The epidemic’s cause isn’t clear, but a nationwide system for tracking prescriptions would help. Read the rest at The Wall Street Journal.
A study shows they would give up the chance to win money to avoid hearing ideas they disagree with. So much for the champions of enlightenment. Read the rest at New Scientist.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb is a medical school professor with bureaucratic know-how and a long, pro-science resume. That makes him an excellent choice to head the Food and Drug Administration. Read the rest at USA Today.
The Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council (CEHPAC), an agency within Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, has recommended that schools reduce or eliminate students’ exposure to Wi-Fi because it believes wireless signals might cause cancer. This is pure, unadulterated junk science. Read the rest at Baltimore Sun.
To curb the ongoing tidal wave of opioid addiction and overdose deaths, state and federal governments have put in place policies that restrict doctors’ ability to prescribe opioids such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet. Although well-meaning, these policies are unleashing several unintended — yet entirely predictable — consequences. Read the rest at Stat News.
The environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a vaccine skeptic, told reporters Tuesday in the lobby of Trump Tower that the president-elect has asked him to lead a commission “to make sure we have scientific integrity in the vaccine process for efficacy and safety effects.” Mr. Kennedy also suggested that Donald Trump “has some doubts about the current vaccine policies” and that “we ought to be debating the science.” This is insane. Read the rest at The Wall Street Journal.
A jury in St. Louis awarded a woman over $70 million last month because her lawyers convinced a jury that talcum (baby) powder caused her ovarian cancer. This is the third jackpot verdict issued by a jury in that city against Johnson & Johnson. Since sharks are smelling blood in the water, surely more lawsuits will follow. Read the rest at USA Today.
The annual physical exam is under fire. Increasingly, physicians believe that the yearly ritual of having our bodies poked and prodded is completely useless, save for the fraction of patients who have a chronic illness or predisposition to disease. Worse, the annual physical is estimated to cost our healthcare system approximately $8 billion for arguably little benefit. Read the rest at Scientific American.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, have announced a 10-year, $3-billion initiative to “cure, prevent or manage all disease within our children’s lifetime.” Hopefully, one of the conditions they will try to cure is the couple’s sizable ego. Read the rest at USA Today.
It is no secret that the U.S. spends more money per K-12 pupil than most other countries, yet American students consistently rank in the middle of the pack against their peers. In the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment, measured against their counterparts in 34 developed nations, U.S. students ranked 27th in mathematics and 20th in science. Read the rest at USA Today.