Study: One in five defibrillators implanted outside medical guidelines. A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association that reviewed 111,707 defibrillator implants showed that 22.5 percent of patients did not need or fell short of medical guidelines required to receive $25,000 devices, reports The New York Times. The study doesn’t discern why doctors weren’t sticking to guidelines. Study author Al-Khatib suggested that doctors’ lack of awareness and knowledge were the culprits and indicated manufacturers didn’t play a role, according to The Wall Street Journal.
New findings could treat hair loss. Scientists found a trend in male pattern baldness that could lead to a new way to treat hair-loss. The discovery could mean a lot for Boston-based startup Follica Inc., which is focused on hair-loss treatments and whose co-founder was one of the scientists behind the new research, according to Xconomy Boston.
MGH/JNJ cancer chip collaboration about business, not science. The announcement from Mass. General Hospital that Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is funding its program to develop a single cancer cell-detecting microchip was not about innovation, as the technology is not all that new. The hospital’s news was about a business deal, writes Leonard Lichtenfeld in his American Cancer Society blog. The announcement does, however, suggest that pharma is willing to bet that it can make this test work well enough to market it, according to Nature‘s Boston blog.
Strategy behind Sharfstein. InVivo blog on FDA Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein’s departure: “Sharfstein’s departure means first and foremost as a change in positioning for FDA facing the incoming Republican majority in the House.”
Medical Marketing and Media: “Former FDA associate commissioner Peter Pitts said the resignation of Sharfstein, whom Republicans view as an overzealous regulator hostile to industry, will make life easier for FDA ahead of contentious PDUFA reauthorization hearings.”
NPR: Sharfstein’s departure will make things like winning funding for the newly signed food safety bill that much harder.
510(k) scrutiny. New Senators have written about proposed 510(k) changes that ’have the potential to disrupt the current regulatory balance under the 510(k) pathway, jeopardizing patients’ timely access to new treatments and cures.’
Physician burnout. One survey found physicians, and particularly residents, were at a higher risk of burnout than nurses and other staff. Another report found half of anesthesiologists met the criteria for “high burnout” or “moderately-high burnout.”
Dialysis tracker. A new Dialysis Facility Tracker, which uses federal data, shows how often patients treated at a facility have been hospitalized, report certain infections or are put on a transplant list.
Dealflow and more. Pre-term birth testing company Sera Prognostics raises $1.4 million; Alzheimer’s biotech Satori Pharmaceuticals has raised $7 million; anti-inflammatory drugmaker Xoma will get $505 million in a drug development deal; RNA therapy company Santaris Pharma received $14 million from Pfizer; drug development business CPEX Pharmaceuticals has been sold for $76 million; and emphysema medical device company PneumRx raised $33 million.
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.