Archive for February, 2007

Altering perceptions: Good outcomes from “club drugs”?

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

John H. Halpern, MD, associate director of substance abuse research at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., was researching the long-term consequences of hallucinogen use among American Indians when he noticed something. Many of his subjects’ experiences were positive, and he became part of a select group of researchers who chose to investigate whether certain controlled substances — drugs bought and sold on the sly at nightclubs and parties or on the street — could, under the right circumstances and in the hands of trained medical professionals, benefit patients.


Parents, Students, Others Debate High-School Drug Testing

Monday, February 26th, 2007

About 12 percent of U.S. schools now drug-test students, and another 10 percent are reportedly considering doing so. But the policy still generates plenty of controversy and debate, NBC News reported Sept. 10.

Springfield, Mo., parent Maryellen Stratmann believes that drug testing at her son’s Catholic high school “might help identify a teen who needs help. We also think it makes the campus a safer place, since drugs can interfere with an individual’s ability to make good decisions.”


Clinton Global Initiative Webcast

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

The Kaiser Family Foundation is probably the best disseminator of information, this is their bread and butter. Thanks to them, you can watch the proceedings of the Clinton Foundation annual meeting (this week). The image below will take you to instructions for the free webcast and you can check out the Foundation’s web page for further information on scheduling. In addition the Financial Times has a page dedicated to covering the annual summit. For those in the public health community, that fact that FT is covering this is yet one more sign that the business community is starting to get involved in global health/development issues. See the FT website here.


Femara (letrozole) offers new hope for ovarian cancer patients

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have shown that hormone therapy can extend life in ovarian cancer patients, giving women a new alternative to chemotherapy.

The study, published today in Clinical Cancer Research, has proved for the first time that the targeted use of an anti-oestrogen drug could prolong the life of some patients by up to three years, and delay the use of chemotherapy in others.


Mexican Cartels Operate Across U.S.

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

A new report from the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) says that Mexican drug cartels now operate in communities across the U.S. and generate up to $23 billion in illicit revenues annually, the Washington Post reported Sept. 20.

GAO researchers said that 90 percent of all illicit drugs entering the U.S. in 2005 came via Mexico, up from 66 percent in 2000. The report estimated that the Mexican drug cartels generated more revenue than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies.


Most Mental Illness Untreated, WHO Says

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

Mental illness is one of them most disabling conditions in the world but is rarely treated, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Mental Health Survey.

Medical News Today reported Sept. 11 that the survey of 17 countries found that mental illness ranks in the top 10 illnesses causing disability, but few people with mental illness or addictions received adequate care.


Gwen Stefani Sues Clothing Megachain

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

Gwen Stefani Sues Clothing Megachain

Gwen’s Harajuku Lovers fashion line is suing popular retail outlet Forever 21 for trademark infringement, claiming the clothing chain allegedly stole designs from the Harajuku Lovers line, Access Hollywood has learned. Stefani, through her Harajuku Lovers, LLC company, is seeking to stop Forever 21 from modelling clothes based on her own designs, as well as unspecified monetary damages.

Ban on Alcohol Specials Proposed in Scotland

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

The Scottish government is considering banning “two-fer” specials and other cut-price alcohol promotions at liquor shops as part of a plan to curb binge drinking, the Financial Times reported Sept. 5.

 ”This is immediate action to kick-start a long-term drive to change Scotland’s culture — to help make sure drinking to get drunk is simply no longer seen as acceptable, to end the days of ‘buy two, get one free’ type promotions reducing the cost of beer to as little as 43p (about 87 cents) a pint,” said Kenny MacAskill, justice secretary of Scotland’s new National Party government.


Cellular atypia of the breast in at least 3 sites is more predictive of cancer

Monday, February 12th, 2007

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Women with at least three sites of cellular atypia in breast tissue are nearly eight times more likely than average women to develop breast cancer, according to findings of a Mayo Clinic Cancer Center-led study of women with atypical hyperplasia. The findings are published in the July 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.


After Student Death, School Cracks Down on Student Drinking

Sunday, February 11th, 2007

A hazing death that led to criminal charges being filed against administrations and other students at Rider University also has prompted a major crackdown on alcohol use at the New Jersey school, the New York Times reported Sept. 23.

The alcohol-poisoning death of freshman Gary DeVercelly after a fraternity party last spring, and the resulting charges, raised awareness nationally about potential liability among college officials. Starting this fall, Rider has banned all alcohol on campus except in a pub and the student union. An alcohol seminar is now required for incoming freshmen, and special “watchdogs” are now living in fraternity and sorority houses to monitor behavior.