Time to Let the Sunshine In

By AARP Executive Vice President Debra Whitman, Ph.D. and AARP Director of Health Services Research Leigh Purvis Starting today, AARP members and consumers of all ages will be able to get a better idea of what may be driving their health care provider’s decisions thanks to the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, or Sunshine Act. The Sunshine Act requires drug and medical device manufacturers to publicly report virtually all payments, gifts, and other services provided to health care providers and teaching …

Anti-Cancer Gel May Be Safer Than Pill

For women with an early form of breast cancer, the oral drug tamoxifen can help prevent a recurrence, but the pill also has serious side effects. Could a tamoxifen skin gel, applied directly to the breast, avoid the side effects while still blocking the cancer cells? The answer may be yes, according to a small, but intriguing new study by researchers with Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Both the skin gel and the pill versions of tamoxifen delivered the …

Expensive New Hepatitis C Drug Raises Alarms

This piece originally ran in the Huffington Post and was written by Leigh Purvis and Debra B. Whitman. Hepatitis C is a serious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis C virus. It currently affects more than 3 million Americans, many of whom do not know that they are infected. Left untreated, it can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer. Until recently, hepatitis C treatments only cured about half of patients and often had undesirable …