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Big Pharma Kicks Us In The Teeth (Again)

One day last week, the top five most-read stories in the New York Times were all about Mylan, the generic drug manufacturer and owner of the EpiPen, a pre-filled syringe of epinephrine used for severe allergic reactions. Mylan didn’t invent the EpiPen. It just bought the company that developed it. For years, EpiPens were $100 […]

B12 Deficiency: Still America’s #1 Missed Diagnosis

Over the years of writing Health Tips, I was surprised to discover that one I’d written a few years ago about vitamin B12 deficiency had received the most comments and questions from readers. Since there have been some interesting developments in both the diagnosis and treatment of B12 deficiency, and since B12 deficiency remains so […]

Behind The Scenes In Healthcare: Your Med Is Denied

Your insurance company sent me a 17-page fax with your name on it. Yes, really, 17 pages, eviscerating my paper tray, guzzling my toner. In its ads, your insurance company cynically crows about its concern for the environment, so I doubt a hard copy will ever arrive in the mail. Your name is on page […]

B12 Deficiency: Still America’s #1 Missed Diagnosis

Over the years of writing Health Tips, I was surprised to discover that one I’d written a few years ago about vitamin B12 deficiency had received the most comments and questions from readers. Since there have been some interesting developments in both the diagnosis and treatment of B12 deficiency, and since B12 deficiency remains so […]

New Hope for Binge Eaters

That box of chocolate chip cookies you never should have purchased in the first place is sitting there on your kitchen table, luring you, taunting. Your period is due in two or three days and you feel grumpy, depressed, bloated. You’re agonizing. “Just a…couple/two, three at the most” you think, knowing you’ll actually feel emotionally […]

Big Pharma Controls Your Doctor’s Brain

Two themes this week. First, on the very same morning I sent out last week’s Health Tip expressing my dismay at an Annals of Internal Medicine article and editorial advising physicians to discourage patients from using multiple vitamins a new study from Germany showed that vitamin D deficiency was strongly linked to fatal heart attacks […]

Angelina Jolie, BRCA Testing, and You

The extremely talented actress and director Angelina Jolie made world news last May when she revealed in a New York Times op-ed that she’d taken the proactive step of having both breasts removed to prevent dying of breast cancer, as her own mother had at age 56. Jolie had learned that she had a specific, […]

A Blood Test That Could Save Your Life

One of the most challenging decisions a primary care physician faces concerns preventing a heart attack in a patient who has risk factors, such as high cholesterol, and iffy symptoms like shoulder pain or shortness of breath. As a doctor, you’re uncertain whether or not you should work on the risk factors or send your […]

JAMA Reports Bribing Your Doc Could Improve Care (You Might Not Want These Details)

Two separate articles appeared this week in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) reporting that financial incentives either to individual physicians or group practices might improve the overall quality of care delivered to patients. I guess it’s human nature, especially viewed through the eyes of a lifetime Chicagoan like myself, to think, “Well […]

What’s Your Risk? Breast Cancer in the News Again

I was pleasantly surprised to learn how much damage occurred at the Susan G. Komen Foundation in response to its astonishingly wrong-headed decision to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood. Women (and smart men) around the country were rightly outraged that money earmarked for the breast cancer screening of low-income women–not for family planning or […]