Medical roundup

  • “Judge Says He’s Had Enough Of Weeding Through Baseless Lawsuits, Threatens Sanctions” [Daniel Fisher; M. D. Georgia judge on vaginal mesh cases]
  • More on pricey regulated generics [Scott Gottlieb/WSJ, earlier on EpiPen, more on latter from Joel Zinberg/City Journal]
  • Feds ban pre-dispute arbitration agreements in nursing home care [McKnights]
  • How Ronald Reagan’s FDA responded to the AIDS crisis — and it’s probably not the story you’ve heard [Peter Huber, City Journal; see also from Carl Cannon in 2014]
  • FDA regs likely to winnow smaller, distinctive makers from the cigar business, recalling a Somerset Maugham story [James M. Patterson] Debunking the “Helena miracle,” once more: no link between local smoking bans and short-term drops in heart attacks [Jacob Sullum, earlier here and here]
  • “Ethicists make the case for bone marrow transplantation markets” [Ilya Somin]


  • “After suggesting in March that President Ronald Reagan had taken action to help the gay community during the AIDS crisis, a campaigning Hillary Clinton found herself pilloried by gay activists and others certain that he had done nothing of the sort. ”

    Funniest thing that I’ve heard in a while. I have to wonder who riled up those activists in the first place?

  • One difference between donating stem cells via aphaeresis and donating organs is that stem cells regenerate. If I donate a kidney, for example, my body won’t make a new kidney. Another difference is that the risks associated with aphaeresis versus invasive surgery to remove an organ are significantly different.

    Aphaeresis involves placing two cannulas into the donor’s arm veins in a manner similar to donating blood. The time required for one aphaeresis session is about three hours, time enough to read, surf the internet, sleep, etc. The recovery time for donors is as quick as if donating blood.

    • “If I donate a kidney, for example, my body won’t make a new kidney. ”

      No, but you can donate half your liver and your liver will re-grow. My understanding is that bone marrow will also re-grow in the donor, and it was bone marrow that the article was discussing allowing a market for.

  • The effort that has emerged recently to try to rehabilitate President Reagan’s image on AIDS is so weird and unnecessary. In any event, the FDA is an independent agency, and its actions do not excuse lack of Presidential leadership during the crisis.

    • It is neither weird nor unnecessary to correct the historical record if one thinks it is inaccurate. An accurate understanding of the past is the sort of neutral value that everyone should be able to endorse. (If you are instead saying that the rehabilitative effort is itself inaccurate, that’s another thing altogether; but, that would require engaging the rehabilitators’ arguments instead of just labeling the entire effort “weird and unnecessary.”)