2014 Issues

VA Slammed for Slow Action Against Officials Behind Wait-Time Scandal

VA Slammed for Slow Action Against Officials Behind Wait-Time Scandal

Legislators: Only Four Senior Executives Removed by Mid-November

VA Launches Largest Overhaul Ever as McDonald Pushes Reforms

VA Launches Largest Overhaul Ever as McDonald Pushes Reforms

WASHINGTON – New VA Secretary Robert McDonald continues to methodically tackle the issues that have caused a breakdown in efficient veteran care over the last few years, now pushing the agency to undertake the largest reorganization since its founding.

VA’s IT Security Controls Cited for 15th Year in a Row

VA’s IT Security Controls Cited for 15th Year in a Row

Controversial Scheduling System Will Be Replaced in 2015

Study Offers New Statistics on How Many OEF/OIF Veterans Have PTSD

Condition Not Just Related to Deployment By Brenda L. Mooney WASHINGTON – While many studies have reported the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans, most of the past research has… Read More

Danger of Pneumonia Increases with Veterans’ Worsened Health Status

Danger of Pneumonia Increases with Veterans’ Worsened Health Status

Higher Pneumonia Vaccine Rates Urged By Brenda L. Mooney PROVIDENCE, RI – With influenza season each year comes an even greater challenge for VA hospitals — a spate of pneumonia cases in older veterans. Recent research suggests the problem will… Read More

Partnerships, Drive-Throughs Seek to Increase Veterans’ Flu Immunization

Partnerships, Drive-Throughs Seek to Increase Veterans’ Flu Immunization

Free Shots Available at Walgreen’s Locations By Annette M. Boyle SAN FRANCISCO – The VA typically has influenza vaccination rates well above the national average but is trying some innovative measures to do even better. As part of the effort to increase immunizations,… Read More

FDA Approves New Abuse-Deterrent Opioid Analgesic

STAMFORD, CT – A new abuse-deterrent opioid analgesic has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Hysingla ER (hydrocodone bitartrate) is an extended-release (ER) opioid analgesic to treat pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and… Read More

FDA Plans Review of Study on Death Risk with Dual Blood Thinners

WASHINGTON – A clinical trial showing that treatment for 30 months with dual antiplatelet blood-thinning therapy decreased the risk of heart attacks and clot formation in stents, but there was an increased overall risk of death compared to 12 months… Read More

Non-Invasive Technique to Evaluate Arterial Blood Flow Gets OK

REDWOOD CITY, CA – New software has been approved for marketing by the Food and Drug Administration  and is designed to help healthcare professionals evaluate patients showing signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease.  The product, HeartFlow FFR-CT software, permits… Read More

Newly Approved Meningococcal Vaccine Offers More Coverage

PHILADELPHIA – The first vaccine licensed in the United States to prevent invasive meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B in individuals 10 through 25 years of age has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Vaccination is… Read More

New Treatments Offer More Options, Fewer Side Effects for HIV-Infected Veterans

New Treatments Offer More Options, Fewer Side Effects for HIV-Infected Veterans

Clinicians Find Advances ‘Mind-Boggling’ By Annette M. Boyle ATLANTA – Therapeutic options for patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continue to expand, enabling more veterans to begin treatment with fewer adverse side effects and far less complicated regimens than even… Read More

Despite High Costs, VA Makes Sure Veterans Have Access to Newest HCV Drugs

Despite High Costs, VA Makes Sure Veterans Have Access to Newest HCV Drugs

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON – While commercial insurers responded to the approval of the breakthrough drug sofosbuvir for hepatitis C (HCV) by implementing prescribing restrictions, limiting use to the sickest patients and charging higher co-pays because of the drug’s… Read More

Allopurinol Reduces Death Rate in Gout Patients

BOSTON – Despite fears of a rare but potentially fatal adverse reaction with use of allopurinol, the drug modestly reduces risk of death in patients with hyperuricemia and gout, according to a recent study. The article, published recently in The… Read More

Canakinumab Is Option for Patients Intolerant of Other Therapy

SAN DIEGO – Treating gouty arthritis is problematic in patients who have contraindications for, or are unresponsive or intolerant of, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or colchicine. A new study has found, however, that canakinumab (CAN), a selective, fully human, anti-IL-1β… Read More

High Serum Uric Acid Associated with AF

High Serum Uric Acid Associated with AF MIAMI – What is the relationship between atrial fibrillation (AF) and high serum uric acid (SUA)? Noting that AF is related to oxidative stress, neurohormonal activation and inflammatory activation and that SUA is… Read More

Midterm Elections, Planned Retirements Prompt Key Committee Changes

Midterm Elections, Planned Retirements Prompt Key Committee Changes

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – The November midterm election results that strengthened Republican control of Congress, coupled with planned retirements, will mean significant changes for key committees working on military and VA issues when Congress returns in January. Among those… Read More

DoD Fights Multiple Front War Against Ebola Virus Disease

DoD Fights Multiple Front War Against Ebola Virus Disease

WASHINGTON – U.S military personnel are battling Ebola virus disease, the dreaded hemorrhagic fever, on two fronts

Agent Orange-Related Non-Melanotic Skin Cancer Still Affects Veterans

HOUSTON – Decades later, exposure to Agent Orange puts Vietnam War veterans at high risk for certain types of skin cancer. That’s according to a report published earlier this year in Find Your Surgeon Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official… Read More

Consensus Report Touts Lasers for Scar Treatment

BOSTON – Patients with disfiguring and debilitating scars suffer poor cosmetic outcomes, restricted motion, pain and itching, despite traditional therapy such as expert wound care. A consensus report published earlier this year in JAMA Dermatology discusses a breakthrough within the… Read More

Skin Cancer Risk High During Deployment

NASHVILLE – Military personnel deployed abroad in climates such as Afghanistan and Iraq have increased risk factors for skin cancer, according to a new study. The increased risk is especially present when servicemembers serve in tropical and sunny climates, according… Read More