Physician Practice Roundup—AMA warns CVS-Aetna merger will raise drug prices

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A proposed merger between CVS and Aetna could lead to higher drug prices, according to the AMA. (Pixabay)

AMA warns CVS-Aetna merger will raise drug prices

In a letter (PDF) to the U.S. Department of Justice yesterday, the American Medical Association (AMA) reiterated its opposition to the proposed merger of CVS and insurance provider Aetna.

The AMA urged the DOJ to stop the merger, saying the deal could result in higher prices for prescription medicines. “A merger of these two rivals would risk a substantial reduction of competition in the stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan market and the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services market,” said AMA president Barbara L. McAneny, M.D. (AMA announcement)

Charges that Japanese medical school rigged exams of female applicants

A Tokyo medical school has come under scrutiny after news reports that it reduced the exam scores of female applicants in order to turn women away from enrollment.

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Tokyo Medical University, one of Japan’s most prestigious medical schools, has been accused of the practice, as the number of women among its students has been falling since 2010. (BMJ news)

Pediatrician charged with more counts of child sex abuse

A Pennsylvania pediatrician has been charged with 29 more counts of child sex abuse.

Johnnie Barto, M.D., 70, who is being held in prison, faces new charges in addition to those filed earlier this year, the state’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced. The charges detail of abuse of patients dating back to the 1980’s and includes both boys and girls, Shapiro said. (Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General announcement)

Zika continues to take toll on children, CDC says.

One in seven babies exposed to the Zika virus in the womb have health problems, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.

Some had medical complications not evident at birth and were identified only as the babies grew older, according to the report. “Careful monitoring and evaluation of children born to mothers with evidence of Zika virus infection during pregnancy is essential for ensuring early detection of possible disabilities and early referral to intervention services,” the CDC said. (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report article)

Real physicians rate those TV shows about doctors

On the lighter side: There are always lots of television shows about doctors. Some more accurately portray the world of medicine than others. So real doctors were asked to rank their favorite TV shows.

At the top of the list? Grey’s Anatomy was the fan favorite as well as House and The Mindy Project, the survey found. (Adweek article)