HPM Faculty News

Donohue paper reviews pros and cons of marketing pharmaceuticals directly to consumers

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HPM’s Julie Donohue weighs in on how marketing pharmaceuticals directly to consumers isn’t new.  In the paper “A History of Drug Advertising”, Donohue outlines the case for and against these advertisements. Proponents tout patient and consumer rights to make informed decisions, while bioethicists and historians believe pharmaceutical companies are “disingenuously using the language of individual rights to support commercial activities.”  

Drake: there appears to be a major loophole in background checks for private, online gun sales

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STAR TRIBUNE - Fewer than 10% of sellers appear to require a background check. “We tried to search each listing for evidence suggesting the seller would need a background check," said HPM's Coleman Drake. "The results indicate that this is a potentially large loophole on private sales. The policy implication for lawmakers is that if the government wants meaningful regulation of firearms sales, the online market needs to be included.”  

Health savings accounts linked to care access in cancer survivors; Sabik looks to understanding impacts for specific populations

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CANCERNETWORK - “This was an important study because of the increasing role of high-deductible health plans in our insurance system,” said HPM's Lindsay Sabik. “As [high-deductible health plans] become more widespread, understanding their impacts for different patient populations will be important.”  

Gellad comments: Four health care questions every 2020 Democratic candidate should answer

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VOX - If overhauling the U.S. health care system isn’t on the table in January 2021, drug prices, the opioid crisis, hospital spending, and long-term care are all deeply important problems that a Democratic president will need to turn their attention to if he or she wins. “If [Medicare-for-all] is a no-go in Congress, then what changes would they make to the current system?” said HPM's Walid Gellad.   

Jarlenski shows women aren't talking to health care professionals about using weed during pregnancy

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UNDARK - Research by HPM's Marian Jarlenski has shown women’s perception of cannabis as risky is dropping. A study published in June in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that between 2002 to 2003 and 2016 to 2017, self-reported use of cannabis in pregnancy doubled overall in the U.S., from 3.4 percent to 7 percent.  

Kahn finds hospital choice could affect pediatric mortality during emergencies

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HEALIO - A child’s chance of survival in an emergency may depend on the hospital where they receive care. Researchers assessed the pediatric readiness of EDs in five states and found that hospitals with the highest scores had lower mortality rates. “For some time, we’ve known that hospitals vary widely with respect to their readiness to care for pediatric emergencies,” said HPM's Jeremy Kahn. “What’s new about our study is that for the first tim... 

Jarlenski points to power of prevention after study finds 2% of women have ‘persistent’ opioid use after childbirth

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STAT NEWS - “This study shows that there continues to be a chance to really intervene on the prevention side,” said HPM's Marian Jarlenski. The decision to write an initial prescription is a low-hanging-fruit point of intervention, she said.  

As Its Drug Pricing Plans Fall Through, Trump Administration Turns To Congress To Act

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NPR - "This is a huge potential change, transformative," said HPM's Walid Gellad, director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at Pitt.   

Gellad receives PECASE Presidential Award

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Congratulations to HPM's Walid Gellad, who was recently named a winner of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers — the highest honor awarded by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology. Gellad was nominated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, who he previously worked w... 

Rural Pennsylvanians Have Nearby Access to Opioid Treatment, but Still Travel Far to Receive it

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INSIDE UPMC - Rural Pennsylvania Medicaid enrollees diagnosed with opioid use disorder are driving an average of four times as far as their nearest prescriber to receive medication-assisted treatment, according to an analysis led by HPM's Evan Cole. The study, published in the  Journal of General Internal Medicine , also found that the farther people have to travel, the less likely they are to adhere to medication-assisted treatment to relieve o... 

Inequity Remains Pittsburgh's Biggest Health Risk, Hacker Says

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THE CONFLUENCE (WESA) -- Outgoing director of the Allegheny County Health Department, adjunct professor in HPM and BCHS, and Pitt Public Health board of visitors member, Dr. Karen Hacker discusses the population health issues of this region as well as her plans to head the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.  

Kahn finds regulations that mandate sepsis care appear to have worked in New York

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NPR - A New York regulation that dictates how doctors treat sepsis appears to be paying off, according to a study in JAMA. Amidst concerns about an unorthodox requirement of a specific set of practices that a doctor might otherwise deviate from based on the patient, HPM's Jeremy Kahn found that the rules reduced mortality, an important finding as other states consider and even the nation considers additional regulation.   

Braund says public health research and practice should coexist in ASHTO blog post

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ASTHOEXPERTS BLOG - HPM's Wendy Braund, director of the Center for Public Health Practice, wrote a blog for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials that says that both practice-based research and implementation science are vital but that neither receives adequate effort and gives us ideas to address this challenge.   

Drake analyzes unintended consequences of pulling health policy levers

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UPMC - A move by the White House in 2017 - decried by many as an attempt to undercut the ACA - improved the affordability of health insurance for Marketplace enrollees. "...In terms of affordability, monopoly insurance markets are resulting in low- to no-cost premiums for Marketplace enrollees. On the other hand, this is a really inefficient way to spend federal tax dollars to create affordable health insurance," said HPM's Coleman Drake.   

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