Daily Rounds: Kids’ Chemical Exposure; Drug Marketing On Trial; Vertex On Verge; Autism Guru Rising

Pediatricians call for stricter laws for chemicals | Reuters “The U.S. is not doing enough to protect kids from exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals, pediatricians said in a new statement released today. The policy paper from the American Academy of Pediatrics explains that a law meant to inform the public about the risks of different chemicals, and to give the government the right to intervene to keep dangerous chemicals off the market, has largely failed to achieve those goals.”  (Reuters)

Battle Over Pitching Drugs to Doctors Goes to Supreme Court – NYTimes.com “Marketing to doctors using prescription records bearing their names is an increasingly contentious practice, with three states, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, in the vanguard of enacting laws to limit the uses of a doctor’s prescription records for marketing. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case, Sorrell v. IMS Health, that tests whether Vermont’s prescription confidentiality law violates the free speech protections of the First Amendment.” (nytimes.com)

Sitting All Day: Worse For You Than You Might Think | WBUR & NPR “But now, researchers are beginning to suspect that even if you engage in regular exercise daily, it may not be enough to counteract the effects of too much sitting during the rest of the day.” (WBUR | 90.9 FM)

Cambridge firm spent decades and billions on a pill to treat hepatitis C – The Boston Globe “After more than two decades in existence and $4 billion spent on research and development — including work on other experimental therapies and disease treatments — Vertex is finally on the verge of producing its first major drug. On Thursday, a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee is scheduled to consider whether the company’s hepatitis C pill, telaprevir, is ready for doctors to prescribe to patients.” (boston.com)

The Crash and Burn of an Autism Guru – NYTimes.com “Andrew Wakefield has become one of the most reviled doctors of his generation, blamed directly and indirectly, depending on the accuser, for irresponsibly starting a panic with tragic repercussions: vaccination rates so low that childhood diseases once all but eradicated here — whooping cough and measles, among them — have re-emerged, endangering young lives.
And yet here he was in Texas, post-career-apocalypse, calmly discussing his work, and a crowd of around 250 people showed up to listen.” (nytimes.com)

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