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Daily Rounds: Drug Profiteering; 'Decision Fatigue'; Racial Gaps In Biomedicine; Low Testosterone Questions

Drug shortages lead to price gouging - USATODAY.com "With the nation in the midst of a record shortage of prescription drugs — including vital medications used in everything from surgery to chemotherapy — unscrupulous marketers are stockpiling hard-to-find drugs and attempting to sell them back to hospitals at up to 50 times their normal prices, a new report says." (yourlife.usatoday.com)

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue? - NYTimes.com "Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue — you’re not consciously aware of being tired — but you’re low on mental energy. The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways." (nytimes.com)

New study identifies stark racial gaps in funding of biomedical research - Boston Globe "Black scientists applying for grants from the nation’s premier underwriter of biomedical research are dramatically less likely to receive funds than their white counterparts, according to a new study revealing stark racial disparities at the highest levels of science. The study, published today in the journal Science, triggered immediate action to address and understand the root of the problem from top officials at the National Institutes of Health, the funding agency studied. The findings stunned Boston researchers, who said the results have implications that transcend the realms of science and medicine."(boston.com) Study questions testosterone's link to early death | Reuters "Drooping testosterone levels probably don't cut years off a man's life, although earlier studies had suggested they might, according to a new report. Instead, decreases in the male sex hormone may simply be a sign of overall health status, which also dips with age, researchers say. The findings come in the wake of surging interest in testosterone's role in men's sex drive, their mood and thinking, and even early death. While drug companies refer to "low T" as a treatable medical problem affecting millions of American men, critics say they are trying to make a buck by turning normal aging into a disease. (Reuters)

This program aired on August 19, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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