by CVS Caremark Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) members in a 30-day period during 2009 included a “dispense as written” (DAW) designation. This practice — whereby doctors or patients demand the dispensing of a specific brand-name drug and not a generic alternative — costs the health care system up to $7.7 billion annually, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard University, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and CVS Caremark. Moreover, these requests reduce the likelihood that patients actually fill new prescriptions for essential chronic conditions.

In a study published this week in the American Journal of Medicine,*** the researchers demonstrate that DAW designations for prescriptions have important implications for medication adherence. They found that when starting new essential therapy, chronically ill patients with DAW prescriptions were 50 to 60 percent less likely to actually fill the more expensive brand name prescriptions than generics. “Although dispense as written requests would seem to reflect a conscious decision by patients or their physicians to use a specific agent, the increased cost sharing that results for the patient may decrease the likelihood that patients actually fill their prescriptions,” the researchers said……

***For suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here

 

March 27, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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