ALSO NOTED: Merck wants postponement in Vioxx trial;Sharp nixes Blue Cross contract; and much more...

> Merck is asking for a postponement in the first Vioxx trial. Story

> The University of Maryland is taking an innovative new approach to the treatment of heart disease, offering patients the option of having an angioplasty and a bypass in the same operation. Story

> Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) asks pharma for a two-year moratorium on DTC ads. Story

> The New York Times reports on Mississippi's decision to restrict Medicaid recipients to a maximum of five prescriptions. Story

> In San Diego, Sharp Healthcare has terminated its contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of California. Story

> Researchers at Harvard will use the magic of computers to scan millions of patient records to explore the genetic roots of asthma. Story

> International health policy experts are pleasantly surprised to note that the fundamentalist government of Iran has adopted what appears to be an enlightened approach to the HIV epidemic. Story

> In California acupuncture is proving to be a popular treatment for infertility. Story

> China announced that it is opening a clinic which specializes in treating people addicted to the Internet and computer games. Story

> McKinsey has an article about how to make money from the "once in a generation" opportunity of consumer healthcare. Article (McKinsey Quarterly sub. req.)

And Finally... Officials from Wales visited Kaiser in Colorado to learn more about how to deliver patient-centered chronic care. Details about the relative merits of skiing in Colorado and Wales were unavailable. Story