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.
A common narrative about cancer is that we are making no progress in our fight against it. Fortunately, the actual data do not agree. Yes, too many people still die of cancer and progress is slow, but it's not correct to claim that we are losing the war on cancer.
Did cannabis oil save Deryn Blackwell, the “boy in seven billion,” when his bone marrow transplant for two cancers was failing?
In a forthcoming book The Boy in 7 Billion, Callie Blackwell claims that cannabis oil, which she had started giving her son Deryn to relieve his symptoms during a bone marrow transplant for two cancers, actually saved his life when the bone marrow transplant appeared to be failing. Unfortunately, her story appears to be another testimonial that confuses correlation with causation.
Is the ACCME cracking down on quackery in continuing medical education (CME) offerings? Richard Jaffe thinks so.
Richard Jaffe, a lawyer who has made a career out of defending quacks like Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, thinks that the ACCME, the main accrediting body for continuing medical education (CME) credits, is cracking down on "complementary and alternative medicine" CME courses. That would be a very good thing indeed, but is it really happening? More importantly, would it be enough?
When a patient and her family trust a naturopath rather than oncologists and oncologic surgeons, the result is often tragic. In this case, Fikreta Ibrisevic trusted naturopath Juan Sanchez Gonzalez instead of real doctors to treat her rhabdomyosarcoma in 2015. The results were as tragic as expected, and she died. What happened next was not expected and amplified the horror of the...
The Texas Medical Board lets Stanislaw Burzynski off lightly: A cautionary tale of the failure of regulating medicine
After three years and countless twists and turns, the final decision by the Texas Medical Board on the sanctions to be imposed on Houston cancer quack Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski were announced on Friday. Sadly, they were not enough. The Burzynski saga should serve as a cautionary tale that the regulation of physicians and medicine is too lax, not too strict.
Last week, in a surprise move Google delisted Mike Adams' Natural News website. Predictably, Adams immediately cried "Conspiracy!" and accused Google of punishing him for his support for "natural health" and Donald Trump. The truth appears to be that Adams violated one of Google's rules, leaving the question: What's the best way to fight fake news and fake medicine on the Internet?
Prove the scientific consensus and win a prize: A time-dishonored PR ploy used by cranks, quacks, and pseudoscientists (Robert F. Kennedy Jr. edition)
Last week, antivaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. teamed up with Robert De Niro to issue a challenge to provide one scientific study that proves thimerosal in vaccines is safe, with a cash prize of $100,000. They thus joined a long line of antivaxers, creationists, and climate science denialists offering money to "prove" the scientific consensus. Science doesn't work that way.