5 Impact Stories of 2015

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It's been a banner year here at The American Council on Science and Health and with every major health or science news story we have been there to offer expert analysis and serve as a check on junk science.

Here are our top 5 health impact stories from this year.

5. Scott County HIV Outbreak

The council has long been a proponent of science-based harm reduction policies and needle exchanges are no different. Earlier this year we saw what can happen when poor policies meets poor education with the outbreak of HIV in Indiana which was fueled mostly by the sharing of dirty needles.


2015 may well be most remembered as the year CRISPR-Cas9 burst onto the scene. The technique allows scientists to easily, cheaply, and precisely edit genes in or out of an organism's genome. It may well revolutionize many fields from agriculture to medicine.

3. California Gets Sane About Vaccines

It was a long and arduous battle for California state senator Dr. Richard Pan, but he finally got to the finish line in the summer of 2015 when his vaccine bill was finally passed and signed into law. The bill ended "philosophical exemption" to vaccines and thus saving thousands of children's lives.

2. The Political War On Cancer Drugs

From the lifesaving Hep C drugs, to that eccentric millionaire, to grandstanding by presidential candidates, it seemed like every week in 2015 there was a major news story about prescription drug costs. Dr. Josh Bloom tackled drug prices throughout the year while politicians such as Bernie Sanders routinely criticized pharmaceutical development. When did it stop? When Jimmy Carter announced his cancer was in remission and we noted his drug cost $150,000 per year.

1. ACSH and Friends Take Down Dr. Oz

We have long been critical of TV entertainer Dr. Oz for deceiving the public on how to stay healthy, but in 2015 our efforts made some big waves in the public. Four current and former members of the American Council on Science and Health caused a major media buzz and after a lot of huffing and puffing denial from Mehmet, he agreed to make some changes, like sort-of hiring a fact checker (an anti-GMO activist, though), to stop using Miracle for everything, and to put Dr. in really tiny letters around the border of the title of the show.