There’s a new clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine showing a beneficial effect due to cannabidiol, a chemical isolated from marijuana, on drug-resistant seizures due to Dravet syndrome. Although there are a fair number of caveats, this is how you begin to turn the herbalism that characterizes medical marijuana advocacy into science-based medicine.
As quackery in the form of "integrative medicine" has increasingly been "integrated" into medicine, medical journals are starting to notice and succumb to the temptation to decrease their skepticism. The BMJ, unfortunately, is the latest to do so. It won't be the last.
Is the FDA embracing quackery? A draft proposal recommends that doctors learn about acupuncture and chiropractic for pain management.
Chiropractors and acupuncturists have lobbied for a greater role in treating pain. They might well have won it. Last week, the FDA released proposed changes Wednesday to its blueprint on educating health care providers about treating pain, which now recommend that doctors learn about chiropractic care and acupuncture as therapies that might help patients avoid opioids. There's still time to stop this.
Two (now retracted) studies purporting to show that vaccinated children are sicker than unvaccinated children show nothing of the sort
Antivaccine websites have been touting two recently published studies as strong evidence that vaccinated children are less healthy than unvaccinated children. The studies are so flawed that they show nothing of the sort. Even more hilariously, the bottom-feeding predatory open access journal that published them appears to have retracted them.
A recent article in Popular Science argues that medicine has a bias against acupuncture, holding it to a higher standard of evidence than conventional medical interventions. Even if there is a double standard, the answer is not to recommend acupuncture, but rather to stop recommending medical procedures that don't work.
Make measles great again: A case study of the politicization of school vaccine requirements in Michigan
Protecting our children through school vaccine requirements has long had strong bipartisan support. Unfortunately, the antivaccine movement has had success linking "vaccine choice" with "freedom" and "parental rights", leading to a surge of right wing antivaccine activism that has undermined that bipartisan consensus. Two bills under consideration by the Michigan legislature represent a microcosm of what is going on in much of...
Andrew Wakefield's antivaccine propaganda film VAXXED claims that MMR vaccination causes autism in African American boys. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Wakefield has targeted people of color with antivaccine misinformation. Before there was VAXXED, Wakefield and antivaxers targeted Somali immigrants in Minnesota. Measles outbreaks have been the result.
Ill-advised right-to-try bills are spreading like kudzu through state legislatures. Now federal legislators want to insert right-to-try language into the bill that funds FDA drug approval. Given the support of powerful Republicans like Vice President Mike Pence for right-to-try, is it too late to stop this juggernaut and protect patients?
California SB 277: New evidence that restricting nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine requirements works
The 2016-2017 kindergarten numbers are in. SB 277, the new California law banning personal belief exemptions to school vaccine requirements, works as intended. Early numbers show that vaccine uptake has increased, and personal belief exemptions are down dramatically.
A week after Donald Trump was elected, I speculated about how he would affect medical science policy. Now, 80 days into the Trump administration, we have some observations.