Health Newsbrief
August 29, 2001
Vol. 2, No. 30
ISSN 1530-3616
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Bruce Maxwell, Editor - bmax@silverhammerpub.com
Silver Hammer Publishing - http://silverhammerpub.com

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The News
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UNFILLED JOBS IN PHARMACIES
RAISE FEARS OF DRUG ERRORS
The number of pharmacists in the United States is not keeping
pace with the growth in the demand for prescription drugs,
leaving thousands of pharmacist jobs unfilled around the country.
Experts fear that the pharmacist shortage could lead to more drug
errors and to pharmacies pulling out of smaller markets,
especially in rural areas. No substantial relief is on the
horizon, and it looks like the pharmacist shortage will only get
much worse.
Source: New York Times - Aug. 26, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/26/health/26PHAR.html


COLON CANCER SCREEN
MAY MISS ONE QUARTER OF CASES
Colonoscopy remains the "gold standard" for detecting colon
cancer, according to a study published in the New England Journal
of Medicine. An alternative screening method that combines two
tests - the fecal occult-blood test and flexible sigmoidoscopy -
misses about 25 percent of serious precancerous growths, the
researchers found.
Source: Reuters Health - Aug. 22, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010822/hl/colon_1.html


ALZHEIMER'S-RELATED BRAIN ABNORMALITIES LINKED
Scientists have created a new mouse model for Alzheimer's disease
that they hope will allow better testing of experimental therapies.
The engineered mice have two types of brain abnormalities -
plaques and tangles - that may be related in some way. Earlier mouse
models had one abnormality or the other.
Source: Reuters Health - Aug. 23, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010823/hl/alzheimers_1.html


MINORITIES' CARE FOR MENTAL ILLS IS CALLED INFERIOR
Minorities in the United States suffer a disproportionate share
of mental illness because they're less likely to seek help, have
less access to services, and receive lower quality care than
other Americans, according to a new report by Surgeon General
David Satcher. Satcher recommended developing more mental health
resources for minorities and programs to help minorities enter
the mental health profession.
Source: New York Times - Aug. 27, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/27/national/27MENT.html
Surgeon general's report:
http://surgeongeneral.gov/library/mentalhealth/cre/default.asp


RISKS OF EPHEDRA USAGE IN SPOTLIGHT
Many athletes at all levels take nutritional supplements
containing ephedra in an effort to boost their performance. But
the Los Angeles Times reports that many doctors believe ephedra
can be deadly. Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports on a
survey that found that 1 million American children aged 12 to 17
have taken sports supplements of various types.
Sources: Los Angeles Times - Aug. 27, 2001
http://www.latimes.com/features/health/
la-000069345aug27.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dhealth

Associated Press - Aug. 28, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010828/hl/
youths_supplements_1.html



ARTHRITIS: WHAT IT IS, WHY YOU GET IT, AND
HOW TO STOP THE PAIN
In a cover story, Newsweek presents a good overview of arthritis
and its treatment. The sidebar briefly examines alternative
treatments for arthritis, with a special focus on dietary
supplements.
Source: Newsweek - Sept. 3, 2001
http://www.msnbc.com/news/619601.asp
Sidebar: http://www.msnbc.com/news/619616.asp


MONITORING CLINICAL TRIALS -
INTERIM DATA SHOULD BE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE
Interim results from clinical trials are generally just seen by
review boards at the institutions where the research is being
performed. This article in the British Medical Journal argues
that interim results should be made public.
Source: British Medical Journal - Aug. 25, 2001
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/323/7310/441


CHOOSING PROPER ATTACK ON CHOLESTEROL
Confused about exactly what you should do to lower your
cholesterol, thus cutting your risk of heart attack and stroke?
New York Times columnist Jane Brody lays out all the details in
this article.
Source: New York Times - Aug. 28, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/28/health/anatomy/28BROD.html


THERAPIES PUSH INJURED BRAINS AND SPINAL CORDS
INTO NEW PATHS
A new trend in rehabilitation therapy for brain injuries focuses
on encouraging brains to rewire themselves. Variations on the
therapy are being used with everyone from stroke patients to
children with cerebral palsy. But there's a catch: Medicare and
many private insurers won't pay for the extended therapy that's
needed.
Source: New York Times - Aug. 28, 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/28/health/anatomy/28REHA.html


INSULIN PILLS MAY BECOME A REALITY
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a pill form of
insulin that may eventually replace the daily shots taken by
diabetics. The pill's key feature is a gel-like coating that
keeps the insulin intact until it reaches the small intestine.
The pills have been tested on rats and dogs, and could reach the
market within a decade.
Source Associated Press - Aug. 27, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20010827/hl/diabetes_pill_2.html


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