Maddy Smith was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)—an extremely rare but debilitating genetic disorder—as an infant. SMA is a neuromuscular condition that robs victims of the ability to move, swallow, and sometimes breathe without assistance. Shortly before she turned two, Maddy still lacked the strength to crawl or eat solid foods.
The latest statistics from the National Health Institute find about 43 percent of US adults are considered obese. Ten percent of US adults are categorized as severely obese—with BMIs over 40 percent. As alarming as these figures are, childhood and young adult obesity rates aren’t far behind.
Between September 2021 and February 2022, the Food and Drug Administration received complaints that infants became ill and perished after consuming powdered baby formula. These formulas were eventually traced back to a large manufacturer in Sturgis, Michigan. After a stern warning from the FDA, the plant shut down and issued significant recalls. Other producers quickly followed their lead.
In healthcare, tests are our eyes into the body’s secretive operations. Whether being swabbed for COVID-19, tested for a genetic condition, taken a drug test, or undergoing routine blood work ordered by your doctor, you’ve likely used a laboratory developed test (LDT). About 70 percent of all medical decisions in the US are based on LDT results.
Most people associate the Food and Drug Administration with regulating prescription drugs and other medical goods. The agency’s actual regulatory power extends to about 20 percent of all US consumer goods. Some of its authority extends over large portions of the economy—affecting the entire healthcare market and the quality of life for millions of Americans.
For a federal agency tasked and trusted with deciding whether the latest medical goods and procedures should be on the market, the FDA seems hopelessly behind the times. But a recent reversal of a forty-year ban is a step in the right direction.
In 2012 Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Minnesota recently became the 23rd. Maryland, New Jersey, and Minnesota are expected to follow soon. When they do, 25 states and Washington DC will allow adults to use a Schedule 1 substance recreationally.
On March 1st, 2023, Eli Lilly announced in a news release it plans to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs for patients using many of its insulins to $35. These dramatic price cuts aim to make a vital medication for people with diabetes needing it to manage their blood glucose and prolong their lives more affordable. As Eli Lilly Chair and CEO David Rick stated,