October 31, 2017
Overheard at GMM HQ
"I've been perfecting my role as the center-of-attention for decades, so this feels like the next logical step." – Ronda Fallon, on the shift to a patient-centric model of healthcare.
WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS BUZZING ABOUT
THIS IS YOUR BRAIN. THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON FOOTBALL.
As the conversation surrounding the prevalence and severity of head injuries in football mounts, researchers at Boston University have determined how to detect chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in living patients—a significant breakthrough in understanding a disease that has so far only been detectable postmortem.
THAT'S GONNA LEAVE A MARK
Not only did researchers discover elevated levels of biomarker CCL11 in patients with CTE when compared to controlled groups, they also observed a positive correlation between the degree of elevated CCL11 levels and the number of football seasons played. The award for most games played just got real confusing.
It's not known yet whether the detection of elevated CCL11 levels is an early or late finding in the CTE disease process, but the discovery represents a breakthrough in the ability to diagnose CTE in living patients—a necessary finding for developing treatment options.
NOT YOUR MAMA'S VENDING MACHINE
The latest trend hitting college campuses? Vending machines that dispense Plan B, the emergency contraceptive that delays the release of an ovum, potentially preventing pregnancy when taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex. Pairs well with Snickers and Diet Coke.
SERIOUSLY? VENDING MACHINES?
Yup. Although Plan B is supposed to be available over the counter without a minimum age requirement, many pharmacies don't follow these guidelines or, in the case of on-campus health centers, are closed on weekends when demand is highest. At around $25 a pop for Plan B, vending machines increase access and convenience. Millennials have a thing for convenience, you know.
Stanford is the latest university to install a wellness-oriented vending machine, following the University of California at Santa Barbara and Davis, as well as Pomona College and Shippensburg University. College kids have it so easy these days, amiright?
RISKS INCLUDE DRY MOUTH AND NOT GIVING A F$@K
A recent report published in Nature Human Behavior explores the response by consumers to the laundry list of possible side effects included in DTC pharmaceutical ads. The report found that the comprehensive and seemingly endless lists "diluted consumers' judgments of the overall severity of the drug's side effects."
EPIC FAIL ALERT
While the FDA mandates the inclusion of all possible side effects in DTC drug ads, ostensibly to properly educate and caution patients, the report authors argue that the "argument dilution effect"—in which information of little consequence dilutes the value and importance of information about more serious consequences—actually has a near opposite effect, making the risks seem altogether inconsequential. Oops.
This study found that patients responded with a higher understanding of actual risks when the more severe possible effects were presented more prominently with lesser side effects like dry mouth. This just in: People will usually take the risk of anal leakage or suicidal thoughts more seriously than the risk of a hangnail. It's science.
GOOD TO KNOW
There's a skullcap vs. bouffant debate raging in OR's across the country and IT. IS. UGLY.