Health News StoriesExcerpts of Key Health News Stories in Major Media
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.
Drugmakers including Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc., Johnson & Johnson and Emergent Biosolutions Inc. (EBS) are among companies standing to gain from what may be $2 billion in U.S. contracts related to Ebola. President Barack Obama asked Congress last week for $6.2 billion in emergency funding to stop the spread of the virus that has killed more than 4,800 people in West Africa. The request is heavily focused on health needs as opposed to prior funding that was largely centered on defense contracts, Brian Friel, a Bloomberg Intelligence contracts analyst, said. Friel said he expects multiple drugmakers involved in Ebola will share in what will likely be no-bid contract awards to “make everyone happy.” His $2 billion estimate is based on the percentage of its budget the Department of Health and Human Services spent on contracts last year. Little information is available yet about which companies are getting Ebola-related public funding. Congress has approved $838 million in Ebola money this year, resulting in $77 million in contracts so far. Not all awards have been made public. The U.S. has spent more than $400 million as of Oct. 24.
Note: Read this webpage which lays bare the gross profiteering by pharmaceuticals on pandemics like ebola as reported in the mainstream media.
Scientists have created a mind-control system that allows a person to alter the genes in a mouse through the power of thought. A person wearing the device could alter how much protein was made from a gene in the mouse. Volunteers found that they could turn the gene on or off in the mouse at will. The experiment could lead to the development of a radical new approach to the treatment of diseases. Martin Fussenegger, a bioengineer who leads the project at ETH Zurich said he hoped to see clinical trials in people with chronic pain or epilepsy in the next five years. Fussenegger’s team describes a system that demonstrates the idea. The mouse was fitted with a small implant containing copper coils, a light-emitting diode (LED) and a tiny container of genetically modified cells. When the electromagnetic field switches on beneath the mouse, an electric current is induced in the implant’s coils which makes the LED shine. This light illuminates the cells which are designed to respond by switching on a particular gene, causing the cells to make a new protein which seeps out of the implant’s membrane. In the tests, the new protein ... allowed scientists to measure its levels ... while people wearing the headset changed their state of mind. In a series of follow-up experiments, volunteers wearing the headset could see when the LED came on, because the red light shone through the mouse’s skin. In time, they learned to control the light – and so the gene – simply by thinking.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing microchip news articles from reliable major media sources.
With organic food growers reporting double-digit growth in U.S. sales each year, producers are challenging a proposed California pest-management program they say enshrines a pesticide-heavy approach for decades to come, including compulsory spraying of organic crops at the state’s discretion. The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s pest-management plan says compulsory state pesticide spraying of organic crops would do no economic harm to organic producers, on the grounds that the growers could sell sprayed crops as non-organic instead. “I would rather stop farming than have to be a conventional farmer. I think I am not alone in that,” said Zea Sonnabend, a Watsonville organic apple-grower with California Certified Organic Farmers. The fate of the pest-management plan outlined by the state isn’t a theoretical concern. It’s an immediate issue ... due, in part, to a disease-carrying pest. The disease spread by the Asian citrus psyllid kills citrus trees. California’s $2.4 billion citrus industry has found incursions by the bug. The standard treatment for the citrus pest is conventional pesticides, including neocotinoids linked to the decline of crop-pollinating bees. Organic farmers are asking the state to give more consideration to non-toxic controls, including long-term methods to strengthen crops and habitats in advance against marauding tropical species, said Kelly Damewood, policy director for California Certified Organic Farmers.
Note: Read concise summaries of deeply revealing articles that show bee colony deaths and autism are linked to pesticide exposure. Is compulsory state spraying of these pesticides really in the public's best interest?
The CDC pledges “To base all public health decisions on the highest quality scientific data.” In the case of influenza vaccinations and their marketing, this is not so. Promotion of influenza vaccines is one of the most visible and aggressive public health policies today. Although proponents employ the rhetoric of science, the studies underlying the policy are often of low quality, and do not substantiate officials’ claims. The vaccine might be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and the threat of influenza appears overstated. Twenty years ago, in 1990, 32 million doses of influenza vaccine were available in the United States. Today [the number is] around 135 million doses. This enormous growth has not been fueled by popular demand but instead by a public health campaign. Drug companies have long known that to sell some products, you would have to first sell people on the disease. In the 1950s and 1960s, Merck launched an extensive campaign to lower the diagnostic threshold for hypertension, and in doing so enlarging the market for its diuretic drug, Diuril. Could influenza ... be yet one more case of disease mongering? Marketing influenza vaccines ... involves marketing influenza as a threat of great proportions. The CDC’s website explains that “Flu seasons ... can be severe,” citing a death toll of “3000 to a high of about 49000 people.” However, a far less volatile and more reassuring picture of influenza seems likely if one considers that recorded deaths from influenza declined sharply over the middle of the 20th century ... all before the great expansion of vaccination campaigns in the 2000s. Yet across the country, mandatory influenza vaccination policies have cropped up ... precisely because not everyone wants the vaccination, and compulsion appears the only way to achieve high vaccination rates.
