Evidence – Marijuana Effective for Pain Control & Can Limit Opiate Abuse

What if I tell you that there is no good evidence that marijuana does any good for treating glaucoma, anxiety, or Parkinson's disease. Despite this, it is often prescribed to treat these aliments in states that have legalized marijuana. According to a large meta analysis of 79 studies published in Journal of the American Medical Association marijuana does nothing to improve these diseases. However, this analysis did show that there is excellent evidence that marijuana is highly effective in controlling chronic pain. A JAMA review found a  "30% or greater improvement in pain with cannabinoid compared with placebo," across the [...]

CMS Continues To Limit Coverage For NaF-18 PET Scans For Bone Metastases

There has been a lot of buzz around the new scanning contrasts that have come into limited usage for evaluating metastasized cancer cells that are in the bones. Despite the enthusiasm from the prostate and breast cancer communities, CMS (Medicare) continues to limit its financial coverage for PET scans using the contrast NaF-18 even though it has displayed an increased ability to detect bone metastases. In the past CMS, had been willing to pay for positron emission tomography or NaF-18 PET scans as long as physicians collected and reported the data on its use and put it into a clinical [...]

Understanding and Trying to Rectify the Abusive Costs of Our Drugs

I have been relatively quiet about the skyrocketing cost of drugs, but it has now become impossible to remain out of the fray. A Pharmaceutical company recently acquired a drug called Daraprim, the drug treats potentially fatal parasitic infections.   After its acquisition the company raised the price of Daraprim by almost 5,0000%. When confronted with great anger about the price increase, the company at first declined to comment until their CEO answered critics with a series of dismissive tweets and interviews.  The price of Daraprim remains out of reach for many individuals. As we all know there are many drugs [...]

A Step Towards Understanding How To Get A Fair Value For The Dollars Spent For Advanced Prostate Cancer Treatment

In the treatment of prostate cancer the first very expensive drug we had that was FDA approved was Provenge, with an initial cost of $93,000 for a one-month’s treatment protocol. Today, the cost is in excess of $106,000. According to the phase III clinical trial result Provenge extends life by a median of 4.1 months, or under current costs each additional month comes with a price tag of approximately $26,000! Now, with Zytiga costing over $8,500 per month with a median life extension of 4.4 months, Jevtana costing $11,000 per month with a median 2 month life extension (TROPIC), Xtandi [...]