Mitigating Drug Shortages

While there are several reasons for drug shortages in the United States, two of the most significant reasons identified for drug shortages are manufacturing issues including issues with quality control, and problems with new drug suppliers gaining online access. To facilitate access to drugs and to combat the drug shortage problem, for over 100 years, Group Purchasing Organizations or GPOs have been working with hospitals, drug manufacturers and government agencies to ensure an adequate supply of drugs is available for consumers.

One way GPOs work to combat the drug shortage problem is by negotiating drug prices from manufacturers directly with hospitals and other healthcare providers. GPOs are able to negotiate prices with drug manufacturers by buying drugs in bulk, lowering the cost for health care providers. These lower costs are then passed down to the consumer. While healthcare providers do enter into contracts, GPOs also help healthcare services renegotiate contracts as needed, continuing to ensure healthcare providers and in turn consumers, receive an adequate supply of and the best possible price on drugs.

To ensure GPOs are following ethical standards, they are constantly reviewed and have been approved by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, not to mention many medical researchers and nearly all of the hospitals within the United States.

Despite the success of and approval of GPOS, the organization Physicians Against Drug Shortages are against the use of GPOs. Members of the Physicians Against Drug Shortages do not have expertise in the area of supply and demand, but nonetheless continue to campaign against GPOs. The leader of their organization, Phillip Zweig, has led a radical smear campaign against GPOs by intimidating researchers who find benefits to the use of GPOs. Mr. Zweig has even gone as far as contacting universities demanding researchers be reprimanded by their university. Other extreme measures Mr. Zweig has taken against GPOs is to blame them for the AIDS epidemic as well as lead a conspiracy theory of the murder of two U.S. attorneys and corruption of two U.S. Senators.

In the end, despite Mr. Zweig’s outlandish claims, there have been no studies or evidence linking GPOs to drug shortages in the U.S.

Hamburg Named President of AAAS

Dr. Margaret Hamburg has been named the president of AAAS as a part of their initiative to ensure they offer the finest services possible. Having someone of such esteem at the head of their organization makes them much stronger, and this article explains how Margaret will make the group better with her knowledge. Adding people who are experts in their field is helpful, and it provides a way for the organization to move forward with new projects that they believe are important.

#1: Coming Over from The Parker Institute

Margaret comes to the AAAS from the Parker Institute where she has served as the foreign secretary. She has been invaluable in the release of medical information to countries around the world, and she has ensured many times over that she is helping those who cannot help themselves. She is very good at what she does, and she may go to the AAAS with a list of items she wishes to address. Her work is done to ensure that hospitals around the world are using the finest technology, and she may offer more service to more facilities through her new role.

#2: She Will Help Add Experience

Margaret has quite a lot of experience that she brings to the AAAS, and she wishes to help them improve their profile because she is so well-respected. She has done a wonderful job in ensuring that she has a wide range of experiences to draw on, and she will reach out to international doctors and medical professionals who are in need of a certain type of training or service. She will show them how easy it is to improve their patient care, and she will help them understand what must be learned as they expand their services.

#3: Expanding Education and Service

Expanding education for the doctors of the world is important as they must be reached by those who are experts in procedures and care. The AAAS will help by showing other doctors how they may learn, and they will send out more materials to show their clients what must be learned to improve. Margaret is a part of the educational system, and she will direct the group in outreach around the world.

Doctors who rely on the AAAS for education and services will find what they need when they visit their website. Margaret Hamburg will give the group quite a lot of experience, an improved profile and fine leadership.

New Republican health care blueprint falls far short

Congressional Republicans have been working on a health care reform plan – behind closed doors, away from public scrutiny – for more than seven years. Periodically, GOP leaders assure everyone that their alternative to “Obamacare” is nearly complete, and its unveiling is imminent, only to quietly change the subject soon after.

