Articles matching the ‘Policy’ Category

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June 12th, 2016

Progress in Lyme Disease Badly Needed — Could a “Hackathon” Help?

Someone recently asked what keeps me, a specialist in Infectious Diseases, up at night. With the admission that I do all my clinical work here in the USA — a person working in the tropics would undoubtedly have a different list — several challenging patient care and public health issues came to mind. Multidrug-resistant bacteria. Endovascular infections in […]


May 22nd, 2016

Drug Prior Authorizations Are a Very Blunt Tool for Cost Containment — And They’re Annoying

Insurance prior authorizations, or prior approvals (PAs) — those dreaded forms clinicians have to fill out, usually triggered by prescribing a non-formulary drug — are much on my mind these days. And most of it has to do with three letters, specifically “TAF.” As readers of this site probably know, there are now three tenofovir alafenamide (TAF)-based coformulations […]


May 16th, 2016

Lots of College Graduations ID Link-O-Rama

For those of us living and working in Boston, we are most definitely smack dab in the middle of college graduation season — which means traffic is crazy, restaurants are booked, and energetic young adults are everywhere wearing gowns and funny hats. In other words, a good excuse for an ID Link-o-Rama: FDA advises against use of fluoroquinolones for uncomplicated […]


April 24th, 2016

Why Getting Old Isn’t Always So Terrible — and Why People with HIV Can Now Get Life Insurance

Two patient-related anecdotes, then a news item. Anecdote #1: A little email exchange I had with one of my patients recently: Hi Paul, Wondering if you got the refill request for my meds from my mail-order pharmacy — their customer service is lousy, and I can’t tell if it’s been approved. I’d like to get this settled before […]


February 13th, 2016

“Choosing Wisely” in HIV Medicine — Sensible (But Safe) Suggestions

The American Board of Internal Medicine has a noble program called Choosing Wisely®, which is both trademarked (look, I even included the “®”), and pretty darn sensible — it has the goal of “advancing a national dialogue on avoiding wasteful or unnecessary medical tests, treatments and procedures.” If you clicked on the above link, you’ll be […]


February 7th, 2016

Twelve Zika Questions, One ID Doctor’s Answers (Sort Of)

Got a Zika question? Welcome to the club — once again, as with any “new” or “emerging” infection, this is uncharted territory, and there are plenty of answers to these questions that could be summarized with 3 words: We Don’t Know. But never mind that — ever-intrepid ID doctors are most assuredly called upon as experts, even […]


January 27th, 2016

Here’s an Idea: Justify Your Specialty’s (Low) Relative Salary Using Moral Superiority

In an otherwise excellent piece on recruitment to the ID field from the pages of Infectious Diseases News, comes this: But while inadequate compensation [for ID doctors] may hamper recruitment, it also could prove beneficial to some degree … Reduced salaries filter out the less-passionate applicants in favor of those who are more dedicated to their patients and to […]


January 10th, 2016

Medical Marijuana and Painful Neuropathy — An Opportunity to Make Us Believers

Medical marijuana is now officially available in New York, the city with by far the largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the country. Reporting on the first dispensary in Manhattan, the aptly named Julie Weed (yes! her real name!) writes: One of the most promising areas for research is the substitution of medical marijuana for […]


December 19th, 2015

Part 2, Now The Good News: Why ID Will Survive as a Specialty

Part 1 of this post, which highlighted the primary reason for declining applications to ID fellowship programs, could come across as something of a downer. “Moping about it won’t get us anywhere,” someone said to me, and it’s true nobody likes a whiner. But my point was to acknowledge the issue, and find a way forward. It wasn’t […]


December 17th, 2015

A Certain Billionaire’s Arrest Prompts Universal Responses — and a Brilliantly Funny One, Too

Several words swiftly come to mind when hearing the news that Turing’s Martin Shkreli was arrested for security fraud. Karma. Just desserts. Kismet. Schadenfreude. Inevitable. But leave it to Andy Borowitz to get it just right: Ha, that’s perfect. Diana Olson from IDSA emailed me “Someone should make a movie …”, which is of course exactly right. What a script: […]


HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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