ACCME reverses rule that would have prevented industry employees from speaking at scientific sessions

The ACCME has reversed its earlier controversial ruling and will now permit the AHA to allow industry employees to speak at the AHA’s annual scientific sessions. According to a statement issued by the AHA (see below) the ACCME has “agreed that AHA’s extensive internal controls assure independence, and are appropriate for CME accreditation for a…

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CardioBriefs: EAS to recommend niacin and Lp(a) screening; lowering homocysteine fails again

European Atherosclerosis Society Will Recommend Lp(a) Screening and Niacin: In a consensus statement not yet published, the EAS will recommend that patients at high to moderate risk of cardiovascular disease should be screened for elevated Lp(a) levels. Details of the statement were presented at the EAS Congress in Hamburg, Germany, and reported on TheHeart.Org by…

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CardioBriefs: Aggrenox study fails, Livalo launched, NY Times spotlights ICDs with benefits

Aggrenox Fails to Beat Aspirin in Japanese Study: Aggrenox, the combination of extended-release dipyridamole and aspirin, is indicated for the reduction of subsequent stroke in patients who have had a TIA or ischemic stroke. But results from JASAP (Japanese Aggrenox Stroke Prevention vs. Aspirin Programme), which compared Aggrenox to aspirin in 1294 patients, found that…

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Cardiologist accused of prescribing unnecessary ICDs because his son was a St Jude salesman

A Tarzana California cardiologist, Michael Burnam, has been accused of prescribing  medically unnecessary ICDs made by St Jude because his son was a salesman for the company. The arrangement came to light after one patient nearly died during the implant procedure. The story was originally reported by Lance Williams on the California Watch Blog. A former…

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What do cardiologists think about the unread echocardiograms at Harlem Hospital?

A few days ago the New York Times reported that Harlem Hospital Center had finally completed its investigation into thousands of echocardiograms that after receiving an initial reading by a technician had never been read by a physician. It turns out that out of 7,000 tests that went unread, only 14 patients “might have been…

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German committee recommends against reimbursement for Avandia and Actos

An influential Germany group has recommended that health insurers stop paying for Avandia (rosiglitazone, GlaxoSmithKline) and Actos (pioglitazone, Takeda). The recommendation was made by Germany’s Federal Joint Committee of doctors and health insurers. A Reuters news story quoted the committee chairman, Rainer Hess:  there are other pharmaceuticals that have no such side effects and long-term risks….

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INTERSTROKE: accounting for Stroke

10 risk factors appear to account for 90% of the risk of stroke, according to INTERSTROKE, a large study presented at the World Congress of Cardiology in Beijing and published online in the Lancet. …

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New delays for taspoglutide; renewed cancer concerns for insulin glargine

Two diabetes drugs are under new fire today. The development of taspoglutide, which had been the subject of a series of promising press releases from its manufacturer, Roche, will now be delayed for at least 12-18 months. In a press release (see below), Roche said it had found a higher than expected rate of hypersensitivity…

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Trial of PFO closure fails to meet primary endpoint

NMT Medical today announced that the CLOSURE 1 trial had failed to meet its primary endpoint. The trial was designed to test the efficacy of PFO closure with the STARFlex device in preventing recurrent strokes and TIAs. The primary endpoint of the trial, which was designed to compare PFO closure to medical therapy in 900…

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ESC Posts Hot Line Trials for 2010 Congress in Stockholm

The ESC has posted the Hot Line presentations for the ESC Congress 2010 in Stockholm. Click here if you want to search the program….

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CardioBriefs: New Generation Stent Tested; BMS Versus DES for STEMI

The following news briefs are republished with permission from CardioExchange, a new website for cardiovascular healthcare professionals from the New England Journal of Medicine. CardioBrief readers who are healthcare professionals are invited to join the site. New Generation Stent Tested: In the Resolute All Comers Trial, Patrick Serruys and colleagues randomized 2292 PCI patients to either…

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Industry employees no longer allowed to speak at AHA scientific sessions

Update: The AHA issued a statement in response to news reports about the new guidelines. The statement is reprinted at the bottom of this story. The ACCME has ruled that the AHA and other scientific societies can no longer allow industry employees to speak at CME-accredited events, including large meetings like the AHA’s annual scientific…

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HDL and Cancer: Study Finds Strong Inverse Relationship

Jaffri and colleagues found a significant inverse association between HDL and the risk of cancer in a meta-analysis of 24 trials that included more than 600,000 person-years of follow-up and 8,125 cancer cases. In their paper in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, they report a dose response relationship in which each 10 mg/dl increase in HDL was associated with a 36% lower rate of cancer. The association remained significant after adjustment for other baseline factors, including LDL, age, BMI, diabetes, sex, and smoking status….