Note: Read the entire revealing article at this link. The author clearly shows how fear and profit are the driving force behind flu vaccines and not good science and health. And this US government webpage states, "Since the first National Vaccine Injury Compensation (VICP) claims were filed in 1989, 3,981 compensation awards have been made. More than $2.8 billion in compensation awards has been paid to petitioners." For other verifiable information on health corruption, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
In August 2009, CBS News made a simple request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for public documents, e-mails and other materials CDC used to communicate to states the decision to stop testing individual cases of Novel H1N1, or "swine flu." When the public affairs folks at CDC refused to produce the documents and quit responding to my queries altogether, I filed a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) request for the materials. Two months after my FOI request, the CDC has yet to produce any of these easily retrievable materials. This has become standard operating procedure in Washington. Today, I received a letter from the CDC Freedom of Information office ... to inform me that my request for "expedited" treatment of my FOI request has been denied because CDC has determined the request is "not a matter of widespread and exceptional media and public interest." The CDC may be the only agency on the planet to argue that testing and counting of swine flu cases is "not of widespread and exceptional media and public interest." CBS News reporting on the topic has been quoted and reproduced internationally by news organizations such as California NPR, radio talk shows and others. The Freedom of Information Act ... was supposed to stop federal agencies from using their power and control to withhold public information from the people who own it. Many federal agencies use it to obstruct the delay or release of obviously public information.
Note: See powerful media reports suggesting that both the Avian Flu and Swine Flu were manipulated to promote fear and boost pharmaceutical sales. For other verifiable information on health corruption, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Last week, President Obama announced an ambitious — and expensive — plan. In an effort that could cost as much as $750 million in the next six months, he assigned up to 3,000 military personnel to West Africa to “combat and contain” what officials call “an extraordinarily serious epidemic.” As those military doctors and officials begin ... among the challenges they face are rumors that spread fear — fear of Ebola, fear of quarantine measures and fear of doctors. Already, several medical workers have been murdered in Guinea. Six Red Cross volunteers were attacked earlier this week. And now ... a major Liberian newspaper, the Daily Observer, has published an article by a Liberian-born faculty member of a U.S. university implying the epidemic is the result of bioterrorism experiments conducted by the United States Department of Defense, among others. “Reports narrate stories of the US Department of Defense (DoD) funding Ebola trials on humans, trials which started just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone,” wrote Delaware State University associate professor Cyril Broderick. Broderick declined to answer whether he is concerned his article ... would convince locals that Western doctors are trying to harm them. “I refer you to the articles and reports published,” he said. Across Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the CDC fears Ebola could eventually infect 1.4 million people, there is such distrust of the medical community that some don’t even think Ebola exists.
