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Health News Articles
Excerpts of Key Health News Stories in Major Media


Below are many highly revealing excerpts of important health news stories reported in the major media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their mainstream media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These health news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of health news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Drug Overdose Deaths up for 11th Consecutive Year
2013-02-20, ABC News/Associated Press
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/drug-overdose-deaths-11th-consecutive-...

Drug overdose deaths rose for the 11th straight year, federal data show, and most of them were accidents involving addictive painkillers despite growing attention to risks from these medicines. "The big picture is that this is a big problem that has gotten much worse quickly," said Dr. Thomas Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which gathered and analyzed the data. In 2010, the CDC reported, there were 38,329 drug overdose deaths nationwide. Medicines, mostly prescription drugs, were involved in nearly 60 percent of overdose deaths that year, overshadowing deaths from illicit narcotics. The report [in the] Journal of the American Medical Association ... details which drugs were at play in most of the fatalities. As in previous recent years, opioid drugs — which include OxyContin and Vicodin — were the biggest problem, contributing to 3 out of 4 medication overdose deaths. Medication-related deaths accounted for 22,134 of the drug overdose deaths in 2010. Anti-anxiety drugs including Valium were among common causes of medication-related deaths, involved in almost 30 percent of them. Among the medication-related deaths, 17 percent were suicides. The report's data came from death certificates, which aren't always clear on whether a death was a suicide or a tragic attempt at getting high. Frieden said the data show a need for more prescription drug monitoring programs at the state level, and more laws shutting down "pill mills" — doctor offices and pharmacies that over-prescribe addictive medicines.

Note: Over 38,000 drug deaths are more than the 32,000 automobile deaths in the US. This means that the risk of dying from drugs is now greater than the risk of car accidents. For lots more reliable information showing how the medical industry can actually be dangerous to your health, click here.


More mammograms mean more problems for older women, study finds
2013-02-06, Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-too-many-mammograms-older-w...

The American Cancer Society advises all women over 40 to get a mammogram once a year to screen for signs of breast cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a panel of experts that advises the federal government on health matters, says most women need to get mammograms only once every two years, and only when they’re between the ages of 50 and 74. Who’s right? A new study comes down on the side of the task force. Researchers examined records of about 140,000 women ages 66 to 89 who had mammograms between 1999 and 2006. Some of the women had mammograms every year, and some of them had them every other year. It turned out that having annual mammograms did not reduce women’s risk of being diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer, as might have been expected. When all the numbers were crunched, “the proportion [of women] with adverse tumor characteristics was similar among annual and biennial screeners,” the researchers wrote in a study published [in] the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. But they did find harm. The more times that women were screened, the greater their odds of getting a false positive reading on a mammogram. For example, among women between the ages of 66 and 74 who already had health problems, 48% of those who had annual mammograms had at least one false-positive reading during a 10-year period. But among those who were screened every other year, only 29% had a false-positive result.

Note: You can read a summary of the study online here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health issues, click here.


Placebo Effect: A Cure in the Mind
2009-02-25, Scientific American
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=placebo-effect-a-cure-in-the...

“Mr. Wright” was dying from cancer of the lymph nodes ... and his doctors had exhausted all available treatments. Nevertheless, Mr. Wright was confident that a new anticancer drug called Krebiozen would cure him. [He] was bedridden and fighting for each breath when he received his first injection. But three days later [his] tumors had shrunk by half, and after 10 more days of treatment he was discharged from the hospital. Over the next two months, however, Mr. Wright became troubled by press reports questioning the efficacy of Krebiozen and suffered a relapse. His doctors decided to lie to him: an improved, doubly effective version of the drug was due to arrive the next day, they told him. Mr. Wright was ecstatic. The doctors then gave him an injection that contained not one molecule of the drug—and he improved even more than he had the last time. Soon he walked out of the hospital symptom-free. He remained healthy until two months later, when, after reading reports that exposed Krebiozen as worthless, he died within days. As Mr. Wright’s experience illustrates, a patient’s expectations and beliefs can greatly affect the course of an illness. When psychological factors tied to an inactive substance such as Krebiozen lead to recovery, doctors call the improvement a placebo effect. In recent decades reports have confirmed the efficacy of [these] treatments in nearly all areas of medicine. Placebos can help not only to alleviate illnesses with an obvious psychological component, such as pain, depression and anxiety, but also to lessen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and inflammatory disorders. Occasionally, as in Mr. Wright’s case, placebos have shrunk tumors.

