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Drug Profits to Plunge as Top Patents Expire: Mixed Blessing?

Drug Profits to Plunge as Top Patents Expire: Mixed Blessing?

Over the next 14 months, patents for seven of the world’s top-selling brand-name drugs are set to expire – including heavy hitters like Lipitor and Plavix. Revenues the pharma companies earn from these drugs will plunge overnight as generic competitors enter the market, and the fallout for patients may be a mixed blessing. Selling these drugs over the counter may help some brand-name companies deal with the loss and maintain some revenue from their products. Pfizer, for example, may request that the FDA allow them to market the cholesterol-lowering statin, Lipitor, over the counter once its patent expires in November. Patients would also benefit. Over-the-counter medications tend to be significantly cheaper than prescription drugs and generics. Drugs that have successfully made the transition over the counter include Claritin and Zyrtec for allergies or Prilosec for heartburn. While the side effects of statins are minimal, the availability of these drugs over the counter has posed some concerns for physicians. High-risk patients may end up being undertreated without being under a physician’s care and low-risk patients may unnecessarily take the medication. Physician’s Weekly wants to know… Do you feel that offering some of these drugs over the counter is a good way to save your patients and the healthcare system money? What are the negative consequences that could result from this...
11 Best and Worst Paying Jobs for Doctors

11 Best and Worst Paying Jobs for Doctors

Salary figures recently released by Forbes may discourage medical students who are in debt up to their eyeballs from becoming pediatricians or family practitioners, who typically earn around $180,000 a year. While that figure may seem high, it pales in comparison to salaries of orthopedic surgeons or invasive cardiologists, who can easily clear half a million dollars per year. Primary drivers for salary disparities may be capacity and reimbursement – specific monetary values are placed on every service a physician provides. Needless to say, a hip replacement racks up a higher tab than a consultation to discuss high blood pressure management. This has led to an increasing shortage of primary care doctors. Health reform law focuses on increasing Medicare reimbursements for primary care doctors by 10% as an incentive to persuade medical students to choose that field. The average 2010-2011 salaries for the best and worst paying jobs for physicians listed by Forbes are: 11 BEST Paying Medical Fields 11. Dermatology – $331,000 10. General Surgery – $336,000 9.  Anesthesiology – $355,000 8. Otolaryngology – $359, 000 7. Hematology/Oncology – $369,000 6. Radiology – $402,000 5. Cardiology (non-invasive) – $420,000 4. Gastroenterology – $424,000 3. Urology – $453,000 2. Orthopedic Surgery – $521,000 1. Cardiology (invasive) – $532,000 11 WORST Paying Medical Fields 11. Pulmonology – $311,000 10. OB/GYN – $282,000 9. Neurology – $256,000 8. Emergency Medicine – $255,000 7. Psychiatry – $220,000 6. Endocrinology – $218,000 5. Hospitalist – $217,000 4. Internal Medicine – $205,000 3. Family Practice With Obstetrics – $197,000 2. Pediatrics – $183,000 1. Family Practice – $178,000 Physician’s Weekly wants to know… Is the...

The Role of Demographics in HIV Clinical Outcomes

According to 2006 estimates from the CDC, about 56,300 people were newly infected with HIV and 1,106,400 Americans were living with HIV infection, 21% of whom were undiagnosed. “It’s critical that quality of care for HIV-infected people be optimized, particularly among newly infected individuals, so that disparities in HIV-related outcomes are minimized,” says Amie L. Meditz, MD. The United States government has identified HIV/AIDS-related healthcare as a top priority and has set three major goals for providers: the first is to reduce the number of new infections; the second is to increase access to care and optimize outcomes among those infected; and the third is to reduce health-related disparities. A study by Dr. Meditz and colleagues published in the February 2011Journal of Infectious Diseases sought to determine whether sex and race influenced clinical presentation, use of antiretroviral therapy (ART), and morbidity following primary HIV infection. The study was part of the Acute Infection and Early Disease Research Program (AIEDRP), a multicenter study network funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Over 2,000 North American subjects who enrolled in AIEDRP between 1997 and 2007 were evaluated and followed for an average of 4 years. “Previous research has shown that women have lower viral loads and higher CD4 cell counts,” says Dr. Meditz. “However, few studies have examined the role of sex and race on clinical outcomes in people with early-stage HIV infection.” Important New Data on HIV Morbidity Dr. Meditz’s study found that, compared with Caucasian men, Caucasian women were more likely to initiate ART. Non-Caucasian men and women were less likely to start ART at any time point...

