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The illegal use and sale of prescription drugs is not just a topic for Michael Jackson headlines. A fact sheet from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says that nearly 7 million Americans are addicted to prescription drugs. The DEA says that abusers get their drugs from "'doctor-shopping,' traditional drug-dealing, theft from pharmacies or homes, illicitly acquiring prescription drugs via the Internet, and from friends or relatives."

Think about what it takes to obtain a medical license. Some states' licensing boards will rubber stamp a license from another state but others, like California's, require a lot of hoops.

Then consider the case of Dr. Gregory Burnham Camp, who had licenses in California (No. 34329), Ohio (35-028433), North Carolina (36156) and Massachusetts. Why so many states?

Misadministration. When a physician has made a horrible mistake with wide-ranging ramifications, the terms "negligence," "malpractice" even "incompetence" might come to mind. Now this wonderful euphemism glides onto the scene, draping the wreckage in a filigree of blamelessness, warding off trial lawyers and investigative journalists.

One of the most stringent problems of the Moldovan society at the moment, especially of the rural society is the absence of the access to information or limited access to the public information. While the price of subscriptions to periodicals is very high for the majority of the village people, and the Radio and TV are at the disposal of the power, the population from the rural regions stays uninformed about different fields of general interest. And this way they the rural people can be easily manipulated by those who have the monopoly on the informational market.

The Washington Post's newsroom is in an uproar today after the political news website Politico.com broke a shocking story:

"For $25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post has offered lobbyists and association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to "those powerful few": Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and - at first - even the paper's own reporters and editors."

Within hours of the news breaking about Michael Jackson's death, attention started to turn toward one of the only eyewitnesses to the event: his personal physician.

A new Institute of Medicine report offers some excellent fodder for stories on "comparative effectiveness research," which examines whether and why some medical treatments are more effective than others.

You'll be hearing a lot about the comparative effectiveness buzzword as the national health reform debate unfolds, because it's seen as crucial in in lowering health costs. Why spend money on drug-eluting stents for heart disease, for example, if plain old stents might just keep people alive longer?

New York state has an interesting job that is foreign to most other states, the office of the Medicaid Inspector General. Lucky for health writers, the Inspector General there, James G. Sheehan, believes not only in rooting out people who are ripping off taxpayers, but in sharing his techniques and tactics with reporters.

Just when you thought it was safe to make that triple-decker peanut butter and banana sandwich, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has slapped another big peanut processor with a warning letter.

I wrote about the salmonella outbreak at a Peanut Corporation of America plant in March and offered some advice on how to investigate our national food safety system.

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