Note: Read a Veterans Today article and an article by father of Reaganomics Paul Craig Roberts revealing that there may be a hidden agenda in the ebola epidemic. For other verifiable information on health corruption, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Researchers who have fought for years to get full data on Roche's flu medicine Tamiflu said on Thursday that governments who stockpile it are wasting billions of dollars on a drug whose effectiveness is in doubt. In a review of trial data on Tamiflu, and on GlaxoSmithKline's flu drug Relenza, scientists from the respected research network the Cochrane Review said that the medicines had few if any beneficial effects, but did have adverse side effects. "Remember, the idea of a drug is that the benefits should exceed the harms," Heneghan said. "So if you can't find any benefits, that accentuates the harm." Tamiflu sales hit almost $3 billion in 2009 - mostly due to its use in the H1N1 flu pandemic. The drug, one of a class of medicines known as neuraminidase inhibitors, is approved by regulators worldwide and is stockpiled in preparation for a potential global flu outbreak. It is also on the World Health Organization's "essential medicines" list. The United States has spent more than $1.3 billion buying a strategic reserve of antivirals including Tamiflu, while the British government has spent almost 424 million pounds ($703 million) on a stockpile of some 40 million Tamiflu doses. There was no evidence of a reduction in hospitalizations or in flu complications ... and Tamiflu also increased the risk of nausea and vomiting in adults by around 4 percent and in children by 5 percent.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
Dr Sanjay Gupta: There's a group of outlawed drugs out there that are generating new interest among a growing number of doctors. Some of these drugs include things like MDMA also known as ecstasy, also LSD. Psychiatrists have (long) been fascinated by the properties of psychedelics. The U.S. military's efforts in the 1950s ... tested LSD as a potential weapon. But the interests in these drugs didn't stay in the lab. They trickled on to the black market and were soon outlawed. The pattern repeated itself with MDMA. Therapists tried it with patients. Millions tried it on their own. And in 1985, it was banned under federal law. Over the last decade, a small band of researchers wrangled permission to try again. This time giving MDMA during therapy sessions with patients who were suffering post-traumatic stress. DR. MICHAEL MITHOEFER, TESTING MDMA AS TREATMENT FOR PTSD PATIENTS: It was revisiting the trauma that was painful. The MDMA seemed to make it possible for them to do it effectively. GUPTA: Dr. Mithoefer has treated nearly 50 patients. He's currently working with veterans. RICK DOBLIN, MULTIDISCIPLINARY ASSOCIATION FOR PSYCHEDELIC STUDIES: People are able to look at traumatic memories, the fear is reduced, and then they're able to separate out it was happening then and not now. GUPTA: So, if they're going through counselling, for example, it could make that counselling more effective, they're not as paralyzed if you will by the memories that are being brought up? DOBLIN: We're saying that MDMA itself is not the medicine, it's MDMA assisted psychotherapy.
Note: Watch this CNN news clip and decide for yourself. For more about how the CIA secretly experimented on people with LSD and other drugs, read this deeply revealing information about a project called MK ULTRA. For more about the legitimate therapeutic uses of these drugs, and how investigation into these is suppressed, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles from reliable sources.
WHEN IS EBOLA CONTAGIOUS? Only when someone is showing symptoms, which can start with vague symptoms including a fever, flu-like body aches and abdominal pain, and then vomiting and diarrhea. HOW DOES EBOLA SPREAD? Through close contact with a symptomatic person's bodily fluids, such as blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine, saliva or semen. Those fluids must have an entry point, like a cut or scrape or someone touching the nose, mouth or eyes with contaminated hands, or being splashed. That's why health care workers wear protective gloves and other equipment. The World Health Organization says blood, feces and vomit are the most infectious fluids, while the virus is found in saliva mostly once patients are severely ill and the whole live virus has never been culled from sweat ... WHAT ABOUT MORE CASUAL CONTACT? Ebola isn't airborne. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has said people don't get exposed by sitting next to someone on the bus. "This is not like flu. It's not like measles, not like the common cold. It's not as spreadable, it's not as infectious as those conditions," he added. HOW IS IT CLEANED UP? The CDC says bleach and other hospital disinfectants kill Ebola. Dried virus on surfaces survives only for several hours.
Note: Read an article by father of Reaganomics Paul Craig Roberts revealing that there may be a hidden agenda in the ebola epidemic. For more accurate information about health, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
The outbreak is certainly a grave issue for west Africa, a public health priority, and has been exacerbated by a slow response from international bodies and rich nations. It has already claimed more than 3,800 lives, and could claim far more without an appropriate international response. But it is also not the species-ending disaster some fear it could be. Compared with most common diseases, Ebola is not particularly infectious. Ebola has an incubation period of up to 21 days between infection and showing symptoms (though it’s generally shorter). This is part of the fuel behind fears people could travel from west Africa then spread the disease. However, in general, people who display no Ebola symptoms are not yet infectious – and in any case, casual social contact (being nearby, or even shaking hands) generally doesn’t spread the virus. There are many things epidemiologists (and others) think we should worry about far more. Top of the list is a repeat of a deadly pandemic flu. Despite a few near misses, we’ve yet to see a repeat of the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918, which devastated nations already barely recovered from war, killing the youngest and healthiest. If you must fear a pandemic, it’s a much better candidate than Ebola. There are extensive measures in place for such a situation, but officials agree they all leave much to be desired. Ebola is a serious problem, which anyone with a degree of compassion should be concerned about. But if you’re in the west, it is astonishingly unlikely it will affect you, or anyone you know, personally. Perhaps, though, it’s only that fear that’s making us pay the virus any attention at all.
