Medicare Prescription Drug Premiums Won’t Rise In 2012

Editor’s Choice
Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Article Date: 04 Aug 2011 – 15:00 PDT

email icon email to a friend   printer icon printer friendly   write icon opinions  
<!– rate icon rate article

Patient / Public:not yet rated

Healthcare Prof:not yet rated

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Medicare prescription drug premiums will remain the same next year. 17 million Medicare beneficiaries have received free prescription services, while 900,000 who hit the prescription drug donut hole have had 50% discounts on their prescription medications.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said:

“The Affordable Care Act is delivering on its promise of better health care for people with Medicare. People with Medicare who hit the donut hole are paying less for their prescription drugs, 17 million Americans have received free preventive services and prescription drug premiums will remain low. These are important steps that are making a difference in the lives of millions of Americans right now.”

Those with Original Medicare are entitled to receive preventive benefits as well as a new annual wellness visit free of charge, as stipulated in the Affordable Care Act.

The HHS informs that the Affordable Care Act is closing the prescription drug donut hole by providing more discounts on medications in the donut hole. This year, the total number of individuals with Medicare benefiting from these improvements is rising:

  • 51.5% of those with Original Medicare, a total of 17,336,421 people received at least one free preventive service during the first six months of this year.
  • 1,061,780 people with Original Medicare have benefitted from Medicare’s new Annual Wellness Visit. In mid-June the number stood at 780,000.
  • During the first six months of this year 899,000 Medicare beneficiaries have benefitted from the 50% discount on prescription brand name medications in the Medicare Part D donut hole.
  • All this represents so far a saving of $461 million in out-of-pocket expenses during the first six months of this year.

The average Medicare prescription drug plan premium for next year will be approximately $30, down from $30.76 this year.

Donald M. Berwick, M.D., CMS Administrator, said:

“The Affordable Care Act continues to improve the value of the drug coverage people with Medicare will receive next year. Out-of- pocket costs will be lower thanks to discounts on brand name prescription drugs and increasing generic coverage for people in the donut hole. Beneficiaries should still carefully compare their current plan’s coverage and quality with what is being offered in 2012 when that information becomes available in the fall.”

National and regional premium data .

Written by Christian Nordqvist

Copyright: Medical News Today

Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today




Bookmark and Share

Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care
professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.

  Follow us on Twitter
news icon  Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP headlines
email icon  email to a friend
printer icon  printer friendly version
newsletter icon  weekly newsletter
star icon  personalize your news

back to top - icon  back to top


Please note that we publish your name, but we do not publish your email address. It is only used to let
you know when your message is published. We do not use it for any other purpose. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

If you write about specific medications or operations, please do not name health care professionals by name.

All opinions are moderated before being included (to stop spam)

Contact Our News Editors

For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form.

Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:

MediLexicon International Ltd Logo

Privacy Policy |
Terms and Conditions


MediLexicon International Ltd
Bexhill-on-Sea, UK
MediLexicon International Ltd © 2004-2011 All rights reserved.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Assessment Delays Are “Unacceptable”

Editor’s Choice
Academic Journal
Main Category: Arthritis / Rheumatology
Article Date: 04 Aug 2011 – 0:00 PDT

email icon email to a friend   printer icon printer friendly   write icon opinions  
<!– rate icon rate article


Patient / Public:not yet rated

Healthcare Prof:2 stars

2 (1 votes)

A study of eight European countries published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases reports that the delays in specialist assessment of patients with suspected rheumatoid arthritis are “unacceptably long”. From the start of symptoms to assessment by a rheumatologist the average delay amounted to 24 weeks. The percentage of people seen within 12 weeks of their initial symptoms varied from 8% to 42% between centers.

The authors point out, that the first three months following the start of rheumatoid symptoms are crucial to ensure that treatment has the optimum chance of working to slow progression.

Researchers evaluated 482 people with rheumatoid arthritis who attended 10 specialist rheumatology centers in eight European countries in 2009/10, comparing the contribution of patient and professional behaviors and health systems to delays in the assessment of patients.

The health centres were located in Birmingham in the UK; Prague in the Czech Republic; Warsaw in Poland; Vienna in Austria; Berlin in Germany; Heraklion in Greece; Stockholm, Lund and Umea in Sweden; and Zurich in Switzerland.

The study split the delay into four categories:

  • How long it took before patients made a request to see a healthcare professional about their symptoms
  • The amount of time it took for the professional to see the patient
  • The subsequent time frame for the healthcare professional to make a referral to a rheumatologist
  • And lastly, the time span until the rheumatologist eventually saw the patient

The results of each component to the total time of delay varied between individual centers with patients in the UK waiting an average of 12 weeks before seeing their GP, compared to Heraklion where patients waited up to an average of 22 weeks before seeking help from a healthcare professional, whilst patients in Berlin and Vienna saw a healthcare professional within an average of only 2 weeks.

Significant variations between delays at the other three levels studied revealed, that the average amount of time it took for the professional to see the patient varied from 1 to 12 weeks, for healthcare professionals to make a referral to a rheumatologist the average time was 2 to 12 weeks; and for the rheumatologist to see the patient varied from an average of 1 to 11 weeks.

