Policy & Ethics

Sugar-sweetened beverages, SSBs, contain added sugar, or in some cases, noncaloric sweeteners, and are nonalcoholic. As global waistlines have increased, so have taxes on these “bad boy” products – now implemented in “45 countries, including numerous subnational local jurisdictions.” A systematic review considers the impact of these taxes on raising revenue and improving health.
For those of us working, or in my case, having worked in the medical community Don Berwick is a well-known gentleman. He is the former administrator of the Center for Medicare Services, President Emeritus of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and the author of healthcare’s triple aim – expanding care, improving quality, and lowering cost. He has a new message today, the Ten Teams.
Is the U.S. heading for even more trouble from drug overdose deaths? Dr. Jeffrey Singer, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and ACSH advisor, says yes. Modelers have predicted that ODs will accelerate because of even stronger fentanyl analogs and also due to mixing drugs that should not be mixed. Anyone still blaming the overprescribing of opioid analgesics for our soaring deaths should read this.
Tracking cookies – those bite-size snippets of code that log your internet behavior – come in as many forms as recipes for chocolate chip cookies. They are ubiquitous on all commercial websites, but as it turns out they can often be found on governmental websites. How did that come to be? Part of Big Brother’s surveillance or could it be a quiet “smash and grab” by social media companies?
Politics vs. public health. California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have authorized safe consumption sites to help prevent drug overdoses, an example of harm reduction. Dr. Jeffrey Singer, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and member of the ACSH Scientific Advisory Board strenuously disagrees.
Personal injury lawyers are either revered or reviled. Sometime purveyors of junk science, they often prey on a vulnerable and scientifically averse judiciary. But things are a’changin- at least for asbestos. And that signals bad news for the talc plaintiffs.
What do Monkeypox, the opioid crisis, New Mexico fires, Kentucky flooding, and COVID-19 have in common? All have been declared public health emergencies. [1] So what exactly does a declaration of a public health emergency mean?
Cato Institute Senior Fellow Dr. Jeffrey Singer (also a member of the ACSH Scientific Advisory Board) has written a powerful piece about the inability of policymakers to realize that their plan to reduce drug overdose deaths is wrong on every level.
A critically important paper in the journal Frontiers in Pain Medicine concludes that while the rationale for reducing opioid prescriptions to minimize overdose deaths was sound between 2006-2010, during the ensuing decade the opposite was true. Reducing opioid prescriptions during this time dramatically increased deaths and hospitalizations. In other words, what worked 15 years ago is an unmitigated disaster at this time.
Reporters, fact-checkers, and academics routinely urge us to avoid "misinformation." The problem is, these trusted sources often spread the very nonsense they warn us about. I make the case over at BigThink.
Regulatory capture refers to a type of “corruption,” in which a member of a regulatory body goes on to join those they once regulated. It's best thought of as having the fox guard the hen house. Last week, the FDA’s “top” tobacco scientist left for ... Philip Morris International (PMI), the makers of, among other brands, Marlboro cigarettes.
PFAS, the “forever chemicals,” provides a perfect example of how faulty risk assessment can lead to real-world consequences that destroy people’s lives. This happens when federal agencies do not consider relative risk in their analyses and are blinded to the real-world implications of their actions.