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The price we pay for physician gullibility on generics

Pharmaceutical companies fight tooth and nail to keep physicians (and patients) from switching to generic versions of their brand-name drugs after the patents for their drugs expire.
After all, billions of dollars are at stake.
One way the pharmaceut

Remembrances of smells past: why first whiffs leave a lasting impression

In the first volume of his autobiographical novel “In Search of Lost Time” (or, if you prefer, “Remembrances of Things Past”), Marcel Proust famously wrote about how the odor (and taste) of a small French cake (petite madeleine) dipped in tea evoked

Mammogram debate is both impassioned and nuanced

Finally, perhaps, women are getting the news that breast-cancer screening carries risks as well as benefits and that the decision to undergo screening requires a more nuanced approach than the current one-size-fits-all recommendation that all women,

Is ‘Internet addiction’ for real?

Whether there is a psychological disorder that could be called (for lack of a better term) “Internet addiction” is a hotly debated question in the medical community.
In Monday’s Boston Globe, we get yet another exploration of the topic by reporter E

Impatient patient, part 4: My $25,929.60 head injury

One year ago today, I suffered a mild traumatic brain injury in a robbery. Along the road to recovery and reporting about health-care reform, I’ve become somewhat obsessed with trying to put a dollar sign on what this crime cost society and me.

Is bad driving in our genes?

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but while driving in the U.K. last week, I scraped some paint off my rental car. I misjudged how far away I was from an iron railing.
I have a host of excuses: It was late at night.

Will the FDA finally enforce its food labeling rules?

Maybe we’ll finally see an end to those misleading labels on breakfast cereals (and other processed foods).
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had begun a long-overdue analysis of nutritional claims on food labels to

Vaccination avoiders put everyone at risk

For a highly readable and eye-opening article on the anti-vaccination movement, I recommend freelance writer Amy Wallace’s “An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All,” published last week in Wired magazine.The article

Dads in the delivery room: still a contentious idea?

When I arrived in Great Britain last week, the most talked-about health topic in the British press concerned fathers-to-be.Should they or shouldn’t they be in the delivery room?It was a discussion that seemed oh-so-1970s.

Aaron Beck: the man who usurped Freud

The current issue (Autumn 2009) of American Scholar profiles Aaron Beck, the Philadelphia psychiatrist (now nearing 90) who developed cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT).
Unless you work in the field, you’ve probably never heard of Beck.

Does air pollution trigger appendicitis?

I can’t recall at all what I was doing on the day in 1990 that I came down with appendicitis, but as I was training for a marathon at the time, perhaps I spent the morning on a long outdoor run.

Another hot flash: Menopausal hormone therapy may lead to incontinence

Attempts to resuscitate hormone replacement (HT) for menopausal “complaints” took yet another blow this month when a new Cochrane review reported that HT may worsen symptoms of urinary incontinence.It didn’t matter if the HT consisted of estrogen on