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Category: Pediatrics | Monthly Briefing

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April 2009 Briefing - Pediatrics

Last Updated: May 01, 2009.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pediatrics for April 2009. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Cancer Society Issues Health Disparities Policy Statement

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is launching an all-out campaign to eliminate cancer health disparities among Hispanics, blacks, Native Americans, and other minorities, who together will account for more than half of the United States' population by the year 2050, according to a policy statement released during a media telebriefing and published online ahead of print April 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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New Web-based Information Source to Support UK Clinicians

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- The United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has announced the launch of NHS Evidence, a Web-based evidence resource for clinicians, public health professionals of the National Health Service, and others involved in making patient care decisions. The announcement came in the April 30 issue of The Lancet.

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Aging, Changing Nation Will Affect New Cancer Diagnoses

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Demographic changes in which older adults and minorities account for an increasing share of the population are expected to result in a soaring number of cancer cases in the next 20 years, according to a study released during a media telebriefing and published online ahead of print April 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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NEJM Commends New Conflict of Interest Proposal

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- A new proposal to control conflict of interest is notable for its breadth and variety of recommended solutions, according to a Perspective article published online April 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Sleeping Issues Linked to Attention Deficit Symptoms

THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Short sleep duration or troubled sleep may make children more likely to exhibit behavioral symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to research published in the May issue of Pediatrics.

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FDA Requires OTC Pain Relievers to Display Warnings

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Popular over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers and fever medications containing acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will be required to display prominent warnings about the risks of liver damage and internal bleeding, under a new rule announced April 28 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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Specialist Centers Key to Treating Cystic Fibrosis

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Earlier diagnosis and more aggressive treatment at specialized centers has improved the outlook for cystic fibrosis patients, and the disease's underlying molecular-biological origins are now well understood, according to an article published online on April 28 in The Lancet.

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Attention-Deficit Drugs Linked to Better Test Scores

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) who were medicated for the condition scored higher on math and reading tests than their unmedicated peers, according to research published in the May issue of Pediatrics.

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CDC Confirms 64 Swine Flu Cases in United States

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 64 cases of swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus in the United States as of April 28, including five cases requiring hospitalization. The cases have occurred across five states, including 45 in New York, 10 in California, six in Texas, two in Kansas and one in Ohio, according to a dispatch on April 28 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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H1N1 Swine Flu Susceptible to Oseltamivir and Zanamivir

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- The swine-origin influenza A virus H1N1 is susceptible to both neuraminidase inhibitors oseltamivir and zanamivir, but is resistant to the M2 ion channel blockers amantadine and rimantadine, according to a dispatch on April 28 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Breech Presentation Linked to Autism Spectrum Disorders

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- An association between breech presentation and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children may point to a shared etiology between the two, according to research published in the May issue of Pediatrics.

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Pharmacist Involvement May Decrease Medication Errors

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Adding a pharmacist to health care teams may significantly decrease patients' risk of adverse drug events and medication errors, according to a report published in the April 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. A second study indicates that an interdisciplinary medication reconciliation intervention can also reduce unintentional medication discrepancies with potential for harm.

Abstract - Murray
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Survival Poor in Adults with Rhabdomyosarcoma

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Adults with rhabdomyosarcoma, though rare, have significantly worse long-term survival than children with the disease, although many of the same factors predict survival in both cases, according to a study published online April 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Sedentary Children Have Greater Psychological Distress

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Children who are sedentary and watch a lot of television and movies have higher levels of psychological distress, according to research published in the May issue of Pediatrics.

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Vitamin D Linked to Asthma Severity in Children

MONDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D insufficiency is present in about one-third of Costa Rican children with asthma and correlates with asthma severity, researchers report in the May 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Pediatricians, Radiologists Key in Diagnosing Child Abuse

MONDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatricians and radiologists have important roles to play in the diagnosis of child abuse, according to two policy statements published in the May issue of Pediatrics.

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Children With Cerebral Palsy Need Better Provision

FRIDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Provision of services to help children with cerebral palsy participate in life situations varies widely across Europe, and some countries should use legislative measures to improve provision, according to a study published online on April 24 in BMJ.

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Teen Binges Linked to White Matter Changes in Brain

FRIDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- In adolescents, binge drinking may be associated with reduced white matter integrity in the frontal, cerebellar, temporal, and parietal regions of the brain, according to research published online April 21 in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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Infection Not Uncommon in Girls Before Sexual Activity

FRIDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Positive tests for human papilloma virus (HPV) in young girls who were not yet sexually active suggest a wider subclinical prevalence of HPV infection than previously thought, according to a study reported in the May issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Prenatal Flu Exposure Linked to Lower Intelligence Scores

THURSDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to the Hong Kong flu in utero may be associated with lower intelligence in adulthood, according to research published online ahead of print March 18 in the Annals of Neurology.

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Having Health Insurance May Not Improve Mortality Risk

THURSDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- People without health insurance have about the same mortality rate as people with health insurance, according to an observational study published online April 21 in Health Services Research.

