The USPSTF and Vision Screening in Older Adults

In 2009, the Affordable Care Act required Medicare and private insurance plans to cover, without a copay, preventive services given grades of A (high certainty of substantial net benefit) or B (high certainty of moderate net benefit, or moderate certainty of moderate to substantial net benefit) by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The […]

1500 Issues and Counting

The Medical Letter was founded in 1959 by Arthur Kallet, a layman, and Harold Aaron, an internist. Arthur was a co-founder of Consumer Research, which became Consumers Union, and he started the publication of Consumer Reports. Harold was on the advisory board of Consumers Union, and The Medical Letter was his idea. The early years […]

Why Not Screen for Melanoma?

We will soon publish our tenth article in the last 4 years on yet another drug for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma. All of these drugs are obscenely expensive. None of them cures the disease. Melanoma detected early is nearly 100% curable. Unresectable or metastatic melanoma is usually fatal. Early detection of melanoma […]

Beefed-Up Flu Vaccine for Seniors

The current issue of The Medical Letter (1486; January 18, 2016) includes an article on Fluad, an adjuvanted seasonal flu vaccine for older adults that will become available in the US later this year for use in the 2016-2017 influenza season. Fluad has been available in Europe since 1997 for persons >65 years old, so […]

Homeopathic Drugs

The next issue of The Medical Letter (1485; January 4, 2016) includes an article on ColciGel, a homeopathic drug currently being marketed to the public for the treatment of gout. We generally do not review homeopathic drugs, but since the FDA requires a prescription for homeopathic drugs sold for treatment of “conditions not amenable to […]

Another Underused Vaccine

The June, 2014 issue of Treatment Guidelines from The Medical Letter will be on Adult Immunization. A little less than a year ago, I blogged on underuse of HPV vaccine. But there is another vaccine, recommended for use at the far end of the adult age spectrum, that has been neglected even more, and that […]

A Costly Cure for Hepatitis C

An article earlier this year in The Medical Letter (January 20, 2014) heralded FDA approval of the nucleotide polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir (Sovaldi – Gilead) for use in combination with other antiviral drugs for treatment of chronic hepatitis C infection: “Sofosbuvir (Sovaldi) appears to be the most effective drug available to date for treatment of chronic […]