The blog will be on hold for a few days over the holidays. But first, here is my list of the top ten stories in health, health care, medicine and science over this past year.
1. Conflicts of interest in health care, medicine, research (just one example: the recent news from the Cleveland Clinic)
2. Avian flu (including hype of unproven Tamiflu)
3. Medicareâs prescription drug benefit â“ âgreatest advance for seniors in 40 yearsâ? or âa boondoggleâ??
4. Medicaid cuts â“ impact on states
5. Fallout from aggressive marketing of Cox-2 inhibitors
6. Science stifled by Bush administration
7. Drug prices continue to outpace inflation
8. Continued cost-shifting to employees (AKA consumer-driven health plans)
9. Whatâs going on at the FDA?
10. Lots of news about two people â“ Terri Schiavo and Peter Jennings â“ but relatively little news about 45-million Americand who are uninsured and perhaps twice that number who are under-insured.
A year from now, it would be terrific if the contents of this list would be markedly different.