Our partners at Government Accountability Project released an issue brief detailing dangers to immigrant children who are exploited by illegal child labor arrangements. Children are being harmed! Read the full brief at
The National Center for Health Research NCHR is a voice you can trust, providing health information you can use.
The National Center for Health Research is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of adults and children.
Our partners at Government Accountability Project released an issue brief detailing dangers to immigrant children who are exploited by illegal child labor arrangements. Children are being harmed! Read the full brief at
Want a new health insurance policy right away? You may qualify to enroll or change plans immediately during the government's Special Enrollment Period. Find out if you qualify here
Special enrollment opportunities Outside Open Enrollment, you can enroll in or change a Marketplace plan if you have a life event that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period.
Kraft has announced a recall of many of their processed American cheese “singles” slices. Due to a manufacturing defect, a thin film of plastic remains on the slices and can cause a choking hazards. Check for “Best When Used By” dates of 10 JAN 24 through 27 JAN 24. DO NOT USE this cheese and return for a refund. Learn more:
Kraft Heinz is announcing a voluntary recall of approximately 83,800 cases of individually-wrapped Kraft Singles American processed cheese slices that were shipped to a limited number of customers. The voluntary recall comes as a precaution after a temporary issue developed on one of our wrapping ma...
The National Center for Health Research is hiring a Health Policy Director or Manager! Experience working on health policy issues on Capitol Hill (House or Senate) is required. Find out more at https://www.center4research.org/about-us/jobs-fellowships-internships-volunteers/ and send resume and cover letter to [email protected].
The National Center for Health Research is a non-profit think tank that bridges research, healthcare, and health policy. Look for job opportunities with us!
Yesterday, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled 52,000 Chuckle & Roar Ultimate Water Beads Activity Kits due to ingestion potentially deadly risks. This comes after the severe injury of a Maine infant in November 2022 and the tragic death of a Wisconsin infant in July 2023. If swallowed, these gel balls can greatly expand in size and have resulted in 4,500 emergency department visits between 2017 and 2021. Why the long delay? And when will other equally unsafe water bead products be recalled?
CPSC and toy company Buffalo Games announce recall of water bead toy kit due to choking hazard.
In one of his most anticipated games of his career, Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon on his first game for the Jets. He's out for the entire season. Was the Jets' artificial turf field to blame? The NFL Player's Association immediately called for the NFL to always use natural grass moving forward. Read the full story here:
Executive director Lloyd Howell said a switch to natural grass at NFL stadiums “is the easiest decision the NFL can make.”
New research indicates that chatbots that provide cancer advice are not always accurate and not always understandable. Unfortunately, if a chatbot doesn’t know the answer, it will make one up! Read about it below. And keep in mind that we provide free, accurate info on www.stopcancerfund.org and answer your questions about preventing and treating cancer through our email at [email protected].
Have you been wasting money for decades on cold medications like Sudafed PE, Vicks Nyquil Sinex Nighttime Sinus Relief, and Benadryl Allergy Plus Congestion? We agree with an FDA panel that says that a common decongestant ingredient used in these over-the-counter cold medicines does NOT work. Now it is up to the FDA to decide if and when these products will be pulled from the market. We think this change is long overdue, so don’t waste anymore $$$ in the meantime!
The ingredient, called phenylephrine, is found in a number of over-the-counter cold and allergy medications.
Today we testified that FDA’s plan to reclassify hepatitis B (HBV) assays from high risk (Class III) to moderate risk (Class II) would mean lack of evidence of accuracy. Why do that when there are already accurate assays available? Lowering the standards would harm patients by resulting in inappropriate treatments.
FDA advisory panel discussed reclassifying HBV assays from high risk to moderate risk. Dr. Zuckerman testified lack of evidence of accuracy would harm patients.
We know that professional football players can develop CTE, but a new study published in JAMA Neurology found CTE in the brains of amateur athletes under the age of 30. What are the implications for children playing sports like football, soccer, wrestling, rugby, and ice hockey? Read the whole story below:
Study examined athletes who played contact sports, showed CTE symptoms, and died before age 30.
Are drugs given accelerated approval by FDA proven to be safe and effective? What if the treatment is a very expensive gene therapy? Tomorrow (Thursday Aug 24) NCHR’s president, Dr. Diana Zuckerman, will speak about Accelerated Approval of Gene Therapies via zoom for the Doctors for America Advocacy Grand Rounds. You can join us for free at 1 pm ET through zoom at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89646148829?pwd=NVRDVnRoYnVEZnpqWGhYYkQ5SWlydz09
Exposure to air pollution can cause dementia -- especially particulate matter (tiny microscopic particles from fires, burning coal, agriculture, traffic, and wind-blown dust. NIH-funded research shows that this can cause dementia in 15% of older adults over a 10-year period in areas with high levels of air pollution. What should you do? Find out more at https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/air-pollution-different-emission-sources-associated-incident-dementia
NIH-funded study suggests reducing exposure to airborne particulates may decrease dementia risk.
In a landmark climate decision, a Montana judge rules in favor of Montana youths who alleged their right to a "clean and healthful environment" was violated by the state government promoting the use of fossil fuels.
