Medicare coverage of acupuncture is under consideration. A new proposal would provide coverage to Medicare patients participating in studies of acupuncture for back pain. This research would be used in making a final decision.
A new drug promises to cure postpartum depression, but it is restricted and patients must be hospitalized for a 60-hour IV infusion.
There's no reliable evidence that an infusion of blood plasma from a young donor will benefit an older person, and there are risks, but Ambrosia Health is selling "young blood" infusions for thousands of dollars anyway. The FDA has taken notice.
Over twenty years ago, cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski pioneered the abuse of the clinical trial process as a marketing tool to sell his antineoplastons. Now, for-profit stem cell clinics are using ClinicalTrials.gov as a marketing tool for their unproven therapies by listing dubious and scientifically worthless trials in this government database. What can be done?
Drug approval is a process that should be and, for the most part, is rooted in rigorous science. However, there is always a countervailing pressure to approve new drugs rapidly, particularly in cancer. That's why the FDA created the accelerated approval program in the early 1990s. Unfortunately, increasingly this approval process appears to be failing us in oncology. Reform is needed.
The editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine has selected a dozen articles published during his tenure that epitomize the best of science-based medicine.