Weekend Reading (Thanksgiving Edition)
If you’re Canadian, it’s a long weekend. I’m heading to rural Eastern Ontario to pick apples and eat pie. I hope your weekend is just as enjoyable. Here’s some reading while you digest…
- The alternative health magazine “What Doctors Don’t Tell You” threatened legal action against Simon Singh, after he suggested it was irresponsible for retailers to sell it. Singh, who took on the British Chiropractic Association and won, is no stranger to libel threats. Skeptics in the UK proceeded to mock WDDTY with a variety of cover alternatives – my favorite is above. (If someone has a link to the original image and creator, please let me know.)
- No surprise. Don’t believe the vitamin hype. Vitamins C and D don’t prevent colds. As I have pointed out before, routine vitamin supplementation in the absence of a known deficiency is generally unnecessary and inadvisable. What prevents colds? Wash your hands regularly.
- This is a great column from August, pointed out to me by Kennedy Goodkey on Facebook. It’s written about the Mars Curiosity, but it’s really not about that at all. It’s about the importance of science. What Mars means to Earth:
Science is reality.
At a time when a large and increasing fraction of the U.S. population does not “believe in” science (i.e., objectively provable reality) – or, worse, has bought into the idea that science is just one choice on the reality menu – NASA has again given concrete reason to understand that science works, and that science is not an option, not a theory, not a menu item, but instead represents the finest efforts of human minds in understanding, and addressing, objective reality.
- Allowing pharmaceutical manufacturers to promote drugs for unapproved or “off-label” uses is generally prohibited, to ensure that drugs are marketed according to the evidence reviewed and approved by regulators. But not all appropriate uses are submitted by manufacturers and approved by regulators. So what’s the solution? France has some interesting ideas.
- A recent column in the Toronto Sun misrepresents data on the safety and efficacy of water fluoridation. Skeptic North debunks this fluoride fallacy.
- I’ve blogged before about compounding pharmacies, particularly those that prepare bioidentical hormones. I noted,
The proliferation of compounding pharmacies specializing in BHT has become a largely unmonitored supply chain of untested products, responding to, but also driving demand for, products that are not the standard of care
Now it seems that a compounding pharmacy has contaminated vials of methylprednisolone acetate with the fungus Aspergillus. The FDA noted during an inspection that there was visible contamination in vials. Used for epidural injections, there have been 47 cases of meningitis reported already, and the number infected may be 5000. Five deaths have already been attributed to this compounded drug product.
- Chiropractor forged consent form after patient’s stroke. More on chiropractic and stroke risk.
- New cures sought from old drugs. But the pharmaceutical industry needs to be a partner. (via John Greiss)
- No, you’re not entitled to your opinion.
- Lead poisoning due to ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic medicine is neither safe nor effective.
- IMS estimates $500B in Global Health Spending Can be Avoided Annually Through More Responsible Use of Medicines. Pharmacists featured for their role in medication management.
- Pretty amazing, actually. The Surprising Science of Why It’s Dark at Night, Animated.
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