Policy & Ethics

My Medpage feed offered up this headline: "Let's Stop Subsidizing Obesity." I thought I would find an argument over the continued financial support for sugar and corn. Then, I caught the subhead, “Government benefits should only be spent on nutritious foods.” Let’s consider their argument. 
Reforms to the U.S. drug pricing environment are required, but to improve patients’ health outcomes, reforms must be grounded in a comprehensive understanding of the current drug pricing system. Otherwise, policymakers will make things worse, not better. An important piece by ACSH advisor Dr. Robert Popovian and Wayne Winegarden, Ph.D.
The FDA has at this time received 79 comments for its "Morphine Milligram Equivalents: Current Applications and Knowledge Gaps, Research Opportunities, and Future Directions; Public Workshop." Here is the 80th.
As a result of the latest Presidential election, state legislatures are garnering a great deal of publicity about a host of new laws surrounding voter registration. More quietly, several states, in a reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, are also seeking to restrain the activities of our public health officials.
Social media censorship has exploded since the beginning of the pandemic, in large part thanks to the proliferation of so-called "fact-checkers." While efforts to limit the spread of false information online seem sensible, experts are starting to point out the downsides of tech companies moderating scientific disputes.
Natural News founder Mike Adams claims the US government has launched a five-phase campaign to force vaccines on American citizens. This is false, of course, but the bigger problem is that Adams is drawing attention away from real problems we need to solve before we face another pandemic.
Vaccination status on dating sites has become an issue as more people have been immunized. Some online daters are concerned about the disease while others worry about privacy issues if the dating app is linked to government databases. Should people simply be counted on to tell the truth about their vaccination status? Having dwelled for far too long in that gruesome world that's an easy one: hell, no. Too many lies and too many liars.
Starting in March 2020, studies began to show that smokers were under-represented among COVID-19 patients, suggesting that something in tobacco may offer protection against SARS-COV-2 infection. The evidence remains inconclusive, but it seems that some public health experts and journalists don't want to get to the bottom of this mystery.
What if you could knock someone off merely by thinking about it – and no way to trace those thoughts to the crime? And more horrendous still: what if you could harm someone because of some subconscious desire, one that you weren’t even aware of? This isn’t the stuff of science fiction. It might even be possible now.
As the debate over the origins of SARS-COV-2 rages, the case for silencing social media users grows weaker.
A recent survey found that fewer than 40% of Americans trust their federal public health agencies. Could “mission creep” into issues such as climate change, gun violence, and racism rather than a focus on traditional public health issues be a cause? Did mission creep impact our response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Advances in genetics have been revolutionized in the last few years. First came CRISPR, which can edit single genes, possibly preventing diseases with a single genetic determinant – raising the possibility of gene editing of children. CRISPR is too immature to be commercialized for this purpose, and this debate is speculative for now. But genome-wide association studies (GWAS) - which assesses the entire genome and can identify multiple genetic markers predictive of disease -- have made landfall and are being commercialized for that purpose.