In the wake of police killings in Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., and other cities, doctors — and the medical schools that train them — must also be part of the solution, says a new editorial by doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. A community-health approach to medical school will better train doctors and, authors say, better serve traditionally underserved patients.The article, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, holds up as an example the Medicine for the Greater Good (MGG) curriculum created at Johns Hopkins in 2011.The MGG curriculum, now required for graduation from Johns Hopkins, consists of 12 one-hour workshops spread over an academic year. Each covers a specific topic, such as health policy, social determinants of health, or behavioral counseling. Residents must also design and complete a community-based project.advertisement A mural of Freddie Gray is painted on the side of a building in Baltimore. David Goldman/AP By Leah Samuel Nov. 18, 2015 Reprints HealthHow medical schools can affirm that black lives matter These disparities are stark in Baltimore, where black residents were subject to segregation and unequal care as recently as the late 1950s. The result is a community where people in poor neighborhoods can expect to live shorter lives, with poorer quality of life, than their rich neighbors.Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died in a police van in April, is an example of the impact of this disparity, said lead author Dr. Sammy Zakaria, associate program director of the residency program.“He was being poisoned since he was a kid,” said Zakaria, pointing out that during Gray’s childhood, he lived in one of the worst areas of Baltimore, with old and crumbling homes. As a boy, Gray had a blood-lead level of 37 micrograms per deciliter (10 is considered dangerously high). “At that level, you can’t control your emotions or impulses, and of course you’re going to have multiple encounters with police.”Zakaria also described a resident’s home visit with a dialysis patient. He had been labeled noncompliant by the hospital, because he did not go to all his appointments.“It turns out that the patient had one leg amputated because of diabetes, and to get to his dialysis appointments, he had to go to a bus stop without a top on it,” said Zakaria. “So when the weather was bad he was missing his appointments.”These are the kinds of home-life situations that medical schools should train doctors to ask about and to take action on, the authors say.“Residency programs have a duty to raise awareness of the socioeconomic determinants of health and to train young physicians to recognize and change the circumstances responsible for poor health outcomes,” they wrote.Dr. Rachel Kruzan, who graduated from Johns Hopkins in May, says she benefitted from the MGG curriculum. “I learned how to communicate with my patients and to anticipate questions they might not be comfortable asking.”Kruzan grew up in a Chicago suburb with a dentist dad and a mom who was a nurse.“We were a pretty health-literate family,” she said. “I didn’t know that there were people who didn’t have access. I wanted to help people who have a fractured relationship with health care.”Zakaria said that it’s crucial that doctors think beyond simply providing the best care.“Freddie Gray had excellent health care, which is why we know so much about his lead levels,” said Zakaria. “But he also shows us that, unless you deal with the underlying issues, even the best health care is of marginal value.” Among the most popular of these is the lay health educator project. In it, residents go to local churches and other community gathering places to help residents become health educators in their churches and neighborhoods.“Medical students are coming to medical school from different experiences,” said Dr. Erica Johnson, a co-author of the article. “It’s not always clear to them, in the context of medical school, to think about some of the disparities that exist.”advertisement Tags community healthJohns Hopkinsmedical school
HealthNew superbug in China threatens to defeat last-resort antibiotics @HelenBranswell By Helen Branswell Nov. 18, 2015 Reprints Tags antibioticsbacteriainfectious disease Helen Branswell If the resistance spreads, it will seriously limit the treatment options available to doctors facing antibiotic-resistant infections, said Dr. Jean Patel, acting director of the office of antimicrobial resistance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Patel was not involved in the study.The scientists — from the South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, the China Agricultural University in Beijing, and other institutions — called the resistance gene mcr-1. Reporting in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, they described the emergence of mcr-1 as “the breach of the last group of antibiotics” by plasmid-mediated resistance.advertisement About the Author Reprints Experts have been warning for a while that the bell is tolling for the end of the antibiotic era, presaging a time when infections won’t be treatable with the drugs that have changed modern medicine. On Wednesday, that ominous knell got a little bit louder.Chinese and British scientists reported that they have found a strain of Escherichia coli that is resistant to colistin, the antibiotic of last resort for gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli. The resistant bacteria were found in pigs, raw pork meat, and in a small number of people in China.It’s not the first time colistin resistance has been spotted, but this time the phenomenon comes with a nasty twist. The resistance is conferred by a gene found on a plasmid, a portable piece of DNA. That’s alarming because plasmids can both transfer within a family of bugs and to other families of bacteria as well.advertisement Senior Writer, Infectious Disease Helen covers issues broadly related to infectious diseases, including outbreaks, preparedness, research, and vaccine development. The mcr-1 gene can move among E. coli bacteria, the scientists reported. But it can also go into other bacteria — Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa — and give those bugs the capacity to resist colistin, too.A member of the polymyxin class of antibiotics, colistin is an old drug that was rarely used for decades because there were other antibiotic options that have fewer side effects.But as antibiotic resistance has increased, the drug has become a critical part of the armamentarium; in 2012 the World Health Organization designated it as critically important for human medicine.Experts have insisted it should be preserved for people and should not be employed in agricultural operations, where vast quantities of antibiotics are fed to animals as growth promoters. And yet, in China, the drug is used more in animal production than it is on people, said Timothy Walsh, a medical microbiologist from Cardiff University in Wales, and one of the authors of this paper.