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FDA Must Act on Federal Tobacco Rule

Nancy Brown | Posted 03.23.2015 | Healthy Living
Nancy Brown

Time has become our enemy when it comes to these tobacco products. With every day that passes, they remain unchecked in the marketplace and grow in popularity among young Americans.

Red State Lawmakers Helping Cancer Patients Push Back Against Insurance Denials

Wendell Potter | Posted 03.23.2015 | Politics
Wendell Potter

Legislators in a number of states, including Oklahoma and Tennessee, have introduced bills that would require insurers to cover proton therapy if a patient's doctor believes it is the most appropriate form of radiation.

Genetically Modified Potatoes, Apples Are Safe, FDA Says

AP | MARY CLARE JALONICK and KEITH RIDLER | Posted 03.20.2015 | Healthy Living

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Potatoes that won't bruise and apples that won't brown are a step closer to grocery store aisles, but some food suppliers say th...

Some Food Ingredients: Are They Harmful or Do They Just Sound Bad?

Ira Kalb | Posted 03.16.2015 | Business
Ira Kalb

In the case of ingredients that are harmful, we should be grateful to creative people that effectively brand "bad" ingredients for our own good. If nothing else, they are at least informing us about what we are consuming so we can make our own decisions as to what is more helpful and harmful.

Class Action Suit vs. Beneful Will Be Hard to Prove

Carlotta Cooper | Posted 03.16.2015 | Business
Carlotta Cooper

Dog foods are more than the sum of their parts. Think of it this way: if someone is a bad cook, it doesn't really matter if they use the finest ingredients. The meal they make can be inedible. On the other hand, a good cook can take humble ingredients and make a delicious meal.

Why We Should All Be Thrilled About the FDA Starting to Embrace Innovation

Vivek Wadhwa | Posted 03.03.2015 | Technology
Vivek Wadhwa

The FDA's approval of the marketing of genetics-testing company 23andMe's carrier test for Bloom syndrome affirmed the rights of consumers to drive their own healthcare decisions and procedures. But it also means that it has become urgent to develop policies to regulate the rights of companies to resell data derived from the contents of our DNA and from our medical records.

Who and What We Trust Might Kill Us

Ashley Wren Collins | Posted 02.24.2015 | World
Ashley Wren Collins

Trust. It's a hefty word, stamped on American currency ("In God We Trust"), integrated into marriage vows, and considered a vital component for both professional and personal relationships. Yet too often trust is on autopilot, given freely unless proven otherwise.

FDA Approves 23andMe's DNA Test, But Not the One It Halted Earlier

Cecile Janssens | Posted 02.23.2015 | Healthy Living
Cecile Janssens

FDA's decision to approve 23andMe's Bloom syndrome carrier test is a first step for the online offer of medical genetic testing, but the real regulatory breakthroughs have yet to come.

My Race to Live, Our Race to Stay Together

Sarah Amento | Posted 02.17.2015 | Parents
Sarah Amento

Recently, I received that dreaded phone call that all Stage 4 cancer patients fear: "Your scans are back, your disease is progressing, and your chemo is no longer effective."

The Drug That Is Bankrupting America

Jeffrey Sachs | Posted 02.16.2015 | Business
Jeffrey Sachs

America is the land of breakthrough science -- and health care scams. There is no question that Solvadi is a lifesaver for millions of Americans infected by Hepatitis C. Yet Solvadi is also the poster child of a U.S. health care system that is being bankrupted by greed, lobbying and indefensible policies on drug pricing.

The Truth Behind Your Supplements

Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D. | Posted 02.13.2015 | Healthy Living
Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D.

A study will support the benefit of certain supplements in one type of patient but show harm when the same supplements are taken by another group or people with different medical conditions. The key is to know the difference.

It's Time To Put Food First

Andrew Kimbrell | Posted 02.12.2015 | Politics
Andrew Kimbrell

Unfortunately, the FDA putting food last is only one part of our broken food safety system. There is also a fundamental failure of coordination and responsibility for food regulation at the federal level.

Changing Perceptions About Heart Disease

Phyllis Greenberger | Posted 02.10.2015 | Impact
Phyllis Greenberger

February is American Heart Month, a whole 28 days devoted to raising awareness about heart disease. But did you know that until about 13 years ago, cardiovascular disease was defined as a man's disease?

