In Bob Dylan's "Percy's Song" he writes about bad news coming down. The bad news one reads about in numerous medical blogs might be enough to stimulate SSRI sales ( oh wait, more bad news there too, they may not work but do not worry anti-psychotics may become the next SSRI if The Last Psychiatrist is correct in his predictions.
Here are just some of the items found in major med blogs over the last few days.
Roy Poses give us an extremely disturbing picture of the Chinese heparin debacle. I have always felt that the supply of drugs in this country was if anything safe. Now we learn, maybe not
In some regards, a more frightening piece of news is the revelation that thousands of patients have been exposed to blood borne pathogens by a endoscopy center reusing syringes and vials. This , if the reports are anywhere near correct, is about as bad as it gets-way past simple negligence.
Numerous reports of bogus CAM (aka Woo) growing in its presence and influence in mainstream medical schools have appeared in essays by ORAC and Dr. RW as well as others. RW now give us a look inside of a medical student retreat from the University of Florida which to someone educated in the pre-Woo,pre-social justice, pre-work-life balance (not that there is anything wrong with that) era is simply mind boggling. I can only say "are you kidding me?"
The Happy Hospitalist educates us about a growing government plan to hire higher outside contractors who will be paid based on how much fraud and waste they find with the way that docs do their work.This is known as the Recovery Audit Contractor Administration Program.
Dr. Carlat gives us even more information on the degree to which drug companies can manipulate and control what passes loosely as CME quoting from recent article in JAMA and the BMJ.
President Bush has proposed legislation that includes "quality" ranking of physicians and even better P4P.
But, beyond the bad news there may be theme of good news ( my five or six regular readers will be surprised at anything that seems like optimism from me).The underlying good news is that there are articulate, thoughtful bloggers who also happen to be physicians, who are thinking and writing about the problems, providing opportunities for more people to become aware and sometimes even suggesting solutions and the web is there to give a forum to their observations and thoughts which just a few years ago would have gone no farther than the doctor's coffee lounge.