As lawmakers left Congress late last week for a week-long break, the Republican placement for the ACA still doesn’t exist, but House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) didn’t want to send his members home empty-handed – especially knowing that they’d face concerned constituents, fearing what GOP lawmakers might do to their families’ health security – so Republicans left DC armed with an outline of some vague ideas about where the majority party is headed.

That’s the good news. We’re a long way from having a real, detailed GOP plan to consider, but we can at least take a closer look at what Ryan & Co. have come up with thus far, which is better than literally nothing.

The bad news is, you’re really not going to like the Republican outline. A New York Times editorial yesterday summarized the key provisions nicely…
Read the full story here


New President of AAAS

Beginning in February 2015, Dr. Margaret (Peggy) Hamburg, MD will take up her new post as the President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is currently a board member of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the foreign secretary of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM). She will continue in these roles as she also serves at the President of the AAAS. Dr. Hamburg graduated from Harvard College and then earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical school. She is board certified in Internal Medicine.

Dr. Hamburg stated that this is a very exciting time for science. She believes that the opportunities in the medical community are enormous and that the entire medical community needs to work together to be certain that medical and scientific discoveries continue. These discoveries need to be taken as soon and efficiently as possible into products and interventions that will make a difference in the lives of their patients. She believes that support needs to be given to the education and advocacy that science must play in our future and current lives.

Before her current positions, Dr. Hamburg was the commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She served in that position for 6 years under President Obama. During her tenure at the FDA, she worked on the advancement of regulatory science and encouraged medical product innovation. She also helped develop laws to increase food safety and help curb the use of tobacco in American citizens. Before she joined the FDA, she was a senior scientist and Vice President of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Under President Bill Clinton, she served as the assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the US Department of Health and Services. She has an extensive background, knowledge, and experience to bring to her new position. She has spent her career gaining extensive knowledge and experience in healthcare, science, and regulations that will help the AAAS continue to excel and innovate the boundaries of cancer immunotherapy research. Her leadership will bring a fresh vision, strategic direction, and knowledgeable guidance to the AAAS.

5 Benefits of the FDA that Might Change Your Perspective

The Food and Drug Administration of the Unites States, better known as the FDA, play an integral part in consumer health. The FDA designates the framework that ensures the safety and quality of consumer products, ranging from foods to cosmetics. They regulate the production, wholesale process, and consumer sales of all food and drug products produced or sold in the United States. According to the FDA, this tremendous effort costs taxpayers a mere 3 dollars on average and maintains our country’s high quality of health and wellness. If you are unfamiliar or confused about what the FDA does, here are 5 benefits that will likely impress you:

1. They make some important food decisions. They control everything from what goes into your food to how a supermarket or restaurant can store it. They monitor produce and determine the maximum level of pesticides. Moreover, when a food supply does not meet the FDA’s qualifications, corrective action will be taken. Former Commissioner Margaret Hamburg helped to pass important initiatives like the ban on trans fats. The FDA urges consumer feedback, positive or negative. They also conduct thorough research and are responsible for product recalls and are considered a consumer safety net.

2. They regulate illegal drugs. While the FDA regulates over-the-counter and prescription drugs, they are also responsible for the regulation of street drugs. They are also responsible for interpreting studies that may determine a street drug’s potential medicinal use.

3. The FDA promotes innovations in disease prevention. In 2012, they established the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) which is intended to increase involvement and production of drug and medical supply innovators.

4. They are an integral part of national security. The FDA regulates all medical products and that includes vaccinations. By ensuring that vaccinations are readily available and continuously developed to support ongoing medical advancements.

5. They help your pets too. The FDA didn’t forget about our furry friends. They are also responsible for regulating veterinary medicine and foods intended for animals. This FDA has a center that is strictly dedicated to studying veterinary medicine. If your pet has an adverse reaction to a medicine or you have a concern, they want to hear from you.

The FDA has a long history of protecting consumers and ensuring the nation’s health. Visit the FDA website today and find out what the FDA is up to today.

