Archive for the 'Medicine and Law' category

23andMe resumes sales: Ancestry only!

Apr 30 2014 Published by under Ethics, Medicine and Law, Public Health

Well this is interesting. After being spanked by the FDA for selling their services without proper review and approval of their medical test (as the FDA interpreted it), the 23andme company is back.

I received an email spam suggesting I purchase one of their kits as a Mother's Day present.

Intrigued, I see this in an alert banner across the linked page.

23andMe provides ancestry-related genetic reports and uninterpreted raw genetic data. We no longer offer our health-related genetic reports. If you are a current customer please go to the health page for more information.

When you go to purchase a new kit you are obliged to check a box indicating you've read an additional warning.

I understand I am purchasing ancestry reports and uninterpreted raw genetic data from 23andMe for $99. I understand I will not receive any reports about my health in the immediate future, and there is no timeline as to which health reports might be available or when they might be available.

Ok. Got it.

So what about existing customers who purchased their kit in the old, pre-ban era? Guess I'd better visit that "health page".

Current 23andMe customers who received health-related results prior to November 22, 2013 will continue to have access to that information. However, no new health-related updates will be provided to your account.

Customers who purchased kits before November 22, 2013 will still receive
health-related results.

Customers who purchase or have purchased 23andMe’s Personal Genome Service (PGS) on or after November 22, 2013, (date of compliance letter issued by the FDA) will receive their ancestry information and uninterpreted raw genetic data. At this time, we do not know the timeline as to which health reports might be available in the future or when they might be available.

Customers who purchased kits on or after November 22, 2013 through December 5, 2013 are eligible for a refund. 23andMe has notified all eligible customers by email with refund instructions. If you are eligible and have not received an email, please click here.

Ok, so they are not turning off the results already provided to the older customers. If you fell into the cease-and-desist gap, you don't get your info (boo FDA) but you can get a refund.

In the mean time, 23andme is an ancestry / genealogy company.

I suppose that is it until they pass regulatory approval for their health and trait information?

20 responses so far

Because nothing is more compassionate and caring than half-nekkid chicks

Nov 28 2011 Published by under Cannabis, Medicine and Law

From the Sacramento Bee:

At the "Kush Expo Medical Marijuana Show" in Anaheim this month, the 420 Nurses were joined by the Ganja Juice girls and a bikini troupe for an Orange County dispensary sponsoring the Expo's "Hot Kush Girl" contest. A whooping, largely male throng cheered as 21 women competed for signature edition bongs and cash prizes.

"The marijuana industry is male-dominated, and dudes love to look at hot chicks," said Ngaio Bealum, Sacramento publisher of a marijuana lifestyle magazine called West Coast Cannabis.

And this, my friends, is yet more evidence that medical marijuana and compassionate care nonsense is 10% about legitimate treatment for health problems and 90% about schmokin' some weed.

In more ridiculousness, you too can try to be a "420 Nurse". Aka, Pot Pinup.
h/t: @Dirk57

76 responses so far

Spice Gold Spirit, JWH-018 and your local neighborhood cigar shop

Aug 02 2010 Published by under Cannabis, Medicine and Law, Pharmacology

You may have heard a bit on your local news or perhaps read a piece in your local paper about quasi-legal synthetic marijuana products being sold in your local head shop as "incense". They come under a variety of brand names of which Spice and K2 may be most familiar. Very likely, the media bit you have seen was from some local politician or other trying to make some political hay over his or her concerns that this incense is ruining the lives of the constituency. All that hysteria for incense? Something else must be afoot, you are thinking...and you are quite correct.

Abel Pharmboy had a very good description of the reason people are willing to pay $60 (USD) for about 3 grams of plant material. Continue Reading »

19 responses so far

The face of medical marijuana: doc420

Nov 18 2009 Published by under Cannabis, Medicine and Law, Public Health

Sigh.
This, my friends, is a medical marijuana providing doctor. She is doing very little to reassure that this is a serious area of care. Starting with the website, www.doc420.com. You know, 4:20.
The jezebel article concentrates on the sexy pictures of the good doctor.

Continue Reading »

59 responses so far

Restoring Science to Its Rightful Place: The UK Drugs Edition

The latest round of scientists being informed, rudely, that the political process does not march in lockstep with scientific analysis or information hails from the U.K. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs was first established under the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971). Under this Act drugs are to be classified as A, B or C category for harm with "A" being the most harmful category. MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, "Ecstasy") is in the most harmful category.
nutt.jpg
The unfortunately named David Nutt, Ph.D., Professor of Psychopharmacology, Univ. of Bristol and current chair of the Advisory Council, believes that MDMA should be downgraded to a lesser harm category. He has issued opinion pieces comparing MDMA's propensity for causing harm favorably with alcohol and waxed enthusiastic about the current clinical trials. This was all well and good but what really got him into trouble was his attempt at the absurdist ploy.

Continue Reading »

5 responses so far

International Drug Scheduling

The US FDA has issued a request for comment notification asking for input on ten compounds which are being considered for action by the World Health Organization. Under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances the WHO is tasked with recommending (to the United Nations) whether or not international controls should be enacted for various recreationally abused substances.
This is a chance to observe some of the sausage making for the fans of drug policy.

Continue Reading »

17 responses so far

Clarification Of Comments On Medical Battery

Jul 25 2008 Published by under Medicine and Law

My blog post the other day about the surgeon who committed battery by placing a temporary tattoo on an unconscious patient has generated quite a bit of, shall we say, consternation among some physicians and surgeons. In re-reading the post, I see that it was written in a way that was overly hyperbolic and generalized even for PhysioProf.
And for that, I am genuinely sorry. As bloggers, we always try to create controversy and argument, but I see that in this case I went too far.
Although I am not an MD, I love being a peripheral part of the medical profession, love being a basic science faculty member at a medical school, and love teaching medical students. I care very deeply for my medical students, and spend a lot of time and effort on effective teaching. I also have great affection for them, and wish them only the best in their future medical careers.
And that is why I am so concerned about the behavior of the "tattoo surgeon". I do see an issue with paternalism, arrogance, and omnipotence in the profession, and I do not see the behavior of this surgeon as being solely attributable to a "lone bad actor". Bad acts occur in a context, and I believe that to at least some extent, the medical profession includes a context that makes bad acts like this one more likely.
Accordingly, I disagree strenuously with something PalMD posted today about this issue:

The days of systematic pathologic paternalism on the part of doctors is long gone. It may linger in places, but it's just not part of the culture anymore.

I believe this is not true, and it harms the medical profession to pretend that there is no longer an issue to be addressed.

54 responses so far

Surgeon Commits Battery On Patients

Jul 23 2008 Published by under Medicine and Law

Apparently, a surgeon has been committing battery on his patients by applying temporary tattoos to their bodies while they are unconscious during surgery. Given the way physicians are trained to believe they are gods who function on a practical and ethical plane that is above mere mortals, this kind of shit doesn't surprise me one bit.
From a legal standpoint, this is clearly battery, as these patients gave informed consent to a particular operation, and not to having temporary tattoos placed on their bodies while unconscious. It is battery in exactly the same way it would be battery if you put a temporary tattoo on the body of a stranger asleep at the beach.
For more discussion, see my and Lauren's posts at Feministe.

21 responses so far