Race and Healthcare; Antibiotic Shortage; and Kidney Disease

Doctors Split on Effect of Race on Care

Doctors differed sharply on the effect of race on the quality of patient care, a recent Medscape survey found. Doctors ranked racial disparity third in importance among 10 social issues affecting healthcare, reported in Medscape’s Physicians’ Views on Racial Disparities Issues Report 2022. Healthcare access ranked No. 1, followed by substance and opioid abuse as No. 2.

Not their job: Racial disparities were disconnected from their professional duties, some doctors said. “This topic is simply not our job as a physician,” one commenter added. “Keep your eye on the ball.”

Others disagreed: “I have seen acceptance of pain and lack of motivation to take extraordinary measures to fix a medical problem in African American patients that I’m sure would have been handled differently if the patient had been rich and White,” one respondent shared.

Liquid Amoxicillin Shortage Confirmed

The liquid form of the antibiotic amoxicillin is in short supply just as demand is expected to grow, the FDA confirmed. Pharmacists, hospitals, and a supply tracking database warned about the shortage in October.

The shortage is not widespread but affects some pharmacies. One hospital has published an algorithm for treatment alternatives.

Liquid amoxicillin is often used to treat ear infections and strep throat in children.

Why? The FDA cited increased demand for the drug in the case of most manufacturers.

Who’s affected: The shortage affects three of the four largest amoxicillin manufacturers in the world, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota reported.

One Third of Patients With Nondialysis Kidney Disease Have Severe Symptoms

Treatment of patients with nondialysis chronic kidney disease should take into account the severity of symptoms, new research suggests. Some 31% of patients with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease have severe symptoms, notably fatigue and muscle pain, which worsen over time, according to a study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. The remaining 69% have less severe symptoms that remain stable.

Current treatment regimens and medications may have unintended adverse consequences that contribute to reduced quality of life for patients in the former group, an accompanying editorial adds.

What to do: Clinicians should assess symptoms as the first step of planning early therapeutic intervention, the study advises: “Large gains may be achievable with greater provider appreciation of the importance of symptoms.”

More research needed: Future research should assess the modifiable factors that affect the unfavorable symptom trajectory and other aspects of quality of life.

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