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Category Archives: Medicine

Drug Prosecutions Drop To Historic Lows In Last 6 Months

“Despite widespread concern about an epidemic of opioid abuse, and announcements by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others of stepped up efforts by the Trump administration to address it, federal criminal prosecutions for drug offenses have dropped to historic lows. The latest data, current through June 2017, show that fewer drug offenders were federally prosecuted over the past 12 months than at any time during the last quarter century. During the first five months of the Trump administration (February – June 2017), there were only 8,814 drug offenders federally prosecuted, as compared with 9,687 federal criminal cases prosecuted during February – June 2016. According to the case-by-case records analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University, drug prosecutions in U.S. district courts are down 27.6 percent from levels reported just five years ago. So far this fiscal year, the Southern District of California (San Diego) had the highest number of drug offenders prosecuted relative to its population size. South Dakota, the Southern District of West Virginia (Charleston) and Vermont now rank among the top ten federal judicial districts on this same criteria — a marked change from ten years ago when not one of these three were in the top ranks. To see the full report go to: http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/crim/475/

Expanded Access Navigator – Helping Patients In Need of Potentially Life-Saving Drug Treatments

US FDA Blog: “Patients with serious or immediately life-threatening diseases or conditions who have no comparable or satisfactory alternative therapy and who seek access to potentially life-saving investigational drugs will have another option to guide them through the process – thanks to the launch today of a new online tool called the Expanded Access Navigator.… Continue Reading

The Myth and the Cost of Drug Expiration Dates

Investigative research and report by PrpPublica and NPR’s Shots Blog: “Hospitals and pharmacies are required to toss expired drugs, no matter how expensive or vital. Meanwhile the FDA has long known that many remain safe and potent for years longer…The dates on drug labels are simply the point up to which the Food and Drug Administration… Continue Reading

Senate Republicans release draft Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017

The 142 page discussion draft (bill), titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 was released at 11am on April 22, 2017 to the entire Senate who with the exception of 13 Senators, had not been engaged in its creation nor had prior access to its content. The goal of the bill is to replace… Continue Reading

FTC – New dietary supplement website launched

“Ever wonder if your dietary supplements are truly safe, effective and risk-free? If you are a member of the military, this question can be particularly important. Servicemembers often are targeted by companies selling supplements: to help members of the military lose weight, enhance workouts, or be in top shape for battle. If you’re considering using… Continue Reading

Inequalities in Life Expectancy Among US Counties, 1980 to 2014

Inequalities in Life Expectancy Among US Counties, 1980 to 2014 – Temporal Trends and Key Drivers. Laura Dwyer-Lindgren, MPH; Amelia Bertozzi-Villa, MPH; Rebecca W. Stubbs, BA; et al Chloe Morozoff, MPH; Johan P. Mackenbach, MD, PhD2; Frank J. van Lenthe, PhD; Ali H. Mokdad, PhD; Christopher J. L. Murray, MD, DPhil. JAMA Intern Med. Published… Continue Reading

Consumer Reports – How the Affordable Care Act Drove Down Personal Bankruptcy

How the Affordable Care Act Drove Down Personal Bankruptcy Expanded health insurance helped cut the number of filings by half by Allen St. John May 02, 2017: “As legislators and the executive branch renew their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act this [past] week, they might want to keep in mind a… Continue Reading

The Future of Jobs and Jobs Training

Pew – May 3, 2017: The Future of Jobs and Jobs Training – “As robots, automation and artificial intelligence perform more tasks and there is massive disruption of jobs, experts say a wider array of education and skills-building programs will be created to meet new demands. There are two uncertainties: Will well-prepared workers be able… Continue Reading

CRS – Advanced Gene Editing: CRISPR – Cas9

Advanced Gene Editing: CRISPR-Cas9, Congressional Research Service, April 28, 2017. [via FAS] “Scientists have long sought the ability to control and modify DNA—the code of life. A new gene editing technology known as CRISPR-Cas9 offers the potential for substantial improvement over previous technologies in that it is simple to use and inexpensive and has a… Continue Reading

Fortune Global 500

View the Full List of Fortune Global 500 Visualize The Global 500 – “People visit and revisit the Global 500 for lots of reasons, chief among them: job prospects, sales leads, corporate research and investor information. And bragging rights, of course. Below are two visualizations that allow you to explore the Global 500. On the… Continue Reading

Report Provides Blueprint Of How Memory Can Be Improved When It’s Lagging

Kaiser Health News: “A new study looks at the effects of electrical stimulation on the brain, and how those pulses can improve and impair memory.” The New York Times: ‘Pacemaker’ For The Brain Can Help Memory, Study Finds  – Well-timed pulses from electrodes implanted in the brain can enhance memory in some people, scientists reported… Continue Reading

Kaiser – Repeal, Replace, Revise: Your Guide To How A Trump Proposal Might Change ACA Insurance

Kaiser Health News: “Repeal and replace is on-again, off-again, but that doesn’t mean the rules affecting your insurance will remain unchanged. The Trump administration late Thursday issued a final rule aimed at stabilizing the health law’s insurance marketplace that could have rapid, dramatic effects on people who do not get insurance through work and buy it on the… Continue Reading