PHARMACY

Court strikes down lawsuit over Medi-Cal cuts

BY Drew Buono

LOS ANGELES This past Tuesday, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled against a preliminary injunction sought by a group of health care providers to halt the fee cuts that would cause a 10 percent reduction in the fees given to doctor, dentists and other health care professionals, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Members of the group suing the state are considering appealing the matter.

The court determined federal law doesn’t allow private parties to sue over excessive rate cuts and those concerns should be addressed by the federal government. The case was originally filed in state court, moved to federal court, but then was sent back to the state.

According to Ned Wigglesworth, spokesman for the California Medical Association, one of the groups suing the state, the cuts reduce the reimbursement rate for a basic physician visit from $24 to $21.60—“less than the price of a large pizza.” He said doctors need to make at least $30 to $35 per visit to break even.

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Gestational diabetes results in increased risk for Type 2 diabetes

BY Drew Buono

NEW YORK Gestational diabetes greatly increases a woman’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later on in life, a new study confirms, according to Reuters.

Gestational diabetes is a known risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. Denice Feig of the University of Toronto and her team looked at 633,449 women who gave birth in Toronto between 1995 and 2002. A total of 21,823 (3.3 percent) of the women were diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

While just 2 percent of the women who didn’t have gestational diabetes went on to develop Type 2 diabetes during the 9-year follow-up period, 19 percent of those with gestational diabetes did, the researchers found.

Moreover, they say the strongest risk factor for Type 2 diabetes was gestational diabetes, which increased risk more than 37-fold.

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Russian antihistamine appears effective against Alzheimer’s

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK A study that lasted a year and a half has found that an antihistamine developed in the former Soviet Union may be able to stabilize Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, found that the drug Dimebon could stabilize the disease for at least the time of the study. Researchers tested the drug against a placebo in 183 patients in Russia who had mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.

Conditions of patients who received the placebo deteriorated, while those of the people who received Dimebon improved or deteriorated only slightly.

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