Chipotle closed until 3 p.m. Monday for food safety staff meeting

Scratch that burrito of your list of lunch possibilities today.

Chipotle, the fast-casual Mexican food chain, is closed until 3 p.m. for a company-wide safety briefing after outbreaks of norovirus and E.coli sickened customers.

While you may have to wait for your daily guacamole fix, the company says customers can tap into the briefing through Twitter and Periscope starting at noon ET.

About 50,000 employees are expected to attend the meeting by gathering in areas such as hotel conference rooms and movie theaters to hear broadcast remarks from executives.

Employees and customers alike may finally get an explanation from Chipotle regarding how E. Coli and norovirus outbreaks occurred at its restaurants last year. Executives promised to overhaul the company’s food safety standards and at an investor conference last month, Mark Crumpacker, chief creative and development officer, said people would get “a detailed story about what happened.”

Chipotle has been in crisis mode for months since the illnesses were traced to its restaurants. Its sales and traffic plummeted in the fourth quarter and its stock price has tanked. Shares are down about 1% in morning trading Monday.

Read full article here: 

Source: USA Today


Women fare worse than men after heart attack

Women have different causes and symptoms of heart disease than men, which are more deadly if not caught, according to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association.

Symptoms of heart attack in women can be atypical or vague, risk factors are more potent, and there are more instances of spontaneous events, the researchers said. Many heart attacks in men are caused by the buildup of plaques in arteries, but women often have no significant blockages.

“Over the last 10 years or so, we’ve learned that women’s hearts are different than men’s in some significant ways, and while that’s helped reduce mortality, there’s much more to know,” said Dr. Laxmi Mehta, a cardiologist at the Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, in apress release. “Most heart disease research is done in men, so how we categorize it is based on men. We need more science in women.”

The scientific statement, published in the journal Circulation, lays out several additional risk factors for heart attack in women, based on what researchers write is 6.6 million women effected by coronary heart disease each year. Of the women affected, about 2.7 million have a history of heart problems.

Regardless of age, researchers found 26 percent of women die within a year of their first heart attack, as opposed to 19 percent of men. Within five years of a first heart attack, 47 percent of women die, have heart failure, or have a stroke, while 36 percent of men experience one of the three.

Full article found here

Source: UPI

Health Ministries: Healing Through Jesus

To have the desire to help those in need is one of the powerful urges in the world. Combine this with one’s own faith in Jesus Christ takes this desire to a whole new level. People from all walks of life who hold their faith close often times desire to have their health and medical procedures done in places and performed by people who understand that healing and faith go hand in hand. This is why the need for more workers in faith based health systems has never been greater.

Health Ministry jobs are rooted in the belief of Christ as a healer, helping those suffering and in need of care. Choosing a path in health ministry jobs can set a person down a path where faith can aid those looking to be care for with both medicine and Christ’s love. The Church still represents many wonderful things for people and communities. It is the mission of a faith based healing network to promote healing as a whole which includes body and soul. These advocates promote a holistic well-being, and the need for more workers is increasing.

Ministries like Ascension have grown at enormous rates. Both the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the largest Catholic system in the world, Ascension has worked to impact communities everywhere in the most positive way. Working for such a health ministry would allow a worker to provide countless benefits to surrounding communities. Health networks such as Ascension provide medical access to many people, further than traditional charity. These organizations are perfect for those willing to emulate the healing works of Christ and wanting to work to make their communities better.

While giving back to the community I rewards in and of itself, networks like Ascension work to better the lives of its workers. A wide array of benefits such as, dental and wellness programs exist, many health ministries offer work and spiritual balance in the workplace.

Thousands of people rely on the medical healing and the spiritual guidance offered by health ministries. Workers are needed more than ever who hear the call to bring Jesus’ teachings to those in need. Faith based healthcare can bring both medical care and peace of mind, that is why more people are needed in this career path.