October 16, 1992 |
Gladys Thomas, who is battling ovarian cancer, has received a powerful ally in her fight against the insurance company that has refused to pay for her treatment with a new cancer drug. The company, Manulife Financial, says that her policy does not cover experimental drugs such as the one Thomas is receiving, Taxol. Thomas is receiving the drug only because she has already undergone two surgeries and conventional chemotherapy. She says her insurance should cover the treatments.
March 20, 2016 |
One paradox of modern health care is as disturbing as it is baffling: Even though almost every 20th-century law aimed at improving drug safety was enacted in response to a pediatric drug disaster, the systems we put in place to improve safety ultimately proved problematic. Cynthia A. Connolly, who has spent decades as a pediatric nurse and is an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, has been trying to understand why. Recently, she received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to finish her book, Children, Drug Therapy, and Pharmaceuticals in the United States, 1906-1979 . Connolly, one of four faculty directors at Penn's Field Center for Children's Policy, Practice, and Research, and fellow at Penn Nursing's Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, spoke to us recently about her work.
February 17, 1994 |
Using drug therapy and other less invasive procedures for treating heart disease could save lives and pare an estimated $9 billion from America's $930 billion health-care tab, according to a study released yesterday. The study of more than 100,000 patients treated for heart disease in 1992 found that, in less-seriously ill patients, using drug therapy and balloon angioplasty instead of coronary bypass surgery might have resulted in 6,343 fewer deaths. "Many of these deaths may well have been avoided," wrote the authors, the Washington-based Bureau of National Affairs, and HCIA Inc., of Baltimore.
November 30, 1996
Thanks primarily to new drugs, life expectancy for people infected with HIV has doubled in recent years. "Many people with AIDS," says Alan F. Holmer of the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, "are going back to work or to school and making plans for the future they didn't think they had. " Good news, certainly, on the eve of World AIDS Day (tomorrow), but not good enough. Drug therapy is extremely expensive, demand for the new treatments has strained Medicaid budgets and state-run AIDS drug-assistance programs, and the drugs don't work for everybody.
August 4, 1992 |
STAR SEARCH Where is this year's Mary Lou Retton? Here we are, halfway through the Barcelona Olympics, and advertising talent spotters still haven't found a new, young athletic face to sell soft drinks, cereal, hamburgers or sneakers. The pitchmeisters are eying gymnast Shannon Miller; swimmers Pablo Morales, Mark Barrowman and Anita Nall; diver Mark Lenzi, and decathlete Dave Johnson. But none of them yet is an undisputed new superstar, and Brian J. Murphy, publisher and editor of the Sports Marketing Letter, says: "It may be that no one . . . emerges.
June 19, 1988 |
Jacqueline Watts of Horsham is confident that her daughter Nicole will undergo treatment as planned in California for her rare disease - despite an unexpected setback. Nicole, 3, has hollow visceral myopathy, which prevents muscles from pushing waste from her body. She had been scheduled to begin experimental treatment for the condition on July 17 in California. However, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen, manufacturer of the experimental drug Cisapride used in the treatment, have withdrawn its use in patients who suffer from seizures.
June 24, 1990 |
Don't take any drug for granted, health experts say. "Remember they all have their downsides," said Dr. Robert Temple of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Safe for a drug means that the adverse effects of the drug are outweighed by the benefits. " To protect yourself, Public Citizen Health Research Group, a Washington advocacy group, recommends: Be alert for any adverse reactions. Assume any new symptom you develop after starting a new drug may be caused by the drug.
May 29, 1991 |
Q: I have severe scar tissue in my lungs. I'm a 69-year-old female and have smoked in excess of one pack per day for 45 years. I've been on Brethine, Choledyl and Atrovent for five years, and worry about side effects. A: As a result of your heavy cigarette consumption, you appear to have developed a chronic lung disorder. I'll venture that you have emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic pulmonary inflammation in addition to, or as a cause of, your pulmonary scarring. Evidently, your doctor has chosen to deal with the treatable aspects of your disease, a wise choice inasmuch as the scarring itself is permanent and incurable.
October 21, 1992 |
Q: I have a problem with a "trigger finger. " When I awaken in the morning it is bent upon itself and it's very painful to straighten. Can you tell me the origin of this condition and what can be done to alleviate it? A: Having just recovered from a bout of "trigger finger," I can sympathize with your frustration. Put simply, this condition is a partial dislocation of a finger (or thumb) joint caused by an inflamed tendon, resulting from repetitive hand activity. When the tendon becomes irritated, it also becomes swollen, rough and sore.
June 30, 1988 |
Want a little cheap therapy? Watch Hothouse (Ch. 6, 9 p.m.), a new dramatic series set in a New England psychiatric clinic, premiering tonight. If you can stay awake, you'll feel like the healthiest, sanest person in the universe. In this show, you can't tell the doctors from the patients. Hothouse takes its title from one of the innumerable little impassioned speeches made by the show's hero, psychiatrist and clinic owner Sam Garrison (Josef Sommer): "We live in a hothouse," he tells his goggle-eyed staff this evening.