Guidelines for Diagnosing Low Back Pain

Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for patients to see physicians. Many who suffer from low back pain receive routine imaging (performed without a clear clinical indication). Routine imaging, however, has not been shown in randomized trials to improve patient outcomes when compared with usual care without routine imaging. In addition, routine imaging can lead to unnecessary additional tests, interventions, follow-ups, and referrals. In some cases, imaging tests may even be harmful. Nonetheless, use of imaging tests, particularly MRI, for low back pain continues to increase.  To address this issue, the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians (ACP) released recommendations for diagnostic imaging for low back pain. Published in the February 1, 2011Annals of Internal Medicine, these guidelines are the first in a series to help physicians and patients identify potentially misused medical treatments and to practice high-value healthcare. Important New Recommendations for Low Back Pain A key theme of the ACP guideline is that routine imaging for low back pain does not appear to improve patient health. This is based on evidence that the use of diagnostic imaging in patients without indications offers little or no benefit. The vast majority of imaging findings do not correlate well with the presence or severity of symptoms, and do not affect initial management. Randomized trials comparing routine imaging with usual care without imaging suggest there is no clinically meaningful benefit on outcomes of pain, function, quality of life, or mental health. The guideline recommends immediate imaging for patients with acute low back pain who have the following: Major risk factors for cancer (personal history...
Most Physicians Eventually Sued for Malpractice

Most Physicians Eventually Sued for Malpractice

While the risk of being sued for malpractice can range from 2.6% for psychiatrists to almost 20% for neurosurgeons, most physicians can expect to face at least one lawsuit by age 65, according to a recent New England Journal of Medicine study. In an analysis of more than 40,000 physicians, it was estimated that by the age of 65, 75% of physicians in low-risk specialties had faced a malpractice claim, as compared with 99% of physicians in high-risk specialties. Each year during the study period, 7.4% of all physicians had a malpractice claim, with 1.6% having a claim leading to a payment. The proportion of physicians facing a claim each year was: 19.1% in neurosurgery 18.9% in thoracic-cardiovascular surgery 15.3% in general surgery 5.2% in family medicine 3.1% in pediatrics 2.6% in psychiatry The average indemnity payment was $274,887, ranging from $117,832 for dermatology to $520,923 for pediatrics. View the NEJM Study Physician’s Weekly wants to know… Do concerns of a lawsuit affect the way you provide care? How do you hedge against potential malpractice...
Top 10 Drug Markups in the Gray Market

Top 10 Drug Markups in the Gray Market

On average, drugs in short supply are being marked up by 650% on the gray market, according to an analysis released last week by the Premier Healthcare Alliance. Drugs in short supply have led to a crisis among healthcare providers, causing them to expend critical resources to obtain needed drugs – or replacements. Gray markets have grossly taken advantage of the recent crisis by selling the critical items at any price the market will bear. The “gray market” is a distribution channel – while legal – that is unofficial, unauthorized, or unintended by the original manufacturer of a product. For over a year, the healthcare system has experienced an increase in the shortage of drugs vital to treatment. At the end of 2010, more than 240 drugs were in short supply or completely unavailable and more than 400 generic varieties were back-ordered for 5 or more days. The majority of drugs in short supply are used for sedation, emergency care, and chemotherapy. While the average markup was 650%, even higher prices have been seen in certain critical care areas. The highest markups seen in the 10 manufacturer back-ordered drugs are: Labetalol (cardiology) – 4,533% Cytarabine (oncology) – 3,980% Dexamethasone 4mg inj. (oncology and rheumatology) – 3,857% Leucovorin (oncology) – 3,170% Propofol (critical care sedation and surgery) – 3,161% Papavarine (critical care) – 2,979% Protamine (critical care) – 2,752% Levophed(critical care) – 2,642% Sodium Chloride Concentrate (critical care) – 2,350% Furosemide Inj. (critical care) – 1,721% Download gray market analysis Physician’s Weekly wants to know… In the past 2 years, have you noticed significantly higher shortages in drugs you need/use?...

