Articles Tagged with study

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Some drug companies pay doctors, who then prescribe the company's drugsYou scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. Favors are often exchanged among friends and family. But what most people don’t know, or don’t want to know, is that questionable “favors” are also exchanged in professional and business relationships. Over the years, there have been reports that favors, or benefits, are too often exchanged between drug manufacturers and doctors and hospitals who prescribe medicines.

Recent studies have explored this relationship and compared data to see if drug makers are, effectively, paying doctors to prescribe their medications.

In 2010, the Affordable Care Act included a section called the Physician Payment Sunshine Act. This Act requires drug and device manufacturers to report any and all payments made to physicians and hospitals. Since 2013, 40.74 million records have been published and $24.92 billion dollars have been given to doctors and hospitals from drug and device manufacturers. The Sunshine Act has been successful at exposing these payments.

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Textured breast implants and lymphoma
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons almost 280,000 breast augmentation procedures took place in the United States in 2015. Given the popularity of breast implants, a wide range of breast implant products have been released in the United States and the rest of the world. One such product is the textured breast implant.

Why Are Breast Implants Textured?

The purpose of adding texturing to the breast implant surface is to help the body keep the implant in place and avoid it from shifting. Another reason is to prevent a complication called capsular contracture, which occurs when the scar tissue that forms around the implant become painful and hard.

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A new study published in December 2016 has shed more light on the potential dangers of taking direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) drugs, and in particular, the drug Xarelto (rivaroxaban).

First a Little Background on Xarelto

New Xarelto StudyXarelto was first approved by the FDA for sale in July 2011. It was supposed to represent a major advancement in blood thinning (anticoagulant) medication. Xarelto was developed to prevent serious conditions that sometimes arise after surgeries (such as artificial hip and knee surgeries). As an anticoagulant, it was intended to prevent pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and strokes. Xarelto was also intended to help those patients with atrial fibrillation, a group of people more vulnerable to PE, DVT, and stroke after surgery. Eventually, the FDA expanded approval of Xarelto to treat all patients with PE, DVT and atrial fibrillation.

In studies, however, Xarelto appeared to cause a higher rate of internal bleeding. And while other anticoagulant drugs may also cause internal bleeding, it appears there is no available “antidote” for stopping internal bleeding in patients taking Xarelto. With warfarin, vitamin K has been shown to stop bleeding. But there is no vitamin K “parallel” for people taking Xarelto. For Xarelto, it can take 24 hours for a dose to get out of the body. That means that if internal bleeding starts, the patient may simply have it wait it out and hope it stops on its own.

Now a new study indicates that Xarelto causes more internal bleeding than other leading anticoagulant drugs.

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Viagra May Cause CancerAs if erectile dysfunction were not harrowing enough. In March 2016 a published study concluded that the use of the drug sildenafil (Viagra), vardenafil (Levitra), and tadalafil (Cialis) “could promote melanoma in humans.”

As you probably know, melanoma is the most aggressive and most dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanoma develops when damage to skin cells (usually caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. Most people think of melanoma as dark, asymmetrical moles, and in fact melanoma can develop from existing moles, but melanoma can also form directly on the skin. Melanoma is often caused by intense, sustained exposure to ultraviolet light, the kind which causes suntans and sunburns. Melanoma has been estimated to cause over 10,000 deaths in the United States each year.

The Latest Study

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Cobalt and Chromium from metal-on-metal hip implants
Over the years I have worked with many people who had hip replacement surgery. Many of these clients discovered high metal levels in their bodies from metal-on-metal (MoM) hip components. Often the person would let me know that she had her metal levels checked and that the blood work came back with abnormally high readings of cobalt, chromium, or other metals. Still, the treating physician would occasionally dismiss the blood work results. At least one doctor told a patient, “no one knows the effects of higher metal levels on the body. We haven’t studied the impact of metallosis sufficiently. It is nothing to be worried about at this point.”

Sadly, this isn’t true. And it’s not the best medical advice. There have been several studies over the years that looked at metallosis in the body derived from metal-on-metal hip components. The first incident of metallosis from MoM hip implants was reported in 1971. Since then, doctors have been reporting the higher incidence of metallosis in patients who received MoM artificial hip implants. Several scholarly studies have been conducted, including a recent one whose results were published this month examining the impact of metallosis on the cells of patients.

What Is Metallosis?   

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IVC Filter StudyPeople who get medical implants don’t do so out of boredom. They get the surgery because they have a serious medical problem or they want to prevent one. Many of these implants have benefits for patients while some, in addition to doing some good, also can do great harm. The Cook IVC filter may be a medical implant that not only may do you no good but can also do great harm, according to a recent study published in the medical journal Annals of Surgery.

What is a Cook IVC filter?

The Cook IVC filter is a wire device that looks like a cone shaped net. It is manufactured by Cook Group, Inc. The IVC filters are surgically inserted into a major vein, the inferior vena cava (IVC), of a patient who is at risk for a pulmonary embolism (or PE, a blood clot that passes into a lung, which can be fatal). The filter is supposed to trap or break up blood clots coming from the lower or middle part of the body. On first look it appears to be a great idea. But many medical emergencies have resulted from implantation of these IVC filters.

Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed by those injured by Cook IVC filters and by the families of people who died because of them. The filters are often in patients too long; they can break up (with pieces going into the heart or lungs) or the entire filter can be pushed up near or into the heart, causing death or injuries.

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