Medicine and Health

Sugar industry withheld evidence linking sucrose to bladder cancer for five decades

By Bryan Dyne, 28 November 2017

Internal documents also reveal that the sugar industry suppressed research linking sucrose and heart disease.

Youth suicides at a record high in the UK

By Alice Summers, 14 October 2017

Economic and academic pressures on young people are exacerbated by a systemic decrease of funding for mental health counselling.

Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded for discoveries on the circadian rhythm

By Benjamin Mateus, 4 October 2017

The three scientists explored the molecular processes through which the body adapts physiologically to the Earth’s rotation, including the sleep-wake cycle and much more.

San Diego death toll from hepatitis A outbreak rises to 16

By Kevin Martinez, 25 September 2017

City officials knew that a public health crisis was brewing years before the current outbreak but rejected preventive measures as too costly.

FDA recommends approval of new leukemia treatment

By Benjamin Mateus, 23 September 2017

This is the first time that white blood cells have been successfully engineered to fight off a cancer.

Study highlights health epidemic: More than one in four US adults is obese

By Kayla Costa, 6 September 2017

Adult obesity rates for 2016 hit over 30 percent in 25 US states, and, in five states, topped 35 percent, the highest levels in the world.

Inherited genetic disorder corrected in human embryos

By Benjamin Mateus, 2 September 2017

New research in the study of the human genome has provided a new way to reduce or potentially eliminate inherited genetic disorders by correcting harmful genetic mutations while the subject is still an embryo.

Serious outbreaks of syphilis and hepatitis underscore social crisis in America

By Genevieve Leigh, 30 August 2017

Among drug users and the homeless in the US, diseases such as syphilis and hepatitis are making a dangerous comeback.

Medicaid sees big price hikes for decades-old drugs

By Brad Dixon, 28 August 2017

Medicaid spending on old and commonly used drugs increased by billions of dollars in 2016 compared to the previous year.

Indiana Medicaid plan under Pence seen as model for attack on health care

By Matthew Taylor, 5 August 2017

In 2015 the state of Indiana introduced a Medicaid expansion plan which converts the entitlement program into a fee-based insurance program.

Rampant dengue epidemic in Sri Lanka

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 25 July 2017

Public health service cuts have resulted in poor sanitation and preventive measures, creating breeding grounds for dengue fever and other diseases.

US: Republican governors call for dramatic changes to Medicaid

By Kate Randall, 27 February 2017

While agreeing in principle with drastic cuts to Medicaid, the governors want input on how to impose them under any Obamacare replacement legislation.

US deaths from cervical cancer higher than previously thought

By Gary Joad, 31 January 2017

Some 12,990 cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed last year and 4,120 women died of the disease.

Trump taps anti-vaccine activist to chair vaccine safety panel

By Brad Dixon, 13 January 2017

Robert F. Kennedy has for the past decade promoted the debunked claim that vaccinations are linked to autism, which was also supported by Trump during his campaign.

Former officials at US fentanyl maker charged with bribing doctors

By Brad Dixon, 24 December 2016

Federal agents arrested six former employees of Insys Therapeutics for allegedly bribing doctors to prescribe the company’s highly addictive fentanyl product, Subsys.

$50 million more cut from West Virginia public employees health care

By Naomi Spencer, 13 December 2016

It is the latest in a series of devastating attacks on benefits for one of the lowest-paid public sector workforces in the country.

The Zika pandemic and Washington’s indifference

By Gary Joad, 6 December 2016

According to the Centers for Disease Control, as of late November, 182 people in Florida have been infected with Zika by local mosquitos, and in Massachusetts there are 101 cases of travel-associated Zika.

Surgeon general’s report: One in seven Americans face substance addiction

By Kate Randall, 19 November 2016

One in seven people in the US will become addicted to drugs or alcohol in their lifetimes, but only 10 percent of them will ever receive any treatment.

Obamacare: The reality hits home

By Andre Damon, 27 October 2016

On Monday, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced that premiums for health insurance plans sold under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will increase on average by 25 percent in 2017, raising health care costs of millions of working people by thousands of dollars.

