Daily Rounds: Pricey Prostate Treatment; HIV-Positive Porn Star; Drugmakers Pay For Fraud; Latest Medicare Deal

Medicare Investigation Reveals a Sharp Rise in Controversial and Expensive Prostate Cancer Treatment - "Roughly one in three Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with prostate cancer today gets a sophisticated form of radiation therapy called IMRT. Eight years ago, virtually no patients received the treatment. The story behind the sharp rise in the use of IMRT—which stands for intensity-modulated radiation therapy—is about more than just the rapid adoption of a new medical technology. It's also about financial incentives." (Wall Street Journal)

HIV-positive porn performer speaks out - "The adult film performer who tested HIV-positive at a San Fernando Valley clinic this fall spoke out for the first time Tuesday, calling for mandatory condom use in porn productions, improved testing for sexually transmitted disease and follow-up care for fellow performers." (Los Angeles Times)

Drugmakers pay $400M in Medicare, Medicaid fraud case - "Under a deal reached by federal officials in Boston, Miami and Washington, D.C., Abbott agreed to pay $126.5 million, while B. Braun will pony up $14.7 million and Roxane $280 million. However, none of the firms admitted any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, the latest in a series of similar deals that have netted Uncle Sam $1.8 billion from the pharmaceuticals industry." (Boston Herald)

Orphan Drug Discounts Ended for Children’s Hospitals - "In an unintended consequence of the new health care law, drug companies have begun notifying children’s hospitals around the country that they no longer qualify for large discounts on drugs used to treat rare medical conditions." (The New York Times)

FDA panel backs new weight-loss pill - The Boston Globe "Contrave is a combination of two approved drugs that target different parts of the brain that influence appetite and cravings. The pill contains bupropion, an antidepressant also used to quit smoking, and naltrexone, a treatment for alcohol and painkiller addiction." (Boston Globe)

Cuts In Doctor Fees For Medicare Patients Delayed : NPR A deal to pay for a 12-month fix by adjusting some penalty amounts in the new health law could come to the Senate floor for a vote as early as Wednesday. (

This program aired on December 8, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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