American Council on Science and Health The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) is a consumer education consortium concerned with issues related to food, nutrition, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, the environment and health. ACSH is one of the few fearless voices of reason on these matters.
Christopher Whalen One guy who really understands the financial crisis. Brilliant insights. Links to his other sites.
The Coach's Team Coach Kevin Collins has an impressive resume, and uses all of his talents to demolish the Left. Site includes some guest columnists, as well.
Discussions In Infection Control This blog, designed and written exclusively by Lawrence F Muscarella, PhD, gives you the most comprehensive discussion of healthcare-associated (hospital) infections (or, “HAIs”), infection control, and both instrument and endoscope reprocessing in the world.
Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Provides much-needed balance to the increasingly strident health care lobby that seems intent on scaring everyone about almost everything.
Formaldehyde Facts Your antidote to formaldehyde phobia in the media, from ACC's formaldehyde panel.
Health Care Renewal Expert analysis of what's wrong with American health care. Advocating for accountability, integrity, transparency, honesty, and ethics in leadership and governance of health care.
Health News Digest One of the best and biggest health sites on the web. New content on a daily basis, geared to the professional and informed lay audience.
Interscan Corporation The independent pros in gas detection, known for taking on the tough applications. Site has much technical material, way beyond mere product touts.
Jewish World Review One of the original news/opinion aggregate sites. Founder/Editor-in-Chief/Publisher Binyamin L. Jolkovsky calls it "The intersection of faith, culture and politics." Loaded with content tending toward politically conservative. An oasis for energetic Judaism.
JunkScience.com Steven Milloy and company do a great job in exposing junk science, which he defines as: Faulty scientific data and analysis used to advance special and, often, hidden agendas. Lots of good content.
Loren Feldman Feldman does videos, marketing, commentary and...puppets. He also understands tech and art.
Overlawyered Chronicling the high cost of our legal system. Water Olson and company explore an American legal system that too often turns litigation into a weapon against guilty and innocent alike, erodes individual responsibility, rewards sharp practice, enriches its participants at the public’s expense, and resists even modest efforts at reform and accountability.
Paradigms and Demographics Ohio-based "bug guy" Rich Kozlovich dishes on junk science, junk politics, and many other matters. Rich is also on the prowl 24/7 for supplemental content written by Others. And he still has time to kill pests!
Quiet Music Nick Francis is a superb music programmer. Of course, it helps that he has an encyclopedic knowledge of music. Stream, subscribe, enjoy.
Selwyn Duke Hard-hitting and well-written conservative commentary, from a modern day renaissance man. The Duke is not afraid to ruffle some feathers, or invoke his Catholic faith, either.
SenSoft International Expert assistance on GSA, VA, DOD, and other federal contracts. Yes, there really can be great customer service in such an esoteric space.
The Excel Addict Most of us use Excel. Some of us use it a lot, and are constantly looking for easier ways to do things. Francis Hayes--the Excel Addict--offers plenty of free tips, a regular newsletter, and an inexpensive book to download.
The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics Everything you know about cholesterol causing heart disease is wrong, and this website is run by eminent doctors who are trying to set the record straight. But, with billions of dollars in drug sales at stake, it won't be easy.
The Nutrition Experts The name says it all. Jo-Ann Heslin and Karen Nolan have sold millions of books, and have re-launched their information-packed website. What's more, they encourage website visitors to submit questions.
Weasel Zippers Conservative commentary from all over the Web. Updated constantly.
Zero Hedge Works to...
Widen the scope of financial, economic and political information available to the professional investing public; provide analysis uninhibited by political constraint; liberate oppressed knowledge
This HND piece describes one more example of bringing "eee-ville" psychedelics into mainstream medicine. A few months ago, we covered the marijuana extract, CBD.
Although the term "PTSD" is relatively new, the condition goes back to antiquity, and I discuss how it is even mentioned, or at least implied, in The Iliad. Conventional treatment for PTSD—to be kind—has not been particularly successful.
The psychedelic MDMA, better known as "Ecstasy," had been used by certain psychiatrists until it was "scheduled" by the FDA in 1985. Given the intractability of PTSD, clinical trials with MDMA finally started a few years ago. The results seem promising, and who knows, maybe by some miracle, the drug will be removed from Schedule I.
This HND piece starts off by discussing some key points from the excellent 2007 book The Medicalization of Society: On the Transformation of Human Conditions into Treatable Disorders. It then works its way to a few comments on the long-running JAMA Internal Medicine series called "Less is More."
Among other things, the book questions the notion of Adult ADHD, whereby most of the supposed victims are self-diagnosed. And there is also the bizarre abuse of human growth hormone on kids who might be only slightly below average height.
By the time this over-treatment works its way into the "Less is More" series, we are looking at some pretty dangerous abuses, including the gross over consumption of proton pump inhibitors, and the absurd condition known as "prediabetes."
There's a good reason for my emphasis of this topic. Blood glucose level is easily determined at home with test strips, and given the "trigger" level of 126 milligrams per deciliter, will force compliant patients into immediate pharmaceutical therapy. Never mind that there are potentially serious side effects from these drugs—indeed, several of them have been withdrawn from the market. More than that, the supposed "necessity" of tight glycemic (blood glucose level) control has never been proved. To the contrary, it has been under attack since at least 2000, only you don't hear too much about that.
