CA Access News

January 2012


In this Issue: Features | Partner Spotlight | Calendar | Welcome New Partners | In the News | Interesting Information | Contact Us


2011's New Medicines Fought Wide Range of Diseases, Conditions

By Jenni Brewer, December 21, 2011

2011 saw over 3,000 medicines in development and dozens of new drugs approved. In fact, the fiscal year marked one of the highest numbers of drug approvals in the past decade, surpassed only by 2009. Many of these new drugs are great leaps for patient care, including two new treatments for hepatitis C, a drug for late-state lung cancer, and the first drug for lupus in 50 years. Seven of the new medicines provide major advances in cancer treatments and almost half of the medicines were judged by the FDA to be significant therapeutic advances over existing therapies for such ailments as kidney transplant rejection and heart attack. And patients who suffer from rare diseases may have found hope in one of 10 new medicines, such as a treatment for thyroid cancer.

Saying it was an impressive year doesn't do the researchers justice, particularly when you consider that it takes 10 to 15 years for the initial discovery of the medicine to availability to patients. It's an immense investment and commitment. But 2012 is fast approaching and my gratitude is quickly giving way to excitement. The scientific potential for making even more progress against diseases has never been greater and with over 3,000 new medicines now in development and 2,000 Phase III clinical trials recruiting or about to recruit new patients worldwide, the biopharmaceutical industry is poised to make leaps. What do you hope comes next in our fight against health challenges?

Five Health Care Issues to Watch in 2012

By Dan Diamond
California Healthline, December 21, 2011

After a packed 2011, here are five issues springing out of last year's reform law that bear watching in 2012.

Read More

Partner Spotlight

MedLionMedLion Direct Primary Care

At MedLion, we believe basic primary health care should be affordable, easy to access, and stress-free. For a low monthly fee, our patients receive extraordinary primary care at extremely reasonable rates.

Insurance was never designed for primary care -- it was designed for expensive medical catastrophes. At MedLion, we return the power to patients and their doctors by removing costly insurance, and making primary care affordable.

For a low membership fee, patients receive extraordinary access to all components of primary care. Doctor visits, labs, imaging, and medication are all offered at unbelievably reasonable rates. Because we don't require the extra-high volume necessary in insurance practices, visits with our doctors are longer, more relaxed, and more personal. MedLion practices typically carry half the patient load compared with their insurance-dependent counterparts, creating a much more efficient medical practice environment.



Check out our CPAT partner events occurring this month!

Would you like to see your organization's event listed? Contact Jason Dumont at to help advertise your upcoming event.

Welcome New Partners

Join Now

Do you know a group who would be interested in joining CPAT? Please send your referrals to:

Northern California - Contact Jason Dumont at

Southern California - Contact Brandon Stephenson at

In the News

Nicotine Gum and Patch Don't Help Smokers Quit Long Term
By Alice Park
TIME, January 9, 2012

If you're a smoker trying to quit, the good news is that there are a number of things that can help you kick the habit. The bad news is that they may not work long term.

A new study confirms what many smokers already know -- that quitting is really really hard, and even the latest smoking cessation strategies like gums and patches can't curb the nicotine craving for very long.

Researchers report in the journal Tobacco Control that nicotine gum and nicotine patches designed to help smokers quit aren't any more effective than going cold turkey when it comes to keeping smokers off cigarettes for longer than a few months. Beyond that, their ability to curb the need for cigarettes isn't as clear. Read more

VA patients ready to share e-records, says study
By Jennifer Zaw
The Stanford Daily, December 9, 2011

A School of Medicine study found that 80 percent of surveyed Veterans Affairs (VA) patients are interested in sharing their health records electronically with family members, caregivers and outside providers in order to improve their care.

First author Donna Zulman, instructor in the School of Medicine, is also an investigator for the VA medical system, which wanted to study its patients' thoughts about sharing their records. The VA medical system uses an electronic record system called "My HealtheVet." The study was published in the Dec. 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Zulman conducted the survey mid-2010, asking a random sample of 18,000 My HealtheVet users if they were willing to share some or all of their information in their public health record. Almost 80 percent of veterans expressed interest in sharing information with at least one person given in the options, which included a spouse or partner, child, other family member, an unrelated caregiver, friend or neighbor and a non-VA health-care provider. Read more

In Santa Cruz County, hospital infection rates vary
By Jondi Gumz
Santa Cruz Sentinel, January 7, 2012

Dominican Hospital staff, responding to data collected by the state on hospital infection rates, say the numbers show some improvement but there is still work to be done.

"More than anything, the state report tells us that our struggle is vital and difficult and that our continued vigilance is critical to the continued safety of our patients and community," said Ronda Hatcher, a nurse who serves as Dominican's infection control practitioner.

The data posted Friday by the California Department of Public Health represents the second year for the statewide data collection.

One category where local infection rates varied was bloodstream infections from a "central line," which is used to administer medication. Read more

Interesting Information

Diabetes affects dropout rate, lifetime earnings
By Saundra Young
CNN, January 10, 2012

Diabetes is contributing to high school dropout rates and reducing lifetime earnings for young people, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Health Affairs.

Researchers found the high school dropout rate among diabetics was 6% higher than the dropout rate among their peers. They also found the likelihood that a diabetic student will attend college is 8 to 13% lower and that over the course of a lifetime, a diabetic could lose more than $160,000 in wages.

About 15,000 people were followed during the 14-year study. Seven to 12-year old students were first surveyed in the mid-1990s. They were then surveyed three more times: 1 year later, 7 years later and the last time in 2008, when they were approaching age 30. The study did not distinguish between type 1, commonly referred to as juvenile diabetes, and the preventable type 2 diabetes, which is usually linked to obesity and sedentary lifestyles.

Declines were seen in education, employment and earnings for diabetics diagnosed as teenagers and young adults. Researchers believe that 5,000 high school students drop out as a result of the chronic disease each year. Read more


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