The authors point out, that a report from the UK’s National Audit office calculates that doubling the current estimated 10-20% of patients treated with disease modifying drugs within three months of symptom onset might increase costs to the NHS by £11 million over 5 years, however, expectations of productivity gains for the UK alone could be around £31 million in addition to increasing quality of life for patients.

The researchers concluded:

“Across Europe, delays in the assessment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis [RA] by rheumatologists are unacceptably long. As highlighted in a recent report from the UK National Audit Office, tackling this should represent a priority for strategies to improve patient outcomes.”

Written by Petra Rattue

Copyright: Medical News Today

Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today




Bookmark and Share

Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care
professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.

  Follow us on Twitter
news icon  Arthritis / Rheumatology headlines
email icon  email to a friend
printer icon  printer friendly version
newsletter icon  weekly newsletter
star icon  personalize your news

back to top - icon  back to top


Please note that we publish your name, but we do not publish your email address. It is only used to let
you know when your message is published. We do not use it for any other purpose. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

If you write about specific medications or operations, please do not name health care professionals by name.

All opinions are moderated before being included (to stop spam)

Contact Our News Editors

For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form.

Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:

MediLexicon International Ltd Logo

Privacy Policy |
Terms and Conditions


MediLexicon International Ltd
Bexhill-on-Sea, UK
MediLexicon International Ltd © 2004-2011 All rights reserved.

Mayo Clinic Examines Why Knee Osteoarthritis Afflicts More Women Than Men

Main Category: Bones / Orthopedics
Also Included In: Arthritis / Rheumatology
Article Date: 04 Aug 2011 – 2:00 PDT

email icon email to a friend   printer icon printer friendly   write icon opinions  
<!– rate icon rate article




Patient / Public:not yet rated

Healthcare Prof:not yet rated

A Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon suspects that the nagging pain and inflammation that women can experience in their knees may be different from what men encounter, and she has been chosen to lead a novel U.S.-Canadian study to explore the question. The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) and its Interdisciplinary Studies in Sex-Differences (ISIS) Network on Musculoskeletal Health has awarded a group of researchers a $127,000 grant to lead a pilot project to understand whether biological differences between men and women affect the incidence and severity of knee osteoarthritis. Mary I. O’Connor, M.D., chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida, will be the study’s principal investigator.

Osteoarthritis, characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in the joint resulting in stiffness and pain, is the most common form of arthritis. It affects approximately 27 million Americans.

“Knee osteoarthritis is a leading cause of disability in the U.S. and women have greater pain and reductions in function and quality of life from this condition than do men,” Dr. O’Connor says. “Knee osteoarthritis is also more common in women than men.”

While the underlying mechanisms for differences in knee osteoarthritis between men and women are not yet known, recent studies have indicated sex differences at the cellular and molecular levels may influence development of the disease, she says. Answers could provide valuable clues for more effective treatment and possible prevention, Dr. O’Connor says.

The study will examine a variety of human tissues normally discarded during total knee replacement surgery that is performed for severe osteoarthritis. The tissues will be analyzed for possible differences in pain fibers and hormone and vitamin D receptors between female and male patients.

“Our study will be the first to explore if there are true biological differences which result in women having this increased disease burden,” Dr. O’Connor says.

“Knee osteoarthritis is a devastating disease and one that may impact women differently than men. SWHR is pleased to have found deserving scientists to take on this research,” says Phyllis Greenberger, the society’s president and CEO. “This research can benefit the multitudes of women suffering from the constant pain and inflammation of knee osteoarthritis.”

Source: Mayo Clinic




Bookmark and Share

Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care
professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.

  Follow us on Twitter
news icon  Bones / Orthopedics headlines
email icon  email to a friend
printer icon  printer friendly version
newsletter icon  weekly newsletter
star icon  personalize your news

back to top - icon  back to top


Please note that we publish your name, but we do not publish your email address. It is only used to let
you know when your message is published. We do not use it for any other purpose. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

If you write about specific medications or operations, please do not name health care professionals by name.

All opinions are moderated before being included (to stop spam)

Contact Our News Editors

For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form.

Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:

MediLexicon International Ltd Logo

Privacy Policy |
Terms and Conditions


MediLexicon International Ltd
Bexhill-on-Sea, UK
MediLexicon International Ltd © 2004-2011 All rights reserved.

Mow Your Lawn while Having an Endoscopy

You can go to work, watch television, or do your gardening while having your small intestine photographed!

Technology revolutionizes healthcare
Capsule endoscopy employs a video capsule that is swallowed and takes photographs of the small intestine.  The procedure is useful when disease is suspected in the small intestine and can sometimes diagnose sources of bleeding visible microscopically only or causes of abdominal pain such as Crohn’s disease, or peptic ulcers. Capsule endoscopy can be used to diagnose problems in the small intestine, but unlike EGD or colonoscopy, cannot treat pathology that may be discovered.  Capsule endoscopy can use bluetooth to transfer the captured images to a computer!

