Direct-to-Consumer Medical Testing in the Era of Value-Based Care

JAMA. 2017; 317(24): 2485-2486.
Author: Kimberly Lovett Rockwell
“This Viewpoint documents the growing market share of direct-to-consumer (DTC) medical testing despite growing recognition that it represents low-value or harmful care and proposes policy options to increase accountability and protect patients from adverse consequences of DTC testing.”
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Evolving State-Based Contraceptive and Abortion Policies

JAMA. 2017; 317(24): 2481-2482
Authors: Divya Mallampati, Melissa A. Simon, Elizabeth Janiak
“This Viewpoint discusses the importance of US state-based contraceptive and abortion policies given renewed focus by the Trump administration on restrictions to federal funding for reproductive services.”
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NHS prescribed record number of antidepressants last year

The Guardian, 30 June 2017
Author: Denis Campbell
“The NHS prescribed a record number of antidepressants last year, fuelling an upward trend that has seen the number of pills given to patients more than double over the last decade. The figures raised questions over whether the rise shows doctors are handing out the drugs out too freely or whether it means more people are getting help to tackle their anxiety, depression and panic attacks. Prescriptions for 64.7m items of antidepressants – an all-time high – were dispensed in England in 2016.”
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Stigma and lack of awareness stop young people testing for sexually transmitted infections

The Conversation, 29 June 2017
Author: Hayley Denison
“Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have afflicted humans for as long as records exist, but despite significant medical advances, we are not managing to keep them at bay. Instead, we see rising infection rates and even the re-emergence of some old foes, including syphilis. Young people are disproportionately affected by STIs. In New Zealand, 67% of chlamydia cases and 57% of gonorrhoea cases are among people between the ages of 15 and 24. This is not solely due to sexual behaviour. Researchers identified several barriers that stop young people from being tested for STIs.”
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Zika vaccine research: guidance for including pregnant women

Wellcome Trust, 29 June 2017
Source: Wellcome
“Zika infection in pregnancy can have devastating effects on normal fetal development. But pregnant women are often automatically excluded from vaccine trials over safety concerns. New guidance for including pregnant woman and their babies in Zika vaccine research has been published today. The guidelines argue that those most at risk from the virus – pregnant women and their babies – should be at the centre of Zika vaccine development.”
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Breast cancer drug that can extend lives approved for NHS use

The Guardian, 15 June 2017
Source: Press Association
“A drug that can extend the lives of women with advanced breast cancer has been approved for routine use on the NHS. A deal has been struck between NHS England and the manufacturer Roche, backed by Nice, to make the drug available to around 1,200 women a year in England. Until now, the drug has been funded only through the cancer drugs fund. In clinical trials, Kadcyla, which has a full list price of £90,000 a year per patient, was shown to extend the lives of people with terminal cancer by an average of six months. It also dramatically improves quality of life and reduces side effects.”
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Aspirin increases bleeding risk in older stroke patients: study

MedicalXpress, 14 June 2017
Source: The Lancet
“Long-term, daily use of aspirin to prevent blood clots in very elderly patients leads to an increased risk of serious or fatal internal bleeding, researchers said Wednesday. Heartburn medication would allows people 75 years and older to keep the preventative benefits of aspirin while avoiding its dangerous side-effects. Even among people with no history of heart problems or stroke, the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding goes up with age for aspirin users.”
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Coroner calls for GPs to be allowed to order urgent CT scans after patient death

BMJ 2017; 357: j2815
Author: Clare Dyer
“A coroner has demanded a change in rules that stop NHS GPs in some areas ordering urgent computerised tomography (CT) scans, after the death of a 37 year old woman from a brain tumour. Lisa Hashmi, area coroner for Manchester North, gave the warning in a report sent to Bury clinical commissioning group on the death of Elaine Talbot, whose brain tumour was missed by her GP and hospital doctors.”
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