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Volume 3, Number 12
April 7, 2006


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Commentary

The FDA and MS
Wall Street Journal, 4-7-06

The Journal takes issue with FDA reluctance to allow the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri back on the market despite demands from patients and a wealth of evidence that the drug provides powerful benefits to its users.
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Bill of Health
Arnold Kling, Wall Street Journal, 4-6-06

Massachusetts's legislators recently passed legislation designed to implement universal state health care coverage. The law has garnered broad acclaim from editorial boards across the country as a bipartisan compromise led by the Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican, and the state legislature, which is overwhelmingly Democrat.
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Favorable Medicare Access
Washington Times, 4-4-06

The Times points out that most of the criticisms of the Medicare drug benefit seem to have been overstated or are in the process of being resolved.
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The Health of a Nation
Alan Hubbard, The New York Times, 4-3-06

Hubbard, director of the National Economic Council and an economic policy advisor to President Bush, argues here that "to control health care costs, we must give consumers an incentive to spend money wisely."
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The Vaccine Crisis
Marilyn Webber, National Journal, 4-1-06

Webber has crafted an excellent overview of America's troubling vaccine shortage, and its implications for our ability to counter potential bioterror attacks and natural pandemics.
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Drug Makers First Target of Trial Lawyers
Stephen Hantler, Michigan Forward, 4-1-06

In the 1990s, Michigan lawmakers passed a product liability shield (an "FDA defense law") for FDA-approved medicines in order to deter innovation-killing litigation. Today, a coalition of tort lawyers and consumer advocates is trying to rescind the law. Hantler, a long-time advocate of tort reform, weighs in defending Michigan's law and arguing that it should be seen as a national model:
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Medicare? But that’s for old people
Michael Cannon, Washington Times, 4-1-06

Michael Cannon, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, points out that the Medicare entitlement represents a significant wealth transfer from workers to retirees; from the young to the old—a transfer that changing demographics is making increasingly untenable.
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Research

Effect of Introduction of the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Drug-Resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae
Ruth Lynfield, M.D., Moe H. Kyaw, Ph.D., et al., New England Journal of Medicine, 4-6-06

In this study, researchers attribute a significant decline in the number of drug-resistant pneumococcal infections among infants and older adults to pneumococcal conjugate vaccine inoculations.
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In this week's issue:

COMMENTARY

The FDA and MS
Bill of Health
Favorable Medicare Access
The Health of a Nation
The Vaccine Crisis
Drug Makers First Target of Trial Lawyers
Medicare? But that’s for old people

RESEARCH

Effect of Introduction of the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine on Drug-Resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae

Reader Survey
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