Watch this video to learn more about the procedure:

Limitations
This marvel of modern technology is the best means of viewing the inside of the small intestine but the capsule does not allow for therapy. Other limitations include the inability to detect abnormalities and blurred, uninterpretable photographs in some cases.  At times, transit is so slow that the capsule examines only part of the small intestine before the battery fails.

Camera systems for standard endoscopy
Ganim Medical can save you money with our pre-owned/refurbished line of endoscopic camera systems.  Our price for the units listed here includes both the camera control unit and the camera head with coupler.  For purchase separately, call us at 800-522-5909

Stryker 1088 HD Camera System (Pre-Owned) $4,000
This system features crystal-clear image quality, analog and digital outputs, 220 V or 110 V power rating for international usage, and the ability to send, share, and edit images on most digital devices. This is the longest-lasting, toughest, most rugged camera on the market.

Stryker 1188 HD Camera System (Pre-owned) $7,000
The 1188 HD offers superior picture quality, enhanced clarity, and more intuitive user controls.  Surgical teams will experience unprecedented visibility during endoscopic procedures — visibility that can elevate overall surgical and patient outcomes.

 Stryker 988 Camera System (Pre-Owned/Refurbished) $2,400
Specifications for this system are: imaging system: 1/3” interline transfer, EX view HAD CCD 752 (H) x 582 (V) pixels.  Cameral control unit dimensions: 9.8” / 24.8 cm (w) x 4.0” / 10.1 cm (h) x 15” / 38.1 cm (d).  Enhancement: Switchable to 8 steps.  Cable connector: super lemo gold pin connectors.  Resolution: 950 lines.

Visit our web site at:  www.ganimonline.com.  Call us toll free at 800-522-5909.



Eco World Content From Across The Internet.

EcoPressed
Featured on EcoPressed


Millenium Development Goals Report 2011

FDA Approves Subcutaneous Formulation Of ORENCIA (Abatacept) For Adults With Moderate To Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis

Editor’s Choice
Main Category: Arthritis / Rheumatology
Also Included In: Regulatory Affairs / Drug Approvals
Article Date: 03 Aug 2011 – 7:00 PDT

email icon email to a friend   printer icon printer friendly   write icon opinions  
<!– rate icon rate article


Patient / Public:not yet rated

Healthcare Prof:not yet rated

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a subcutaneous (SC) formulation of ORENCIA® (abatacept) for the treatment of adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

ORENCIA is a medication aimed at reducing signs and symptoms, inducing major clinical response, control progression of structural damage, and improving physical function in adult patients with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis.

ORENCIA can be administered as monotherapy or alongisde disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) other than tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists. It should not be used together with TNF antagonists and is not recommended concomitantly with other biologic RA therapy, such as anakinra.

As the first and only biologic RA treatment available as a self-injectable (SC) and as intravenous (IV) infusion, the approval of abatacept offers physicians a wider choice for treating patients, as the majority of RA patients start their therapy with a biologic SC injection.

The new SC formulation consists of a fixed 125 mg dose given weekly through injection under the patient’s skin, followed by a single IV load dose of approximately 10 mg/kg. Those patients unable to receive infusions may receive weekly injections of subcutaneous ORENCIA without an intravenous loading dose. Patients changing from ORENCIA intravenous therapy to subcutaneous administration should take the first subcutaneous dose instead of the next scheduled intravenous dose.

In a large non-inferiority trial, ORENCIA SC showed similar effectiveness (non-inferior for ACR 20 responses at 6 months) and safety to ORENCIA IV. It is not recommended to use ORENCIA and a biologic DMARD simultaneously. Controlled clinical trials revealed, that patients who received ORENCIA and TNF antagonist simultaneously, developed 63% more infections and 4.4% more serious infections compared to patients treated with only TNF antagonists (43% and 0.8%, respectively), without an increase in efficacy. The cumulative clinical trial program for IV revealed that serious infections were 3% in ORENCIA® (abatacept) vs. 1.9% in placebo while malignancies were 1.3% in ORENCIA vs. 1.1% in placebo.

Mark C. Genovese, M.D., professor of medicine and co-chief, Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Stanford University Medical Center and lead investigator of the registrational study supporting the approval said:

“Physicians now have a new option of a non anti-TNF, with a different mechanism of action, when administering a biologic in a subcutaneous formulation. The ORENCIA subcutaneous formulation demonstrated efficacy and safety consistent with the IV formulation. This choice is important for both patients and physicians when managing moderate to severe RA.”

The ORENCIA SC development program constituted four clinical trials, studying nearly 2,000 patients. Phase 3 of a comparative trial studied 1,457 patients, making it the single largest Phase 3 registrational trial of biologics in RA patients. The remaining three studies primarily evaluated safety and immunogenicity in three different clinical scenarios: patients receiving ORENCIA as a monotherapy, patients withdrawn from and re-introduced to ORENCIA SC therapy and patients switching from ORENCIA IV to ORENCIA SC therapy.