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Parents Need More Education About Child's Cardiac Surgery

THURSDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of patients undergoing fast-track cardiac surgery need to be educated and informed more fully prior to surgery if they are to be more effectively involved in their child's care, according to a study published in the April issue of the AORN Journal.

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Stretches Without Health Insurance More Common

WEDNESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Periods of uninsurance have become more common in recent decades, particularly among those with less education, according to research published in the April 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Resuscitation at Birth Associated With Low IQ Score

WEDNESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Infants who undergo resuscitation at birth are more likely to have a low IQ score later in childhood than those who do not, and resuscitated infants with asymptomatic encephalopathy account for a greater proportion of affected adults than those with encephalopathy, according to a study published online April 21 in The Lancet.

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Children Wearing Spine Device Often Suffer Complications

MONDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Children wearing a halo device for spinal correction or immobilization should be closely monitored for complications, such as pin site infection or neurological damage, according to a study in the April 15 issue of SPINE.

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Chlamydia Screening Still Only Covers Four In Ten

MONDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- The national screening rate for chlamydia has increased from 25.3 percent in 2000 to 41.6 percent in 2007, but more extensive screening is needed to reduce the burden of infections, according to a study published in the April 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Triple Vaccine Approval Expanded To Cover Adults

MONDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expanded the approved age indication for the tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccine, Boostrix, to cover patients aged 10 to 64 years instead of the previous age indication of 10 to 18 years, according to an article published in the April 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Almost Ten Percent of Youth Addicted to Video Games

MONDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Close to 10 percent of American children and adolescents can be considered "addicted" to playing video games based on clinical criteria, according to a study published online April 13 in Psychological Science.

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Merchant Compliance Linked to Reduced Teen Smoking

MONDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Greater merchant compliance with laws restricting the sale of tobacco to underage consumers has helped reduce smoking among adolescents, according to a study published online April 17 in BMC Public Health.

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Psychological Interventions Can Close Achievement Gap

FRIDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- Structured writing assignments that focus on students' self-affirming value can help to close the racial gap in academic achievement, according to a study published in the April 17 issue of Science.

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Germ Cell Finding Could Point to Fertility Treatment

FRIDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- The use of human embryonic stem cells to produce in vitro derived primordial germ cells may someday offer a way to treat couples with infertility caused by germ cell defects, according to research published in the April issue of Stem Cells.

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Initial Cobb Angle Predicts Scoliosis Curve Progression

THURSDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with idiopathic scoliosis, the Cobb angle on initial presentation is the most important predictor of long-term curve progression, according to a study published in the April 1 issue of Spine.

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Brain Structure Changes After Prenatal Methamphetamine Use

THURSDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Prenatal methamphetamine exposure leads to alterations in the structure of brain white matter, according to a study published online April 15 in Neurology.

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Valproate in Pregnancy Linked to Lower IQ in Children

WEDNESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- The use of valproate in pregnant women with epilepsy is associated with a higher risk of impaired cognitive function in their children at the age of 3, according to research published in the April 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Mechanism of Compound Neurotoxicity Identified

WEDNESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may act through ryanodine receptors, which are calcium ion channels, to mediate their neurotoxic effects, according to several new studies.

Abstract-Kim
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Stroke Screening Rate Rose in Children With Sickle Cell

WEDNESDAY, April 15 (HealthDay News) -- Following the 1998 Stroke Prevention Trial in Sickle Cell Anemia, the rate of transcranial Doppler ultrasonography (TCD) screening rose steeply in a large health care plan, according to research published in the April 14 issue of Neurology.

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Stricter Alcohol Laws Cut Youngsters' Fatal Car Crashes

TUESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Laws aimed at reducing drinking-and-driving activities among young people have a beneficial effect on the number of young fatalities due to car crashes, according to a study published online April 9 in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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Home Treatment of Malaria May Lead to Overuse of Drugs

TUESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Although malaria cases managed at home are treated promptly, they are also prone to overuse of malaria drugs, according to the results of a study published online April 14 in The Lancet.

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Avoiding Tobacco Smoke Helps Manage Childhood Asthma

TUESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Avoidance of environmental tobacco smoke can significantly reduce hospitalizations, emergency department visits and episodes of poor asthma control in children with the disease, according to research reported in the April issue of the journal Chest.

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Little Progress in Reducing Foodborne Illness

FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Gaps in the current food safety system undermine efforts to reduce the incidence of foodborne disease, and the incidence of food poisoning has changed little in the past three years in the United States, according to a report published in the April 10 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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In China, Sex Differences Reflected at Birth and Death

FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- China's skewed sex ratios and its different male and female end-of-life experiences are examined in two population studies published online April 9 in BMJ.

Abstract- Wei Xing Zhu
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Avoterim May Speed Healing, Reduce Scarring

FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Transforming growth factor β3 (TGFβ3), also known as avotermin, significantly improved the appearance of scars in both the short term and long term in a series of three studies conducted in the United Kingdom, according to research published in the April 11 issue of The Lancet.

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Financial Rewards for Healthy Behavior Can Be Effective

FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Although paying people to engage in healthy behaviors or successfully tackle unhealthy ones can be effective, it may carry unintended consequences, according to an editorial published online April 9 in BMJ.