Two weeks before the US election

Government announces huge Obamacare premium rises for 2017

By Kate Randall, 26 October 2016

The premium increases are part of a sea change in the US health care system, in which corporations and the government are burdening working families with rising health care costs.

Zika virus spreads in Puerto Rico and Florida

By Julio Patron and David Brown, 12 September 2016

The spread of Zika in Puerto Rico and the mainland United States is driven by poverty and will impact the area for years to come.

EpiPen price gouging: Capitalism and the US health care crisis

By Kate Randall, 31 August 2016

The EpiPen scandal has become a focal point of anger over the subordination of health care to huge corporations driven by an insatiable quest for profit.

EpiPen maker Mylan’s other drug price hikes

By Brad Dixon, 26 August 2016

Drugmaker Mylan, which increased the price of the EpiPen by over 450 percent, has raised the prices of other drugs by similar amounts.

Pfizer gobbles up cancer drug maker in $14 billion deal

By Brad Dixon, 25 August 2016

Pfizer will acquire Medivation’s cancer drug Xtandi, which is priced at $129,000 for a year’s treatment.

Mosquito-borne Zika virus spreads to Miami Beach, Florida

By Matthew MacEgan, 22 August 2016

The CDC has issued a travel advisory, warning pregnant women not to visit the area.

Mosquitoes infect pregnant Florida woman with Zika

By Matthew MacEgan, 12 August 2016

Eight more people in Florida, including a pregnant woman, have contracted the Zika virus directly from mosquitoes.

Purdue Pharma and the opioid epidemic

By Brad Dixon, 6 August 2016

Purdue Pharma’s marketing of the painkiller OxyContin has made the company billions, while contributing to the opioid epidemic in the United States.

Youth deaths highlight growth of UK private mental health services

By Dennis Moore, 22 July 2016

Nine young people have died since 2009 while being treated in private mental health units across the UK.

Obamacare insurance rates set to spike in California in 2017

By Toby Reese, 21 July 2016

Similar leaps in premiums are expected throughout the nation.

US Congress rejects funding to combat the Zika virus

By David Brown, 1 July 2016

The Zika virus is currently sweeping through Puerto Rico with the potential to spread to the US mainland.

Minnesota nurses demonstrate against health care cuts

By Anthony Bertolt and Matt Rigel, 23 May 2016

Allina Health has demanded nurses give up their current union health care plans and replace them with the company’s more expensive program.

Zika virus threatens 2016 Olympics

By David Brown and Julio Patron, 16 May 2016

Plans to hold the Olympics in the middle of Brazil’s Zika epidemic threaten to greatly increase the global reach of the virus.

Zika, social inequality and capitalism

By Bill Van Auken, 15 April 2016

The criminal indifference of the US Congress to the spread of the Zika virus stands as an indictment of a social system that subordinates the vital needs of humanity to the accumulation of wealth by a tiny oligarchy.

Significant price hikes for insulin and top selling US drugs

By Brad Dixon, 14 April 2016

The activities of Turing Pharmaceuticals and Valeant Pharmaceuticals are merely the most extreme examples of what is a common practice in the pharmaceutical industry.

US drug prices doubled since 2011

By Brad Dixon, 18 March 2016

Since 2008, the prices of brand-name prescription drugs have increased by a whopping 164 percent.

Health experts warn that Zika virus will infect millions worldwide

By Kevin Martinez, 19 February 2016

The mosquito-borne virus is spreading and affecting entire countries and their societies, impacting an already severe economic situation.

US Congress holds hearing on drug prices

By Brad Dixon, 8 February 2016

While there was plenty of political grandstanding by legislators, the primary concern was to protect the profits of the pharmaceutical industry by reining in the most egregious offenders.

US Congressional memos highlight price-gouging strategies of drug companies

By Brad Dixon, 5 February 2016

The practice of hiking prices to enrich shareholders and then obfuscating the issue through PR is endemic to the pharmaceutical industry as a whole.

WHO declares Zika virus a “public health emergency”

By David Brown, 4 February 2016

The WHO held a meeting to assess the “appropriate level of international concern” and to avoid a repeat of the Ebola outbreak, when the WHO was criticized for its slow response.