Anthony Hooper, senior vice president of commercial operations, and president of U.S. Japan and Intercontinental at Bristol-Myers Squibb stated:

“Delivering medicines that meet the needs of patients and physicians is core to Bristol-Myers Squibb’s mission and commitment. The continued development of ORENCIA exemplifies our company’s focus on areas of serious diseases and biologics drug development.”

Phase 3 of the registrational trial for ACQUIRE (Abatacept Comparison of Sub(Qu)cutaneous vs. Intravenous in Inadequate Responders to MethotrexatE) was a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, multinational study. The primary goal of ACQUIRE was to evaluate non-inferiority of ORENCIA SC plus methotrexate (MTX) to ORENCIA IV plus MTX by difference in ACR 20 response at 6 months. The study consisted of 1,457 patients with moderately to severely active RA, of which most had an inadequate response to MTX. Patients were randomized to weekly injections of a 1 mL solution containing a 125 mg dose of ORENCIA SC plus MTX, followed by a single IV loading dose (approximately 10 mg/kg) on Day 1, or ORENCIA IV (approximately 10 mg/kg) plus MTX on Days 1, 15, 29 and every 4 weeks thereafter, for 6 months.

Both patient groups receiving SC injections plus MTX or IV infusions plus MTX at month 6 had a comparable ACR 20 response rate of 76% (95% confidence interval [CI]: -4.2, 4.8 [based on pre-specified margin for non-inferiority of -7.5%] for the SC group). ACR 50 and ACR 70 responses between ORENCIA SC and IV at 6 months were comparable as well as improvements in all patient-reported outcomes – pain, physical function and global assessment of disease activity. At month 6, high retention rates were seen in 94% of patients remaining in the study who received SC injections plus MTX and 94% of patients receiving ORENCIA IV plus MTX.

ORENCIA SC was consistent with ORIANA IV in terms of safety and immunogenicity. 2.6 percent of patients who received ORENCIA SC plus MTX showed local subcutaneous reactions to the injection site compared to 2.5 percent of patients who received SC placebo plus MTX. All injection-site reactions (including hematoma, pruritus and erythema) were mild (83%) to moderate (17%) and none required termination of drug treatment. Immunogenicity was observed in 1.1% and 2.3% of ORENCIA® (abatacept) SC plus MTX and ORENCIA IV plus MTX patients, respectively. No correlation of immunogenicity with effects on pharmacokinetics, efficacy or safety was detected.

The most common adverse effects discovered in more than 5% of patients in either the SC or IV ORENCIA groups were headache, nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhea and nausea. 4.2% of patients in the ORENCIA SC plus MTX group and 4.9% of patients in the ORENCIA IV plus MTX group developed serious adverse effects. Serious infections developed in 0.7% of patients in the ORENCIA SC plus MTX group versus 1.4% of patients in the ORENCIA IV plus MTX group whilst malignancies appeared in 0.4% of patients in the ORENCIA SC plus MTX group versus 0.7% of patients in the ORENCIA IV plus MTX group.

Written by Grace Rattue


Copyright: Medical News Today

Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today




Bookmark and Share

Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care
professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.

  Follow us on Twitter
news icon  Arthritis / Rheumatology headlines
email icon  email to a friend
printer icon  printer friendly version
newsletter icon  weekly newsletter
star icon  personalize your news

back to top - icon  back to top


Please note that we publish your name, but we do not publish your email address. It is only used to let
you know when your message is published. We do not use it for any other purpose. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

If you write about specific medications or operations, please do not name health care professionals by name.

All opinions are moderated before being included (to stop spam)

Contact Our News Editors

For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form.

Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:

MediLexicon International Ltd Logo

Privacy Policy |
Terms and Conditions


MediLexicon International Ltd
Bexhill-on-Sea, UK
MediLexicon International Ltd © 2004-2011 All rights reserved.

Toe Deformities Should Be Treated Early: Improper Footwear Can Be To Blame

Main Category: Bones / Orthopedics
Also Included In: Pain / Anesthetics;  Arthritis / Rheumatology
Article Date: 03 Aug 2011 – 0:00 PDT

email icon email to a friend   printer icon printer friendly   write icon opinions  
<!– rate icon rate article




Patient / Public:not yet rated

Healthcare Prof:3 stars

3 (1 votes)

While deformities of the lesser toes (all toes other than the big toe) can be very painful, there are numerous surgical and nonsurgical treatments for these conditions that are usually quite effective. A literature review published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS) shows that because lesser toe deformities are often treatable, and can be symptoms of other conditions, early assessment and treatment by an orthopaedic surgeon is important.

“Toe pain can limit a person’s quality of life,” says Khalid Shirzad, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon at Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists, P.S., Spokane, Wash., and lead author of the review. “When it hurts to walk, that person will start decreasing time spent on activities they enjoy. If the initial problem is not treated, it may lead to further issues such as skin infections, deformities, and muscular problems.”

