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July 2008 Briefing - Allergy

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Allergy for July 2008. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

'Tier 4' Drugs Raise Questions About Affordability

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- The emergence of a fourth tier of copayment for expensive drugs calls into question how Americans are going to handle the rising costs of health care, according to a perspective article in the July 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Consequences of Genetic Non-Discrimination Act Examined

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- The Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA), recently signed into U.S. law, creates a troublesome distinction between those at genetic risk for a disease and those with other characteristics that predispose them to a condition, according to a perspective article published in the July 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Physicians to Get Bonus for Electronic Prescribing

WEDNESDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors using an electronic prescriptions system will be eligible for a bonus from Medicare from 2009 onwards for four years, according to U.S. health officials.

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Bacterial Infection Linked to Reduced Childhood Asthma

THURSDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood infection with Helicobacter pylori reduces the likelihood of developing asthma and related illnesses, according to an article published online July 3 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. A related review in the May issue of Gut discusses the current evidence and possible mechanisms linking H. pylori infection, asthma and allergy.

Abstract - Journal of Infectious Diseases
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Full Text - Gut

Exception Reporting Improves Pay-for-Performance Benefits

THURSDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Pay-for-performance programs benefit from use of exclusion reporting, whereby certain patients are excluded from quality calculations, and the practice of excluding patients to disguise missed targets, known as gaming, is rare, according to study findings published in the July 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Medical Education Must Adapt to Changing Times

THURSDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Medical schools must adapt their admission requirements and curricula to changes in scientific theory, and are also facing a challenge to the traditional definition of who is suited to the study of medicine, according to two articles published in the July 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract - Dienstag
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Abstract - Jauhar
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No Asthma Control Benefit from Low-Sodium Diet

THURSDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- In contrast to the results of small clinical trials, asthma patients who follow a low-sodium diet as an adjunct to normal treatment do not have any related improvement in their symptoms, according to a new report published in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Maternal Diet May Affect Childhood Asthma Risk

WEDNESDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Children whose mothers ate nuts on a daily basis during pregnancy may be at increased risk of asthma, according to the results of a study published in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Costs, Medical Services Use High for Pulmonary Patients

WEDNESDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) alone or with asthma use more medical services and incur higher costs than patients with asthma alone, according to the results of a study in the July issue of Chest. A related study in the same issue found that the use of spirometry to diagnose COPD varies greatly among regions in the United States.

Abstract - Shaya
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Abstract - Joo
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AMA Actions Fostered U.S. Medical Racial Divide

TUESDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- From the post-Civil War years to the civil rights era a century later, the American Medical Association (AMA) made decisions that helped support a division between white and black Americans in the field of medicine in the United States, according to an article in the July 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Editorial

Health Cash Incentives for Poor People Debated

WEDNESDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- Should disadvantaged people be paid to take care of their health? That's the question of a "Head to Head" debate published online July 8 in BMJ.

Abstract - Cookson
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Abstract - Popay
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Editorial

Physician's Briefing