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November 2013 Briefing - Pharmacy

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pharmacy for November 2013. 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.

Spatiotemporal Analysis Emphasizes Value of Vaccination

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Spatiotemporal data emphasizes the importance of vaccination programs, according to research published in the Nov. 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Gabapentin Doesn't Cut Use of Morphine Post-Knee Arthroplasty

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The addition of gabapentin to patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) protocol does not reduce morphine consumption, pain, or opioid-related side effects in patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty, according to a study published in the Nov. 20 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Salt-Containing Rx Formulations Increase Cardiovascular Risk

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- People taking sodium-containing formulations of drugs are at higher risk of cardiovascular events, particularly stroke and hypertension, according to a study published online Nov. 26 in BMJ.

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Telemedicine in Rural ER Tied to Fewer Physician Rx Errors

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For seriously ill and injured children, the use of telemedicine consultations in rural emergency departments is associated with fewer physician-related medication errors, according to a study published online Nov. 25 in Pediatrics.

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Oral Fluoroquinolone Use Not Linked to Retinal Detachment

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Oral fluoroquinolone use is not associated with the risk of retinal detachment, according to a Danish cohort study published in the Nov. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Thalidomide Improves Clinical Remission in Pediatric Crohn's

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Thalidomide is associated with improved clinical remission at eight weeks of treatment for children with refractory Crohn's disease, according to a study published in the Nov. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Practices Should Start Preparing for Transition to ICD-10

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Practices should start preparing for the transition to International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10), according to an article published Nov. 10 in Medical Economics.

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FDA Approves Olysio As Hepatitis C Treatment

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Olysio (simeprevir) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic hepatitis C infection in adults.

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Optimal Testosterone Levels Tied to Survival in Older Men

TUESDAY, Nov. 26, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Higher and lower levels of testosterone (T) and its metabolites may raise mortality risk in older men, according to a study published online Nov. 20 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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FDA to Lift Restrictions on Diabetes Drug Avandia

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that it is lifting the tough safety restrictions it imposed on the diabetes drug Avandia two years ago because of reported links to heart problems.

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FDA Approves H5N1 Avian Influenza Vaccine

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first adjuvanted vaccine for the prevention of H5N1 influenza in adults at greater-than-average risk of exposure.

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CDC: More Than One in 10 Kids Diagnosed With ADHD

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- More than one in 10 children and adolescents are diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an increase of 42 percent in less than a decade, according to a study published online Nov. 25 in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

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Antiviral Therapy Helps Children Critically Ill With Flu

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- In children critically ill with influenza, prompt treatment with neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) may improve survival, according to research published online Nov. 25 in Pediatrics.

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American Medical Groups Protesting Physician Cuts

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Medical societies are taking action against the mass cancellations of physicians in Medicare Advantage plans in many states, according to an article published online Nov. 22 in Medical Economics.

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Nebulizers Deliver Less Than Half of Prescribed Asthma Rx in Kids

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The amount of corticosteroids delivered by nebulizers in children with asthma differs from the prescribed dose, the amount varying with drug formulation, according to research published online Nov. 24 in Respirology.

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Testosterone Therapy Doesn't Worsen Urinary Symptoms

MONDAY, Nov. 25, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For hypogonadal men, testosterone replacement therapy is associated with a low risk of worsening lower urinary tract symptoms, according to a study published in the November issue of The Journal of Urology.

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White House Extends Enrollment Deadline for Health Insurance

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Consumers who want to enroll in a health insurance plan through HealthCare.gov will get a few extra days to sign up for coverage that will take effect on Jan. 1. The deadline for buying insurance through the federal health insurance exchange will be pushed from Dec. 15 to Dec. 23, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said during a Friday news conference.

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Nexavar Approval Expanded for Common Thyroid Cancer

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the anti-cancer drug Nexavar (sorafenib) has been expanded to include late-stage differentiated thyroid cancer, the most common type of thyroid cancer.

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Headache Society Issues Top Five Choosing Wisely Tips

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The top five headache-related issues that physicians and patients should question have been released by the American Headache Society (AHS) as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign, and published online Oct. 29 in Headache.