Lesser toes are important in walking, especially when pushing off with the foot towards the next step, bearing the majority of the weighted pressure in support of the big toe and the ball of the foot. A variety of causes can lead to lesser toe deformities, such as:

  • Improper footwear, such as shoes with pointed toes or tight toe-boxes;
  • Injury;
  • Inflammatory arthritis;
  • Neuromuscular and metabolic diseases, such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or rheumatoid arthritis; or
  • Genetics.

The most common lesser toe deformities include: hammer toes, claw toes, mallet toes, curly toes, crossover toes, and bunions. In all of these conditions, the toe is bent, curled, or misaligned in a way that makes normal walking painful. Symptoms, in addition to pain, also include redness, swelling, and sores or calluses where the bent toe rubs against the inside of a shoe.

Dr. Shirzad also notes that while diabetes isn’t a direct cause of lesser toe deformities, diabetic patients with neuropathy may not notice when a toe has become painful. They, and others with reduced sensation in their extremities, should be especially aware of any injury or changes in their toes.

Lesser toe deformities can often be treated nonsurgically, but if the patient doesn’t respond well to those treatments, surgery is also an effective option. Nonsurgical treatments can include pads or gel sleeves to reduce pressure on the toe joint; or wraps, tape, or shoe inserts designed to guide the toes into a proper alignment. Surgery may involve reconstruction of the soft tissues, bones, or a combination of both.

While some causes of lesser toe deformities are not preventable, one of the most common causes is footwear. Shoes that don’t fit well are responsible for many toe deformities as well as other foot problems.

“The most important thing the public should take from this is to be conscious of your footwear,” Dr. Shirzad says. “Well-fitted shoes that do not pinch the foot or constrict the toes can prevent many toe deformities.”

Disclosure: Neither of the following authors nor any immediate family member has received anything of value from or owns stock in a commercial company or institution related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article: Dr. Shirzad and Dr. Kiesau. Dr. DeOrio or an immediate family member has received royalties from Merete and Zimmer; is a member of a speakers’ bureau or has made paid presentations on behalf of Tornier, INBONE, Merete, SBI, Integra, Wright-Medical, and Acumed; serves as a paid consultant to INBONE, Integra, Merete, SBI, Wright-Medical, and the Gerson-Lehrman Group; has received research or institutional support from Tornier, INBONE, Merete, SBI, Integra, and Synthes;and has stock or stock options held in INBONE. Dr. Parekh or an immediate family member serves as a paid consultant to Kyphon, Sonoma Orthopaedics, and Extremity Medical; has stock or stock options held in MMI; and has received research or institutional support and nonincome support (such as equipment or services), commercially derived honoraria, or other non-research-related funding (such as paid travel) from Orthohelix.




Bookmark and Share

Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care
professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.

  Follow us on Twitter
news icon  Bones / Orthopedics headlines
email icon  email to a friend
printer icon  printer friendly version
newsletter icon  weekly newsletter
star icon  personalize your news

back to top - icon  back to top


Please note that we publish your name, but we do not publish your email address. It is only used to let
you know when your message is published. We do not use it for any other purpose. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

If you write about specific medications or operations, please do not name health care professionals by name.

All opinions are moderated before being included (to stop spam)

Contact Our News Editors

For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form.

Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:

MediLexicon International Ltd Logo

Privacy Policy |
Terms and Conditions


MediLexicon International Ltd
Bexhill-on-Sea, UK
MediLexicon International Ltd © 2004-2011 All rights reserved.

News From The Journal Of Clinical Investigation : August 1, 2011

Main Category: Cardiovascular / Cardiology
Also Included In: Heart Disease;  Immune System / Vaccines;  Arthritis / Rheumatology
Article Date: 03 Aug 2011 – 0:00 PDT

email icon email to a friend   printer icon printer friendly   write icon opinions  
<!– rate icon rate article

Patient / Public:not yet rated

Healthcare Prof:not yet rated

CARDIOLOGY: New mechanism underlying Noonan-like syndrome

Noonan syndrome is an inherited disorder characterized by the abnormal development of several parts of the body, including the heart. Genetic mutations that lead to hyperactivation of the RAS/MAPK signaling pathway have been shown to cause the condition in the majority of patients. A team of researchers, led by Christian Thiel, at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, has now identified the genetic cause of disease in a patient with a Noonan syndrome-like condition. The data, which indicate that mutations in MYST4 are the underlying cause of disease in this patient, define a new mechanism by which the RAS/MAPK signaling pathway can be hyperactivated to cause disease, providing potential new therapeutic targets.

TITLE: Disruption of the histone acetyltransferase MYST4 leads to a Noonan syndrome-like phenotype and hyperactivated MAPK signaling in humans and mice


METABOLIC DISEASE: Lowering levels of risk factor for heart attack and stroke

High blood levels of the fat-containing molecule Lp(a) are associated with an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease – a disease of the major arterial blood vessels that is one of the major causes of heart attack and stroke. Unfortunately, neither the use of currently available drugs nor the adoption of lifestyle changes have a major impact on Lp(a) levels. More detailed understanding of Lp(a) biology is needed if therapeutics that decrease Lp(a) levels are to be developed. In this context, a team of researchers, led by Gert Kostner, at Medical University of Graz, Austria, has now found that activation of the protein FXR dramatically reduces blood levels of Lp(a) in mice engineered to express the human gene that templates Lp(a). The authors therefore suggest that therapeutics that activate FXR could provide a new approach to treating individuals with high levels of Lp(a) who are at increased risk of developing coronary artery disease.