Strategies for Managing Thoracic Aortic Disease With Surgery

In the past two decades, published research has suggested that the prevalence of thoracic aortic disease (TAD) has tripled. This finding is largely attributable to the growing elderly population and increased physician awareness. Historically, physicians and surgeons often believed that TAD was a rare condition that was only to be considered as a diagnosis when patients were extremely ill or deceased. Additionally, imaging technologies have improved significantly, especially in the last decade. They have become less expensive and more accessible in hospitals across the United States. As a result, more cases of TAD are being detected than ever before. A New Scientific Statement The American Heart Association (AHA) has released a review of recent research related to descending TAD with a specific focus on open versus endovascular approaches to repair. The goal of the AHA statement, which was published in the June 2010 issue of Circulation, was to review current approaches and their associated outcomes so that physicians have the data they need to utilize evidence-based recommendations for treating patients with TAD. “We now realize that the current prevalence figures are likely the most accurate we’ve ever seen and are significant,” explains John S. Ikonomidis, MD, PhD, a co-author on the AHA statement. “They underscore the importance of the advances in the knowledge that we have with regards to the causes, diagnostics, and treatment strategies for TAD.” “If physicians have patients with descending TAD, they should refer them to cardiovascular surgeons with specific expertise in the area of TAD” With the increase in information on open and endovascular treatment of TAD, it is important to provide physicians with a better understanding...
Diabetes eBook: Free Download from Physician’s Weekly

Diabetes eBook: Free Download from Physician’s Weekly

In this exclusive collection of feature articles from Physician’s Weekly and the American Diabetes Association, leading experts weigh in on important issues in managing diabetes, including physical activity recommendations, detecting and diagnosing gestational diabetes, screening and treating nephrophathy, and incretin therapies. View or download our newest eBook in the August 23 online issue of Physician’s...

American Diabetes Association 71st Scientific Sessions

The American Diabetes Association 71st Scientific Sessions was held June 24-28, 2011 in San Diego. The features below highlight some of the news emerging from the meeting. » Type 1 Diabetes Often Misclassified » Computer-Based Diabetes Training » Thyroid Screening Suboptimal in Type 2 Diabetes » Glucose Metabolism Disorders in Acute Stroke Patients » OSA, Peripheral Neuropathy, & Type 2 Diabetes Type 1 Diabetes Often Misclassified [back to top] The Particulars: The demographics and manifestations of pediatric diabetes are changing along with the rising prevalence of overweight and obesity. The overlapping clinical picture between type 1 and type 2 diabetes may lead to confusion and perhaps inappropriate treatment of pediatric patients. Data Breakdown: An analysis of patients aged 17 or younger with an initial diagnosis of type 2 diabetes found that 61% maintained this diagnosis after an average of 7 years follow-up, but 38.8% were later diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Older age at diagnosis was associated with increased risk of misclassification, whereas obesity was associated with decreased risk. Significantly higher risks of developing neuropathic and renal complications were seen in those who were misclassified. This group also had a 50 times greater risk of at least one incidence of diabetic ketoacidosis. Take Home Pearl: Life-threatening but potentially preventable acute complications appear to be increased when type 1 diabetes is misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes early in a patient’s management. Computer-Based Diabetes Training [back to top] The Particulars: Substandard training of hospital staff may be a reason as to why many hospitals have difficulty implementing guidelines from the American Diabetes Association for managing patients with diabetes. Data Breakdown: Among internal medicine staff who completed a case-based...

A Look at Burnout Among Head & Neck Surgeons

Burnout among surgeons continues to be problematic for the medical community. In addition to the psychological unpleasantness that is associated with burnout, the phenomenon can lead to more severe problems, including professional and personal dysfunction. In severe cases, the results can negatively impact patient care and potentially put patients at risk for harm. Previously published studies have defined burnout syndrome by three work-related occurrences: 1. High emotional exhaustion (EE): the feeling of being emotionally overextended and exhausted by work. 2. High depersonalization (DP): the adoption of a callous or dehumanized perception of others. 3. A low sense of personal accomplishment (PA): the feeling of dissatisfaction with one’s job-related achievements. Collectively, these components can be helpful for establishing the degree of burnout among surgeons. Cause & Effect In an effort to understand more completely the cause and effect of burnout on outcomes, my colleagues and I published a study in the October 2010 Archives of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery in which we administered a questionnaire to 60 microvascular free-flap (MVFF) head and neck surgeons. Our goal was to determine the prevalence of professional burnout among MVFF surgeons using EE, DP, and PA as key components. We also wanted to identify modifiable risk factors with the intent of reducing burnout in MVFF surgeons. Our investigation showed that 2% of responding MVFF surgeons experienced high burnout, while 73% had moderate burnout and 25% had low burnout. When compared with other otolaryngology academic faculty and department chairs, MVFF surgeons had similar or lower levels of burnout. Although MVFF surgeons experienced high personal accomplishment, they also had low-to-moderate scores that assessed EE and DP. High EE...

