Obesity more dangerous than terrorism: experts- This seems like an argument that someone would make on a blog and we will go along with it as this group estimates that a lack of physical activity causes 1.9 million deaths worldwide. We could question with the methodology, but we agree with the premise so we won’t try to discredit it. Feel free to leave a comment though if you agree or disagree.
Western clinical trials bad for traditional medicine: SAfrican minister- It looks like someone doesn’t want to show how ineffective and costly some treatments are. I support the use of and research into alternative medicines, but to say they shouldn’t be subject to clinical trials is ridiculous. If someone had argued that typical Western medicines shouldn’t require clinical trials, that person would be ripped apart for being in big pharma’s pocket. I think it should run both ways. If you want to support the South African minister, I will leave you with this pearl from the article to ponder:
Tshabalala-Msimang has faced ridicule in the past over her championing of garlic and vegetables to help combat HIV, which affects some 5.5 million South Africans out of a population of 48 million.
Recent United Nations’ data has shown South Africa to have the worst rate of HIV sufferers on the planet. Mbeki has also been criticised for questioning the link between HIV and AIDS in the past.
AT&T, Tenn. create medical info exchange- I’ll go ahead and be one of the millions of people to say it. In the next 10 years, health IT will be THE huge growth industry. AT&T (and every other big company) appears to realize this and is trying to get a piece of the pie. They have entered into an agreement with the state of Tennessee to provide a secure, statewide to transmit patient information between providers. This seems like a good idea and we tend to favor private rather than public/government solutions for any business problem.
India’s youths are in perilous grip of a smoking epidemic- This is a disheartening story as despite every person on earth knowing that cigarettes are bad for you people continue to smoke. We’ll let these excerpts tell the story:
There are 120 million smokers in India, half of them younger than 30, the study found. India has a larger population of smokers than any other country in the world except for China.
[. . .]
According to the findings, for example, 40 percent of tuberculosis cases in India were due to smoking, since smoking converts the disease in the lungs more quickly. Only 2 percent of smokers in India quit the habit, and usually only after falling ill.
New York Times:
Insurance Fears Lead Many to Shun DNA Tests- An interesting look at the potential impact and externalities of DNA tests. It raises a lot of medical, economic, and ethical issues. Definitely worth a read.
Vaccinating Boys for Girls’ Sake?- Some people are attempting to get the well-known HPV vaccine to be given to boys in an attempt to decrease the spread of HPV. They argue that it will decrease the risk of the boys/men getting genital warts and the risk of women developing cervical cancer from sexual intercourse. The question is if it is worth it to give the vaccine to boys since genital warts can be treated. While it would certainly help create herd immunity to decrease the spread of HPV/cervical cancer, the question becomes the incentive for the boys and consideration of financial costs. If every girl were to receive the HPV vaccine, vaccinating boys would be useless in preventing cervical cancer. Then the question is why subject boys to the risks of vaccination with no true benefit and with the added cost. I am assuming that Merck is certainly supportive of vaccinating boys since it will double their potential market. What do you think should be done?
Wall Street Journal:
FDA Approves Avastin for Breast Cancer- The approval came despite the advisory committee voting 5-4 against it, which had felt that the fact that it slowed the progression of breast cancer, but did not increase survival did not provide adequate reason to approve the drug. Now, Genentech has a drug that is approved for lung, colorectal, and breast cancer. In related news, Genentech’s stock is up 10% at opening this morning.