A Lethal Combination : Drug Overdoses Rise Sharply During Pandemic
| 6/02/2021It’s official. 2020 was a record year for drug overdose deaths in the United States. Most states saw a sharp rise in the number of deaths related to opioid use, and in the hardest-hit areas, the number of drug-related deaths actually exceeded the number of deaths related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How To Fight Back Against Robocalls
| 5/05/2021The only thing worse than getting a text pushing a miraculous anti-aging pill is getting a phone call from an automated voice, or a real person who sounds like a robot, offering an extended warranty on your car or claiming that you owe money to the IRS. If you’re like most Americans, you’ve had your day interrupted by many such come-ons in recent years.
FDA Warning Against Supplements for Depression
| 4/14/2021For several months, mental health researchers have been tracking a surge in reported cases of depression tied to the global pandemic. A recent US Census Bureau survey suggests that four times as many people were coping with symptoms of anxiety and depression in 2020 than in the previous year. Unfortunately, that’s prompted some consumers to seek out supposedly “natural” remedies that may do more harm than good.
Questions You Should Always Ask About a New Prescription
| 1/27/2021It’s difficult to conceive of any industry as far-reaching, with products so much in demand, as the worldwide trade in pharmaceutical drugs. Global spending on pharma reached $1.25 trillion in 2019, with American consumers accounting for 40 percent of that total. The global market is expected to continue to expand and top $1.59 trillion by 2024.
The Internet of Bad Things: Is It Smart to Have a Smart Home?
| 8/19/2020One of the most popular innovations of recent years has been the arrival of “smart” speakers, coupled with voice-controlled, digital assistant software, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri from Apple. While these devices make it easier to, say, bake a pie while cueing up your favorite pie song, or look up an obscure reference in The Sopranos without interrupting the show, they’ve also been at the center of privacy debates.
Talcum Powder Lawsuit, Ovarian Cancer and Asbestos: The Legal Battle Rages
| May 22, 2018Thousands of women and their families have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and other talcum powder makers, claiming that using the product led to the development of ovarian cancer. Although the industry has strongly contested such claims, some researchers believe there’s a strong scientific basis for such a link. Questions about the purity of the talc, the possibility of contamination with asbestos, and other concerns have also played a part in the litigation, which has resulted in some sizable plaintiff verdicts — and more questions about just how “healing” consumers’ experience with talc has been...
Self-Driving Cars: Are We There Yet
| April 27, 2018Some day, and perhaps sooner than we realize, the software in our cars may become so sophisticated, flawless, and easy to use that the morning commute to work will be truly stress-free, accident-free, and even hands-free. But recent reports of setbacks for cars that “drive themselves,” to one degree or another, indicate that motorists still have a long way to go before they can turn over the wheel to a truly autonomous driving system...
Patient Beware: The Dangers of off-Label Drug Use
| April 19, 2018In the megahit movie Black Panther, much of the plot revolves around the struggle to control the world’s supply of vibranium, an incredibly rare and versatile substance that’s the secret to the Black Panther’s powers. Vibranium is strong enough to cut through any metal, yet also can absorb sound and serve as body armor; in herb form, it can heal the mortally wounded and endow the user with superhuman strength and agility...
Takata Airbags: The Scandal Behind The Biggest Auto Recall Ever
| March 30, 2018In the annals of corporate misconduct, few schemes can compare in sheer magnitude to the one that led to the downfall of the Japanese auto parts supplier Takata. Over more than a decade, the company sold a dangerously defective product to auto makers around the world. And when reports of the problem began to surface, Takata executives engaged in a lengthy cover-up, despite increasing reports of injuries and deaths linked to malfunctioning Takata airbags...
St. Jude Defibrillator: Battery Defect Leads to Massive Recall
| March 7, 2018As a digital society, we take a lot for granted in the technology that we use every day. We expect the local power company to provide us with heat and light without interruption; we expect our cars, our computers and our cell phones to work flawlessly — until the day they don’t. But certain system failures are a lot more serious than others. In some cases, the premature failure of a power source can be literally a matter of life and death. Hundreds of thousands of people who rely on medical devices implanted in their chests to help regulate their...