Post-Stroke Care: A Comprehensive Approach

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), approximately 50 million stroke survivors worldwide currently cope with significant physical, cognitive, and emotional deficits, and 25% to 74% of these survivors require some assistance. In the October 2010 issue of Stroke, the AHA published a comprehensive scientific statement on nursing and interdisciplinary rehabilitation care for stroke patients. The statement examines the coordination of care and summarizes the best available evidence for post-stroke therapies. Available at http://stroke.ahajournals.org, the statement is intended to help educate nurses and other members of the interdisciplinary team about the potential for recovery in the more chronic phases of stroke care. Healthcare professionals are often unaware of patients’ potential for improvement in the later phases of care. “Healthcare professionals are often unaware of patients’ potential for improvement in the later phases of care.” Research has shown that the mortality rate associated with stroke is highest in the first 30 days following the event. As such, it’s critical that stroke care be coordinated from the moment the patient hits the door through all phases of care. Clinicians can make measurable improvements with mortality and quality-of-life issues for these patients by initiating rehabilitation care as early as possible. The AHA statement outlines the role of key members of the interdisciplinary team and emphasizes the diverse skills that are necessary for post-stroke rehabilitation. A Comprehensive Tool The AHA statement provides an overview of the evidence for various screening tests and medical treatments, including traditional rehabilitation therapies and newer techniques, such as robot-assisted therapies, electrical stimulation, and weight-assisted treadmill devices. Physicians, nurses, and therapists can find a summary of virtually all treatments given for the...
In the LDL World, Size Matters

In the LDL World, Size Matters

At MSN Health, Prevention author Arthur Agatston, MD, is trying to shed some light on what he says is “a paradox that has long puzzled doctors.” Research has shown that roughly half of all people who have heart attacks have perfectly normal cholesterol levels. Dr. Agatston references a patient with a total cholesterol level of 145 mg/dL who had suffered two heart attacks by age 48, and another patient with a total cholesterol level of about 300 mg/dL who at age 70 did not have plaque in her coronary arteries. While total cholesterol numbers are important, is seems that the size of the actual cholesterol particles is just as important, according to Dr. Agatston. Not all LDL actually gets deposited in arterial walls, causing plaque buildup. While small LDL particles easily puncture the arterial lining (causing plaque deposits), large particles actually bounce off arterial walls harmlessly. Dr. Agatston proposes that physicians test patients for LDL particle size. Tests for LDL particle have been clinically available for roughly 20 years and widely available for 5 years, according to Dr. Agatston. Plus, the tests are typically covered by health insurance. They are graded differently, depending on the test, but most provide a reading of small, medium, or large. For patients with small LDL particles, lifestyle and diet changes and/or medication can help change those small particles to larger, safer particles. According to Dr. Agatston, fibrates—which are used to decrease triglycerides and increase HDL—can also increase LDL particle size. Despite this knowledge, very few patients are tested for particle size. Physician’s Weekly wants to know… • Do you test patients for LDL...

Weight Issues When Managing Diabetes

Patients with diabetes often struggle with being overweight or obese, and achieving or maintaining a healthy weight can be a serious and lifelong challenge for these individuals. Lifestyle modifications can improve glycemic control as well as body weight, blood pressure, and lipid profiles. However, behavioral changes are typically challenging and may require the help of others on the diabetes care team. Compounding the problem is that most patients will require multiple medications to manage their diabetes, and an unwanted side effect of some of these therapies is weight gain. This is often a special concern for many people with diabetes who are already overweight or obese. However, while there is the potential for weight gain, these medications are valuable treatments. When used properly, their benefits outweigh their risks. The Effect of Diabetes Therapies on Weight Research has shown that insulin, sulfonylureas, and thiazolidinediones may cause weight gain in some patients with diabetes. Weight gain with diabetes medications occurs for a number of reasons. When blood glucose levels are elevated, the excess glucose is excreted through the urine. With treatment, more glucose is available to be used by the body. Any glucose not used by the cells is stored as fat. As a result, patients who continue to consume the same number of calories may gain weight. The use of insulin and sulfonylureas may cause hypoglycemia, which needs to be treated with a fast-acting source of glucose, which can add calories. Thiazolidinediones can cause fat cells to store more fatty acids from the blood, causing those fat cells to enlarge. They can also lead to fluid retention, which may increase...