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Daily Text Messages Improve Diabetes Outcomes

FRIDAY, Nov. 22, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with poorly controlled diabetes have improvements in hemoglobin A1c and medication adherence and fewer trips to the emergency room after receiving daily text messages, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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CDC Report: Health Disparities Persist in America

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Despite progress in some areas, health disparities remain for many Americans, health officials reported Thursday. These inequalities are related to income, education, sex, race, ethnicity, employment and sexual orientation, and they all affect Americans' health and well-being, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Personalized Pharmacist-Led Care Ups Med Adherence in ACS

THURSDAY, Nov. 21, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For patients admitted with acute coronary syndrome, a personalized attention and coordinated care intervention involving a pharmacist is associated with improved medication adherence after discharge, according to a study published Nov. 18 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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More Than Half of Hospitalized Patients Given Opioids

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of hospitalized, nonsurgical patients are exposed to opioids, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Calcium, Vitamin D Up BMD for Patients on Antiepileptic Drugs

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- For male veterans with epilepsy taking antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), calcium and vitamin D supplementation improve bone mineral density (BMD), with added benefits seen with addition of risedronate, according to a study published in the November issue of Epilepsia.

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Health Care Frustration Higher in U.S. Than Other Countries

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to 10 other high-income industrialized nations, adults in the United States are more likely to go without health care because of costs, experience difficulty paying medical bills, and deal with frustrating health insurance paperwork or disputes such as unpaid claims, according to a report published by The Commonwealth Fund.

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Effect of Statins on Cognitive Function Unclear

TUESDAY, Nov. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Current published evidence is lacking and further research is needed to establish an effect of statins on cognitive function, according to a review published in the Nov. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Some Doctors Challenge New Statin Guidelines

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- A new online cholesterol risk calculator produced by two leading U.S. heart organizations is flawed and overstates a person's risk of heart disease, a pair of Harvard Medical School professors say. The professors contend that this flaw could lead the calculator to mistakenly suggest that millions of people should be taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, The New York Times reported Monday.

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AAP/CDC Update Antibiotic Guidance for Pediatric URIs

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released updated guidelines for the judicious use of antibiotics for upper respiratory infections (URIs) in children; these guidelines have been published online Nov. 18 in Pediatrics.

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Global Efforts Needed to Curb Antibiotic Resistance

MONDAY, Nov. 18, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Global efforts are needed to curb antibiotic resistance, according to a report published online Nov. 16 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Obama Nominates Health Care Law Backer to Be Surgeon General

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- An early supporter and advocate for the Affordable Care Act has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the country's next surgeon general.

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FDA Requests Safety Measures for Topical Antiseptics

FRIDAY, Nov. 15, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is requesting manufacturers of certain topical antiseptics make changes to their labeling and packaging that will enhance product safety, according to a Drug Safety Communication issued by the agency.

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Obama Signs Bill to Encourage Schools to Stock Epinephrine

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- A new law meant to increase the availability of life-saving epinephrine in U.S. schools was signed Wednesday by President Barack Obama.

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Obama: You Can Keep Your Health Plan (for a Year)

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Bending to political pressure, President Barack Obama on Thursday announced a plan to allow Americans to keep their health insurance plans for another year, even if that coverage would have been cancelled because it fails to meet new rules under the Affordable Care Act.

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Low-Intensity Therapy Highly Effective in Burkitt's Lymphoma

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with Burkitt's lymphoma, a low-intensity treatment consisting of infused etoposide, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide with vincristine, prednisone, and rituximab (EPOCH-R) is highly effective, according to a study published in the Nov. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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No Promises on Nov. 30 ACA Website Fix: U.S. Tech Chief

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The nation's chief of information technology would not confirm on Wednesday whether the hobbled HealthCare.gov insurance exchange website would be fixed by month's end.

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Health Care Enrollments Fall Far Short of White House Estimates

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The Obama administration late Wednesday released a report revealing a disappointing number of health plan enrollments through the new federal and state insurance exchanges. Just over 106,000 Americans enrolled in health plans through the new marketplaces from Oct. 1 through Nov. 2, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said during a news conference.

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New Guidelines Issued for Cholesterol Management

THURSDAY, Nov. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence-based recommendations for the management of cholesterol for the primary and secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) have been developed by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology; the guidelines were published online Nov. 12 in Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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FDA Approves Imbruvica for Mantle Cell Lymphoma

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Imbruvica (ibrutinib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat mantle cell lymphoma (MCL).

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Many Would Give Health Plans Private Info to Save Money: Poll

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Many Americans say they'd submit to insurance company medical tests and lifestyle monitoring in exchange for lower-cost premiums, a new Harris/HealthDay poll finds.