TITLE: Farnesoid X receptor represses hepatic human APOA gene expression


AUTOIMMUNITY: How one genetic variant can’t keep immune cells in check

Autoimmune diseases, which occur when an individual’s immune system attacks a particular cell or tissue in their body, affect about 5% of the population of the US. Specific variants of the PTPN22 gene, in particular one that templates a protein known as the PTPN22 R620W variant, are associated with the development of autoimmune disease. New insight into how the PTPN22 R620W variant can contribute to the development of autoimmune disease has now been provided by work with human cells by a team of researchers, led by Eric Meffre, at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven. The team found that the PTPN22 R620W variant interferes with the body’s immune system checkpoint that removes immune cells known as B cells during their development if they are able to react to proteins and/or tissues of the body. These data indicate that specific genetic variants can impair the body’s ability to remove B cells that could one day turn on the body and that this occurs before the onset of autoimmune disease.

TITLE: The PTPN22 allele encoding an R620W variant interferes with the removal of developing autoreactive B cells in humans


AUTOIMMUNITY: New negative regulator of autoimmune arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease of the joints that arises when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints and surrounding tissues. A team of researchers, led by William Robinson, at Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, has now identified a role for the protein CPB (carboxypeptidase B) as a negative regulator of one branch of the inflammatory response underlying disease in a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis. Consistent with the mouse data, the team also determined that a form of CPB that persisted in the human body longer than other forms of CPB was associated with a less severe form of rheumatoid arthritis. These data therefore indicate that CPB plays a protective role in autoimmune arthritis.

TITLE: Plasma carboxypeptidase B downregulates inflammatory responses in autoimmune arthritis


VASCULAR DISEASE: Say NO to blood vessel diseases

Nitric oxide (NO) produced by cells that line blood vessels (endothelial cells) regulates blood pressure by inducing muscle cells in the blood vessel wall to relax. Aberrant regulation of the protein that controls NO production by endothelial cells (eNOS) is linked to numerous diseases involving blood vessels (vascular diseases). A team of researchers – led by William Sessa, at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven; and Pascal Bernatchez, at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver – has now identified a peptide called Cavnoxin that can increase NO release by endothelial cells and reduce blood pressure in mice. The effects of Cavnoxin were extremely specific, leading the authors to suggest that the mechanism that they uncovered as underlying the effects of Cavnoxin could be manipulated for the treatment of individuals with vascular diseases characterized by decreased production of NO.

TITLE: A noninhibitory mutant of the caveolin-1 scaffolding domain enhances eNOS-derived NO synthesis and vasodilation in mice


BONE BIOLOGY: Molecular control of bone formation unraveled

Osteoporosis is one of the most common diseases of aging; an estimated 50% of women experience fractured bone as a result of the condition during their lifetime. New treatments that promote bone formation are greatly needed. As a result, much research effort is being focused on understanding how we can enhance the generation and function of bone-forming cells (osteoblasts). In this context, a team of researchers – led by Henry Kronenberg and Joy Wu, at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston – has now determined that the signaling protein Gs-alpha regulates bone formation in mice by at least two distinct mechanisms: it facilitates the generation of osteoblast-lineage cells and it prevents the differentiation of osteoblasts into osteocytes, which are not efficient bone-forming cells. The team suggests that the data provide hope that a specific targeted intervention to increase bone mass, quality, and strength can be developed.

TITLE: Gs-alpha enhances commitment of mesenchymal progenitors to the osteoblast lineage but restrains osteoblast differentiation in mice




Bookmark and Share

Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care
professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.

  Follow us on Twitter
news icon  Cardiovascular / Cardiology headlines
email icon  email to a friend
printer icon  printer friendly version
newsletter icon  weekly newsletter
star icon  personalize your news

back to top - icon  back to top


Please note that we publish your name, but we do not publish your email address. It is only used to let
you know when your message is published. We do not use it for any other purpose. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

If you write about specific medications or operations, please do not name health care professionals by name.

All opinions are moderated before being included (to stop spam)

Contact Our News Editors

For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form.

Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:

MediLexicon International Ltd Logo

Privacy Policy |
Terms and Conditions


MediLexicon International Ltd
Bexhill-on-Sea, UK
MediLexicon International Ltd © 2004-2011 All rights reserved.