Note: To view this article in full, click here. With such dramatic results, why isn't more money being poured into research on the power of the mind and our beliefs to affect our health?


Wild hospital cost disparities revealed
2013-02-11, San Francisco Chronicle/New York Times
ttp://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Wild-hospital-cost-disparities-revealed-4...

Jaime Rosenthal, a senior at Washington University in St. Louis, called more than 100 hospitals in every state last summer, seeking prices for a hip replacement for a 62-year-old grandmother who was uninsured but had the means to pay herself. Only about half of the hospitals, including top-ranked orthopedic centers and community hospitals, could provide any sort of price estimate, despite repeated calls. Those that could gave quotes that varied by a factor of more than 10, from $11,100 to $125,798. Rosenthal's grandmother was fictitious, created for a summer research project on health care costs. But the findings, which form the basis of a paper released Monday by JAMA Internal Medicine, [highlight] the unsustainable growth of U.S. health care costs and an opaque medical system in which prices are often hidden from consumers. Although many experts have said that Americans must become more discerning consumers to help rein in health care costs, the study illustrates how hard that can be. Researchers emphasized that studies have found little consistent correlation between higher prices and better quality in U.S. health care. Cram said there was no data that "Mercedes" hip implants were better than cheaper options, for example. Jamie Court, the president of Consumer Watchdog in Santa Monica, said: "If one hospital can put in a hip for $12,000, then every hospital should be able to do it." With such immense variation in prices, he said, "There is no real price. It's about profit."

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corruption in the health care industry, click here.


New UN treaty on mercury requires countries to phase down dental amalgam
2013-01-19, Yahoo News
http://news.yahoo.com/un-treaty-mercury-requires-countries-phase-down-dental-...

While no phase-out date was set, just-completed negotiations by the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee ... have resulted in many important provisions to reduce and eliminate mercury release and exposure, including binding requirements for countries to phase down dental amalgam. "This is the beginning of the end of dental amalgam globally," said Michael T. Bender, director of the Mercury Policy Project, a US-based NGO, and co-coordinator of the Zero Mercury Working Group. "We applaud the leadership role the US played in jump-starting support for a phase-down ... along with the concrete steps of the Nordic countries, Switzerland and Japan took in phasing out dental amalgam." "Countries that have phased out amalgam recognize that mercury-free dental fillings are readily available, affordable and effective," said Charles G. Brown, [of the] World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry, a global coalition of NGOs, dentists and consumers from over 25 countries. "This pushes the reset button on dentistry. Now the rest of the world can benefit from the experience of those countries."


Evidence grows for narcolepsy link to GSK swine flu shot
2013-01-22, MSNBC/Reuters
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50547267#.UQK87vJWKSo

Emelie Olsson is plagued by hallucinations and nightmares. When she wakes up, she's often paralyzed, unable to breathe properly or call for help. During the day she can barely stay awake, and often misses school or having fun with friends. She is only 14, but at times she has wondered if her life is worth living. Emelie is one of around 800 children in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe who developed narcolepsy, an incurable sleep disorder, after being immunized with the Pandemrix H1N1 swine flu vaccine made by British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline in 2009. Their fate, coping with an illness that all but destroys normal life, is developing into what the health official who coordinated Sweden's vaccination campaign calls a "medical tragedy" that will demand rising scientific and medical attention. Europe's drugs regulator has ruled Pandemrix should no longer be used in people aged under 20. "There's no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Pandemrix increased the occurrence of narcolepsy onset in children in some countries - and probably in most countries," says [Emmanuel] Mignot, a specialist in the sleep disorder at Stanford University in the United States. In total, the GSK shot was given to more than 30 million people in 47 countries during the 2009-2010 H1N1 swine flu pandemic. Because it contains an adjuvant, or booster, it was not used in the United States because drug regulators there are wary of adjuvanted vaccines.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the major risks of flu shots, click here. If you are thinking of getting a flu vaccine, it is most highly recommended to educate yourself on risk vs. benefits. See this link for more. To see Piers Morgan receive a flu shot on the Dr. Oz show and then come down with a flu less than 10 days later after having been guaranteed that wouldn't happen, click here.


