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Category Archives: Health Care

Government Databases of Adverse Drug Events

Russ Kick – The Memory Hole 2: “The governments of several countries (plus the European Union and the United Nations) have programs for medical practitioners, members of the public, and pharmaceutical companies to report “adverse events” regarding prescription and over-the-counter drugs (as well as medical devices, personal care products, and occasionally other things). As defined by the FDA, “adverse events” include hospitalization, surgical intervention, permanent disability/damage, “substantial risk of dying,” death, birth defects, seizures, and more. These reports can also cover “product use errors, product quality problems, and therapeutic failures.” Several countries have set up publicly accessible databases containing details from these reports. The full reports themselves usually aren’t there, but in some databases you’ll find details from each report, such as type of adverse event, age and gender of the patient, etc. Other databases present overall statistics but not details of individual reports. You can bet that the pharmaceutical industry is not happy that these exist…”

The Case Against Eating Fish

The Walrus – The Case Against Eating Fish As a biologist, I know what can happen to seafood before it ends up on our plates. That’s why it’s not on mine “…But eating mislabelled fish can make you ill. Seafood is delicate; each species has a specific temperature range at which it can be stored,… Continue Reading

LIS News – Ten Stories That Shaped 2017

LIS NEWS – Can you believe it’s almost 2018? That means it’s time to look back at some of the notable library-related stories from the past year. 10. Librarians Fight Fake News The problems with fake news caused many of us to revamp our web evaluation handouts into guides for spotting bogus information sources. 9.… Continue Reading

Health Care Just Became the U.S.’s Largest Employer

The Atlantic – “This moment was inevitable. It just wasn’t supposed to happen so soon. Due to the inexorable aging of the country—and equally unstoppable growth in medical spending—it was long obvious that health-care jobs would slowly take up more and more of the economy. But in the last quarter, for the first time in… Continue Reading

Nuclear War Would Be ‘Devastating’ So C.D.C. Wants to Get People Prepared

NYT – “President Trump’s recent tweets about his big nuclear button may have been intended to deter a nuclear weapons exchange with North Korea, but the nation’s top public health agency is taking the prospect of a nuclear attack seriously. On Jan. 16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will present a workshop titled… Continue Reading

Federal Fraud Recoveries Decline in Fiscal Year 2017

POGO: “On the Thursday before Christmas, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released its annual fraud recovery numbers. The DOJ announced it had recouped $3.7 billion through settlements and judgments in False Claims Act cases in fiscal year 2017. This amount is nearly 23 percent lower than the previous fiscal year, but roughly in line with FY… Continue Reading

ClinicalTrials.gov: Further Enhancements to Functionality

“On December 18, 2017, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) released a new set of updates to ClinicalTrials.gov as part of its ongoing effort to enhance the usability of the database (see ClinicalTrials.gov: First in a Series of Changes to Improve Usability for Stakeholders). Most of the features provided in the current release were previously… Continue Reading

Agency officials instructed to employ designated vocabulary divergent from accepted procedures

Washington Post – Multiple HHS divisions instructed to avoid words including ‘diversity’ and ‘vulnerable’ – “…The Trump administration is prohibiting officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases — including “fetus” and “transgender” — in official documents being prepared for next year’s budget. Policy analysts at the… Continue Reading

Research – Hobbies aren’t just fulfilling—they keep us healthy, mindful, and sane

We Let Work Define Us. Why Not Play? Hobbies aren’t just fulfilling—they keep us healthy, mindful, and sane – “Hobbies are also incredibly good for you physiologically. Hobbies can boost social interaction, which reduces stress—and loneliness. They may even make you less susceptible to dementia. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic interviewed 256 seniors about their… Continue Reading

Government Gets Lower Ratings for Handling Health Care, Environment, Disaster Response

“Since 2015, opinions about the federal government’s handling of several major issues have become less positive and much more partisan. Yet majorities continue to say the government should have a “major role” on such issues as defending against terrorism and helping lift people from poverty. And views about government’s role, unlike its performance, have changed… Continue Reading

New data on: Commuting Times, Median Rents and Language other than English Use

“The nation experienced an increase in commuting time, median gross rent and a rise in English proficiency among those who spoke another language. These are only a few of the statistics released today from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012-2016 American Community Survey five-year estimates data release, which features more than 40 social, economic, housing and… Continue Reading

Google Genomics – big data collection, genomic patient info and privacy

“Google Genomics helps the life science community organize the world’s genomic information and make it accessible and useful. Big genomic data is here today, with petabytes rapidly growing toward exabytes. Through our extensions to Google Cloud Platform, you can apply the same technologies that power Google Search and Maps to securely store, process, explore, and… Continue Reading