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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Today's Globe: CVS clinics, prison mental health, heart attack deaths, pancreatic cancer clues, MS empathy, food safety, Kerry on health insurance

CVS Corp. has asked Massachusetts health officials for approval to open the first of 20 to 30 planned "MinuteClinics" in Boston-area stores that executives said will offer patients fast, inexpensive care in a region struggling with packed emergency rooms and closed doctors' practices.

State legislators, reacting to the recent spate of suicides in Massachusetts prisons, sought assurances from prison officials yesterday that they were taking greater precautions with mentally ill inmates to prevent further deaths.

Increased use of angioplasty and the introduction of new drugs over the past six years have nearly halved the number of hospitalized heart attack victims who die or suffer severe heart failure, an international team of researchers including Dr. Joel M. Gore of the University of Massachusetts Medical School reported today.

Scientists have identified a molecule that could eventually help determine how to better treat highly lethal pancreatic cancer, according to a study published yesterday.

A machine, commissioned for this week's American Academy of Neurology meeting by Cambridge drug maker Biogen Idec Inc. and Elan Pharmaceuticals Inc., puts doctors in the shoes of a typical multiple sclerosis patient, a 30-something woman struggling to keep her life together as her body slips from her control.

Regulators don't have the money, equipment, and staff to keep industrial chemicals, salmonella, and E. coli from contaminating the US food supply, former commissioners of the Food and Drug Administration said.

On the op-ed page, Senator John F. Kerry writes that this week he will introduce the Healthy Businesses, Healthy Workers Reinsurance Act, "a bill that will make government a partner in helping businesses with the heavy financial burden of those catastrophic cases: those that use over $50,000 in a single year in healthcare costs."

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:30 AM
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