Survey: One in four US adults burdened by medical debt

By Kate Randall, 8 January 2016

Medical bills are straining family budgets to the breaking point, forcing significant numbers of people to go without basic household necessities or to forgo treatment.

FDA capitulates to pharmaceutical company on drug claims

By Brad Dixon, 28 December 2015

The move marks the latest episode of the drug industry’s attempts to roll back restrictions on “off-label” marketing practices based on “free speech” claims.

Martin Shkreli arrested for securities fraud

By Tom Hall, 18 December 2015

The 32-year-old CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals became infamous this year for price-gouging lifesaving medication.

US Senate holds hearing on rising generic drug prices

By Brad Dixon, 11 December 2015

The price hikes of a number of generic drugs have limited patient access, according to expert testimony at a US Senate hearing.

US Senate report details high prices of Hepatitis C drugs

By Brad Dixon, 7 December 2015

A report released by the US Senate found that the drugmaker Gilead priced its $84,000 hepatitis C drug to maximize revenue, even as it restricted patient access.

Research on antidepressant drugs distorted by pharmaceutical industry

By Brad Dixon, 20 November 2015

Authors with links to industry were 22 times less likely to report negative statements about antidepressant drugs than authors with no industry affiliation.

Drug maker Novartis pays $390 million to settle kickback claims

By Brad Dixon, 14 November 2015

The Novartis settlement is but another example of the rampant criminality and parasitism found throughout the pharmaceutical industry.

US drug makers blocking generic competition to inflate prices

By Brad Dixon, 1 October 2015

Nearly a third of 280 generic drug products widely used by older Americans have increased in price since 2006.

Life expectancy plunges for low-income Americans

By Andre Damon, 29 September 2015

The gap in life expectancy between higher and lower-income Americans has soared in recent decades, according to the results of a new study commissioned by the US Congress.

US pharmaceutical industry price-gouging and the case of Martin Shkreli

By Nick Barrickman, 24 September 2015

Shkreli’s actions represent nothing more than an unabashed and especially brazen form of everyday business practice under capitalism.

UK government to cut number of cancer drugs available on the NHS

By Ross Mitchell, 17 August 2015

The Conservatives plan to reduce the list of 65 funded cancer drugs by 37 items, which will severely impact the survival rates of thousands cancer patients.

Surge in prices boosts drug industry profits

By Brad Dixon, 14 July 2015

An investigation by Bloomberg News found that the prices of supposedly competing prescription drugs rose in lockstep.

HIV epidemic in rural Indiana exposes social crisis in US

By Zaida Green, 11 May 2015

Driving the outbreak are high levels of poverty and unemployment, conditions found in small towns throughout the United States.

Patient sheds light on crisis at England’s biggest NHS hospital trust

By Tom Pearse, 24 April 2015

The Bart’s Health National Health Service (NHS) Trust serves more than 2.5 million people across London.

A historic attack on Medicare

By Kate Randall, 17 April 2015

The new Medicare bill, which takes aim at health care for seniors, has been hatched as a conspiracy behind the backs of the American people.

US House passes sweeping new bipartisan assault on Medicare

By Kate Randall, 27 March 2015

The coming together of the Republican and Democratic parties behind the overhaul underscores the unanimity within the ruling class on the need for massive cuts in health care spending.

Swine flu ravages India

By Arun Kumar, 25 March 2015

Almost two thousand people have died from swine flu in India in the past four months and a further 33,000 have contracted the disease.

US measles outbreak spreads to fourteen states

By Kevin Martinez, 4 February 2015

The Centers for Disease Control said Monday that 102 people have become infected with the virus in the US.

Measles outbreak in California spreads to six other states

By Kevin Martinez, 24 January 2015

The disease, declared eradicated in the US in 2000, has made a comeback.

Influenza reaches epidemic proportions in US

By E.P. Bannon, 23 January 2015

Roughly 8.5 percent of all deaths across the country for the week ending on January 10 resulted from influenza or pneumonia.

Mozambique health care workers speak on struggle to control tuberculosis

By Zaida Green, 7 January 2015

In a recent issue of the science and medicine journal PLOS ONE, health care workers in Mozambique described the challenges they face in treating tuberculosis.

