HPM Faculty News

Deep Sedation and Controlled Paralysis Do Not Improve Survival of Critically Ill Patients with Severe Breathing Difficulty

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Reversibly paralyzing and heavily sedating hospitalized patients with severe breathing problems do not improve outcomes in most cases, according to an NIH-funded clinical trial conducted at dozens of North American hospitals and led by clinician-scientists at Pitt -- including Derek Angus (BCHS '92), chair of critical care medicine and distinguished professor of health policy and management -- and the University of Colorado.   

Roberts talks to the LA Times about the measles outbreak

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LA TIMES - Los Angeles County officials dealing with a measles outbreak say they expect that more people will be diagnosed with the illness in the coming weeks, while the nation stares down what will like be its worst measles year in decades. As they search for outbreak's start, HPM and PHDL's Mark Roberts reminds us, "What matters is not the case that started it, what matters is how many people that one case infects."   

Angus’ Early Sepsis Indicator Receives 510(k) Clearance from FDA

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MANAGED CARE - Pitt Med's Derek Angus (BCHS '92) contributed to a first-of-its-kind, hematology-based cellular biomarker that is designed to help emergency department physicians identify patients with sepsis or who are at increased risk of developing sepsis. Compared to the traditional method of reviewing white blood cell count alone, the Early Sepsis Indicator strengthens a clinician’s suspicion of sepsis by 43 percent.  

New measles outbreak simulator demonstrates the importance of vaccines

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WGCU NEWS - With measles outbreaks on the rise and vaccination rates falling in some places, HPM and PHDL's Mark Roberts discusses our latest simluator, FRED Measles Florida shows how quickly this preventable disease could spread if vaccination rates were to drop by 15%, highlighting the importance of herd immunity.   

Gellad talks about rising cost of prescription drugs

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MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO - Americans spend more on prescription drugs than anyone else in the world, a fact attributed to the ever rising costs of pharmaceuticals. HPM's Walid Gellad, director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing, discusses a recent Congressional hearing, in which pharmaceutical executives claim that their hands are tied by the current health care system, and that they need profits to fund new research.  

Gellad on Memorial Sloan Kettering curbing executives' ties to industry after COI scandals

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NEW YORK TIMES - HPM's Walid Gellad, director of Pitt's Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing, calls the policy changes a "watershed moment" and went on to say, "This is highly significant, especially at such a high-profile academic center. Leadership matters, and the institution has decided that their leaders should not also be concurrently leading for-profit health companies."   

Braund on why Allegheny County physicians need to embrace harm reduction

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ALLEGHENY COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY BULLETIN - In a perspective piece, HPM's Wendy Braund writes "Something has to change, because what we’re currently doing to stop the opioid epidemic clearly isn’t enough. It’s time for physicians in Allegheny County to embrace harm reduction." She mentions Naloxone, syringe service programs, opioid substitution therapies, and safe injection facilities as options to help end the opioid epidemic.   

Gellad on Pfizer's plans to raise drug prices in 2019

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THE FISCAL TIMES - When drug giant Pfizer announced in July that it would roll back price hikes on its drugs, it made clear that the change was temporary. The company said Friday it is planning to raise the list prices on 41 of its drugs effective January 15. “The drug price pledges made earlier this year were just for show—it was obvious at the time, and it's obvious now,” said HPM's Walid Gellad, director of Pitt's Center for Pharmaceutical Po... 

Roberts comments on 'skinny plan' health insurance offered on the ACA individual market

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WESA FM - For the first time since 2013, taxpayers won’t be penalized for not having health insurance. Some people might decide ACA-compliant coverage isn't something they need and instead might select a lower-cost “skinny plan.” HPM's Eric Roberts said it’s important to read the fine print before choosing this type of insurance.  

Angus shares the latest on efforts to increase communication in the ICU (AUDIO)

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JAMA NETWORK - What if the patient you are managing in the ICU is not asleep when you thought they were? In this podcast, Derek Angus (BCHS '92), chair of critical care medicine and HPM faculty, shares the latest research on the impact the ICU has on patients and best evidence-guided practices to help clinicians keep the patient at the center of care. "In the ICU there's a whole set of issues that get in the way of good communication."  

Gellad editorial on Trump's proposal for Medicare Part B

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STAT - "President Trump’s timely speech about high drug prices addressed key problems that make drugs unaffordable for so many Americans, and for taxpayers in general. Although the effort put into addressing drug pricing by the Trump administration is impressive, the solutions proposed face insurmountable challenges. I worry that the plan will meet the same fate as prior proposals to change how we pay for drugs in Medicare Part B."  

Batra Hershey contributes to Biodefense Report

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In a biodefense emergency - such as a terrorist attack using aerosolized plague - what are the needs of our country's 573 Tribal Nations? HPM"s TINA BATRA HERSHEY, assistant director for Law and Policy in the Center for Public Health Practice, recently contributed to a national report concluding that Tribal Nations need the opportunity to receive federal support in public health emergency preparedness planning.  

FRED takes 1st place of the Kuzneski Innovation Cup

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Congratulations to the winners of the Kuzneski Innovation Cup, HPM and PHDL's MARK ROBERTS and JOHN GREFENSTETTE, JOHN CORDIER (HPM '18), and DEAN DONALD S. BURKE! 1st place went to FRED (a Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics), a software platform that simulates the spread of disease, mitigation strategies, & policy implications.The Kuzneski Innovation Cup is for Pitt students who are developing innovations that can positively ... 

Pitt wins federal grant to use big data and AI to help solve opioid epidemic

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PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES - Pitt Public Health has won a $1.2 million grant from the CDC to bring to bear its computer and algorithmic firepower on the nation's opioid epidemic. The two-year grant builds upon Pitt's modeling system called A Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics (FRED). "Our hope is it's the tool we can train to help" with the drug epidemic, said DEAN DONALD S. BURKE.  

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