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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Today's Globe: 'Robin Hood' Medicare case, $4m malpractice award, TB in Chelmsford, painkillers and Parkinson's, antibleeding drug, FDA power, art in hospitals

abdul%20razzaque%20ahmed%2050.bmpTo his patients, Dr. Abdul Razzaque Ahmed (left) was something of a modern-day Robin Hood, getting them expensive treatments they would otherwise not have been able to afford. Ahmed, of Brookline, pleaded guilty to a single count of obstruction and agreed to surrender $2.9 million in assets for deceiving Medicare to get treatment for patients with pemphigoid, a disease that was not covered by Medicare at the time.

A Superior Court jury ordered Dr. Edward Lipman and Dr. Akmal Khan to pay $4.1 million yesterday to the family of a 31-year-old woman who died in 1999 at Lowell General Hospital following gynecological surgery that the family's attorney argued was unnecessary and dangerous (fourth item).

Scores of Chelmsford High School students are to be tested for tuberculosis today after administrators learned Friday that a student at the school had contracted the disease, Superintendent Donald R. Yeoman said (fifth item).

Over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen can reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease, US researchers reported yesterday.

Bayer AG halted worldwide sales yesterday of its antibleeding drug Trasylol at the request of United States and foreign health officials pending further analysis of a Canadian study that suggests it's linked to a 50 percent higher risk of death than the other drugs in the clinical trial.

An advisory commission created in response to concerns about recalls of dangerous toothpaste, dog food, and toys will recommend to President Bush that the Food and Drug Administration be empowered to order mandatory recalls of products deemed a risk to consumers, an administration official said yesterday.

Estrellita Karsh, a former medical writer and historian, is getting things done in a manner that reflects her passions for medicine, art, and the photography of Yousuf Karsh. She is bringing art - and her husband's photographs - to hospital corridors.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:57 AM
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