Debate in Germany over euthanasia

By Sibylle Fuchs, 4 December 2014

Against a background of widespread poverty among the elderly, the debate over euthanasia is centered on eliminating care rather than providing compassionate treatment.

Canada imposes draconian travel restrictions citing Ebola crisis

By Roger Jordan, 4 November 2014

Canada’s decision reflects the callous indifference of the government to the plight of the growing numbers of people suffering as a result of the spread of Ebola in Africa.

As World Health Organization, drug companies meet

Why is there no vaccine for Ebola?

By Patrick Martin, 25 October 2014

There are several reports that after the US National Institutes of Health developed an Ebola vaccine that worked in monkeys, major drug companies refused to develop it further because it was not profitable.

Ebola crisis: Major powers line up to send troops to Africa

By Jean Shaoul, 23 October 2014

The imperialist powers are using the Ebola outbreak as a cover for re-establishing a military presence in their former African colonies.

Sharp rise of Ebola cases in western Sierra Leone

By Kate Randall, 22 October 2014

There are now 851 confirmed cases of Ebola and an estimated 20 deaths a day in two western Sierra Leone districts.

Pleas to major powers from Ebola-stricken countries, health professionals fall on deaf ears

By Patrick Martin, 20 October 2014

The major imperialist powers and the drug companies are leaving tens of thousands to die.

WHO, CDC heads warn of Ebola epidemic’s dangers

By Niles Williamson, 14 October 2014

The head of WHO described the vast social and economic inequalities highlighted by the Ebola crisis, saying, “The rich get the best care. The poor are left to die.”

Health care workers protest conditions faced in treating Ebola

By our reporter, 14 October 2014

Healthcare workers in several countries have protested the lack of training and equipment necessary for safely treating those infected with Ebola and halting the spread of the virus.

Political issues in the Ebola crisis

By Patrick Martin, 13 October 2014

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa requires immediate, massive global action to save lives and prevent the spread of the disease.

Toxic fallout from US war produces record child birth defect rates in Iraq

By Thomas Gaist, 13 October 2014

Two decades of US military bombardment have saturated Iraq with genotoxic compounds, leading to historically unprecedented rates of birth defects and child cancers.

World powers stand by as Ebola death toll passes 4,000

By Niles Williamson, 11 October 2014

The United States and other Western powers are seeking to take advantage of the crisis sparked by the deadly Ebola epidemic, not to save the victims, but to establish a stronger military presence in West Africa.

The Ebola epidemic: A social disaster in West Africa

By Niles Williamson, 9 October 2014

Responsibility for the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa lies with the imperialist powers that have subjected the continent to extreme economic exploitation.

First Ebola case diagnosed in US

By Shannon Jones, 2 October 2014

A man from Liberia visiting family in Texas is the first person in the US diagnosed with the deadly virus.

Imperialism and the Ebola catastrophe

By Patrick Martin, 26 September 2014

The epidemic now devastating West Africa is not a natural calamity, but a social one: it is a product of colonialism and imperialist oppression.

Ebola outbreak grows exponentially

By David Brown, 25 September 2014

International health agencies predict the Ebola outbreak in West Africa could affect hundreds of thousands.

Obama uses Ebola crisis to “surge” 3,000 troops into West Africa

By Bill Van Auken, 17 September 2014

The response to the Ebola epidemic underscores the reliance of US imperialism on its residual military superiority in the second “scramble for Africa”, which pits it against China.

Victorian-era diseases return to Britain

By Julie Hyland, 17 September 2014

Figures from England and Wales indicate that there was a 19 percent increase in the number of people hospitalised for malnutrition in the last year.

International emergency declared in Ebola outbreak

By John Rowe, 11 August 2014

The Ebola virus has already claimed the lives of nearly a thousand people in West Africa, amid a breakdown of health care systems in the impoverished region.

German drug company covered-up deadly side effects of anticoagulant Pradaxa

By Douglas Lyons, 1 August 2014

The drug used for patients suffering from atrial fibrillation has a grave side effect: internal and irreversible bleeding.

