Daily Rounds: World IVF Capital; Breast Cancer Perfume; New Diabetes Drug; Fallon's Linebacker Chief

Israel Is Leading the World in In Vitro Fertilization - "Israel is the world capital of in vitro fertilization and [Assuta Hospital in Tel Aviv], which performs about 7,000 of the procedures each year, is one of the busiest fertilization clinics in the world. Unlike countries where couples can go broke trying to conceive with the assistance of costly medical technology, Israel provides free, unlimited IVF procedures for up to two “take-home babies” until a woman is 45. The policy has made Israelis the highest per capita users of the procedure in the world." (

Komen's pink ribbons raise green, and questions - "Some breast cancer survivors said they were surprised to see Brinker recently on the Home Shopping Network selling perfume. The new fragrance, called Promise Me, comes in a rose-colored bottle with Komen's trademarked pink ribbon, and its manufacturer has pledged to donate at least $1 million to the charity. The perfume is the latest in a long line of products bearing Komen's pink ribbon, from kitchen mixers to gardening gloves, that have helped the group raise $1.9 billion for breast cancer causes. And though some of Komen's marketing partners have become the butt of jokes (KFC's pink "Buckets for the Cure" was even satirized on The Colbert Report last year), none of these pink-ribboned products has angered as many breast cancer survivors as the new fragrance." (

Diabetes Drug Faces Review Before F.D.A. Advisory Panel - "New diabetes drugs are being developed that reduce blood sugar in a straightforward way — by causing it to be excreted in the urine. On Tuesday, a committee that advises the Food and Drug Administration is to consider whether the first of those drugs can overcome safety concerns and reach the market. The outcome of the F.D.A. review is far from certain. The drug, dapagliflozin, might raise the risk of breast and bladder cancer, liver damage and infections of the genitals and urinary tract, according to an F.D.A. examination of the data posted on the agency’s Web site on Friday." (

Fallon chief tackles tough market - "Pat Hughes, 64, joined Fallon Community Health Plan as senior vice president in 2007 and was named to the top job at the Worcester-based health insurer in February 2010. Since then, he has worked to expand nonprofit Fallon’s business at a time of increased state regulatory oversight and sweeping changes in health care. In an earlier career, Hughes played 10 years as a linebacker in the National Football League. He spoke with Globe reporter Robert Weisman on a sweltering day last week. 'How tough is it to run a health insurer in the current environment?' 'How tough would it be to be a snowball on pavement outside today? It’s difficult. But I think there are opportunities if you push an agenda of change. Change is inevitable, and we need to be a part of it as opposed to a victim of it. '"(

Healthy Skeptic: Dolphin therapy for mental and physical illness - Health Key "According to Marino, the appeal of dolphin therapy is based more on mystical beliefs than on any real results. "Dolphins are the ultimate New Age animals," she says. But dolphins don't feel any spiritual imperative to heal humans, as far as anyone knows. Marino adds that the ultrasound that dolphins use to navigate is far too weak to have any medical effect. 'People say that swimming with dolphins is fun, but it's entertainment, not therapy,' she says." (

This program aired on July 18, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


More from WBUR

Listen Live