ALSO NOTED: Allergies have doubled since the 1970s; More on the PhRMA DTC rules; and much more...

> Researchers at the National Institutes of Health report that the number of Americans with allergies has doubled since the 1970s. Story

> The Washington Post writes that the Pentagon has drawn up new plans calling for "unprecedented military involvement" in domestic emergency response and crisis management in the event of attacks on the mainland US. Story

> The Securities and Exchange Commission says it must be allowed to pursue its civil case against ex-HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy, despite a judge's ruling that Justice Department lawyers acted improperly by not notifying the ex-HealthSouth CEO that an investigation of his activities was underway. Story (Wall Street Journal sub. req.)

> Partners Healthcare released good results for the second quarter. In a move likely to attract notice, the Boston-based system says it will no longer release financial information for individual hospitals. Story

> After a budgetary impasse, Texas lawmakers put a hold on payments by the state's health plan, a decision which is costing local hospitals millions. Story

> The crisis, which sees Texas withholding payments set aside for trauma care, will cost Houston's Memorial Hermann alone $5.6 million. Story

> The California Medical Association finds itself embroiled in a controversy after doctors at a fertility clinic refuse to treat a patient. Story

> The BBC interviews South Korea's Dr. Woo Suk Hwang, the geneticist at the forefront of 21st century stem cell research. Story

> PhRMA President Billy Tauzin defends his industry's guidelines on consumer advertising. Op-Ed

> The Pharma Marketing Blog's John Mack explains why PhRMA's decision to move away from 15-second reminder ads is a meaningful concession. Blog

> A pro-life group has filed a lawsuit against California's Stem Cell Institute, which observers say could slow medical research in the state. Story

> The San Francisco Chronicle reports on a Medicare pilot program for the chronically ill run by Los Angeles-based Care Level Management, which sees the return of the good old fashioned house call. Story

> A UnitedHealth program urges members to discuss "pill splitting" with their doctors as a means of controlling healthcare costs. Story

> A new form of therapy using virtual reality is helping 9/11 responders overcome long-term psychological problems such as anxiety. The technology could help Iraq war veterans. Story

> Researchers at Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center say one reason breast cancer survival rates have risen in the last 20 years is that tumors are getting smaller. Story

> Idaho hospitals can build without having state review and approval, and their rapid rate of expansion is worrying legislators. Story

> The inept surgeon at the center of a national controversy in Australia, accidentally sewed through a woman's small intestine 20 times while botching a hernia operation. Story

And Finally... Cannabis-based drugs could offer new hope for inflammatory bowel disease patients. Story