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Good morning. Don’t miss Nicholas Florko’s jaw-dropping investigation into medical marijuana companies advertising and marketing their merchandise for most cancers or melancholy with no regulatory oversight.
Medical marijuana firms are following pharma’s playbook, apart from the principles
Medical marijuana firms borrow plenty of advertising and marketing techniques from pharmaceutical firms. However as a result of they don’t observe the identical guidelines, sufferers are put in danger, STAT’s Nicholas Florko tells us in a brand new STAT investigation. Massive gamers like Trulieve, Curaleaf, and Verano promote their merchandise as remedies not only for muscle aches, however for most cancers and melancholy, with out proof to again up these claims.
How can they get away with this? Therein lies the paradox: Hashish firms don’t need to abide by guidelines over the claims they make or freebies they provide to medical doctors as a result of for probably the most half, hashish drugs isn’t regulated federally. The U.S. authorities has deemed pot too harmful to be thought of a medication, so it’s ceded nearly all accountability to the states. “They’re capable of name it a medication with out the mandatory rigor of figuring out whether or not or not it’s actually a medication,” James Berry of West Virginia College stated in regards to the companies. Learn extra, together with firm responses.
SNL skit on sickle cell remedy attracts outrage
Perhaps you’ve already seen (and if you happen to’re like me, cringed at) final weekend’s skit from “Saturday Night time Dwell” in regards to the new gene therapies for sickle cell illness. When you haven’t, the gist is that this: At an workplace white-elephant-style present change, a white worker (Kate McKinnon) offers a Black worker with sickle cell (Kenan Thompson) enrollment in “Vertex Pharmaceutical and CRISPR Therapeutics’ exa-cel program for sickle cell anemia. ” He says no thanks, declaring, “I’m simply going to swap this out for a Boogie Woogie Santa.” Later, one other Black worker (Punkie Johnson) additionally rejects the therapy in favor of the singing, trumpet-playing Santa figurine.
Now the Sickle Cell Illness Basis, the Sickle Cell Disease Association, and Sick Cells all condemned the sketch. “It’s how that they had the sickle cell characters: They made them look silly, they made them look unintelligent,” stated Ashley Valentine, head of Sick Cells. “These two caricatures that they placed on nationwide TV is how individuals view us,” Valentine stated. NBC didn’t reply to a request for remark. STAT’s Jason Mast has extra.
Drug firms want to inform FDA how they’ll diversify scientific trials. Will it work?
Leaving individuals of shade out of scientific trials hampers well being care and drug growth. Beginning subsequent yr, drug and medical system firms must inform the FDA how they intend to make their scientific trials higher signify the varied U.S. inhabitants. However planning isn’t the identical as doing, the trade’s observe report isn’t nice, and it’s not clear whether or not the FDA will twist arms, consultants informed STAT’s John Wilkerson.
It’s a fantasy that individuals of shade are reluctant to affix scientific analysis, Steve Smith of the scientific trial consulting agency WCG informed John. A current poll by Research America discovered that individuals of shade had been solely barely extra cautious of scientific trials than white People. Low scientific trial participation amongst individuals of shade is generally as a consequence of logistics, Smith stated. Learn extra.
STAT’s greatest photographs of 2023
I don’t know the way they narrowed down their checklist to simply 14. Alissa Ambrose, STAT’s director of pictures and multimedia, labored with Crystal Milner, STAT’s image editor, to decide on probably the most memorable photographs of 2023 from STAT’s many contributing photographers. The one above exhibits Bat-Erdene Namsrai performing an experiment on a rat for brand spanking new analysis on cryogenic organ preservation, described on this story by contributor Marion Renault.
You’ll discover extra pictures right here of individuals whose tales we informed, amongst them traders and researchers transferring their industries ahead, a person working to flee the cycle of dependancy, and doctor who has taken his profession on the highway after the abortions he supplies had been made unlawful in his residence state.
Classes on the ability of contact tracing
Keep in mind contact tracing for Covid-19? A brand new study in Nature taking a look at 7 million contacts in England and Wales notified by the NHS COVID-19 app concludes that how a lot time somebody spent with an contaminated individual was the one greatest predictor of whether or not they would turn out to be contaminated with Covid-19 themselves. The authors say their evaluation additionally exhibits the ability of contact-tracing apps like this one to ship exact data on danger in future epidemics.
Right here’s the way it labored: The app relied on Bluetooth sign energy to measure how shut and the way lengthy smartphones had been close by, after which notified the contacts of confirmed circumstances. The researchers mixed that knowledge with 240,000 constructive assessments reported after notification. Period and proximity mattered: Fleeting contacts (lower than half-hour) made up half of reported contacts however only a few transmissions. Family contacts had been simply 6% of contacts, however they accounted for 40% of transmissions.
Well being care price will increase aren’t exceeding inflation for one good motive
Yesterday we informed you the U.S. authorities spent extra on well being care in 2022 than six nations with common well being care, mixed. In the present day, oncologost Ezekiel Emanuel notes that whereas well being care spending within the U.S. has traditionally exceeded total inflation, that’s modified lately.
Aside from 2020’s Covid spike, well being care prices have remained at or below 18% of GDP since 2010, when Obamacare started. Medicare’s spending per individual has been flat for greater than a decade, and premiums for personal employer-sponsored insurance coverage have been growing at 3.7% up to now decade, a lot slower than the 8.4% between 1999 and 2011. Why? “The mindset of American physicians and different clinicians has modified, from ignoring prices to making an attempt to chop them,” Emanuel writes in a STAT First Opinion. Learn his rationalization.