In public health news today, ABC News reports that despite talk of a push for greater drug safety, the number of drugs approved in 2009 was similar to the number approved in years before.
An article from Frank Chiropractic reported that drug research is full of conflicts of interest that threaten drug safety, using GAP’s 2009 report, The ABC’s of Drug Safety, as its main evidence. One conflict, for example, is that while drug companies continue to grow, the FDA continues to experience cutbacks, thus threatening regulation and oversight.
A physician and a community hospital in Minnesota agreed to pay almost $850,000 after another doctor blew the whistle on fraudulently billing of Medicare for "unreasonable and unnecessary" hospitalizations. Under a federal law, the whistleblower received $203,150.
In other news, the New York Times featured an editorial by two members of the 9/11 Commission arguing that the government should examine the entire intelligence and airline safety system to determine if the failures that lead to 9/11 and the failed Christmas Day terror attempt are endemic or fixable. Obviously, despite the commission’s recommendations, major lapses are still apparent.