Note: Read an article by father of Reaganomics Paul Craig Roberts revealing that there may be a hidden agenda in the ebola epidemic. For more examples of medical fear mongering, see powerful media reports suggesting that both the Avian Flu and Swine Flu were manipulated to promote fear and boost pharmaceutical sales. For more accurate information about health, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.
America spends a fortune on drugs, more per person than any other nation on earth, even though Americans are no healthier than the citizens of other advanced nations. Of the estimated $2.7 trillion America spends annually on health care, drugs account for 10 percent of the total. Government pays some of this tab through Medicare, Medicaid and subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. But we pick up the tab indirectly through our taxes. We pay the rest of it directly, through higher co-payments, deductibles and premiums. Drug company payments to doctors are a small part of a much larger strategy by Big Pharma to clean our pockets ... The drug companies say they need the additional profits to pay for researching and developing new drugs. But the government supplies much of the research Big Pharma relies on, through the National Institutes of Health. Meanwhile, Big Pharma is spending more on advertising and marketing than on research and development -- often tens of millions to promote a single drug. And it's spending hundreds of millions more every year on lobbying. Last year alone, the lobbying tab came to $225 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That's more than the formidable lobbying expenditures of America's military contractors. In addition, Big Pharma is spending heavily on political campaigns. In 2012, it shelled out over $36 million, making it the biggest political contributor of all American industries.
Note: Read how cancer research is crippled by the greed of drug companies in the New York Times article Profits Over Patients. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Did Merck use false pretenses to monopolize the market for mumps vaccines? A pair of lawsuits – one of which is filed by former employees and the other by doctors – make this allegation and a federal judge is allowing both claims to proceed. The former employees – virologists who filed a whistleblower lawsuit four years ago – charge Merck knew its vaccine was less effective than the purported 95% efficacy level. And they alleged that senior management was aware, complicit and in charge of testing that concealed the actual effectiveness. They claim to have witnessed fIrsthand what they describe as “improper testing and data falsification in which Merck engaged in order to conceal what the drug maker knew about the vaccine’s diminished efficacy. In fact, their Merck superiors and senior management pressured them to participate in the fraud and subsequent cover up when they objected to and tried to stop it,” according to their lawsuit. The feds declined to join the lawsuit, which was unsealed two years ago. Shortly afterwards, the physicians subsequently filed the other lawsuit charge the vaccine was mislabeled and was not the product for which the government or other purchasers paid, which meant that Merck violated the False Claims Act. Both lawsuits note that Merck held an exclusive license to sell a mumps vaccine and its actions discouraged competition. “The ultimate victims here are the millions of children who, every year, are being injected with a mumps vaccine that is not providing them with an adequate level of protection,” the lawsuit filed by the virologists states. Meanwhile, the mumps vaccine was ringing the register at Merck, which reported that sales reached $621 million last year.
Note: Read a CBS News article which shows how Merck literally created a hit list for doctors who opposed use of the deadly drug Vioxx, which was responsible for thousands of deaths. A second CBS article shows how Merck created a fake medical journal to support Vioxx and harassed reporters revealing the truth. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
A cure for diabetes could be imminent after scientists discovered how to make huge quantities of insulin-producing cells, in a breakthrough hailed as significant as antibiotics. Harvard University has, for the first time, managed to manufacture the millions of beta cells required for transplantation. It could mean the end of daily insulin injections for the 400,000 people in Britain living with Type 1 diabetes. And it marks the culmination of 23-years of research for Harvard professor Doug Melton who has been trying to find a cure for the disease since his son Sam was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a baby. “We are now just one pre-clinical step away from the finish line,” said Prof Melton. The stem cell-derived beta cells are presently undergoing trials in animal models, including non-human primates, where they are still producing insulin after several months, Prof Melton said. The team at Harvard used embryonic stem cells to produce human insulin-producing cells equivalent in almost every way to normally functioning cells in vast quantities. A report on the work is published in the journal Cell.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
Federal prosecutors in the U.S. will be reading with amusement the Australian press's coverage of a class action trial down under for patients who took Merck's now-withdrawn painkiller Vioxx. Details emerging in Oz make some of the antics that Merck's American counterparts got up to look tame by comparison. For example, in Australia, Merck allegedly: Had a doctor sign his name to an entirely ghostwritten journal article even though a Merck staffer had complained that the data within it was based on "wishful thinking;" created a fake "peer-reviewed" journal, the "Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine," in which to publicize pro-Vioxx articles; created a Ricky Martin-style pop song to get Merck sales reps all jazzed up about Vioxx; [and] hatched a Blackadder-style "cunning plan" to seed seminars with speakers who were sympathetic to Vioxx. Here's The Australian's description of the Merck PR team's over-the-top "handling" of reporters at ... a class action trial down under for patients who took Merck's now-withdrawn painkiller Vioxx: A hired crisis management team sits in court every day, under the guidance of Merck & Co's media spokeswoman flown out from the US, watching what journalists write, who they talk to and where they go in the court breaks. The team ... follow journalists out of court, ask them what they are writing, hand out daily press releases and send "background" emails they say should not be attributed to the company but which detail what they think are the "salient points" from the evidence presented in court. The team rings reporters first thing in the morning, accuses them of "cherry-picking" the evidence and bombards newspapers with letters to the editor arguing their case in detail based on the day's evidence - five were sent to The Australian in just seven days.