Nannies, Ninnies, Nutrients and Nonsense

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 02.06.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

When the New York Times reported recently that a lot of alleged nutrient supplements are devoid of nutrients and supplements, the scrum was immediately predictable. That much more so because we have seen a recent backlash against our over-hyped reliance on supplements as silver bullets.

Obama's Not-So-Daring Precision Medicine Plan

Techonomy | Posted 02.05.2015 | Science
Techonomy

The precision medicine vision is a beautiful one. For all the health benefits it promises to each and every one of us, implementing it should be a billion-dollar idea. Sadly, this new initiative feels like a dream that was shrunk to an unduly diminutive size. Maybe that was just to make it more likely to get through Congress without much debate.

Outrage of the Month: Fake IV Fluids Not Intended for Human Use Sicken at Least 17 Patients Across the U.S.

Michael Carome, M.D. | Posted 02.04.2015 | Healthy Living
Michael Carome, M.D.

Moving forward, federal regulatory agencies must act promptly to implement additional safeguards to prevent similar life-threatening mistakes from occurring.

Here's Why Nutrition Labels Should List Added Sugar

The Huffington Post | Leigh Weingus | Posted 02.03.2015 | Healthy Living

“It’s definitely easy not to be aware how much sugar you’re consuming," says the University of California, Davis' Kimber Stanhope. In the la...

2015 Means New FDA Calorie Labeling on Menus

Dan Glickman | Posted 03.28.2015 | Politics
Dan Glickman

Readily available calorie information is crucial for consumers to be able to make informed food choices throughout the day as they get their food from a variety of venues. Our nation is facing rising rates of obesity and chronic disease that continue to push health care spending higher.

How About Informed Consent for All Medication

Allen Frances | Posted 03.23.2015 | Science
Allen Frances

The argument that drug sales people are educating physicians doesn't pass the laugh test. Their compensation is based on how much product they can move, not on appropriateness of prescription. And no study funded by a drug company can ever be trusted.

Top 10 Medical Research Issues and Trends to Watch in 2015

Margaret Anderson | Posted 03.17.2015 | Science
Margaret Anderson

Academic research institutions are undeniably under duress. While some of it may be due to overbuilding research infrastructure during the years of doubling the National Institutes of Health budget, they are now dealing with a new normal of having to do more with less.

Helping a Person Live Like They Were Dying

Don McNay | Posted 03.06.2015 | Business
Don McNay

Lori sought a medical solution to help her lose weight and the solution caused her body to die. I've been fortunate that my weight loss surgery has been a success in its first month and that maybe the medical world has found a solution that works for people like me. The attempt with diet pills was definitely not the answer.

Seeking Swifter Action In E-Cigarette Regulation

Ruth Macklin | Posted 03.04.2015 | Healthy Living
Ruth Macklin

The wheels of bureaucracy grind slowly in Washington, but we can only hope that the FDA can meet this new challenge with timely action to regulate the importation of e-cigarettes containing ingredients that are known health hazards.

The FDA Responds to Criticism of 'Loosening' Ban on Blood Donations From Gay and Bi Men

Ed Coffin | Posted 03.02.2015 | Gay Voices
Ed Coffin

If men who have sex with men must be celibate for a year, then everyone else should be held to that standard too. If they can determine risk level for heterosexuals on a case-by-case basis, then they should do it for men who have sex with men as well. Assess the risk, test the blood, and treat everyone the same. It's really that simple.

Whether for Life or for One Year, Banning Blood Donations From Gay and Bi Men Is Bad Science

Ben Spielberg | Posted 03.02.2015 | Politics
Ben Spielberg

By suggesting that gay and bisexual men are at risk for HIV and straight people aren't, the FDA's guidelines misinform the public. To the extent that it contributes to ignorance of the risks associated with certain types of heterosexual sex, the FDA's policy, even in its revised form, actually presents a public-health concern.

How to Get Researchers to Notice an Ultra-Rare Disease

Idelle Davidson | Posted 03.01.2015 | Healthy Living
Idelle Davidson

It doesn't help that Erdheim-Chester is notoriously difficult to diagnose and therefore, say researchers, most likely under- or mis-diagnosed. Only when there's a mass or lesion to study will pathologists look for identifying markers on cells -- if they even suspect ECD.