Detecting and Diagnosing Gestational Diabetes

According to the CDC, the reported rates of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) range from 2% to 10% of all pregnancies. Immediately after pregnancy, 5% to 10% of women with GDM are found to have diabetes. In the United States, women who have had GDM have more than a 60% chance of developing diabetes in the next 10 to 20 years. Poorly controlled diabetes carries more serious risks. These risks include large size, preeclampsia, pre-term delivery, stillbirth and respiratory distress, and other problems for the newborn baby. However, optimizing blood glucose levels before and during pregnancy may reduce these risks. “GDM used to be defined as any degree of glucose intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy, whether or not the condition persisted after pregnancy, and with the possibility that unrecognized glucose intolerance may have predated or begun concomitantly with pregnancy,” explains Boyd E. Metzger, MD. “This definition led to the development of a uniform strategy for detecting and classifying GDM. The ongoing epidemic of obesity and diabetes, however, has led to more cases of type 2 diabetes in women of childbearing age. As a result, the number of pregnant women with undiagnosed type 2 diabetes has increased. As such, efforts should be made to screen women for diabetes at their initial prenatal visit using standard diagnostic criteria if they have risk factors for diabetes [Table 1]. When diabetes is found at this visit, women should receive a diagnosis of overt diabetes rather than GDM and treated accordingly.” New Criteria Published research has documented that GDM carries risks for both mothers and neonates. In the American Diabetes Association’s Standards of...
Hospitalist-Provided Care May Inflate Medicare Bills by $1.1 Billion

Hospitalist-Provided Care May Inflate Medicare Bills by $1.1 Billion

The hospitalist specialty is one of the fastest growing specialties in the country, largely because of the perceived association with hospital length of stay and costs. However, until recently, no national study had examined the effects of hospitalist-provided care on hospital costs, medical utilization after discharge, or costs after discharge. Two researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch set out to determine the effect of hospitalists on hospital costs. Published in the August 2, 2011 Annals of Internal Medicine, the study concluded that the decreased length of stay and hospital costs associated with care provided by hospitalists are offset by increased medical utilization and costs after discharge. The study authors—Yon-Fang Kuo, PhD, and James S. Goodwin, MD—performed a population-based national cohort study using a 5% sample of Medicare parts A and B enrollees who had primary care physicians and were cared for by either that provider or a hospitalist during medical hospitalizations between 2001 and 2006. For about 58,000 patients involved in the study, measurements were taken for length of stay, hospital charges, discharge location, physician visits, ED visits, rehospitalization, and Medicare spending up to 30 days after discharge. Following a propensity score analysis, Drs. Kuo and Goodwin found that average hospital length of stay was 0.64 days fewer and hospital charges were $282 less for those who received care from hospitalists compared with those receiving care from their primary care physician. However, Medicare costs were $332 higher, on average, for those in the former group, adding up to what the researchers say is potentially an extra $1.1 billion for all patients with Medicare. View Hospitalist Study Abstract...
Most Americans Using Alternative Therapies: Consumer Reports

Most Americans Using Alternative Therapies: Consumer Reports

A Consumer Reports survey found that while most Americans would choose prescription drugs to treat 12 common conditions, roughly 75% partake in alternative therapies, such as yoga and acupuncture. The survey of 45,601 people suggests that about 38 million adults nationwide visit acupuncturists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and other complementary therapy providers a combined 300 million times per year, according to the publication’s report. While dietary supplements ranked well below OTC medications in many cases, chiropractic treatment, deep-tissue massage, and yoga dominated the list of alternative therapies for back and neck pain and osteoarthritis. Furthermore, 73% of respondents said they took mainstream vitamins and minerals, making these the most widely used alternatives for general health; other dietary supplements (57%) and mind-body or hands-on therapies (~20%) were also reported as alternatives. When Consumer Reports asked respondents why they chose a given alternative treatment, most people said they were simply “a proponent” of it. “Some people use these therapies because it’s just the way they were raised,” said Richard Nahin, PhD, MPH, senior adviser, scientific coordination and outreach, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, NIH. He added that some respondents said they had gone through a transformational process that made them look at life differently. Some believed—in many cases mistakenly—that dietary supplements are safer than prescription medications because they are natural. Others chose alternatives to avoid the side effects of prescription medications for some conditions. The survey also suggests that physicians are selective when endorsing dietary supplements. They tended to direct patients toward fish oil, glucosamine, and chondroitin, which have some clinical evidence behind them. And although quite rare, according to...
Physician Referrals for Genetic Counseling/Testing Contradict Guidelines

