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Drug Benefit Trends

Drug Benefit Trends

The sweeping health care reform bill signed into law in March will eventually provide coverage to 32 million more Americans, but the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that about 23 million will still be without health care by 2019.

The editors of Drug Benefit Trends interviewed Peter Juhn, MD, MPH, president of the Therapeutic Resource Centers (TRCs) division at Medco Health Solutions, Inc. He discusses the TRC program, launched in 2007, which monitors prescription drug use in patients with specific chronic conditions and is designed to close gaps in care.

A national survey done by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) showed that workers are hesitant to seek treatment for mental health issues. Reasons cited included concerns about confidentiality or fears of loss of status in the workplace.

The use of bisphosphonates, which are commonly taken to prevent and treat osteoporosis, may lower the risk of breast cancer, according to the results of a recent study led by Polly A. Newcomb, PhD, MPH, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Until recently, I never paid much attention to the possibility that abnormalities of the parathyroid glands could be relevant to patients in my practice. But I decided to learn more about this issue when one of my patients with bipolar disorder who had been treated with lithium told me that she had been given a diagnosis of a parathyroid adenoma after her primary care physician noted hypercalcemia on routine testing.

Parkinson disease (PD) is associated with a number of nonmotor symptoms, including depression, drug-induced psychosis and impulse control disorders, cognitive impairment, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.


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