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Category Archives: Medicine

The Measles: Background and Federal Role in Vaccine Policy

CRS Report – The Measles: Background and Federal Role in Vaccine Policy. Matthew B. Barry, Section Research Manager; Jared P. Cole, Legislative Attorney. February 9, 2015. “The earliest accounts of measles date back over 1,000 years. This report presents basic  information about this infectious disease, its history in the United States, available treatments to preventContinue Reading

Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?

National Geographic – March 2015: “We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge—from the safety of fluoride and vaccines to the reality of climate change—faces organized and often furious opposition. Empowered by their own sources of information and their own interpretations of research, doubters have declared war on the consensus of experts.Continue Reading

Paper – New Ideas in Invention

New Ideas in Invention by Mikko Packalen, Jay Bhattacharya. NBER Working Paper No. 20922. Issued in January 2015. “A key decision in research is whether to try out new ideas or build on more established ideas. In this paper, we evaluate which type of work is more likely to spur further invention. When recent advancesContinue Reading

Law, Ethics, and Public Health in the Vaccination Debates: Politics of the Measles Outbreak

Gostin, Lawrence O., Law, Ethics, and Public Health in the Vaccination Debates: Politics of the Measles Outbreak (February 12, 2015). JAMA Online, February 2015. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2564724 “This article explores the legal and ethical landscape of vaccine exemptions. While all states require childhood vaccinations, they differ significantly in the types of religiousContinue Reading

Data-driven journalism project revealed racial disparities in U.S. nursing homes

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein via Storybench – part of the Media Innovation track at Northeastern University’s School of Journalism:  “In 2009, while at The Chicago Reporter, I took a deep look at racial disparities in the quality of care in nursing homes in Chicago, Illinois and nationally. For a project that the Center for Public Integrity published inContinue Reading

New dosages of old drugs are used to raise their prices

New York Times (02/11/15) Meier, Barry: “Over the last 2 years, states nationwide have moved to crack down on so-called physician dispensing of prescription drugs, a practice largely limited to doctors who treat injured workers. Recent studies suggest that doctors and companies have responded by exploiting loopholes in those rules and adopting new strategies toContinue Reading

For Preventing Disease, Data Are the New Drugs

Is giving up your biological secrets too bitter a pill? By Tim McDonnell: “…A new cadre of medical researchers believes that examining the full genetic information of as many people as possible will reveal not just the cures for health problems ranging from pre-term birth to cancer and autism, but the predictive insight to preventContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Critical Technologies, Land-Use Agreements, Medicaid, Prenatal Drug Use

Critical Technologies: Agency Initiatives Address Some Weaknesses, but Additional Interagency Collaboration Is Needed, GAO-15-288: Published: Feb 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2015. Land-Use Agreements: Improved Data Reliability and Monitoring Needed for Department of Veterans Affairs, GAO-15-134T: Published: Feb 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2015. Medicaid: Additional Federal Action Needed to Further Improve Third-PartyContinue Reading

Exposure to mercury, seafood associated with risk factor for autoimmune disease

Emily C. Somers, Martha A. Ganser, Jeffrey S. Warren, Niladri Basu, Lu Wang, Suzanna M. Zick, Sung Kyun Park. Mercury Exposure and Antinuclear Antibodies among Females of Reproductive Age in the United States: NHANES. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2015; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1408751 Science Daily: “One of the greatest risk factors for autoimmunity among women of childbearing ageContinue Reading

GAO Report – International Classification of Diseases

International Classification of Diseases: CMS’s Efforts to Prepare for the New Version of the Disease and Procedure Codes, GAO-15-255: Published: Jan 28, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 6, 2015: “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has undertaken a number of efforts to prepare for theContinue Reading

Anthem breach Shows Risks of “Big Data”

EPIC – “One of the largest health insurers in the country has lost millions of medical records of American consumers. The most recent breach of sensitive medical information shows the dangers of “Big Data” and the mistaken conclusion of the report of the Presidents Science Advisors, which simply assumed the benefits of data collection. EPICContinue Reading

Young adults more likely to say vaccinating kids should be a parental choice

Monica Anderson – “As the number of measles cases linked to the California outbreak climbs to over 100, health officials are urging parents to properly immunize their children, citing unvaccinated individuals as a main contributor to the disease’s spread. Some have linked the outbreak to the anti-vaccination movement – a group whose members claim vaccinations areContinue Reading