Costs Cause Many Elderly Not To Adhere To Prescribed Medication Regimen

Editor’s Choice
Academic Journal
Main Category: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP
Also Included In: Cancer / Oncology;  Seniors / Aging
Article Date: 02 Aug 2011 – 17:00 PDT

email icon email to a friend   printer icon printer friendly   write icon opinions  
<!– rate icon rate article

Patient / Public:not yet rated

Healthcare Prof:not yet rated

Approximately 10% of Medicare beneficiaries do not comply with their prescribed medication regimen because they simply cannot afford it, researchers from Harvard Medical School reported in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship. They added that elderly Medicare patients, whether or not they are being treated for cancer, commonly skip taking a pill so that they can last longer, or forgo filling a prescription completely because it is just too expensive.

The authors believe that their findings suggest that seniors with cancer or those who survived it do not face greater medical costs than other patients.

The rise in medication costs has occurred in parallel with an aging population, leading to greater financial burdens for the patient. Cancer costs have risen considerably. Patients being treated for cancer face considerable out-of-pocket expenses while they are being diagnosed, treated and receiving follow-up care. Comorbidities are common among cancer survivors, who may be taking medication for diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension or osteoporosis.

The researchers set out to understand what medication issues cancer patients have to face. They gathered data from the 2005 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey and Medicare claims from 2005.

They looked at reasons why patients may not stick to their prescribed drug regimen, whether they spent less on basic needs, or even did without to cover their out-of-pocket medical expenses. They analyzed both cancer survivors and non-cancer sufferers.

Dr. Larissa Nekhlyudov and colleagues found that the rate of cost-related non-adherence among those without cancer was 11%, compared to 10% for cancer survivors – not a statistically significant difference.

Dr. Nekhlyudov concluded:

“As the number of cancer survivors continues to increase and get older, the findings of our study enhance our understanding of the potential barriers to effective treatment of their non-cancer co-morbidities.”


Written by Christian Nordqvist

Copyright: Medical News Today

Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today




Bookmark and Share

Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care
professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.

  Follow us on Twitter
news icon  Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP headlines
email icon  email to a friend
printer icon  printer friendly version
newsletter icon  weekly newsletter
star icon  personalize your news

back to top - icon  back to top


Please note that we publish your name, but we do not publish your email address. It is only used to let
you know when your message is published. We do not use it for any other purpose. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

If you write about specific medications or operations, please do not name health care professionals by name.

All opinions are moderated before being included (to stop spam)

Contact Our News Editors

For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form.

Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:

MediLexicon International Ltd Logo

Privacy Policy |
Terms and Conditions


MediLexicon International Ltd
Bexhill-on-Sea, UK
MediLexicon International Ltd © 2004-2011 All rights reserved.

Elderly In The US Find Medication Costs A Barrier To Effective Treatment

Main Category: Compliance
Also Included In: Medicare / Medicaid / SCHIP;  Seniors / Aging;  Cancer / Oncology
Article Date: 02 Aug 2011 – 5:00 PDT

email icon email to a friend   printer icon printer friendly   write icon opinions  
<!– rate icon rate article

Patient / Public:5 stars

5 (1 votes)

Healthcare Prof:not yet rated

As many as one in ten elderly people in the US, registered with Medicare, do not stick to their prescribed medication because it is too expensive, according to Dr. Larissa Nekhlyudov and colleagues from Harvard Medical School. Their work, funded by the National Institute on Aging and the National Cancer Institute, shows that cost-related medication non-adherence – skipping pills to make the medicine last longer, and not filling in a prescription because it is too expensive – is common among this group, whether or not they suffer from cancer. This suggests that elderly cancer survivors do not face a greater financial burden related to medical costs than those without cancer. The study is published online in Springer’s Journal of Cancer Survivorship.

As the population ages, the cost of medicines is rising and there is evidence that this has resulted in financial burden for patients. Cancer costs in particular have grown substantially and patients with cancer are faced with significant out-of-pocket expenses during diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care. Many cancer survivors also take drugs for other chronic illnesses (or co-morbidities), including hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and osteoporosis.

In order to better understand cancer patients’ medication issues, the authors analyzed data from the 2005 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey and Medicare claims. They looked at cost-related medication non-adherence, spending less on basic needs to afford medicines and other cost-reduction strategies among both cancer survivors and non-cancer sufferers.

Nekhlyudov and team found no differences in the rate of cost-related non-adherence between cancer survivors (10 percent) and those without cancer (11 percent). Six percent of cancer survivors and nine percent of those without cancer also said they spent less on basic needs (such as food and heat) so that they could afford medicines. In addition, more than half of all enrollees used other cost-saving measures, including taking generic medications, requesting free samples and comparing pharmacy prices before buying drugs.

Dr. Nekhlyudov concludes: “As the number of cancer survivors continues to increase and get older, the findings of our study enhance our understanding of the potential barriers to effective treatment of their non-cancer co-morbidities.”

Article Reference:

Nekhlyudov L et al (2011). Cost-related medication nonadherence and cost-saving strategies used by elderly Medicare cancer survivors. Journal of Cancer Survivorship DOI 10.1007/s11764-011-0188-1

Springer




Bookmark and Share

Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care
professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.

