Medical error is not included on death certificates or in rankings of cause of death.
Martin Makary and Michael Daniel assess its contribution to mortality and call for better reporting. . Press Play> to listen to the recording.
” Medical error has been defined as an unintended act (either of omission or commission) or one that does not achieve its intended outcome, the failure of a planned action to be completed as intended (an error of execution), the use of a wrong plan to achieve an aim (an error of planning), or a deviation from the process of care that may or may not cause harm to the patient. Patient harm from medical error can occur at the individual or system level. The taxonomy of errors is expanding to better categorize preventable factors and events. We focus on preventable lethal events to highlight the scale of potential for improvement. “…
…Continue reading: Medical error—the third leading cause of death in the US, The BMJ, 03 May 2016. See also the responses.
Drug companies won’t support charities if they can’t be sure they’re also helping themselves…
How Big Pharma Uses Charity Programs to Cover for Drug Price Hikes, bloomberg, May 19, 2016.
A billion-dollar system in which charitable giving is profitable for Big Pharma… . Press Play> to listen to the recording.
” In August 2015, Turing Pharmaceuticals and its then-chief executive, Martin Shkreli, purchased a drug called Daraprim and immediately raised its price more than 5,000 percent. Within days, Turing contacted Patient Services Inc., or PSI, a charity that helps people meet the insurance copayments on costly drugs. Turing wanted PSI to create a fund for patients with toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that is most often treated with Daraprim.
Having just made Daraprim much more costly, Turing was now offering to make it more affordable. But this is not a feel-good story. It’s a story about why expensive drugs keep getting more expensive, and how U.S. taxpayers support a billion-dollar system in which charitable giving is, in effect, a very profitable form of investing for drug companies—one that may also be tax-deductible. “…
…Continue reading: How Big Pharma Uses Charity Programs to Cover for Drug Price Hikes, bloomberg, May 19, 2016.
Healthcare providers are encouraged to be frank about the limitations of screening—the harms of screening are certain, but the benefits in overall mortality are not
Why cancer screening has never been shown to “save lives”—and what we can do about it, BMJ 2016;352:h6080, 06 January 2016.
The claim that cancer screening saves lives is based on fewer deaths due to the target cancer. Vinay Prasad and colleagues argue that reductions in overall mortality should be the benchmark and call for higher standards of evidence for cancer screening. Press Play> to listen to the recording.
HEAL’s Lisette van Vliet speaks to Euranet Plus, the leading radio network for EU news
Euranet Plus Central, December 16, 2015
The Commission breached EU law when it failed to put in place criteria for identifying hormone disrupting chemicals two years ago, says the European Court in a judgement. But despite the ruling and scientific reports saying it is urgent to act now, the EU authority will not speed up the identification of dangerous chemicals.
LIVING ON EARTH with Jeff Young and Nancy Langston
Endocrine disrupting chemicals like bisphenol A have been making news lately, with several states passing regulations limiting or banning their use. The trajectory of BPA is similar to another chemical, commonly known as DES, once prescribed for pregnant and menopausal women. Host Jeff Young talks with Professor Nancy Langston about the history of endocrine disrupting chemicals and how this history can inform future chemical regulation. Her book is called, “Toxic Bodies: Hormone Disruptors and the Legacy of DES.” (published March 19, 2010).
Hermaphroditic, demasculinized frogs after exposure to the herbicide atrazine at low ecologically relevant doses
Scientists are continuing to sound the alarm about some common chemicals, including the herbicide atrazine, and link them to changes in reproductive health and development. Endocrine disrupting toxic chemicals have been found to feminize male frogs and cause homosexual behavior. Ashley Ahearn reports on how these substances may be affecting human development and behavior.
Press Play > to listen to the recording.
Sources and more information
Hormone Disruptors linked to Genital Changes and Sexual Preference, loe Air Date: Week of January 7, 2011, and DES Daughter, SoundCloud 09 June 2015.
How we expect researchers to make all their data available
The movement to make data from clinical trials widely accessible has achieved enormous success, and it is now time for medical journals to play their part. From 1 July The BMJ will extend its requirements for data sharing to apply to all submitted clinical trials, not just those that test drugs or devices.
The BMJ’s Elizabeth Loder explains what this means for authors, and how we expect researchers to make their data available.