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Category Archives: Medicine

FDA list of drugmakers the agency says are using “gaming” tactics to keep generic competition off the market

Business Insider: “The FDA just published a list of drug makers the agency says are using “gaming” tactics to keep generic competition off the market. The list of 52 drugs are made by some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies including Novartis, Pfizer, Mylan, and Valeant “FDA is committed – among other things – to addressing and improving transparency about this and other gaming tactics that delay the generic competition Congress intended,” the agency said on Thursday. [h/t Pete Weiss]

Mapping Immune Cells in the Human Body

Center for Data Innovation: “Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Broad Institute, a genomic research center, have published a database of genetic profiles of over half a million immune cells. The data includes information about the characteristics, structure, and metadata of 224,000 cells from bone marrow and 306,000 cells from umbilical cord blood. This… Continue Reading

Prescription drugs that kill: The challenge of identifying deaths in government data

Data Driven Journalism – Mike Stuka: “An editor at The Palm Beach Post printed out hundreds of pages of reports and asked a simple question that turned out to be weirdly complex: How many people were being killed by a prescription drug? That question relied on version of a report that was soon discontinued by the U.S.… Continue Reading

Atlantic – the decline of women who are mothers in America

The Atlantic: “As the American population grows, so does the number of American moms. But, more than a century after Mother’s Day became an official holiday, even as that number increases, the share of the American population who are mothers is at the lowest point it’s been in a quarter century. It’s frequently noted that… Continue Reading

You Can’t Opt Out Of Sharing Your Data, Even If You Didn’t Opt In

FiveThirtyEight: “…Yonatan Zunger, a former Google privacy engineer, noted we’ve known for a long time that one person’s personal information is never just their own to share. It’s the idea behind the old proverb, “Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.” And as far back as the 1960s, said Jennifer Lynch,… Continue Reading

Vital Signs: Trends in Reported Vectorborne Disease Cases – US and Territories, 2004–201

CDC Early Release, MMWR, May 1, 2018: “Vectorborne diseases are major causes of death and illness worldwide. In the United States, the most common vectorborne pathogens are transmitted by ticks or mosquitoes, including those causing Lyme disease; Rocky Mountain spotted fever; and West Nile, dengue, and Zika virus diseases. This report examines trends in occurrence… Continue Reading

Book Review – ‘The Efficiency Paradox’ Review: Big Data, Big Problems

WSJ – Though technology is making our lives ever more convenient, it also may be having the unintended effect of lowering our skill set. Gregg Easterbrook reviews “The Efficiency Paradox” by Edward Tenner. “‘Big Data” is the Big Bad of our moment. Companies and governments amass enormous troves of information about our online and offline… Continue Reading

Report: Boosting Energy Efficiency Would Bring Vast Health Benefits

Environmental Working Group: “A new report estimated the sweeping public health benefits that a 15 percent reduction in energy demand would yield in one year. The February report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, or ACEEE, and Physicians for Social Responsibility, or PSR, found that the savings from modestly cutting energy demand in… Continue Reading

‘Gag Clauses’ and Prescription Drug Prices – Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports – “When you fill a prescription at your local drugstore, you probably assume that using your insurance is the best—maybe even the only—way to pay. So you might be surprised to learn that you can sometimes pay less if you don’t use your insurance. And there’s a good reason that counterintuitive cost-saving strategy… Continue Reading

Research – Humans produce new brain cells throughout their lives

Findings could help hunt for treatment for degenerative conditions such as Alzheimers, and psychiatric problems: “Humans continue to produce new neurons in a part of their brain involved in learning, memory and emotion throughout adulthood, scientists have revealed, countering previous theories that production stopped after adolescence. The findings could help in developing treatments for neurological… Continue Reading

Research and data support dispensary-based marijuana for pain rather than opiods

Statnews: “As more states legalize medical and recreational marijuana, doctors may be replacing opioid prescriptions with suggestions to visit a local marijuana dispensary. Two papers published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine analyzing more than five years of Medicare Part D and Medicaid prescription data found that after states legalized weed, the number of opioid prescriptions… Continue Reading

Without Context Or Cushion, Do Online Medical Results Make Sense?

Kaiser Health News: “…The push for [patient] portals has been fueled by several factors: the widespread embrace of technology, incentive payments to medical practices and hospitals that were part of 2009 federal legislation to encourage “meaningful use” of electronic records, and a 2014 federal rule giving patients direct access to their results. Policymakers have long… Continue Reading