Mike Leavitt, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS; Washington) reported that 26,984 Americans received an organ transplant last year, noting that this was a new national record. The increase in organ donations comes in the wake of what HHS called "concentrated efforts," beginning in 2001, to boost consent rates for organ donation.

In 2004, there were more than 20,000 transplant operations utilizing organs from more than 7,000 deceased donors, an increase of close to 11% more than the 2003 total. That increase was the largest in the last 10 years and the second highest annual increase since national records began to be collected in 1987, according to HHS. Organ transplants from deceased donors rose by 1,368 (18,650 to 20,018) from 2003 to 2004, a 7.3% increase.

In addition, transplant operations using an organ donated by a living person also hit a new high – 6,966 – in 2004. That number grew by 154 (6,812 to 6,966) from 2003 to 2004, a 2.3% increase. Organ donations from living persons are limited to a single organ, usually the kidney, or piece of a single organ.

Deceased donors can give multiple organs that will improve or save the lives of several people.

Report: angina medications research decreasing

More than $20 billion in major cardiovascular drug revenues will be exposed to patent expiration in the next three to five years, according to a report by Cutting Edge Information (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina). The report, titled "Cardiovascular Marketing: Budgets, Staffing and Strategy," highlights the necessity of adapting to the rapid change seen in the pharmaceutical cardiovascular market.

Pharmaceutical companies spend more to support a cardiovascular compound's development and commercialization than they do on any other therapeutic products. Among top drug makers, sales from cardiovascular medicines may contribute anywhere from 20% to 50% of annual pharmaceutical revenues, the report said.

Because of the great expense of developing cardiovascular drugs, pharmaceutical companies are shifting away from developing new anti-anginal medicines for cardiovascular diseases. On average, new cardiovascular drug research is receiving only $83 million per company, according to the report.

PainCare gets new look

PainCare Holdings (Orlando, Florida), which focuses on the delivery of orthopedic rehabilitation, minimally-invasive spine surgery and pain management solutions, recently signed with Higher Advertising (also Orlando) to launch a re-branding campaign for the company.

The all new corporate PainCare logo is the prelude of the campaign, which also includes an all new corporate identity package, web site, collateral materials, advertising initiative and public relations campaign.

Additionally, PainCare's existing medical real estate services division will be branded with a new name, Caperian. Caperian will receive an all-new corporate brand identity, web site and collateral support materials as part of a new, more targeted, initiative to promote the division to the medical industry.