Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 06/03/2019  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  Maine AG Sues Purdue Pharma for Deceptive Opioid Marketing
•  Reported Measles Cases Continue to Rise
•  New HIPAA Guidelines for Business Associates
•  AMA Opioid Task Force Recommendations Offer Roadmap to Policymakers
•  This Week's Public Health Updates from the AMA
•  Governor Mills Announces Opioid Response Summit July 15th
•  MedHelp Maine Seeks Data on Unaffordable Medicines
•  MMA Legislative Call Tuesday, June 4th
•  "Death With Dignity" Bill Passes House and Senate, and Other State House Highlights of the Week
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  Assessing and Managing Non-Suicidal Self-Injury and Suicide Risk in Healthcare Settings - 3 Hour CME Training for Healthcare Professionals at MMA on Friday, June 21, 2019
•  Quality Counts: Rapid Induction Starting in the ED (RISE) Training, Webinars, ECHO Program
•  MICIS 2019 Clinical and Legal Opioid Update - June 5 in Augusta
•  Maine Professionals Health Program 1-day wellness conference June 13, 2019 - Augusta Civic Center
•  2019 Jurisdiction K Listening Tour - June 18 - South Portland
•  The Maine Concussion Management Initiative Will Be Offering Training Programs June 21 and October 29
•  2019 Mary Cushman, MD Award for Exceptional Humanitarian Service as a Medical Volunteer
•  Maine Independent Clinical Information Service 2019 Presentations
•  Family Medicine Specialist or an Internist
•  Physician (BC/BE in Family Medicine)
•  BC/BE Family Medicine or Internal Medicine Physician
•  Family Medicine Opportunity in Beautiful Western Maine
•  PCHC in need of Pediatrician for Brand New Pediatric Center!
•  Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician Bangor, Maine
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
•  Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health


This Week's Public Health Updates from the AMA

Click through for a brief update on recent public health issues, provided by the American Medical Association's electronic publication, Morning Rounds. [This article is updated weekly.]


Olaparib helps patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who carry BRCA gene mutations go longer without disease worsening, research indicates

Reuters (6/2, Steenhuysen) reported that research indicated “Lynparza [olaparib] helped patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who carry BRCA gene mutations go longer without their disease worsening than those who received a placebo.”

CNN (6/2, Howard) reported that the “study involved 154 patients whose pancreatic cancer had not progressed while being previously treated with a platinum-based chemotherapy.” CNN adds, “Between 2015 and this year, those patients were randomly assigned to either receive olaparib as a type of maintenance care or to receive a placebo.” Investigators found, “two years into the study...that 22.1% of the patients in the olaparib group versus 9.6% of patients in the placebo group did not see their disease progress.” The findings were presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting.

Adverse childhood experiences may increase likelihood of sleep problems in adulthood

Reuters (5/31, Rapaport) reported researchers found “children who suffer adverse experiences like abuse and neglect may be more likely to have sleep problems in adulthood.” The findings were published in the journal Sleep.

NYTimes highlights struggles faced by children whose families are addicted to opioids

The New York Times (5/31, A1, Levin) reported that “more than 20 years after the introduction of OxyContin [oxycodone hydrochloride] – and nearly 400,000 opioid overdose deaths later – a generation is growing up amid the throes of a historic epidemic.” The Times continued, “Call them Generation O: the children whose families are trapped in a relentless grip of addiction, rehab and prison.” In a country “where more than 130 people die every day from an opioid is for many students a refuge; a place where they attend classes, but also have access to hot meals, hot showers and donated clean clothes.” The Times highlighted the struggles faced by children whose families are addicted to opioids.

Pembrolizumab lifts survival rate for individuals with lung cancer, data indicate

Reuters (6/1, Steenhuysen) reports that “nearly a quarter of patients who received” Keytruda (pembrolizumab) “as an initial treatment for advanced lung cancer were still alive after five years, according to data presented at” the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting. According to Reuters, “That represents a huge gain over the historical five-year survival rate of just 5 percent for those with the disease prior to the introduction of medicines like Keytruda that spur the immune system to fight cancer.”

Ribociclib can improve survival in certain patients with breast cancer, study indicates

The New York Times (6/1, Grady) reports that ribociclib, “a drug that can slow the progression of advanced breast cancer, has been shown for the first time to lengthen survival in women whose disease started before or during menopause, researchers reported” at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

“Ultra thin” stent offers better results than thicker versions, study suggests

The Minneapolis Star Tribune (6/1, Carlson) reported that “a new generation of stents with very thin components are being implanted in patients and monitored for years in clinical trials to see if they offer better results than slightly thicker versions of the same devices.” Study findings published in JAMA Cardiology “show that, indeed, a European stent made...with ‘ultra thin’ components helped patients avoid do-over procedures to ‘re Biotronik vascularize’ the same vessel better than wider stents did.” Biotronik’s “device had less than half the rate of do-over vascularizations compared to an older Medtronic stent in small vessels, and it also showed better performance on that measure than a premium-priced Boston Scientific stent designed in Minnesota.”

Research links ACA to reduction in racial disparities in care of cancer patients

The Washington Post (6/2, McGinley) reports that “research links the” Affordable Care Act “to a reduction in racial disparities in the care of cancer patients and to earlier diagnoses and treatment of ovarian cancer.” According to investigators “involved in the racial-disparity study, before the ACA went into effect, African Americans with advanced cancer were 4.8 percentage points less likely to start treatment for their disease within 30 days of being given a diagnosis.” Now, however, “black adults in states that expanded Medicaid under the law have almost entirely caught up with white patients in getting timely treatment, researchers said.” Meanwhile, another study indicated “that after implementation of the law, ovarian cancer was diagnosed at earlier stages and that more women began treatment within a month.” The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

AD/HD may be more common in elite athletes, review indicates

Reuters (5/31, Crist) reported that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD) “may be more common in elite athletes,” researchers concluded after conducting a medical literature review. The findings were published online May 16 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.