Ebola outbreak kills hundreds in West Africa

By David Brown, 29 July 2014

Liberia has closed most of its borders in response to an Ebola outbreak that has killed one doctor and infected two others.

US Centers for Disease Control anthrax investigations reveal widespread safety issues

By Gabriel Black, 29 July 2014

In the wake of a massive budget cut in 2013, an investigation probing the anthrax scare at several CDC labs found a culture of “insufficient” safety.

Ebola outbreak spreads in West Africa

By John Rowe, 9 July 2014

International agencies say that the deadly Ebola virus is spreading out of control in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Chronic kidney disease spreads in rural Sri Lanka

By W. A. Sunil, 5 March 2014

The disease has reached epidemic levels because of inadequate health facilities and government neglect.

OECD report: US life expectancy below international average

By Kate Randall, 23 November 2013

Of the 34 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the US ranks 26th in life expectancy, below Greece, Portugal, South Korea and Slovenia.

Irish doctors vote for strike action

By Jordan Shilton, 10 September 2013

Facing intolerable working conditions as a result of an 8 percent health budget cut, Irish junior doctors have voted in favour of strikes.

More US doctors opting out of Medicare

By Kate Randall, 7 August 2013

The ranks of doctors accepting Medicare are steadily decreasing under the impact of the Obama health care legislation.

Denmark’s social democratic-led government targets health service for cuts

By Ellis Wynne, 31 July 2013

The attack on health provision follows the lockout of 70,000 teachers.

Pharmaceutical companies sign contracts for vaccine sales to poorer countries to maximise profits

By Joan Smith, 24 June 2013

Pharmaceutical conglomerates Merck and GlaxoSmithKline have won contracts to supply some of the world’s poorest countries with cancer vaccines.

One million schoolchildren in England to be vaccinated as measles threat grows

By Harvey Thompson, 1 May 2013

An epidemic outbreak of measles in Swansea, Wales has seen almost 950 cases to date.

Health study: Austerity is costing lives in Europe

By Dietmar Henning, 6 April 2013

Large sections of the European population are paying with their health, or even their lives, for EU-dictated austerity measures.

Two cases of a “functional cure” for HIV/AIDS

By Shane Feratu, 30 March 2013

Researchers have been able to neutralize the HIV virus from causing harm in two separate studies.

UN hides its role in Haiti cholera outbreak

By John Marion, 2 March 2013

The United Nations has refused reparations to Haitian victims and survivors of cholera, which was brought to the island by its forces.

Johnson & Johnson knowingly sold faulty hip implants

By Naomi Spencer, 25 January 2013

Although the company was aware that 40 percent of metal hip replacements would fail in five years, it sold the devices anyway.

Behind the newly proposed US food regulations

By Naomi Spencer, 9 January 2013

While the proposals have been hailed as “landmark” improvements to US food oversight, they will provide FDA inspectors with no meaningful enforcement powers.

UK: Hospitals across Greater Manchester under threat of closure

By Tony Robson, 4 January 2013

The downsizing of local hospitals is in line with plans to dismantle much of the NHS.

Mental health charity warns of “nightmare scenario” for North East England

By Mark Blackwood, 22 December 2012

A report reveals that when compared to the London area, the UK’s poorest region in the North East has almost three times the rate of self-harm/attempted suicide hospital admissions.

Private consultants reap rewards from UK National Health Service privatisation

By Richard Duckworth, 19 December 2012

Private consultancy firms have been central to the coalition government’s plans to carve up the National Health Service.

Massive job losses in UK’s National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 26 November 2012

The ongoing offensive against the National Health Service (NHS) has led to 28,500 health workers losing their jobs since the Conservative Party/Liberal Democrat coalition came to power in 2010.

UK unions and Socialist Party isolate striking Mid Yorkshire NHS workers

By Mark Blackwood and Paul Mitchell, 24 November 2012

The Socialist Party is helping public sector unions Unison and Unite isolate 300 National Health Service clerical and administrative workers employed by Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust.

Germany’s long-standing thalidomide scandal

By Werner Albrecht and Konrad Kreft, 19 November 2012

It has taken the Grünenthal company 50 years to apologise for its role in subjecting thousands of people around the world to the disastrous effects of thalidomide poisoning.