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Meta-analysis finds increased risk of cancer associated with ARBs

(Editor’s note: The Lancet Oncology paper and accompanying comment discussed in this post were were embargoed until 6:30 PM ET on Sunday, June 13. However, the embargo appears to have been broken early in a press release from Boehringer Ingelheim and a news article by Reuters. –Sunday, June 13, 3:15 PM) A meta-analysis appearing in…

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FDA reviewing safety of olmesartan (Benicar)

The FDA announced today that it was conducting an ongoing safety review of olmesartan after data from the ROADMAP and ORIENT clinical trials turned up the unexpected finding of a higher rate of cardiovascular deaths in patients taking olmesartan compared to placebo. The FDA said that it has “not concluded that Benicar increases the risk…

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Chicago cardiologist Morton Arnsdorf dies in car crash

Morton Arnsdorf, a cardiologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center and a co-editor of UptoDate in Cardiology, died on Wednesday in a car crash. His car was struck from behind by another car driven by a 17-year-old man, according to a news report in the Post-Tribune. Police said that alcohol was “a contributing factor…

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Trial comparing apixaban to aspirin in AF stopped for efficacy

The phase 3 AVERROES trial comparing apixaban to aspirin in 5,600 AF patients unable to take warfarin has been stopped early by the Data Monitoring Committee after a predefined interim analysis found a significant reduction in stroke and systemic embolism in favor of apixaban. Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer, which are jointly developing the drug, issued a…

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New unpublished study may help tighten the noose around Avandia’s neck

A new unpublished study utilizing data from 227,571 Medicare patients is raising new questions about rosiglitazone (Avandia), which will be the subject of an extraordinary 2-day FDA advisory panel meeting in July. The study found that among elderly people taking a thiazolidinedione (TZD), the risk of stroke, heart failure, and death, as well as of composite…

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Cardiobriefs: MIs Decline Over Past Decade, Smoke-Free Legislation Reduces MI Admissions in England

The following news briefs are republished with permission from CardioExchange, a new website for cardiovascular healthcare professionals from the New England Journal of Medicine. CardioBrief readers who are healthcare professionals are invited to register at the site. Decline in MIs Observed Over Past Decade: Yeh and colleagues reviewed data from 46,000 hospitalizations for MI among…

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Atrial fibrillation: a big messy problem

Atrial fibrillation is a big messy problem. It’s a complex disease that’s poorly understood, and as the population ages the problem will only grow larger. Although there are a variety of competing therapies to treat AF, none is completely safe and effective, and many  are quite expensive. Today’s Kaiser Health News contains a very nice…

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Investigators in Maryland expand investigation of unnecessary stenting

The investigation of interventional cardiologist Mark Midei has now turned up similar suspicious practices by other Maryland physicians, the Baltimore Sun reports. “Several cardiologists in the state have performed a suspiciously high number of the same invasive cardiac stent procedures that Dr. Mark G. Midei is accused of over-performing at St. Joseph Medical Center,” writes…

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FDA schedules Avandia advisory panel for July 13-14

The FDA has definitely scheduled the much-anticipated Avandia (rosiglitazone) advisory panel for July 13-14 in Gaithersburg, MD. The notification appears in the Federal Register. [Update: click here for the meeting announcement on the FDA website.] As previously speculated in the In Vivo blog, the FDA will also present a meta-analysis of trials of pioglitazone before the…

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Up the Avandia creek without a paddle: CANOE

It’s hurricane season. By that I mean of course that the storm of controversy over Avandia will continue at least until the July FDA advisory panel and the subsequent final (?) decision by the FDA on the drug’s ultimate fate. Now, into the middle of this storm, comes CANOE, which lacks both a paddle and…

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Listening to industry: what’s the ROI of medical education?

In the ongoing debate over industry influence in medicine, who should you believe, the critics or the defenders of industry? The answer is easy: the industry defenders. Just listen to what the defenders say when they’re talking among themselves. For example, listen to Bill Cooney, President & CEO of Medpoint Communications, which is, in its…

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FDA schedules July advisory panel for Brilinta (ticagrelor)

The FDA has announced a July 28 Cardiovascular and Renal Drugs Advisory Committee meeting to review the NDA for ticagrelor (Brilinta, AstraZeneca). The proposed indication is “for use in acute coronary syndrome (including heart attacks and any of a group of signs and symptoms, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, that are consistent…

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