Why Americans are dying earlier than their international peers
2013-01-09, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/09/health/international-health-report/index.html

Despite spending more per person on health care than any other country, Americans are getting sicker and dying younger than our international peers -- a problem persisting across all ages and both genders. [The National Research Council and Institute Of Medicine] panel released its report, titled "U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health," on [January 9]. "Our panel was unprepared for the gravity of the finding we uncovered," chair Steven Woolf wrote in the report's preface. Data from 2007 show Americans' life expectancy is 3.7 years shorter for men and 5.2 years shorter for women than in the leading nations -- Switzerland for men and Japan for women. As of 2011, 27 countries had higher life expectancies at birth than the United States. "The tragedy is not that the United States is losing a contest with other countries," the report states, "but that Americans are dying and suffering from illness and injury at rates that are demonstrably unnecessary." The report outlines nine health areas where the United States lags behind other rich nations, including infant mortality, homicides, teen pregnancy, drug-related deaths, obesity and disabilities. And our children are less likely than children in peer countries to reach their fifth birthday. "Many of these conditions have a particularly profound effect on young people, reducing the odds that Americans will live to age 50," the report states.

Note: For a much deeper analysis of the reasons behind this, see Dr. Mercola's insightful comments at this link.


'Quadruple helix' DNA seen in human cells
2013-01-20, BBC News
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21091066

Cambridge University scientists say they have seen four-stranded DNA at work in human cells for the first time. The famous "molecule of life", which carries our genetic code, is more familiar to us as a double helix. But researchers tell the journal Nature Chemistry that the "quadruple helix" is also present in our cells, and in ways that might possibly relate to cancer. They suggest that control of the structures could provide novel ways to fight the disease. "The existence of these structures may be loaded when the cell has a certain genotype or a certain dysfunctional state," said Prof Shankar Balasubramanian from Cambridge's department of chemistry. Balasubramanian's group has been pursuing a four-stranded version of the molecule that scientists have produced in the test tube now for a number of years. The new research is said to be the first to firmly pinpoint the quadruple helix in human cells.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on promising new cancer treatments, any of which have been suppressed, click here.


U.S. cancer death rates decline
2013-01-15, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/U-S-cancer-death-rates-decline-4196561.php

A report released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and three prominent cancer research groups shows that cancer deaths in the United States are declining for men, women and children. New cancer diagnoses also declined for men from 2000 through 2009, the period the report examines, but remained stable for women and increased slightly for children. Here are the numbers: 1.8%: The percentage that cancer deaths decreased for both men and children from 2000 through 2009. For women, the decrease was 1.4 percent. 10%: The percentage that death rates decreased in the most common cancers in men. 15: The number of cancers most common in women that showed decreased death rates.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on promising cancer treatments and trends, click here.


Some With Autism Diagnosis Can Overcome Symptoms, Study Finds
2013-01-16, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/17/health/some-with-autism-diagnosis-can-recov...

Doctors have long believed that disabling autistic disorders last a lifetime, but a new study has found that some children who exhibit signature symptoms of the disorder recover completely. The study, posted online ... by the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, is the largest to date of such extraordinary cases and is likely to alter the way that scientists and parents think and talk about autism, experts said. The findings suggest that the so-called autism spectrum contains a small but significant group who make big improvements in behavioral therapy for unknown, perhaps biological reasons, but that most children show much smaller gains. Deborah Fein of the University of Connecticut at Storrs recruited 34 people who had been diagnosed before the age of 5 and no longer had any symptoms. They ranged in age from 8 to 21 years old and early in their development were in the higher-than-average range of the autism spectrum. The team conducted extensive testing of its own, including interviews with parents in some cases, to gauge current social and communication skills. On measures of social and communication skills, the recovered group scored significantly better than 44 peers who had a diagnosis of high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome. Dr. Fein emphasized the importance of behavioral therapy. “These people did not just grow out of their autism,” she said. “I have been treating children for 40 years and never seen improvements like this unless therapists and parents put in years of work.”

Note: There are numerous documented cases where an abundance of acceptance and love led to autistic children being able to lead normal or near normal lives. As one example, the excellent book Giant Steps by Barry Kaufman relates the story of how he was able to heal his own fully autistic child. You can read the relevant excerpt from the book at this link. In the book, he also relates the stunning story of the cure of another severely autistic child by fully accepting the behavior of the child as normal. Great book!


