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William Heisel's Antidote: Investigating Untold Health Stories

Cocaine and roses: DEA records yield combustible stories

A doctor who can't prescribe drugs is like a fish that can't swim. It's usually a sign that something is wrong.

Q&A with Dr. John Abramson: Overdosed America

I wrote a post earlier this week about a Nieman Reports article by Dr. John Abramson, a clinical instructor at Harvard and outspoken critic of the pharmaceutical industry. After serving in the National Health Service Corps, Abramson worked as a family physician for 20 years in Massachusetts.

Contraindications: Dr. Kamal F. Aboulhosn

Doctors see a lot of naked people.

It starts in medical school when they see a lot of dead naked people, and one would think that after cutting into a cadaver and examining body parts in great detail a naked body would lose a little of its allure.

Not so for Dr. Kamal F. Aboulhosn of Yakima, Wash.

Stopping JUPITER: The Statistics Behind Astra Zeneca’s Crestor Cholesterol Medication Study

The decision by Astra Zeneca to stop the so-called JUPITER trial of its Crestor cholesterol medication last year garnered a ton of press attention. The New York Times captured the general tone of the coverage with this lead on a front-page story.

Q&A with Cassie Sauer: Hospitals and Washington State’s “Death with Dignity Act”

Initiative 1000, the so-called "Death with Dignity Act," took effect in Washington state on March 5, after being approved by voters in November. And it has put hospitals in a strange position. Hospitals are considered the place where doctors and staff do everything in their power to keep a person alive. Now hospitals are being asked to allow their patients to kill themselves.

Contraindications: Dr. Neil Hollander

Dr. Neil Hollander of Huntington Beach, Calif., looked to be just another doctor who had misplaced his notes in November 2003 when he agreed to settle a Medical Board of California case by taking a record keeping course.

Octomom Was Just the Start: How to evaluate your local fertility clinic, part one

If you do a Google News search for the word "octomom," you will get more than 4,000 results on most days.

What is lost in much of the coverage of Nadya Suleman and her expanding brood is how completely expected this all should be. No one should be surprised that a woman with six kids could order up another eight more or that she could find a doctor willing to help her.

Q&A with Johnese Spisso: Public hospitals can reach more than just the poor

Public hospitals have been closing at an alarming rate. Last month, the troubled Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center in Los Angeles announced it was preparing to reopen after years of quality concerns, but it has lived on the precipice for more than two decades.

Contraindications: Dr. Barbara Philipp

Even the most curious of Dr. Barbara Philipp's patients probably didn't notice that she had a drug problem.

That's because her patients were kids.

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine wrote in its disciplinary report that the 55-year-old Boston pediatrician wrote fake prescriptions for family members and friends just to get painkillers and sleeping pills for herself.

Some drug companies put the pills before the patients

Six of the world's biggest drug companies are about to be winnowed down to three. If all the mergers go through, we will have Pfizer-Wyeth, Merck-Schering-Plough and Roche-Genentech controlling more than $100 billion in drug sales every year - amounting to one seventh of all revenues for drug companies worldwide. (I wrote a story about this a couple weeks ago for the Los Angeles Times.)

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