In the 1950s, Chairman Mao Zedong began the "integration" of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) into real medicine. Last year, the Chinese government passed a bill to promote the sale of TCM products. This. year, we see what that means.
Last week, the FDA released final regulatory guidance regarding freestanding stem cell clinics. The new regulatory framework appears custom-made to allow the FDA to crack down on quack stem cell clinics. But will it?
Southeast Michigan is currently in the midst of a hepatitis A outbreak that started in August 2016. In Algonac, a small town in the Thumb region, the mayor decided to help a restaurant whose business suffered when one of its new staff members under training caught hepatitis A. Unfortunately, the form that help took was to host an antivaccine propaganda meeting.
Yesterday, I wrote about how right-to-try and an unethical offshore vaccine trial are part of free market fundamentalists' attack on the FDA. Here's another example, the "right to choose medicine."
I've discussed so-called "right-to-try" laws, which promise to speed experimental drugs to terminally ill patients, but which in reality are about weakening and bypassing the FDA. Now über-Libertarian Peter Thiel is trying a new tactic to bypass the FDA by organizing an offshore clinical trial of a new herpes vaccine based on dubious science and not overseen by an IRB to protect patients. Both right-to-try and this trial are different fronts in the same fundamentalist free market war on FDA regulation.
There was a rumbling in the antivaccine underground a week ago about a recent ruling by the Vaccine Court compensating parents of a child who died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In a confused and scientifically highly flawed decision, the Special Master Thomas Gowen didn’t rule that vaccines cause SIDS, but did rule that they contributed to SIDS in this one case. Soon, the message will be that vaccines cause SIDS. They don’t. The Vaccine Court screwed up.
American antivaccine activists have contributed to a massive measles outbreak among the Minnesota Somali immigrant community by spreading Andrew Wakefield's misinformation. In the wake of the harm they've caused, they're not apologetic. They're doubling down.
In January, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. bragged about having met with President-Elect Donald Trump about chairing a presidential commission on vaccine safety. In the intervening eight months, no commission has materialized, but, if you can believe his account, Kennedy has been meeting with government officials to promote his antivaccine views at the behest of the Trump administration. As long as that continues, pro-science advocates can't afford to rest easy.
California's new law that eliminates personal belief exemptions has been a success, increasing vaccine uptake after just one year. That isn't to say that there aren't problems. One potential problem is the increasing number of medical exemptions, likely fueled by doctors willing to write letters of support for them based on reasons that are not science-based.
Naturopaths are fake doctors who fancy themselves to be real doctors, so much so that they call themselves "physicians" even when explicitly barred from doing so by law.