Harvard Study Finds Fluoride Lowers IQ - Published in Federal Gov't Journal
2012-07-24, Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/24/idUS127920+24-Jul-2012+PRN20120724

Harvard University researchers' review of fluoride/brain studies concludes "our results support the possibility of adverse effects of fluoride exposures on children's neurodevelopment." It was published online July 20 in Environmental Health Perspectives, a US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences' journal, reports the NYS Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation. "The children in high fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ than those who lived in low fluoride areas," write Choi et al. Further, the EPA says fluoride is a chemical "with substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity." Fluoride (fluosilicic acid) is added to US water supplies at approximately 1 part per million attempting to reduce tooth decay. Choi et al. write, "Although fluoride may cause neurotoxicity in animal models and acute fluoride poisoning causes neurotoxicity in adults, very little is known of its effects on children's neurodevelopment." They recommend more brain/fluoride research on children and at individual-level doses. "It's senseless to keep subjecting our children to this ongoing fluoridation experiment to satisfy the political agenda of special-interest groups," says attorney Paul Beeber, NYSCOF President. "Even if fluoridation reduced cavities, is tooth health more important than brain health? It's time to put politics aside and stop artificial fluoridation everywhere," says Beeber.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health issues, click here.


Are CFL Light Bulbs Eco-Friendly or Human Hazards?
2011-04-28, Yahoo News
http://news.yahoo.com/cfl-light-bulbs-eco-friendly-human-hazards-205800837.html

Via the Clean Energy Act of 2007, the new "go-green" eco-friendly standards are set to thrust mandatory use of CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) upon American citizens by the year 2013 or 2014. Some reports say the mercury-filled CFLs are harmful to humans. Are CFL bulbs eco-friendly but human hazards? What about the economy of cleaning up the the new bulbs, and the erosion of our American "choices"? Information has circulated that CFLs will be dangerous to humans due to mercury content. It seems to have started with a 2007 claim by a family who was gung-ho to "go green." They installed CFLs in their home but broke one, resulting in various illnesses for a child and a $2,000 clean-up process that could only be done by experts. According to EPA guidelines [in 2007] there were 16 steps to cleaning up a broken, mercury-filled CFL bulb and then cleaning up the cleaning materials used. According to the EPA website today, there are only eight steps. The process appears toned down. The EPA claims that breakage of one bulb is not dangerous to occupants. Clean-up doesn't have to cost $2,000. Energy Star, a division of the EPA, ... acknowledges certain health and environmental hazards, stating "we must be responsible in cleaning up." They offer several sheets of directions, including this: Humans must leave the premises for three hours after removing a broken bulb. Livestrong.com is a leading go-to health and wellness website. Its research about CFLs shows that prolonged exposure to fluorescent lighting causes migraines, eye strain and other eye discomfort.

Note: For a CBS affiliate report confirming these hazards, click here.


Tending the Body’s Microbial Garden
2012-04-07, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/science/studies-of-human-microbiome-yield-n...

For a century, doctors have waged war against bacteria, using antibiotics as their weapons. But that relationship is changing as scientists become more familiar with the 100 trillion microbes that call us home — collectively known as the microbiome. “I would like to lose the language of warfare,” said Julie Segre, a senior investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute. “It does a disservice to all the bacteria that have co-evolved with us and are maintaining the health of our bodies.” This new approach to health is known as medical ecology. Rather than conducting indiscriminate slaughter, Dr. Segre and like-minded scientists want to be microbial wildlife managers. No one wants to abandon antibiotics outright. But by nurturing the invisible ecosystem in and on our bodies, doctors may be able to find other ways to fight infectious diseases, and with less harmful side effects. Tending the microbiome may also help in the treatment of disorders that may not seem to have anything to do with bacteria, including obesity and diabetes. Last week, Dr. Segre and about 200 other scientists published the most ambitious survey of the human microbiome yet. Known as the Human Microbiome Project, it is based on examinations of 242 healthy people tracked over two years. The scientists sequenced the genetic material of bacteria recovered from 15 or more sites on their subjects’ bodies, recovering more than five million genes. The project and other studies like it are revealing some of the ways in which our invisible residents shape our lives, from birth to death.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health issues, click here.


Dr. Robert Lustig crusades against sugar
2013-01-01, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Dr-Robert-Lustig-crusades-against-sugar-...