Note: FDA analysts estimated that Vioxx caused between 88,000 and 139,000 heart attacks, 30 to 40 percent of which were probably fatal, in the five years the drug was on the market. Read another CBS News article which shows how Merck literally created a hit list for doctors who opposed use of Vioxx. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Merck made a "hit list" of doctors who criticized Vioxx, according to testimony in a Vioxx class action case in Australia. According to The Australian, Merck emails from 1999 showed company execs complaining about doctors who disliked using Vioxx. The list, emailed between Merck employees, contained doctors' names with the labels "neutralise," "neutralised" or "discredit" next to them. One email said: We may need to seek them out and destroy them where they live. The plaintiffs' lawyer gave this assessment: "It gives you the dark side of the use of key opinion leaders and thought leaders. If (they) say things you don't like to hear, you have to neutralise them." The court was told that James Fries, professor of medicine at Stanford University, wrote to the then Merck head Ray Gilmartin in October 2000 to complain about the treatment of some of his researchers who had criticised the drug. "Even worse were allegations of Merck damage control by intimidation," he wrote. "This has happened to at least eight (clinical) investigators. I was mildly threatened myself, but I never have spoken or written on these issues." The allegations come on the heels of revelations that Merck created a fake medical journal -- the Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine -- in which to publish studies about Vioxx; had pop songs commissioned about Vioxx to inspire its staff, and paid ghostwriters to draft articles about the drug.
Note: FDA analysts estimated that Vioxx caused between 88,000 and 139,000 heart attacks, 30 to 40 percent of which were probably fatal, in the five years the drug was on the market. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Artificial sweeteners might be triggering higher blood-sugar levels in some people and contributing to the problems they were designed to combat, such as diabetes and obesity, according to new findings published Wednesday in the journal Nature. Researchers suspect that artificial sweeteners could be disrupting the microbiome, a vast and enigmatic ecosystem of bacteria in our guts. In a series of experiments, researchers found that several of the most widely used types of non-calorie sweeteners in food and drinks — saccharin, sucralose and aspartame — caused mice to experience increased risk of glucose intolerance, a condition that can lead to diabetes. The same scientists also monitored what happened to seven human volunteers who did not typically use artificial sweeteners but were given regular doses of saccharin over the course of a week. Four developed significant glucose intolerance. Separately, the researchers analyzed nearly 400 people and found that the gut bacteria of those who used artificial sweeteners were noticeably different from people who did not. [These] findings add an intriguing new dimension to the long-running, contentious debate over the potential health benefits and risks of artificial sweeteners, which are among the most common food additives and are consumed by hundreds of millions of people around the globe. Other research has suggested that certain artificial sweeteners might actually contribute to obesity and other problems, including cancer. Perhaps no sweetener has proven more controversial than saccharin, which was discovered not long after the end of the Civil War. In 1977, the FDA tried to ban saccharin because of safety concerns after studies showing that rats had developed bladder cancer after receiving high doses of the chemical sweetener. Congress blocked that effort.
Note: Read more powerful, reliable evidence from top experts that aspartame is toxic to the human body. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles suggesting corruption and profiteering from reliable major media sources.
Monsanto is donating $4.7 million to the campaign to oppose GMO labeling in Colorado. The St. Louis-based agriculture company is a primary producer of genetically modified seeds. The No on 105 committee has raised almost $10 million through Sept. 24, with Pepsico and Kraft Foods also giving more than $1 million each. The group begins running TV ads against the initiative this week. Meanwhile, the supporters of the labeling initiative, Right to Know GMO, have raised about $323,000, including almost $120,000 in the most recent two weeks. That groups top donors are Food Democracy Action at $140,000 total and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps at $25,000.
