Monday, August 1, 2011

I Blog, You Blog, We All Blog

For those of you who survived the epic update last week (or so), here's a much shorter one. Scroll down for some breaking news, health policy style, but first...

  • Meet the new MSS GRAF, Abby Daniel! As the Government Relations Advocacy Fellow down in DC, she assists with the AMA's legislative agenda and policies on behalf of physicians, students, and patients. Want to stay in the know about health issues in the capital? E-mail her at to receive her weekly updates.
  • Interested in global and public health? Follow the MSS Committee on Global and Public Health at their blog!

1. Salt is still bad for you: Contrary to a recent article by Taylor et al (American Journal of HTN), experts still say salt does lead to worse cardiovascular events. The study's been criticized since its publication, but the press has still been, shall we say, overzealous -- see UK's Daily Express: 'Now salt is safe to eat--Health fascists proved wrong after lecturing us all for years.'

2. Contraception for all: Following-up from a blurb I posted last time, the HHS mandates all insurance plans to cover certain women's preventive services, including contraception, starting in August 2012. (But, religious institutions with employer-based insurance won't have to cover this.)

3. Genes can be patented: A federal patent court determined that isolated DNA is "markedly different" in its chemical structure from natural DNA and is therefore not a product of nature. This is in keeping with national policy since the 80s but overturns a recent lower court ruling and rejects the anti-patent platform of the Obama administration.

4. Acetaminophen can be dangerous -- just ask any first-year medical student. The Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition put together a shiny new website,, aimed to help consumer-patients figure out where the drug is hiding and what can go wrong if you take too much.

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