As often as we critique the current health care model and many of its practices, you may have noticed that we also recommend readers discuss our lifestyle recommendations with their doctors. More than some stock disclaimer, we say it with a respectful sense of earnestness and with a healthy dose of cautious optimism (about the “patient/physician” relationship, that is).
We hear it ad nauseum: we live in an information age. Unlike any other generation before, we have immediate access to almost any health information we want, including advice, descriptions, photos, diagrams, personal accounts, and any variety of opinions on whatever condition or concern might be on our minds that day. We can download the latest studies, read up on the latest treatments, learn about alternative and preventative measures, get the low down on whatever wonder drug is making its way through the experimental pipeline. And, yes, we can get lost in a sea of misinformation, bogus commercial or personal claims that, at best, distract and, at worst, derail our path to health.
I’ve been known to critique various elements of the medical establishment now and then, it’s true. (Anyone for a good Big Pharma rout?) But I’ll admit I’m venturing into new and weighty territory today. (My Y chromosome and I will tread lightly and respectfully, I promise.) It’s been a while since my own (indirect) experience in the obstetrics arena, but a new report came across my radar last week that led my mind back to the maternity ward.
It’s the Evidence-Based Maternity Care report (PDF), a collaborative effort of the Childbirth Connection non-profit organization, the Reforming States Group, and the Milbank Memorial Fund. The report was picked up by a modest number of news organizations, but it was reviewed by dozens of top physicians and policy makers across the U.S.
As you’ve likely noticed, we’re getting back in touch with our more surly, snarky side this week. It can be fun now and then to channel one’s inner Fuji…. (Frankly, we can’t imagine MDA without it, and we hope you agree.) From energy drinks, we turn to one of our more popular objects of exasperated investigation and sarcastic commentary. What would we do without you, Big Pharma? Suffice it to say, there’s never a dearth of material with you around. And we thank you for that.
In the midst of the Primal Challenge and provocative issues like insect eating, we’ve gotten away lately from our more “salty” side, shall we say. Truth be told, we realized this week that we haven’t quite felt like ourselves. We couldn’t put our proverbial finger on it until the realization set in. It was time, we decided, for a good, healthy rant.
And rant-worthy material was readily available, we might add. Little surprise here: it targets Big Pharma. (Ah, we’ve missed you, Big P.) This time we’re raising Cain about new research into the seemingly shoddy review and approval process for pharmaceutical drugs. The research report, which was presented at the American Sociological Association’s 103rd annual meeting this week, cited “fatal flaws in the way new drugs are tested and marketed.”
I know you used to be involved in triathlon sports administration. I see so much written about “banned substances” and “cheating” going on in the world of professional sports these days, especially with the Olympics looming. What do you make of all this?
Ray, my position hasn’t changed on this issue in a long while. Here is a piece I wrote for another website two years ago – before Floyd Landis tested positive for testosterone in the Tour de France.
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