Note; This post was originally published on May 15, 2008 and updated updated on January 16, 2009. Click here to read the update. This has remained one of the most frequently read posts on this blog.
When all the controversy about Vytorin hit the popular press in January 2008, patients immediately began calling my office for more information. They are asking a lot of good questions. They want to know whether they should stay on the drug or stop it; whether it is doing them any good – or more importantly, whether it is doing them any harm. I’m going to try to explain what the controversy is all about and give you some information that will help you figure out what to do.
The Vytorin Controversy One Year Later - An Update
On January 8, 2009, the FDA issued the following safety review of Vytorin and concluded: “patients should not stop taking Vytorin or other cholesterol lowering medications and should talk to their [health provider] if they have any questions about these medications.”
Dear patient, you have been drawn into a medical slugfest that is being fought among leading cardiologists, so what are you to do? Read my prior post to get some background on the Vytorin controversy and then read this post to see where we are one year later.
The U.S. Preventive Task Force Services (USPTF) has recommended that screening mammograms were no longer routinely required for women in their 40s and that self-breast exam is no longer advised. What!? Is this just cost-cutting or is this good medicine? Read this post to learn more.
It Is a Mistake to Call a Nurse Practitioner a Nurse
I do not like it when people call me a Nurse. I liked it when I was a Nurse, but for more than 17 years now I’ve been a Nurse Practitioner. The two titles are NOT interchangeable and the duties and responsibilites are NOT the same.
As a Nurse Practitioner I’m often asked “What should I call you?“. Doctors are addressed as “Doctor”, but if your doctor is a Nurse Practitioner, how should you address that person? Read this post to brush up on the correct titles for different types of nurses. Your nurses will love you for knowing who we are and what we do!
Access denied: Florida lawmakers and doctors silence NPs - again
Florida is one of only two states in the country to restrict NP prescriptive authority for controlled substances. Florida is also the “pill mill” capital of the country. Seven Floridians die every day from controlled drugs prescribed by Florida physicians.
It is past time to bring the responsible medical community, including NPs, together to enable the use of these drugs properly and appropriately. It is past time to aggressively seek out and punish those physician rogues whose small numbers have caused such an enormous and deadly problem in Florida.
It is not Florida’s NPs but a small number of Florida’s licensed physicians who are the problem. Restricting NP practice will not solve a problem caused by physicians.
Watch this 3 minute YouTube video by NP Jana Esden who (silently) shows how Florida’s lawmakers and physicians have ignored the advice of experts and used politics to restrict patients’ access to care by restricting nurse practitioners’ practice and prescriptive authority in the state.
Florida citizens are being denied access to safe, proven quality health care by NP medical providers. Please write your lawmakers to protest these outdated restrictive laws that are hurting all Floridians.
These are trying times - wars overseas and terrorist threats at home, a miserable economy, a health care system in crisis and Washington politicians behaving with more pettiness and self-interest than squabbling two year olds – well, it’s just plain disheartening.
This week a patient of mine lumped Haiti’s problems in along with all those others I just mentioned but I begged to differ. Haiti is neither a governmental nor political problem – it is a humanitarian one. It is not our governments’ problem to solve, it is our own as individuals. We can save Haiti by not giving up on her. Read this post to see how.
Flu and Pneumonia Shots 2012 – Questions & Answers
It’s getting to be that time of year. Time to think about getting your flu shot and (for some) updating your pneumonia vaccination. I always get a lot of questions from patients this time of year. Do I need a flu shot? (The answer is “yes”.) When should I get it? Do I need a pneumonia shot? How often?
In this post I’ve answered those questions according to the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) current 2012 recommendations.
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