  Follow us on Twitter
news icon  Compliance headlines
email icon  email to a friend
printer icon  printer friendly version
newsletter icon  weekly newsletter
star icon  personalize your news

back to top - icon  back to top


Please note that we publish your name, but we do not publish your email address. It is only used to let
you know when your message is published. We do not use it for any other purpose. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

If you write about specific medications or operations, please do not name health care professionals by name.

All opinions are moderated before being included (to stop spam)

Contact Our News Editors

For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form.

Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:

MediLexicon International Ltd Logo

Privacy Policy |
Terms and Conditions


MediLexicon International Ltd
Bexhill-on-Sea, UK
MediLexicon International Ltd © 2004-2011 All rights reserved.

Antioxidants Of Growing Interest To Address Infertility, Erectile Dysfunction

Main Category: Nutrition / Diet
Also Included In: Erectile Dysfunction / Premature Ejaculation;  Fertility
Article Date: 01 Aug 2011 – 0:00 PDT

email icon email to a friend   printer icon printer friendly   write icon opinions  
<!– rate icon rate article


Patient / Public:not yet rated

Healthcare Prof:3 stars

3 (1 votes)

A growing body of evidence suggests that antioxidants may have significant value in addressing infertility issues in both women and men, including erectile dysfunction, and researchers say that large, specific clinical studies are merited to determine how much they could help.

A new analysis, published online in the journal Pharmacological Research, noted that previous studies on the potential for antioxidants to help address this serious and growing problem have been inconclusive, but that other data indicates nutritional therapies may have significant potential.

The researchers also observed that infertility problems are often an early indicator of other degenerative disease issues such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. The same approaches that may help treat infertility could also be of value to head off those problems, they said.

The findings were made by Tory Hagen, in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, and Francesco Visioli, lead author of the study at the Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies in Spain.

“If oxidative stress is an underlying factor causing infertility, which we think the evidence points to, we should be able to do something about it,” said Hagen, the Jamieson Chair of Healthspan Research in the Linus Pauling Institute. “This might help prevent other critical health problems as well, at an early stage when nutritional therapies often work best.”

The results from early research have been equivocal, Hagen said, but that may be because they were too small or did not focus on antioxidants. Laboratory and in-vitro studies have been very promising, especially with some newer antioxidants such as lipoic acid that have received much less attention.

“The jury is still out on this,” Hagen said. “But the problem is huge, and the data from laboratory studies is very robust, it all fits. There is evidence this might work, and the potential benefits could be enormous.”

The researchers from Oregon and Spain point, in particular, to inadequate production of nitric oxide, an agent that relaxes and dilates blood vessels. This is often caused, in turn, by free radicals that destroy nitric oxide and reduce its function. Antioxidants can help control free radicals. Some existing medical treatments for erectile dysfunction work, in part, by increasing production of nitric oxide.

Aging, which is often associated with erectile dysfunction problems, is also a time when nitric oxide synthesis begins to falter. And infertility problems in general are increasing, scientists say, as more people delay having children until older ages.

“Infertility is multifactorial and we still don’t know the precise nature of this phenomenon,” Visioli said.

If new approaches were developed successfully, the researchers said, they might help treat erectile dysfunction in men, egg implantation and endometriosis in women, and reduce the often serious and sometimes fatal condition of pre-eclampsia in pregnancy. The quality and health of semen and eggs might be improved.

As many as 50 percent of conceptions fail and about 20 percent of clinical pregnancies end in miscarriage, the researchers noted in their report. Both male and female reproductive dysfunction is believed to contribute to this high level of reproductive failure, they said, but few real causes have been identified.

“Some people and physicians are already using antioxidants to help with fertility problems, but we don’t have the real scientific evidence yet to prove its efficacy,” Hagen said. “It’s time to change that.”

Some commonly used antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, could help, Hagen said. But others, such as lipoic acid, are a little more cutting-edge and set up a biological chain reaction that has a more sustained impact on vasomotor function and health.

Polyphenols, the phytochemicals that often give vegetables their intense color and are also found in chocolate and tea, are also of considerable interest. But many claims are being made and products marketed, the researchers said, before the appropriate science is completed – actions that have actually delayed doing the proper studies.

“There’s a large market of plant-based supplements that requires hard data,” Visioli said. “Most claims are not backed by scientific evidence and human trials. We still need to obtain proof of efficacy before people invest money and hope in preparations of doubtful efficacy.”

Source:
Tory Hagen

Oregon State University




Bookmark and Share

Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care
professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.

  Follow us on Twitter
news icon  Nutrition / Diet headlines
email icon  email to a friend
printer icon  printer friendly version
newsletter icon  weekly newsletter
star icon  personalize your news

back to top - icon  back to top


Please note that we publish your name, but we do not publish your email address. It is only used to let
you know when your message is published. We do not use it for any other purpose. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

If you write about specific medications or operations, please do not name health care professionals by name.

All opinions are moderated before being included (to stop spam)

Contact Our News Editors

For any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form.

Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:

MediLexicon International Ltd Logo

Privacy Policy |
Terms and Conditions


MediLexicon International Ltd
Bexhill-on-Sea, UK
MediLexicon International Ltd © 2004-2011 All rights reserved.