Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Trying to keep up with health care ethics (mis)adventures


The 14 May 2012 post highlights three biomedical ethics items

“…The American Pain Foundation – an industry funded promoter of painkillers masquerading as a patient advocacy organization – closed its doors last week after it became the target of a U.S. Senate panel inquiry.The action by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the surprisingly quick collapse of the foundation were prompted by two journalistic investigations:The first was Charles Ornstein’s and Tracy Weber’s Dollars for Doctors series for ProPublica. In The Champion of Painkillers, which ran in December in The Washington Post, they describe how aggressive the American Pain Foundation has been in promoting opioids:..

..The other major journalistic investigation to draw the Senate’s attention was by John Fauber at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, working in collaboration with MedPage Today. For several years, Fauber has doggedly covered conflicts of interest in academic medicine, ethical problems, the growth in pain medicine and the resulting rise in painkiller addictions and deaths. As part of his Side Effects series, in February 2012, Fauber wrote about the American Pain Foundation and other groups that promote pain pills: Painkiller boom fueled by networking:”

By Carl Elliott

Let’s start with a quiz.  Can you tell which of these awards is real?

A) The Exxon Valdez Prize in Environmental Ethics

B) The Goldman Sachs Endowment in Business Ethics

C) The Richard Milhous Nixon Award for Ethics in Government

D) The Pfizer Fellowship in Bioethics

If you guessed D), you win. …

  •  “Missing the Target: When Practitioners Harm More Than Heal.
    Two day conference at Georgetown University, June 14-15,  an Adriane Fugh-Berman’s event

    Topics Include:

    • “The Underuse of Classic Drugs”
    • “Are Medical Devices and Drugs Adequately Regulated?”
    • “Protecting Patients in Industry-Funded Trials”
    • “Risks of Cardiovascular Devices”
    • “Cancer Risks from CT Scans”
    • “Pharmaceutical Marketing and Adverse Health Outcomes”


May 23, 2012 Posted by | health care | , , | Leave a comment

Life After the American Community Survey?

I am very concerned how federal funding for socioeconomic programs is going to be distributed equitably without relevant, current,  and reliables statistical information….

From the 22 May 2012 article at Stateline Daily

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote next month on an appropriations bill that could end the U.S. Census Bureau’s survey of state and local population, income, health and other data. Known as the American Community Survey, the federally funded program continuously samples about 3.5 million households each year to produce crucial data used to divvy some $400 billion in government money to states and localities, according to the Census Bureau.

Medicaid is the biggest federal program that relies on American Community Survey data to shift funding when states’ average incomes rise or fall. At about $270 billion in federal funding and nearly a quarter of state budgets, the federal-state health insurance program for low-income people uses the survey’s income data to determine federal allocations that can have huge impacts on state budgets.

Allocation of education grants, highway money and other social services funding also rely on the data.  States also use the information to allocate state money to county and local governments. So far, it is unclear what data the federal government would use to allocate billions in grant money, if the survey is discontinued…

May 23, 2012 Posted by | Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Really? Never Brush Your Teeth Immediately After a Meal

Toothbrush, photo taken in Sweden

Toothbrush, photo taken in Sweden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the 21 May 2012 New York Times article

research shows that brushing too soon after meals and drinks, especially those that are acidic, can do more harm than good. Acid reflux poses a similar problem: While it might seem like a good idea to brush after a reflux episode, doing so can damage your teeth.

Acid attacks the teeth, eroding enamel and the layer below it, called dentin. Brushing can accelerate this process, said Dr. Howard R. Gamble, president of the Academy of General Dentistry. “With brushing, you could actually push the acid deeper into the enamel and the dentin,” he said….

May 23, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , | Leave a comment


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