Monday, January 31, 2011

Alta Charo on the FDA, at the U

New Technologies and Old Statutes:
Challenges for 21st Century Food and Medical Product Regulation

Prof. R. Alta Charo, JD
University of Wisconsin and U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Wednesday, February 2, 2011
11:30AM - 1:00PM
Theater, Coffman Memorial Union

Prizes for Prostates

No kidding.  Free tickets to see the Atlanta Hawks if you pledge to get a PSA test.  Gary Schwitzer explains.

Zombie Nutritionist Recommends All-Brain Diet

"STONY BROOK, NY—In a dramatic reversal of decades-old medical wisdom, the late Dr. Albert Rossum, director of the O'Bannon Institute For Postmortem Nutritional Studies, recommended an all-brain diet for zombies Tuesday."  The Onion reports.

Call for papers

"The founding principle of the Journal of Universal Rejection (JofUR) is rejection. Universal rejection. That is to say, all submissions, regardless of quality, will be rejected."  Read more here.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Healthy packaged foods at Wal-Mart!

Last week, word hit the street that Wal-Mart has plans to make their packaged foods "healthier." Genuine concern for public health or PR scheme? Hmmm...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Clinical Trials on Trial

Vulnerable people are increasingly targeted as subjects for clinical research.  Have we forgotten the lessons of past abuses?  Osagie K. Obasogie writes about clinical trials and exploitation in New Scientist.

Pharmaceutical Alliances and the Politics of Prescription Drug Reform in Post-War America

February 4, 2011
12:15 to 1:30 pm, in 1-450 Moos Tower on the
University of Minnesota campus

"Pharmaceutical Alliances and the Politics of Prescription Drug
Reform in Post-War America"

Speaker: Dominique Tobbell, PhD
Assistant Professor, Program in the History of Medicine; Oral
Historian, Academic Health Center History Project, University of Minnesota

Another reason to stay away from Facebook

It will make you miserable.  Read more in Slate.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Because Correlation is *Clearly* Causation

So...supposedly you can figure out which of those naughty but cute little daycare kids will be a future criminal. It might be time to get those kids on some sort of Prozaquelidone before it's too late! Check it out at The Daily Mail.

Virtual healthcare

You know how Metro Transit buses have advertisements above the handrails? All of the advertisements on a bus I rode a few days ago were for this "online clinic"...strange.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Did Newsweek kill a story to please Pfizer?

Read about it here.

Does expensive medical care mean worse care?

What if you could both lower medical costs and give patients better care?  In The New Yorker, surgeon and journalist Atul Gawande writes of a remarkable experiment in Camden, New Jersey.  The article is not available online, but you can listen to an interview with Gawande on Fresh Air here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A test for Alzheimer's?

An FDA advisory committee has recommended approval of a new imaging test for Alzheimer's disease, as Gina Kolata reports in a characteristically enthusiastic article in the Times.  But others have warned of the dangers of diagnosing Alzheimer's by testing for amyloid plaques, which are present in a third of normally functioning elderly adults.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This is your army on drugs

"A June 2010 internal report from the Defense Department's Pharmacoeconomic Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio showed that 213,972, or 20 percent of the 1.1 million active-duty troops surveyed, were taking some form of psychotropic drug: antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedative hypnotics, or other controlled substances."  Read more here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Deadly Spin by Wendell Potter

Wendell Potter, author and former insurance executive, will discuss his book, Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans, on Wednesday, January 19 at 4:00 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Memorial Union.

Read more here.

South Africa's God Committee

In November 1962, Life magazine published Shana Alexander's article, "They Decide Who Lives, Who Dies," about a Seattle committee charged with deciding which patients would get dialysis.  The same drama is playing out today in South Africa.  Read about it here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Odds of having an IVF baby? There's an app for that.

According to an article found on "British researchers have devised a formula which they say gives a highly accurate prediction of the potential success of IVF, to help couples decide whether to try the treatment. They have made it available online as a simple computer calculator application, and say it will soon be available for download on Apple's iPhones and other mobile devices."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Got Restless Legs?

The CNN Health Blog, "Paging Dr. Gupta," discusses "Restless Leg Syndrome" and if there is any truth to that label. Check it out here.