Category: Politics and Regulation

The 21st Century Cures Act: The (Somewhat) Good, The (Mostly) Bad, and The (Very) Ugly

The approval of new drugs and medical devices is a process fraught with scientific, political, and ethical landmines. Inherent in any such process is an unavoidable conflict between rigorous science and safety on the one side, which tend to slow the process down by requiring large randomized clinical trials that can take years, versus forces that demand faster approval. For example, patients...

/ August 10, 2015
Food and Drug Administration building.

Society for Science-Based Medicine: Comment to FDA on homeopathic drug regulation

The Society for Science-Based Medicine has commented on the FDA's reconsideration of how to regulate homeopathic products.

/ August 6, 2015
Medical marijuana for autism? Where's the evidence?

Medical marijuana as the new herbalism, part 4: Cannabis for autism

Medical marijuana. It’s promoted as a seeming panacea that can cure whatever ails you. While there are potentially useful medicinal compounds in marijuana, in general the medical marijuana movement vastly oversells the promise. Nowhere is this more true than for cancer and autism, where there is no compelling evidence that cannabis cures cancer. Worse, parents are subjecting autistic children to cannabis with...

/ August 3, 2015
Welcome to Oregon

Naturopathic Medical Magic in the NW

As regular readers know, I live in the great Pacific Northwest, specifically Portland, Oregon. I am at home in the organic/hippy/environmental mind-set. It is what I grew up with. It is a relaxed, informal place to live. It is not much of an exaggeration to say that formal attire is tucking your tee shirt into your jeans. At least the metro area,...

/ July 24, 2015
Advil close-up

The evolving story of the harms of anti-inflammatory drugs

Owing to summer vacation, today’s post updates a 2011 post and a 2013 post with some new information. Anti-inflammatory drugs are among the most well-loved products in the modern medicine cabinet. They can provide good pain control, reduce inflammation, and eliminate fever. We give non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in infancy, continuing through childhood and then adulthood for the aches and pains of...

/ July 23, 2015

It’s time for pharmacies to stop selling sugar pills

Why are pharmacies selling sugar pills to consumers that are packaged like medicine? And what will it take for pharmacies to stop?

/ July 16, 2015

Nevada’s new quack protection law

Practicing a licensed health care profession, such as medicine, without a license used to be a felony in Nevada. Not any more. As of July 1, quacks and charlatans are free to ply their trades unencumbered by the threat that they might have to answer to the regulatory authorities for their misdeeds, as long as they follow a few simple rules. This...

/ July 9, 2015
SB 277 protests

The war in California over nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates, part 2

California has passed SB 277 into law. Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, SB 277 will eliminate personal belief exemptions to school vaccine requirements. This will benefit the health of California schoolchildren, but the law is not perfect and already antivaxers are looking for loopholes.

/ July 6, 2015

This stimulant can kill, yet you can legally buy it online. Why?

If there’s one thing that unites all countries and cultures, it’s our love of caffeine. Whether it’s coffee, tea or other foods, caffeine is the most widely consumed drug in the world — more than alcohol, and more than tobacco: 90% of adults worldwide consume caffeine daily. At doses found in food and beverages, the effects are predictable and the side effects...

/ July 2, 2015

FDA & CDC find raw pet food unpalatable

The FDA recently announced it would send field staff out to collect samples of commercially-manufactured raw dog and cat food. The samples will be analyzed for Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes and E. coli, all of which have been found in raw pet food, in the animals who eat it, in their feces, on their bodies after eating it, in the areas they inhabit,...

/ June 25, 2015