“We needed to have definitive borders between antibiotics that are used in human medicine and those that are used in the veterinary sector,” said Walsh, who was also involved in the discovery of another dangerous plasmid-mediated resistance gene, NDM-1. “That mantra should be universal and strictly adhered to.”Walsh told STAT in an interview that he and his co-authors will meet next week with government officials to try to persuade China to ban agricultural use of colistin.After finding the mcr-1 gene in one pig, the authors of the new study conducted a survey, finding the gene in 166 of 804 pigs tested at slaughterhouses and in 78 of 523 samples of raw meat. They also found it in E. coli bacteria isolated from a small number of hospitalized people in China; it was present in 1 percent of 1,322 samples they tested.Dr. Amesh Adalja is a Pittsburgh-based infectious diseases physician who has seen one of his patients die because of a completely drug-resistant lung infection. He thinks doctors will have to get used to that sense of helplessness going forward. Adalja, a spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said the plasmid-mediated nature of mcr-1 is “particularly scary” because of the potential for spread.But the CDC’s Patel cautioned that just because something has the potential to spread doesn’t always mean that it will. She noted that a few years ago, Staphylococcus aureus strains emerged that were resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin. In that case, too, the resistance was plasmid-mediated. Vancomycin is a mainstay in the treatment of staph infections, which are among the most common infections around. The discovery led to dire predictions. And they proved to be wrong.“That’s our classic example where we were very, very concerned and then it didn’t spread,” said Patel. Nonetheless, she noted, the CDC will need to ramp up surveillance for mcr-1. Scientists have found a strain of E. coli that is resistant to colistin, the antibiotic of last resort. NIH
[email protected] Almost 40 percent of Indian doctors surveyed disagree with a government ban placed on 344 fixed dose combination drugs due to safety concerns, DNA India reports. Meanwhile, an Indian court will resume a hearing in which more than two dozen drug makers have appealed the ban, which extends to some popular cough syrups, according to the Economic Times. The country’s regulator, meanwhile, is reviewing another 619 medicines, PharmaBiz says.Several drug makers are in the later stages of testing a new class of migraine drugs, the Wall Street Journal reports. The therapies target a chemical known as CGRP that researchers have discovered is involved in the pain-signaling process that occurs in the brain during migraines. “A new era seems to be emerging,” David Dodick, who heads the migraine program at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona and chairs the American Migraine Foundation, tells the paper.advertisement By Ed Silverman March 22, 2016 Reprints @Pharmalot Alex Hogan/STAT PharmalotPharmalot, Pharmalittle: Valeant looking to win leniency from feds Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Johnson & Johnson is accelerating a project to learn how to predict who will develop certain diseases and find therapies to prevent or stop the illnesses early, the Associated Press writes. One project would identify which pregnant women will develop gestational diabetes. The other is being designed to identify and treat people at risk of or in early stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.A federal judge ruled that Bristol-Myers Squibb can proceed with a patent infringement lawsuit against Merck over its Keytruda cancer treatment, the Legal Intelligencer writes.Sanofi, which is France’s biggest drug maker, denied plans to move its headquarters from central Paris to a suburb as part of a cost-cutting reorganization, Bloomberg News tells us.The Chinese government plans to crack down on the black market for medicines after discovering that resellers may be marketing about $88 million in illegal vaccines, according to Reuters.The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence had a change of heart and is now recommending Johnson & Johnson’s Zytiga for treating advanced prostate cancer, Reuters writes.Valeant Pharmaceuticals’s bankers are approaching the company’s lenders to determine what they would want in return for waiving a default caused by a delayed earnings filing, Bloomberg News reports.The World Health Organization suspended authorization of Svizera Labs tuberculosis treatments made in Mumbai after finding problems with production standards and quality control, Reuters says.Bernie Sanders wants the US Treasury Department to impose new tax rules that could be used to halt Pfizer’s proposed merger with Allergan, the Wall Street Journal reports. Ed Silverman About the Author Reprints Good morning, everyone, and nice to see you again. We apologize for our absence Monday, but personal matters intruded. Life does that sometimes, yes? Nonetheless, we are back now and as busy as ever, quaffing cups of stimulation and foraging for interesting items. No doubt, you can relate to the need to maintain the pace. Toward that end, here are some tidbits. Hope you have a smashing day and do stay in touch …The move by Valeant Pharmaceuticals to single out two former top executives — including chief financial officer Howard Schiller — over its accounting problems may be a bid to win leniency from government agencies investigating the drug maker, Reuters tells us. Schiller and the corporate comptroller allegedly provided incorrect information to the board. But Schiller denied any “improper conduct” and has refused to resign from the board.Several HIV organizations in the UK are angry that the National Health Service is declining to make the PrEP prevention treatment widely available, BuzzFeed reports. The NHS England, which will provide nearly $3 million over the next two years, maintains it is not responsible for commissioning HIV prevention services, although NHS England does fund other sexual health prevention medication, such as the oral contraceptive pill.advertisement Tags HIVmigrainesValeant Pharmaceuticals
Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Ed Silverman What is it? Jacques Brinon/AP As big-game hunting goes, Sanofi chief executive Olivier Brandicourt is 0-for-2.Two months ago, Sanofi appeared to be on the verge of acquiring Actelion Pharmaceuticals, which would have been a notable accomplishment for a couple of reasons: Johnson & Johnson had just backed out of negotiations to acquire Actelion and Sanofi had recently lost out on bidding for Medivation, a stinging defeat in a growth strategy that relies on big deals. Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Log In | Learn More Pharmalot STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Here’s why Johnson & Johnson won the bidding for Actelion — and Sanofi didn’t About the Author Reprints Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. By Ed Silverman Feb. 16, 2017 Reprints GET STARTED What’s included? @Pharmalot [email protected] Tags Mergers & AcquisitionspharmaceuticalsSTAT+
What is it? Ohio places drug pricing measure on its November ballot GET STARTED Tags drug pricingpharmaceuticalsSTAT+states Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Ed Silverman Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmalot STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Log In | Learn More By Ed Silverman July 21, 2017 Reprints About the Author Reprints @Pharmalot Scott Olson/Getty Images [email protected] What’s included? In a blow to the pharmaceutical industry, Ohio state officials have approved a controversial initiative designed to lower drug prices for the November ballot.Known as the Ohio Drug Price Relief Act, the ballot measure would require state agencies to pay no more for medicines than the Department of Veterans Affairs. The agency currently gets a 24 percent federally mandated discount off average manufacturer prices. Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.
What’s included? @Pharmalot Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. [email protected] By Ed Silverman Aug. 16, 2018 Reprints Ed Silverman Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX) is facing pushback from cystic fibrosis patients and their families as it plays hardball with the U.K. government over the cost of its medicines.In a highly publicized move designed to tug heartstrings, an 8-year-old boy and his mother gave an orchestrated round of media interviews to implore the company to lower the price of its Orkambi treatment, which the government calls too expensive. What is it? Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED GET STARTED Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. About the Author Reprints Pharmalot An 8-year-old boy puts Vertex on the defensive over the price of its drugs in the U.K. Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Log In | Learn More Tags drug pricingpharmaceuticalsrare diseaseSTAT+
@hoganalex In the LabWatch: Can virtual reality really transform physical therapy? Senior Multimedia Producer Alex coordinates video production and STAT Brand Studio projects. Related: Using VR to transform physical therapyVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard ShortcutsEnabledDisabledPlay/PauseSPACEIncrease Volume↑Decrease Volume↓Seek Forward→Seek Backward←Captions On/OffcFullscreen/Exit FullscreenfMute/UnmutemSeek %0-9 facebook twitter Email Linkhttps://www.statnews.com/2018/08/31/virtual-reality-physical-therapy/?jwsource=clCopied EmbedCopiedLive00:0003:0903:09 Are skills learned in a virtual environment carried over into the real world? Danielle Levac is studying the link between virtual and physical rehabilitation at Northeastern University. Alex Hogan, Dom Smith/STAT By Alex Hogan Aug. 31, 2018 Reprints Researchers have long seen the potential of virtual reality in rehabilitating patients with movement disorders. But do treatments using VR have advantages over traditional physical therapy?Danielle Levac at Northeastern University’s ReGame laboratory is trying to answer that question.“What we don’t know enough of is when you learn a skill in a virtual environment, to what extent does that actually help you get better at that skill in real life?” she said.advertisement [email protected] Levac’s work focuses on children with cerebral palsy and other movement disorders, and to measure any success, she first must come up with a baseline. About the Author Reprints On a recent day, Levac was putting 9-year-old Mattea through a series of games developed by the lab to see how she might ordinarily expect a child to perform.advertisement Alex Hogan A daredevil researcher’s latest quest: to restore sight lost to glaucoma using virtual reality While VR won’t replace traditional physical therapy, Levac sees its promise.“I think that these games can provide a very useful adjunct that can potentially offer some extra benefits,” she said.
[email protected] Pharmalot Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. A battle over verifying online Canadian pharmacies goes to court About the Author Reprints Ed Silverman STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Log In | Learn More By Ed Silverman Aug. 14, 2019 Reprints What is it? As more Americans look to Canada for cheaper medicines, a company whose website is devoted to verifying prescription drugs sold by online pharmacies is suing five organizations, including two with ties to the pharmaceutical industry, for allegedly running a campaign to manipulate and suppress information available to consumers.In its lawsuit, PharmacyChecker.com claims the groups, including the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, have essentially created a type of shadow regulation through private agreements with “key internet gatekeepers,” such as Google, to “choke off” information about importing medicines from online pharmacies in Canada and other countries. GET STARTED Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the pharma industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED @Pharmalot Tags drug pricinglegalpharmaceuticalsSTAT+ What’s included?