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Category Archives: Medicine

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…”

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

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

Report from President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

Dated November 1, 2017 this report is clearly watermarked on every page with the word DRAFT, but the White House announced today that this is the commission’s final report: “The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis has submitted its final report, recommending how the Federal Government can address the drug addiction… Continue Reading

Intellectual Property for the Twenty-First-Century Economy

Intellectual Property for the Twenty-First-Century Economy, Joseph E. Stiglitz, Dean Baker, Arjun Jayadev. October 17, 2017. “Developing countries are increasingly pushing back against the intellectual property regime foisted on them by the advanced economies over the last 30 years. They are right to do so, because what matters is not only the production of knowledge,… Continue Reading

TIME – Firsts – Women Who Are Changing the World

TIME – “What a jagged image we use for women who achieve greatly, defining accomplishment in terms of the barrier rather than the triumph. There she is up where the air is thin, where men still outnumber women, but where the altitude is awesome. Our goal with Firsts is for every woman and girl to… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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