In this new weekly series, EPM will curate a must-read list of medical links from around the web, along with the comments and analysis of our executive editorial team.
Haste trumps safe in Dabigatran scandal
Original article: ABC: Report Raises Safety Questions on Popular Blood Thinner
What we knew from the published data Boehringer wanted us to see was that one-size-fits-all dosing without the need for routine coagulation testing was about as safe as coumadin. What we’re learning now is that Pradaxa could be much safer, if they'd taken into account patients’ variable responsiveness and used routine blood testing. Boehringer decided selling a convenient drug was more profitable than selling a safe drug.
Tracking patient harm: great in theory, thorny in practice
Original article: Pacific Standard: We Need to Start Tracking Patient Harm and Medical Mistakes Now
Lots to love about protecting patients and collecting data about QI projects. And the article name-checks leaders in the field, like Provonost and Jha. And the idea of a National Patient Safety Board, modeled along the lines of NTSB, has appeal and is gaining traction in EHR circles. But there’s still overwhelming legal, financial and marketing reasons to cover up patient errors and bad outcomes. Until those disincentives to disclose are removed, until the culture changes, I can’t see much meaningful progress in this realm.G
Google's Ideal Human? Nope, nothing sinister about that
Original article: Time: Google Seeks Human Guinea Pigs for Health Project
Google's “Baseline Study” project certainly got a lot of attention this week. But the motivation is disturbing - it’s not enough that we can have disease, and the we can test for ’silent killers’ like big cholesterol - these folks have explicitly stated that they want to find predictors for things like high cholesterol. Feels like they’re setting this up to uncover folks who look healthy, feel healthy, and may only have a risk of developing a risk factor. And trusting Google with my privacy is increasingly dubious - their business model is to sell sell ads and share user information with third parties.
—Nicholas Genes, MD, PhD