Category Archives: Drugs (illegal and Rx)
Human Capital News Roundup: Promoting health professions, generic drug manufacturers, traumatic brain injuries, and more.
Around the country, print, broadcast and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows and grantees. Some recent examples:
The Baltimore Times reports on the Tour for Diversity in Medicine, founded in part by RWJF Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP) alumnus Alden Landry, MD, MPH. Several weeks each year, the Tour visits college campuses across the country to promote careers in the health professions to students from groups underrepresented in higher education. Read more about the Tour for Diversity here and here.
Jason Karlawish, MD, recipient of an RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, spoke to the Philadelphia Inquirer about tests for Alzheimer’s disease. Read posts Karlawish wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about the disease and the challenges associated with early diagnosis.
Pharmacy Times reports on a perspective piece in the New England Journal of Medicine, co-authored by Investigator Award recipient Aaron Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH. It addresses concerns about a proposal to increase liability for generic drug manufacturers for adverse reactions. Read a post Kesselheim wrote for the RWJF Human Capital Blog about pharmaceutical industry marketing to medical students.
Voters across the country were presented Tuesday with more than 170 ballot initiatives, many on health-related issues. Among them, according to the Initiative & Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California:
- Assisted Suicide: Voters in Massachusetts narrowly defeated a “Death with Dignity” bill.
- Health Exchanges: Missouri voters passed a measure that prohibits the state from establishing a health care exchange without legislative or voter approval.
- Home Health Care: Michigan voters struck down a proposal that would have required additional training for home health care workers and created a registry of those providers.
- Individual Mandate: Floridians defeated a measure to reject the health reform law’s requirement that individuals obtain health insurance. Voters in Alabama, Montana and Wyoming passed similar measures, which are symbolic because states cannot override federal law.
- Medical Marijuana: Measures to allow for medical use of marijuana were passed in Massachusetts and upheld in Montana, which will make them the 18th and 19th states to adopt such laws. A similar measure was rejected by voters in Arkansas.
- Medicaid Trust Fund: Voters in Louisiana approved an initiative that ensures the state Medicaid trust fund will not be used to make up for budget shortfalls.
- Reproductive Health: Florida voters defeated two ballot measures on abortion and contraceptive services: one that would have restricted the use of public funds for abortions; and one that could have been interpreted to deny women contraceptive care paid for or provided by religious individuals and organizations. Montanans approved an initiative that requires abortion providers to notify parents if a minor under age 16 seeks an abortion, with notification to take place 48 hours before the procedure.
- Tobacco: North Dakota voters approved a smoking ban in public and work places. Missouri voters rejected a tobacco tax increase that would have directed some of the revenue to health education.
Human Capital News Roundup: Babies born experiencing drug withdrawal, medication-dosing errors, permanent patients, and more.
Around the country, print, broadcast and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) scholars, fellows and grantees. Some recent examples:
A study led by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholar Stephen W. Patrick, MD, MPH, MS, has received coverage in a number of major media outlets. The first-of-its-kind study examined the increasing trend of drug withdrawal in newborns and its impact on the U.S. health care system. The number of babies born experiencing drug withdrawal increased nearly three-fold between 2000 and 2009, the study finds, and the number of pregnant women using opiate drugs at the time of delivery increased nearly five-fold. During the same period, the cost of health care for these babies nearly quadrupled. Among the outlets to cover the findings: The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, NPR, CNN’s The Chart blog, and Fox News. Read more about the study.
The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.) featured the work of RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumna Luvenia Cowart, EdD, RN, one of nine 2012 Post-Standard Achievement Award winners, for her efforts to eliminate health disparities experienced by Syracuse’s African American community. “Since 1999 Cowart has been using black barbershops and churches as her classroom to educate people about prostate cancer, diabetes and other diseases, and the importance of exercise and healthy eating,” the newspaper reports. The winners will be honored at a luncheon May 9.
A study co-authored by RWJF Physician Faculty Scholar H. Shonna Yin, MD, MS, finds parents with poor math and reading skills are more likely than others to give their children incorrect doses of medicine, Health Day reports. The researchers found that parents with math skills at the third-grade level were nearly five times more likely to make a medication-dosing error than those with math skills at the sixth-grade level or higher. “Dosing liquid medications correctly can be especially confusing, as parents may need to understand numerical concepts such as how to convert between different units of measurement, like milliliters, teaspoons and tablespoons,” Yin said.
RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research National Program Director Alan B. Cohen, Sc.D., had a letter in the December 29, 2010 New York Times (Avastin: Judging the Risks vs. Benefits), noting that Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval of new drugs “commonly opens the floodgates to widespread use, often by many patients for whom the benefits are questionable.” Cohen argues that the FDA and the manufacturers of new drugs “should be required to consider the varying effects of a new drug on different groups of people so that drug approval decisions can be targeted at those who will really benefit while preventing or minimizing adverse effects for those who won’t.”