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Guidelines Agree on Opioid Risk Mitigation Strategies

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Recent guidelines on chronic pain management agree on several opioid risk mitigation strategies, according to a review published online Nov. 12 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Population Aging Crisis May Have Been Overestimated

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Use of an alternative measure for assessing the number of dependent older people suggests that the population aging crisis may have been overestimated, according to an analysis published online Nov. 12 in BMJ.

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Initial Health-Plan Enrollment Falls Below Expectations

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than 50,000 people have enrolled in health insurance through the federal HealthCare.gov website, according to published reports. The tally represents enrollment in the troubled federal health insurance exchange from its launch date on Oct. 1 through last week, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. HealthCare.gov serves as the insurance exchange for people in 36 states.

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USPSTF: Lack of Evidence for Vitamins for CVD, CA Prevention

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has found that there is currently insufficient evidence to weigh the benefits and harms of multivitamins for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) or cancer. This draft recommendation statement is based on an evidence review published online Nov. 12 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Many Americans Want Docs to Help Explain Genetic Tests

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to genetic testing, Americans support more research, laws to protect against discrimination, and involving medical professionals in offering guidance, according to research published online Nov. 7 in Genetics in Medicine.

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Analysis Describes Economic Anatomy of U.S. Health Care

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the increases in resources devoted to health care in the United States, multiple health care metrics show that the United States is trailing peer nations, according to a special communication published in the Nov. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on critical issues in U.S. health care.

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Thromboembolism Prophylaxis Underused After C-Section

TUESDAY, Nov. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Thromboembolism prophylaxis is underused among women who undergo cesarean delivery in the United States, according to a study published online Nov. 6 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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FDA Approves Aptiom to Treat Epileptic Seizures

MONDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Aptiom (eslicarbazepine acetate) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an add-on drug to help treat adults with partial epileptic seizures.

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Obama 'Sorry' Some People Losing Health Coverage

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- President Barack Obama said he's "sorry" some Americans are losing their insurance coverage as a result of his signature health-reform law, but his administration is pressing ahead with the law's implementation. It's estimated that 5 percent of Americans have individual health insurance policies, and many of these people are receiving cancellation notices as insurers switch to plans that comply with new health-reform requirements.

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FDA Approves Generic Aciphex to Treat GERD

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The first generic versions of the gastroesophageal reflux disease drug Aciphex (rabeprazole sodium) have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for people aged 12 and older, the agency said Friday.

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Misuse of Antibiotics Prevalent in Gynecologic Surgery

FRIDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Most women who undergo antibiotic-appropriate gynecologic procedures receive appropriate antibiotic prophylaxis, while antibiotics are administered to more than 40 percent of those undergoing antibiotic-inappropriate procedures, according to a study published online Nov. 6 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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FDA to Ban Trans Fats in Foods

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials announced Thursday a plan to phase out heart-harmful trans fats in processed foods and restaurant fare. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, M.D., said the proposed restrictions on the use of trans fats could prevent 20,000 heart attacks a year and 7,000 deaths.

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Telemedicine Represents Enhanced Care Model

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Telemedicine may represent an effective care model but there are associated concerns, specifically relating to reimbursement and legal issues, according to an article published Oct. 25 in Medical Economics.

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Metformin Little Benefit for CHD Patients Without Diabetes

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For patients without diabetes with high cardiovascular risk who are taking statins, metformin has no effect on mean distal carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), according to a study published online Nov. 7 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

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Amount of Care Similar for Rural, Urban Medicare Users

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Although there may be a limited supply of physicians in some rural areas, little difference is found in the amount of health care received by Medicare beneficiaries for rural versus urban areas within the same region, according to research published in the November issue of Health Affairs.

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Postdiagnostic Statin Use Cuts Mortality in Prostate Cancer

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- For men with prostate cancer, postdiagnostic statin use is associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer and all-cause mortality, with stronger effects seen for those who used statins before diagnosis, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Sebelius on Exchange Website: 'Delay Is Not an Option'

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that the Obama administration will not consider delaying implementation of health reform. Nor will it take down HealthCare.gov -- the troubled health insurance marketplace website -- while it's being fixed. "For millions of Americans, delay is not an option," Sebelius told the Senate Finance Committee during a hearing on the new health insurance marketplace. "People's lives depend on this," she said.

