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Drug Benefit Trends

Drug Benefit Trends

Amidst the Democrats floundering to pass their health care reform bill after the balance of power shifted when a Republican won the Massachusetts Senate race, WJ “Billy” Tauzin, a Democrat turned Republican, announced that he will step down in June as head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

After Republican Scott Brown was elected into the US Senate in January, President Obama acknowledged that his health care reform bill could die on Capital Hill. As many Democrats looked to the White House for guidance about how to keep the bill on a forward path, President Obama seemed less than optimistic about the bill’s passage. At a fundraising event, the President stated “it’s very important for us to have a methodical, open process over the next several weeks, and then let’s go ahead and make a decision.” This statement was miles away from his previous exclamations of “Yes we can.”

Overdoses that are caused by prescription opioid may be on the rise.

Results of a large study showed that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) might be equally effective in both patients with unipolar depression and those with bipolar depression.1

Current guidelines for the management of bipolar depression are outdated because they are based on the definition and treatment of unipolar depression, accor

Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) may be an effective therapy for treatment-resistant bipolar depression, according to the results of a recent pilot study led by Guohua Xia,

Although rapid-cycling bipolar disorder has been linked to the use of antidepressants, these treatments may still have a role in the management of patients with bipolar depression, said Stephen V. Sobel, MD, clinical instructor at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, in a presentation at the US Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress in Las Vegas.1 Patients with bipolar disorder spend most of their time in depression, and antidepressants can alleviate the symptoms, he said.

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