From the Blog

Youth Football League Faces Brain Injury Lawsuit

March 11th, 2015

Last June, this blog published an article about President Obama’s so-called “concussion conference,” which he called to address mild traumatic brain injuries in young athletes that many alleged were leading to mental illness and other adverse effects. This came around the same time that about 5,000 former NFL players brought a lawsuit against the league,…

Antidepressants, Sleep Aids, and Allergy Drugs Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

March 4th, 2015

For many years, consumers have taken Benadryl as a sleep aid, assuming that it is a safe and non-habit forming solution for occasional insomnia. A recent study, however, led by Dr. Shelly Gray of the University of Washington School of Pharmacy and published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that several over-the-counter drugs—Nytol, Benadryl, and Piriton—may…

The Right to Jury Trial in Civil Cases: Reasserting the Importance of the Seventh Amendment

February 25th, 2015

The right to a jury trial in criminal cases is well known, but the right to a jury trial in civil cases is also a sacrosanct right under the United States Constitution. The Seventh Amendment is under attack, argues Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice and Democracy at New York Law School….

Campaign Finance Threatens Political and Judicial Impartiality

February 18th, 2015

Back in November, we argued that in recent years campaign finance—especially among potential judges—has undermined Americans’ faith in the judicial branch. Thanks to, we’ve got more bad news on that front after only a few months’ time. The legal blog mentions the recent case of Altria, Philip Morris’ parent company, whose executives contributed half…

39 Pennsylvania Hospitals Fined for Preventable Mistakes

February 11th, 2015

A few months ago we wrote about a program called Leapfrog, whose goal is to assign letter grades to the country’s hospitals in an effort to establish their safety in a quantifiable, easily understandable way. Writing for PennLive, David Wenner reports that the Affordable Care Act included a similar measure—called the Hospital-Acquired Condition Program—and the…

Drug Companies Spend Millions Marketing Redundant and Potentially Dangerous Treatments

February 4th, 2015

The investigative journalism website ProPublica, in conjunction with the New York Times medical blog The Upshot, recently published an article analyzing drug companies’ spending over the past five months in order to ascertain what drugs and medical devices they were promoting most heavily. The answer, it turns out, are medications that are not particularly cutting…

Further FDA Failures: Diabetes Medications

January 28th, 2015

When it comes to regulation, there are many areas in which the FDA could improve its practices—compounding pharmacies, energy drinks, herbal dietary products, generic drugs, testosterone supplements, plastic water bottles, and cancer treatments—but we can now add diabetes medication like Januvia, Byetta, and Victoza to this list as well. According to a new investigative study…

Caps on Damages Keep Wisconsin Family from Suing GM, Potentially Saving Lives

January 21st, 2015

In 2006, eighteen-year-old Natasha Weigel was killed (along with a close friend) when the Chevrolet Cobalt she was driving left the roadway and struck several trees. It was clear immediately that the vehicle’s air bags did not deploy as they were supposed to, but the subsequent police investigation suggested that the car’s ignition switch had…

Contamination Rampant in Meat Processing Plants

January 14th, 2015

What do pharmaceuticals, automobiles, reusable plastic water bottles, and roller coasters have in common? All are manufactured or operated under conditions that are inadequately regulated by the federal government, whose job it is to protect consumers from corporations valuing their bottom lines above individuals’ safety. As the New York Times reported in mid-December, we may…

Pharmacy Linked to Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Faces Criminal Charges

January 7th, 2015

Back in October 2012, this blog began covering a fungal meningitis outbreak originating in Massachusetts that eventually killed sixty-four people and injured over 750 more across twenty states. Authorities traced the debilitating outbreak to the New England Compounding Center, a pharmaceutical company that provided personalized medications for medical professionals throughout the country. In the ensuing…

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