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Dolutegravir Plus Abacavir-Lamivudine Beats Combo Therapy

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with HIV-1 infection and HIV-1 RNA of 1,000 copies per mL or more, treatment with dolutegravir plus abacavir-lamivudine (DTG-ABC-3TC) is more effective through 48 weeks than combination therapy with efavirenz-tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (DF)-emtricitabine (EFV-TDF-FTC), according to a study published in the Nov. 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Non-Interferon Regimen Found Effective for Hepatitis C

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- An interferon-free regimen of two or three drugs can effectively treat nearly all patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, including those who have failed treatment with protease inhibitors, according to a study published online Nov. 5 in The Lancet.

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In CAD, Many Don't Get Optimal Secondary Prevention Med Combo

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- About one-third of coronary artery disease (CAD) patients fail to receive their optimal combination of secondary prevention medications, according to a study published online Oct. 30 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Senators Seek Answers on Health Marketplace Woes

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A top Obama administration health official said Tuesday that HealthCare.gov -- the troubled federal website used to sign up for insurance -- is improving, and insisted that private information provided during the online application process is safe and secure.

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Study Raises Questions About Testosterone Rx for 'Low T'

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- For men with low testosterone levels who undergo coronary angiography, testosterone therapy is associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction (MI), and stroke, according to a study published in the Nov. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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In the Doctor's Lounge With Dr. Cindy Haines

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- This is the second issue of a monthly letter from me, HealthDay's chief medical officer and the managing editor of Physician's Briefing, HealthDay's news service for health care professionals. The intention of this letter (and the intention of what we do at HealthDay) is to provide tools of communication. At Physician's Briefing, this is by providing you, the busy and buried health care professional, news and information that matters to you in a way that won't slow you down. The intention is to provide news that can help you stay abreast of changing clinical guidelines, cutting-edge technologies, and novel treatment options. And now, we offer free Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for you on select clinical articles, enabling you to get (at least) two birds with one stone.

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In the Doctor's Lounge With Dr. Cindy Haines

TUESDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Please allow me to introduce myself: I am HealthDay's chief medical officer and the managing editor of Physician's Briefing, HealthDay's news service for health care professionals. This service is intended to provide busy physicians, nurses, and pharmacists with easily accessible, digestible health news that can keep them up-to-date and not missing a beat in their busy days providing care for those in need (and navigating the headaches and heartaches the business of medicine can too often bring). In short, this service is intended to make your professional life flow more smoothly in the way that helpful, useable, relevant, and timely information can.

Exchanges Will Be Cornerstone for Coverage Choices
Young Adults May Be Key to Making It All Work
Expect Pluses, Minuses for Those With Job-Based Coverage
If You're an Uninsured Worker, It's Your Chance to Get Covered
Medicaid Expansion Will Allow More to Get More
Many on Medicare Already Enjoying Benefits
AMA Presents: The National Journal
editors@healthday.com

One Dose of HPV Vaccine Induces Long-Term Antibodies

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Women who receive only one dose of a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine have readily detectable antibody levels that remain stable for four years, according to a study published in the November issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

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J&J to Pay $2B for Improperly Marketing Antipsychotic Drug

TUESDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Johnson & Johnson will pay more than $2 billion in fines and plead guilty to a misdemeanor for improperly marketing its antipsychotic drug Risperdal and two other medications, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday.

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Parental Vaccine Acceptance Linked to Provider Communication

MONDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Parental vaccine acceptance is associated with how providers initiate and pursue vaccine recommendations, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in Pediatrics.

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Ponatinib Active in CML, Ph+ Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

MONDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Ponatinib is active in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph-positive ALL), according to a study published online Nov. 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Six People Signed Up on Day One of Federal Exchange Website

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Just six people enrolled for health insurance through the federal HealthCare.gov website the first day of operation on Oct. 1, just-released Obama administration documents show.

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Etanercept Cuts Sciatic Pain From Lumbar Disc Herniation

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Compared with placebo, transforaminal injections of etanercept provide relief from leg and back pain in patients with symptomatic lumbar disc herniation (LDH), according to research published in the Nov. 1 issue of Spine.

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Proper Metered-Dose Inhaler-Spacer Technique Lacking

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Proper metered-dose inhaler (MDI)-spacer technique is lacking among the caregivers of urban, minority children with persistent asthma, according to a study published online Oct. 22 in the Journal of Asthma.

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Drug Effective for Parkinson's Disease Psychosis

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- An investigational drug is safe and effective in the treatment of Parkinson's disease psychosis, according to a study published online Nov. 1 in The Lancet.

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Physician's Briefing

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