Physician Referrals for Genetic Counseling/Testing Contradict Guidelines

A survey of 1,878 U.S. family physicians, general internists, and obstetricians/gynecologists suggests that these providers would refer many women at average risk of ovarian cancer for genetic counseling and BRCA 1/2 testing but not many high-risk women. The finding directly opposes current recommendations. The survey included an annual examination vignette posing questions about patients in various age, race, insurance status, and ovarian cancer risk categories. Just over 70% of respondents reported adherence to recommendations against genetic counseling or BRCA 1/2 testing for women at average risk. Predictors of adherence to recommendations against referral/testing included African American versus Caucasian race, Medicaid versus private insurance, and rural versus urban location. Adherence to recommendations to refer high-risk women for genetic counseling or testing was self-reported among 41% physician participants. Younger patient age (35 vs 51), physician sex (female vs male), and OB/GYN versus family medicine specialty were predictors of adherence for referral/testing. Physician-estimated ovarian cancer risk was the most powerful predictor of adherence to recommendations for both average- and high-risk women. The study authors concluded that intervention efforts, “including promotion of accurate risk assessment, are needed.” View Complete Study Results Physician’s Weekly wants to know… • Do you feel rates adherence to recommendations for ovarian cancer-based genetic counseling/testing are low, as the survey findings suggest? • What interventions do you think can be made to improve adherence to genetic counseling and BRCA 1/2...

How Clostridium difficile Impacts IBD

Two decades ago, CDI was considered uncommon among IBD patients, even among those presenting with a disease flare up. In fact, some studies questioned the relevance of routinely looking for C difficileas an inciting pathogen among patients with an IBD flare up. More recently, published literature has confirmed a rising incidence and excess morbidity and mortality associated with CDI in IBD patients. Research has shown that IBD patients with colitis appear to be at greater risk for acquiring CDI. These individuals are at greater risk for poor clinical outcomes, including colectomy and death, when compared with the general population. In addition, CDI has been associated with a significant increase in healthcare utilization and costs. Length of hospitalization has been identified as a risk factor for acquisition of C difficile. CDI itself may be associated with a 40% to 60% increase in length-of-stay and hospitalization costs. In a recent analysis, my colleagues and I found that CDI is associated with a 3-day excess hospitalization stay and more than $11,000 in hospitalization charges. “It’s important for treating clinicians to have a high suspicion index for CDI in IBD patients.”  Treatment Challenges Persist Older age and comorbidity are well-recognized risk factors for CDI, but we now have several reports of CDI among younger, healthy outpatients. Both CDI and IBD flares often present with similar symptoms but have markedly divergent management plans. When IBD is present and immunosuppressive drugs are required, it can be challenging to achieve an immunologic response to C difficile toxins. This is important because it may represent a critical mechanism for eradicating CDI and establishing stable colonization. Treatment of CDI in IBD requires directed...
CDC Taps Pri-Med to Educate Physicians on HIV Screening

CDC Taps Pri-Med to Educate Physicians on HIV Screening

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has chosen Pri-Med, parent company to Physician’s Weekly, to educate and inform thousands of primary care physicians on strategies to employ routine HIV screening and diagnosis in primary care practice, a component of the CDC’s broader Act Against AIDS campaign. The education program, “HIV Screening for Patients: 13-64: A Guide for Primary Care Providers,” provides an open dialogue among clinician experts and primary care physicians on how to simplify routine HIV screening in practice and incorporate new technologies in HIV testing. According to the CDC’s 2006 Revised Recommendations for HIV Testing for adults, adolescents, and pregnant women in the health care setting, the CDC recommends routine HIV screening in healthcare settings for all patients 13-64 years old. Studies indicate that approximately 20% of people with HIV are unaware of their HIV status, making them much more likely to transmit the virus to others. Primary care physicians play a pivotal role in fighting the HIV epidemic on the front lines through the adoption of routine screening in practice. So far this year the program has been held in Fort Lauderdale and Philadelphia, and additional sessions are being considered for this fall. Cities are selected based on disease prevalence. To expand upon the educational experience, representatives from the CDC make themselves available on-site to provide additional tools and resources for incorporating HIV testing into primary care settings. Pri-Med is a leading provider of professional education solutions to a community of more than 248,000 primary care clinicians. For more information about Pri-Med visit...
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