Note: In every election where GMO labeling was on the ballot, big industry has poured in many times more money that those in favor of disclosure. This is a very good example of how in the US, it is much more a democracy of every dollar gets one vote rather than every person gets one vote. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing GMO news articles from reliable major media sources.
What Wikipedia has done for knowledge, a San Francisco company called CrowdMed is betting it can do for medicine. Send your symptoms and a nominal fee to CrowdMed.com, and dozens of medical professionals, students and average Joes will “crowdsource” — that is, share their knowledge and expertise — to help diagnose what’s wrong with you. The company isn’t out to replace your family doctor, but instead take advantage of the reach of social media to tap into an age-old medical practice: seeking second opinions. Or, in this case, hundreds of them. At the UC-Berkeley/UC-San Francisco Joint Medical Program, Dr. Amin Azzam, director of the “problem-based learning” curriculum, wants to use CrowdMed “to push the boundaries of how we train medical students.” Instead of teaching first- and second-year students with “pretend patients,” as is done now, Azzam is proposing adding CrowdMed’s cases to the curriculum. “They might even be more motivated to learn because it’s a real patient,” he said. Within 90 days of a consumer putting a case online, CrowdMed’s algorithm generates a list of the most probable diagnoses submitted by its “medical detectives,” along with their explanations. Patients are asked to give those suggestions to their physicians for consideration. Once it’s confirmed that the suggestions were helpful, the patients are refunded their $50 deposit and the detective who made the correct diagnosis gets his or her reward.
Note: Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
When the Food and Drug Administration creates an advisory committee to help it decide whether to approve drugs, it often asks academic physicians to serve on the committee as external experts. This is supposed to help the committee render judgments that are unbiased and scientific. A study published today brings that assumption into question. [It] reviewed the voting behavior and financial interests of almost 1,400 F.D.A. advisory committee members. On average, 13 percent of participants on each committee had some reported financial interest in a drug company whose product was up for a review. About half of all meetings had at least one participant with such a financial interest. One quarter included an ownership interest. Over all, committee members had a 52 percent chance of voting in favor of a sponsor of a drug. But members who had financial interests [had an approval] probability of 63 percent. If members served on advisory boards for only the company whose product was up for review, then the chance they would vote in favor of it shot up to 84 percent. Data show[s] that top Medicare prescribers of the expensive drug Acthar had financial ties to its maker. Financial relationships between doctors and industry are not uncommon. In 2007, research showed that 94 percent of physicians in the United States had such relationships. More than 80 percent of doctors had accepted gifts, and 28 percent had received payments for consulting or research. [One study] followed doctors who went to two all-expenses-paid symposia on new drugs. Their prescriptions for those drugs nearly tripled after the meetings. Conflicts of interest are real, and they are still influencing decisions from the level of the patient all the way up to national health policy.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
China has fined the British pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) $488.8 million (3 billion Yuan) for a "massive bribery network" to get doctors and hospitals to use its products. Five former employees were sentenced to two to four years in jail, but ordered deported instead of imprisoned, according to state news agency Xinhua today. The fine was the biggest ever imposed by a Chinese court. The court gave Mark Reilly, former head of GSK Chinese operations, a three-year prison sentence with a four-year reprieve, which meant he is set to be deported instead of serving his time in a Chinese jail. Reilly was accused of operating a “massive bribery network” in May. The police said it is believed Reilly authorized his salespeople to pay doctors, hospital officials and health institutions to use GSK’s products since 2009. Throughout 2012 a stream of anonymous emails alleging bribery authorized by senior staff at GSK were sent to Chinese regulators. At the beginning of 2013, the anonymous emails began to arrive at GSK headquarter in London, along with a sex tape of Mark Reilly and his Chinese girlfriend. The charges claim that GSK hired Shanghai-based investigator Peter Humphrey and his American wife, Yu Yingzeng, to locate the whistleblower. The Humphreys were detained and charged with illegally obtaining phone logs, travel records and other data which then they put in a report to GSK. GSK released a statement of apologies to the Chinese government and people on its website. "GSK Plc has reflected deeply and learned from its mistakes, has taken steps to comprehensively rectify the issues identified at the operations of GSKCI, and must work hard to regain the trust of the Chinese people," the statement said.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.
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.