Dr. Robert Lustig [has just published] his first book, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease - a scientific and passionate diatribe against processed food in general and sugar in particular. Sugar, he argues, is the major culprit behind the country's explosive obesity rates. Sugar has poisoned the food supply and is altering people's biology, compelling them to eat more and move less. Sugar consumption is not unlike nicotine or alcohol addiction, he says, and kicking the habit - and in turn, reducing the waistlines of Americans - can't be done by sheer individual willpower. In other words: don't blame the fat for being fat, and don't expect most of them to drop the weight on their own. In 2009, a presentation he gave on sugar was posted to YouTube and has since collected more than 3 million hits. What Lustig suggested, and has since broadcast as a public health disaster in the making, is that sugar is poisonous. His scientific theory is that sugar in large quantities drives up insulin secretion. Insulin triggers the body to either use sugar as fuel or store it as fat, and Lustig argues that fructose is more likely to end up as fat, especially in the liver. Plus, insulin blocks a hormone called leptin, which signals to the brain when the body needs more or less energy. A lack of leptin tells the brain that the body doesn't have enough energy, which sets off efforts to increase and preserve fuel. In other words, it makes people want to eat more and move less.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health issues, click here.


When Good Drugs Do Harm
2001-01-08, Los Angeles Times
http://articles.latimes.com/2001/jan/08/health/he-9609

Adverse drug reactions have reached epidemic proportions, killing more people each year than die on the nation's highways, and doing serious damage to millions more. This problem has taken on special significance recently: The FDA has pulled 10 drugs off the market in the past three years for safety reasons, which is unprecedented in the agency's history. Nearly 20 million patients, almost 10% of the U.S. population, were estimated to have been exposed to these drugs before their removal. Few people, however, are aware that their medications could be harmful, or know how to spot the warning signs and what to do if they suspect there's a problem. Yet a 1998 University of Toronto study found that roughly 100,000 Americans die of adverse drug reactions each year, and 2.1 million more are hospitalized. The FDA received reports of more than 258,000 adverse drug events in 1999, nearly quadruple the 68,000 incidents reported a decade earlier. And FDA officials acknowledge that they're catching only a tiny fraction of these incidents. More new therapies are being sold first in the United States, rather than in Europe and Asia. In the early 1980s, only 2% to 3% of new drugs were introduced in the United States. By 1998, that number climbed to more than 60%, according to FDA officials, largely due to faster approvals by the agency. Aggressive marketing of new drugs can exacerbate the problem by persuading doctors and patients to seek out the latest therapies more quickly. And it's not just newer drugs that can be dangerous.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on health issues, click here.


Experimental treatment for PTSD: Ecstasy
2012-12-03, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/01/health/ecstasy-ptsd-1/

More than 7 million Americans suffer from PTSD, and by most estimates, only half of them -- at best -- are ever cured. A decade ago, the widely acknowledged need for better treatments opened the door to [South Carolina psychiatrist Dr. Michael] Mithoefer and his unconventional approach. By ... February 2005, the soft-spoken, ponytailed Mithoefer had managed to convince the Drug Enforcement Administration to green-light a study of Ecstasy as an adjunct to psychotherapy. He'd gotten the 3,4-methylenedioxy-methylamphetamine (MDMA) -- the chemical name for pure Ecstasy -- from Rick Doblin, the founder of a MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. The group's stated purpose is to develop "medical, legal and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana." It wants to turn mind-altering drugs like Ecstasy into prescription medicine. To win broader acceptance for MDMA -- and for cousins like LSD and psilocybin, the mind-altering compound in so-called magic mushrooms -- "the medical route was the only route. Everything else was blocked." That meant a formal plan for drug development: study protocols, institutional review boards and the rest. Mithoefer, a University of Virginia-trained clinician who specializes in trauma and had a long-running interest in MDMA, was the perfect partner.

Note: To watch a CNN video clip on this showing remarkable success in treating PTSD, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on beneficial mind-altering drugs, click here.


A ‘Party Drug’ May Help the Brain Cope With Trauma
2012-11-20, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/health/ecstasy-treatment-for-post-traumatic...

Hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic stress have recently contacted a husband-and-wife team who work in suburban South Carolina to seek help. Many are desperate, pleading for treatment and willing to travel to get it. The soldiers have no interest in traditional talking cures or prescription drugs that have given them little relief. They are lining up to try an alternative: MDMA, better known as Ecstasy, a party drug that surfaced in the 1980s and ’90s that can induce pulses of euphoria and a radiating affection. Government regulators criminalized the drug in 1985, placing it on a list of prohibited substances that includes heroin and LSD. But in recent years, regulators have licensed a small number of labs to produce MDMA for research purposes. In a paper posted online ... by the Journal of Psychopharmacology, Michael and Ann Mithoefer, the husband-and-wife team offering the treatment — which combines psychotherapy with a dose of MDMA — write that they found 15 of 21 people who recovered from severe post-traumatic stress in the therapy in the early 2000s reported minor to virtually no symptoms today. The Mithoefers — he is a psychiatrist and she is a nurse — collaborated on the study with researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and the nonprofit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. The patients in this group included mostly rape victims, and experts familiar with the work cautioned that it was preliminary, based on small numbers, and its applicability to war trauma entirely unknown.

Note: For the paper on this remarkable study published published online in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on beneficial mind-altering drugs, click here.


Tobacco companies ordered to publicly admit deception on smoking dangers
2012-11-27, CNN
http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2019771284_floridavoting28.html

Tobacco companies have been ordered by a federal judge to publicly admit, through advertisements and package warnings, that they deceived American consumers for decades about the dangers of smoking. Federal Judge Gladys Kessler issued her ruling [on November 27] in one of the last legal steps settling liability in the long-running government prosecution of cigarette makers. "By ensuring that consumers know that [tobacco companies] have misled the public in the past on the issue of secondhand smoke in addition to putting forth the fact that a scientific consensus on this subject exists," said Kessler, "defendants will be less likely to attempt to argue in the future that such a consensus does not exist." Several other lawsuits over cigarette labeling are pending in federal court, part of a two-decade federal and state effort to force tobacco companies to limit their advertising, and settle billions of dollars in state and private class-action claims over the health dangers of smoking. The judge, six years ago, concluded that tobacco companies were guilty of racketeering, and had ordered them to put tougher warning labels and other language in their marketing.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.


Are we throwing away 'expired' medications too soon?
2012-10-08, CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/08/health/throwing-away-expired-meds/index.html

A new laboratory analysis of eight prescription drugs that expired between 28 and 40 years ago has found that most have remained just as potent as they were on the day they were made. Overall, the eight drugs included 14 different active ingredients, including aspirin, codeine and hydrocodone. In 86% of cases, the study found, the amount of active ingredient present in the drugs was at least 90% of the amount indicated on the label. That falls within the range deemed acceptable by the Food and Drug Administration. It's impossible to say from the study results alone whether the eight drugs would be effective if used today, but "there's no reason to think that they're not," says Lee Cantrell, the lead author of the study and a professor of clinical pharmacy at the University of California, San Francisco. Most drugs are dated to expire after one to five years, but as the results show, that time frame doesn't necessarily correlate to a drug's potency, Cantrell says. "All [the expiration date] means from the manufacturers' standpoint is that they're willing to guarantee the potency and efficacy for the drug for that long," he says. "It has nothing to do with the actual shelf life." "We're spending billions and billions on medications and medication turnover," Cantrell says. "If a drug has expired, you've got to throw it away, it goes into a landfill, and you have to get a new prescription. This could potentially have a significant impact on cost."

Note: A Wall Street Journal article from the year 2000 also concluded that many drugs last far longer than their expiration dates. Read it at this link.


HSAs force health providers to compete
2012-09-29, San Francisco Chronicle (SF's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/HSAs-force-health-providers-to-compete-...

A growing number of patients are paying directly most, or all, of their medical bills these days. One problem they face: Finding out what health care services really cost before they make the decision to buy. Even though it accounts for one-sixth of the U.S. economy, health care is difficult to shop for in all but a small percentage of health care purchases. For the most part, no one ever sees a real price for health care services - not doctors, not patients, not employers, not employees. The reason patients never see the prices is because third-party payers (insurance companies, employers and government) negotiate with providers - leaving patients with a small co-pay under traditional insurance. And without real prices, there is no basis for third-party payers or anyone to negotiate the lowest possible prices. Recently, however, more and more employers are encouraging their employees to shop for health care the way they shop for groceries. To encourage that activity, employers are allowing their employees to manage more of their own health care dollars by means of a health savings account. The idea behind an HSA is a simple one: Instead of giving all of your health dollars to an insurance company or the government, you put some of those dollars into an account that you own and control. This reduces wasteful health care spending because individuals ... spending their own money often get the lowest prices, and they also can decide whether they really want to buy those services. A recent Rand Corp. study found that patients with HSA plans reduced medical spending by about 30 percent, without adversely affecting their health.

Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on corporate corruption, click here.



Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.