Editorial

New Vaccine Successfully Tested in Latent TB Infection

FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new vaccine for tuberculosis produced immunogenic response without immunopathology in patients with latent tuberculosis infection, according to the results of a study published in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Air Pollution May Adversely Affect Fetal Growth

THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Fetal growth may be adversely affected by exposure to ambient air pollution, especially in women living near high-traffic roadways, according to research published online April 8 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

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Tax on Sugared Drinks Can Help Tackle Obesity Epidemic

WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- A penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would result in a more than 10 percent reduction in consumption, and as such would be a significant contributor to the fight against obesity in America, according to an article published online April 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Even Modest Diet and Exercise Can Improve Teen Health

WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Even modest improvements in nutrition and exercise can improve physical parameters in overweight teenagers and reduce type 2 diabetes risk, according to a report in the April issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Socioeconomic Status a Risk Factor in Child Heart Transplant

WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Children from lower socioeconomic groups are at greater risk for graft failure following a heart transplant than children from higher socioeconomic groups, according to a study published online April 7 in Circulation: Heart Failure.

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Children With Poor Self-Control at Risk for Weight Problems

WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Children with poor self-regulating abilities at a young age are more likely to develop weight problems as they approach adolescence, according to a pair of studies reported in the April issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Combination Pharmacotherapy Helps Ill Smokers Quit

TUESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers with medical conditions are significantly more likely to become abstinent with flexibly dosed triple combination pharmacotherapy than with standard-duration nicotine patch therapy. In addition, smokers on pharmacotherapy who are intensively managed may be more likely to quit, according to two studies published in the April 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Abstract - Steinberg
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Abstract - Ellerbeck
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As Childhood Obesity Balloons, So Do Childhood Medications

TUESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- The epidemic of childhood obesity has resulted in the increased medication of children for obesity-linked chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and elevated serum lipids, according to a report in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, which focuses on childhood obesity in its April issue. Other studies in the issue also explore the obesity epidemic in U.S. youth.

Abstract - Liberman
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About 3 Percent of US Children Have Hearing Loss

TUESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- About 3 percent of children and adolescents in the United States have hearing loss, although definitions of hearing loss vary, according to a study in the April issue of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. In a related study, published in April's Ophthalmology, refractive errors in urban preschoolers, although uncommon, may not be identified and corrected.

Abstract - Mehra
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Boyhood Psychiatric Issues Predict Later Suicide Attempts

TUESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Boys who show signs of psychiatric problems at the age of 8 years are at higher risk of suicide or attempted suicide later in life compared with their mentally healthy counterparts, but female suicidality cannot be predicted in childhood, according to study findings published in the April issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Binge Drinking Causes Half of Alcohol-Related Deaths

MONDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Binge drinking caused an estimated 43,731 (54.9 percent) of the 79,646 alcohol-related deaths each year from 2001 to 2005 in the United States, and is more common among men than women, with whites aged 18 to 34 those most likely to drink in this way, according to a report published in the April 3 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Exercise Improves Academic Performance in Children

MONDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Short periods of moderate exercise such as walking improve attention and academic performance in pre-adolescent children, researchers report in the March 31 issue of Neuroscience.

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Benefits Seen From Early Epilepsy Surgery

FRIDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Surgery to treat epilepsy in young children appears generally safe and effective, according to research published online ahead of print Jan. 21 in Epilepsia.

Abstract
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New Guidelines Published for Managing Hypoglycemia

THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Hypoglycemia should only be evaluated and managed in patients with documented hypoglycemia, and hypoglycemia in the absence of diabetes should be investigated for the root causes, according to guidelines published in the March issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Abstract
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Young Vegetarians Eat Better But Have More Disorders

THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Young adult and adolescent vegetarians tend to eat more fruit and vegetables than their non-vegetarian counterparts and are at lower risk of obesity, but they are also more prone to unhealthy weight control activities and binge eating, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Abstract
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Birth Weight Associated With Leukocyte Count in Adults

THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Adult levels of leukocytes -- the primary cells behind the inflammation that is associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes -- vary according to weight at birth, according to study findings published online March 10 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Abstract
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Electronic Prescribing Online-Learning Tools Launched

THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. physicians will be able to better evaluate electronic prescribing systems thanks to a new online learning center on ePrescribing launched April 1 by the American Medical Association.

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Changes Needed in New-Drug Evaluation Process

WEDNESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- The evaluation process for new drugs is overdue for an overhaul, which could provide benefits for the public and the pharmaceutical industry, according to a point-counterpoint commentary published online March 31 in BMJ.

Abstract - Garattini
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Abstract - Tremblay
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New Health Program Leads to Questions in the UK

WEDNESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- A new British program to improve patient choices and competition in the health care marketplace may lead to excess capacity in some areas and instability in others, according to a commentary published online March 31 in BMJ.

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Pain Reliever Warnings Not Prominent or Conspicuous

WEDNESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Warnings on over-the-counter pain relievers are often not looked at or recalled and are often not legible compared with other elements of the label, according to a report published online March 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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