However, people like Cait O'Sullivan—pharmacy guru and academic detailer (providing objective, balanced, evidence-informed drug information on the best prescribing practices) for the province of British Columbia—have heard about it. O'Sullivan asked the FDA flat-out for proof at a recent seminar, and they simply shut her down.
We discovered some very interesting articles questioning the orthodoxy on glycemic control, and present them for your perusal.
This HND piece puts the spotlight on Ibogaine, a hallucinogenic drug with demonstrated anti-addictive properties. Not surprisingly, these properties were discovered inadvertently by a heroin addict, as he and a group of friends were experimenting with other drugs.
They were astonished to find that they lost their cravings for heroin, and had no withdrawal symptoms, either.
However, being classified as a Schedule I drug, ibogaine is stigmatized, and even if it weren't, ti is a naturally-occurring substance, so there is no inherent interest by Big Pharma. Fortunately, there is plenty of positive literature on the matter, and the powers-that-be are finally taking an interest.
FDA is one of those agencies that seems to retain a good reputation—outside the realm of people who are actually familiar with how it works. For most who have had the misfortune to deal with it, it is widely despised.
This article delves into the frankly horrific story of diabetes meds, and then segues into FDA's latest failure—the endoscope-related infections. In a sense, this is failure beyond failure, since FDA was finally starting to kick some butt in this affair, only to completely back off.
For an agency that STILL touts its thalidomide victory form the ealry 1960s (while keeping quite silent on the matter of American thalidomide babies), it's time for big changes.
Let's face it! The prevalence of chronic disease, and the astounding statistic that 88 percent of Americans over 65 have at least one chronic condition, expose an epic failure of our healthcare system. In this latest HND piece, we cast a big bright light on the subject. Many of us are getting tired of being told that virtually all of these conditions occur because we "are getting older," and beyond taking all sorts of drugs, there's not much that can be done about it.
Oh, by the way, chronic disease [including cardiovascular diseases; cancers; chronic respiratory diseases; obesity; arthritis; and diabetes] is by far the leading cause of death worldwide. Is it too conspiratorial to suggest that since there's way more money in treating these afflictions than curing them, no cures will ever be found?
Some suggest that we can't cure chronic diseases because we are not approaching them in the proper fashion. For this, we discuss the Cynefin Framework, a knowledge management tool, which allows decision-makers to see things from new viewpoints, assimilate complex concepts, and address real-world problems and opportunities. Broad brush, the manner in which we treat acute illness simply does not work for chronic disease—yet, conventional medicine employs the same paradigm.
This HND piece gives you the skinny on high blood pressure, including the nasty things it can cause. However, as with so many physiological parameters that can be easily measured, the acceptable numbers keep dropping—to sell more drugs.
And, unlike other easily measured parameters, medical science has no idea what causes hypertension, in most cases. When it occurs in oldsters, we can talk about loss of flexibility in the blood vessels, but...if such a state is a normal part of aging, what is inherently "wrong" with that? Most older folks' hair turns white, but no one says that's unhealthy, per se.
Certainly, if a 20-year-old has the typical BP of a 65-year-old, it might be cause for concern, but then, how many physiological signs are the same in these two vastly different cohorts?
This HND piece invokes the first line from Lydia Maria Child's "The New-England Boy's Song About Thanksgiving Day" (1844). Child was always on the side of the oppressed, and I suspect that she would have a few things to say about our present day healthcare system.
The article examines the continuing saga over infection control issues relating to certain types of endoscopes. We're talking about a double recall involving 2800 units of a commonly used "reprocessor" for these scopes. That the FDA was asleep at the switch on this one is quite an understatement.
We also open the huge topic of conflicts of interest in healthcare (such as Big Pharma buying influence), even though this matter seems to downplayed by the New England Journal of Medicine. I'm sure that NEJM's position has nothing at all to due with the fact that absent Big Pharma advertising, it would cease to exist.
This HND piece follows the continuing saga of the cholesterol nonsense and new and outrageously expensive drugs that have emerged to control this medical non-issue. It seems that the third party payers are questioning things...finally.
Good guy Dr. Malcolm Kendrick pokes fun at these developments, in light of the "LDL may not matter" big reveal of 2013. Yep, that supposed super baddie may not be so important after all. So, can we give back the side effects and get some dough for the drugs we took, that we didn't need to take?
And what better time to introduce a new drug for controlling LDL, that can cost more than $1000 a month?
This HND piece looks AGAIN at problems with diabetes drugs. But, don't blame me for having repetitive themes. Blame Big Pharma and the FDA for developing and approving these drugs.
The latest class of diabetes drugs to cause concern are the sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT-2) inhibitors. They lower blood sugar by blocking reabsorption of glucose by the kidneys, and increase its urinary excretion.
On May 15, 2015, the FDA issued a warning that SGLT-2 inhibitors have caused several cases of diabetic ketoacidosis, which is potentially fatal. All reported patients required emergency room visits or hospitalization to treat the condition. What makes this especially disturbing is that the condition had heretofore only been seen in type 1 diabetics, and it was associated with relatively high blood glucose levels. Not any more.
As if that's not bad enough, the instructions given in the FDA warning are pretty much useless.