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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.