While they could have gone even further, Senators Markey and Paul, and Representatives Norcross and Bacon deserve praise for stepping outside the box to address opioid addiction and overdoses.
Policy & Ethics
The Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act Is a Good Step in the Right Direction, But It Should Go Further
Media coverage of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, understandably focused on the personal tragedies of citizens of East Palestine. There was also considerable confusion about the chemicals' impact on the community's health. There has been virtually no focus on the regulations already in place and why they weren’t more effective.
In response to Tranq, a horrifying "new" drug sweeping the nation, Andrew Kolodny, America's "drug expert" proposes a solution. And gets it all wrong.
Here's an idea. Let's say that you suffer from chronic constipation and that none of the usual stuff works. Might you benefit from something that sounds a bit odd - a capsule that is preactivated, swallowed, and then begins vibrating in your colon? Nope, it's not something from a Mel Brooks movie. It's real. Welcome to another unwanted chapter of the J-Man Chronicles!
Creating super-kids holds an allure – at least to some parents and bioethicists. But there are serious risks, both to the individual child and society. We don’t even have all the information needed to make an informed choice. That hasn’t stopped the technology from being championed.
Ever since Chinese scientist, He Jiankui genetically engineered three children five years ago via the novel CRISPR technology; the debate has raged over the ethics of manipulating our natural (or, if you will, God-given) genetic endowment. Initially, scientists in most countries imposed an absolute moratorium. Their views have loosened of late, especially regarding eradicating disease. Most scientists still oppose trait selection, choosing smarter, better-looking, or a particular gender for our children.
An abundance of caution, we have all heard the phrase. And while there are nuances, its gist is, for this particular situation, we are extra careful. And in what situations does that apply? For the most part, situations in which there is a remote chance of a catastrophic outcome that puts its thumb on the scale when measuring risk and benefit. But like the thumb on the grocery scale, it throws off the enterprising of weighing choices and often has stealth costs of its own.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, much airtime and social media space has been allocated to the lab leak vs. natural spillover dispute regarding the origins of SARS-CoV-2. To summarize briefly, the question is whether the pandemic was caused by a leak from a biosafety level (BSL) four lab in Wuhan, China, or whether it arose naturally as a consequence of a virus jumping from a bat to an animal and then to humans.
When government, politicians, and law enforcement take control of the practice of medicine this is what we get: Cruelty and incompetence. The next time you're given Tylenol for a broken leg or post-surgical pain you'll understand. Drs. Jeffrey Singer and Josh Bloom in USA Today.
The Public Health Conflict Between Our and States' Rights - Who Decides When COVID Science is Controversial?
For every mainstream article advocating masking or vaccination to prevent or minimize COVID-19, a group or individual is attacking it. The science seems crystal clear – to the proponents on either side. Even more, than advocating for “scientific might,” individuals claim the political right to decide which conduct or treatment they favor under the mantra of “liberty.” But when a disease as contagious as COVID affects more than the individual, some independent arbiter needs to make over-arching public health decisions. Supposedly, that would be the state government – entrenched under the law in time-honored state constitutions. But of late, that bastion seems wobbly.
America is facing a critical shortage of many medically important drugs. The good news? There's a simple solution if we're willing to implement it. The Biden Administration is poised to invest billions of dollars in America's "bioeconomy." Will this really boost the US biotech sector, or just waste valuable resources that should be spent elsewhere?
Prior authorization of drugs, diagnostic testing, or other medical services “is intended to ensure that health care services are medically necessary by requiring providers to obtain approval before a service or other benefit will be covered by a patient’s insurance.” In reality, it is a cost-control measure by insurance companies. It doesn’t mean you can’t get the care, just that you must jump through several hurdles first.