The BMJ Today: Naming, shaming, and homeopathy wars

homoeopathic_remedy_production• Homeopathy wars
The Head to Head article “Should doctors recommend homeopathy?” has generated a heated online debate with 48 responses so far. More than 5000 people have responded to the linked poll with 62% voting yes, 38% no. If you have the luxury of a few minutes to spare then join in the debate by posting a rapid response. Rapid responses can be submitted for every article in The BMJ; some are published as formal letters to the editor.

money_nhs• Patient shaming
England’s health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, wants prescriptions for drugs that cost more than £20 to show the price to remind people of the cost of medicine. Will the scheme work? Margaret McCartney doesn’t think so saying it has no evidence to support it and may result in people not taking their drugs because they feel undeserving of the cost.

jeremy_hunt• Jeremy Hunt shaming
Jeremy Hunt has not just faced criticism from Margaret McCartney this week but has also received a backlash from hundreds of doctors about his claim that hospitals “do not have a proper seven day service,” causing thousands of unnecessary deaths in the NHS. Hundreds of medical professionals have posted pictures of themselves at work over the weekend of 17-19 July on Twitter using the hashtag #I’mInWorkJeremy. See some examples here.

medicare• Happy 50th
July marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in the US. Doug Kamerow explains their impact on health insurance (<50% of elderly people had insurance in 1962 compared to 2% today) and desegregation of American hospitals, and more recently their massive overhaul following the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. 1965 also marked the beginning of the advanced practice nurse training programs in the US. Some 200,000 nurse practitioners now work in the US and are vital to the success of Medicare and Medicaid.

Giselle Jones is specialist reviews editor, The BMJ.