Zulfiqar Rana, MD, MPH, FACP

Board Certified in Internal Medicine

Category Archives: Bioethics

Taking A Page From Pharma’s Playbook To Fight The Opioid Crisis

Freedom’s Just Another Word for Restriction?

What tools does a university administration have at its disposal to shut up critics on its own faculty? The University of Minnesota wants to know.

The university’s administration is exploring this question because its own Carl Elliott won’t shut up about the Markingson case. Elliott, a professor in the Center for Bioethics, just keeps talking about what went wrong at his medical school in a 2003 industry-sponsored drug trial in which research subject Dan Markingson killed himself. Since publication of a muckraking article on the subject in Mother Jones, Elliott has criticized the FDA’s response to the case and led a group of faculty in asking the University Trustees to look into the case.

Like many others who continue to follow this story, Elliott is drawn to this case by issues of justice both local and global. Locally, he seeks accountability for what happened to Dan Markingson and to his mother, who tried repeatedly before Dan’s gruesome suicide to convince involved clinicians that study participation went against Dan’s best interests…


Access To Docs’ Prescribing Data

In this case, the state of Vermont opposes drug companies and data-mining firms. Vermont’s law bans the sale of prescribing information unless physicians “opt in” and make their records available. Meanwhile, Politico Pro reports that the AMA, which has not taken an official position in the case, has a lot at stake in how the it turns out.4jpF81JRm0w


The Pill Mills

The federal government on Tuesday announced its first-ever comprehensive strategy to combat the abuse of oxycodone and other opioids, aiming to cut misuse by 15 percent in five years. That goal may sound modest, but it would represent a dramatic turnaround: Emergency room visits from prescription drug overdoses doubled from 2004 to 2009, when they topped 1.2 million, according to federal health officials…

US aims at its deadliest drug problem: painkillers

Doctors and Self Referral

There is a major ethical divide between a doctor referring a patient for further treatment or tests to a practice in which he has no financial interest and one where he may be not only on staff but also a major investor…

Here is the link: http://fluentnews.com/s/26540569

A Team Approach to Patient Care Falters

A Team Approach to Patient Care Falters

A new study reveals a series of challenges raised by trying to convert traditional practices into patient-center medical homes.


Why ER Doctors Test for Drugs

Anybody who has worked in the ER knows about this only too well!
Prescription drug problem among general population is becoming more and more concerning.
‘Why ER Doctors Test for Drugs Without Patient Consent’. Here is the link: http://fluentnews.com/s/26473760

Prepare for a ‘good’ death

‘Prepare for a ‘good death’ with an advance directive and effective surrogates’ on Fluent News. Here is the link: http://fluentnews.com/s/26461328

NYTimes: Screening: Doctors’ Group Urges Fewer Scans for Lower Back Pain

From The New York Times:

VITAL SIGNS: Screening: Doctors’ Group Urges Fewer Scans for Lower Back Pain

The American College of Physicians says routinely ordering X-rays and CT or M.R.I. scans drives up health care costs and doesn’t help resolve the problem.


Better Drug Ads, Fewer Side Effects

From The New York Times:

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR: Better Drug Ads, Fewer Side Effects

Congress should pass legislation to let drug companies develop joint ad campaigns that are specific to certain ailments but not to any particular drug.