A Montana judge handed a significant victory on Monday to more than a dozen young plaintiffs in the nation’s first constitutional climate trial, as extreme weather becomes more deadly and scientists warn the climate crisis is eroding our environment and natural resources.
We agree: These new Alzheimer’s drugs are a travesty! After 18 months of infusions, you can see on the infographic that brain volume decreases more for Leqembi patients than for placebo patients. In addition, Leqembi patients almost immediately have much more brain swelling, brain bleeding, several deaths, and no clear evidence that patients will notice any benefit. Keep in mind that all patients in the study got worse, the only difference was that on average the Leqembi patients were half a point less worse on a 18 point scale, which is not considered a noticeable difference.
They cost a ton, have major side effects, and there’s deep skepticism that they even work. So why are we pushing them on patients?
People who take popular acid reflux medications called proton pump inhibitors for more than 4.5 years are more likely to develop dementia compared to people who do not take these medications, according to new research published in the August 9, 2023, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. If you take these drugs (which include Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid, Kapidex, Aciphex and Protonix) how worried should you be?
Grow your career and enhance your membership experience. Find resources for wellness, equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, and social justice.
The FDA has announced Abiomed's recall of nearly 8,000 Impella Blood Pump devices. These devices could seriously harm or be fatal for patients who have previously had a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) heart procedure. The pump's motor could damage the heart valve, reduce blood flow, or halt the pump, jeopardizing patient treatment. This recall needs immediate attention from healthcare providers. Read more here:
There have been 30 complaints so far about this issue, including 26 injuries and four deaths.
The Supreme Court decided to temporarily keep the Biden Administration restrictions on 'ghost guns' in place after a federal judge in Texas lifted the restrictions saying they exceeded government authority. If these regulations are overturned, it would allow anyone, even felons and children, to buy parts to build an untraceable firearm in as little as 20 minutes. Read the full story below:
A lower court had said the Biden administration had overreached with its new policy regarding guns assembled at home.
Are you looking for a user-friendly source of accurate, unbiased health information? Do you want to get past the hype to information you can trust about new medical products? Follow us on Instagram and Threads ()! We will keep you up to date on everything you need to know, whether for your work, your own health, or to keep your family and loved ones healthy.
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The EPA’s Office of Inspector General (IG) recently found that the EPA has not followed necessary recordkeeping and quality assurance rules in their New Chemicals Program. This may not sound exciting but if these rules aren’t followed it makes it difficult or impossible to evaluate preventable risks to public health and the environment. This results in decisions that tend to favor industry, and those concerns were also reported by EPA scientists represented by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). More IG findings on these issues are expected later this year. Read more here:
EPA has not complied with applicable record keeping and quality assurance requirements when implementing its New Chemicals Program
The EPA recently approved Chevron's plan to produce fuel from discarded plastics as a "climate-friendly" initiative, but is it? Internal documents obtained by ProPublica and The Guardian reveal that one of the fuels could emit highly toxic air pollution, potentially causing cancer in 1 out of 4 people exposed over a lifetime! The risk is 250,000 times greater than the EPA's typical acceptable level for new chemicals. This would disproportionately affect low-income and Black communities near Chevron's refinery in Mississippi. Why didn't the EPA require lab tests, air monitoring, or pollution controls for these fuels, despite their health risks? Why isn’t EPA doing more to protect the public from toxic air pollution – and especially when it purports to be climate friendly?
Read more here:
Almost half of products cleared so far under the new federal biofuels program are not in fact biofuels — and the EPA acknowledges that the plastic-based ones may present an “unreasonable risk” to human health or the environment.
This news story discusses the May, 2023, FDA approval of fezolinetant (brand name Veozah™) to treat hot flashes caused by menopause. While the drug was shown to slightly reduce the frequency and severity of hot flashes per day, NCHR and other experts question if these changes are sufficient to justify any risks and the high cost. We also suggest possible alternative strategies to deal with hot flashes
Hot flashes vary greatly and naturally get better or resolve completely with time. That contributes to a placebo effect and makes it more difficult to judge the outcome of any intervention. Early this year, a meta analysis of 17 studies of drug trials for hot flashes found an unusually large placebo...
CALLING ALL VETERANS: Were you exposed to toxins from burn pits, radiation, or agent orange during your time in the service? Are you fighting cancer or other illnesses as a result? You are entitled to disability compensation, health care, free toxic exposure screenings through the PACT Act! There’s no deadline to apply, but if you file your PACT Act claim—or quickly submit your intent to file—by August 9, 2023, you may receive benefits backdated to August 10, 2022. So don’t wait! Apply today at: www.va.gov/PACT.
The Pink Sheet published an article extensively describing 2 letters sent to CMS about the Leqembi registries: one from policy experts and one from 20 members of the Patient, Consumer, & Public Health Coalition. The article explains what these experts are asking Medicare to do as they work with private registries in addition to the CMS registry. The goal is to maximize accuracy and usefulness of data explaining the safety and effectiveness of Leqembi for mild cognitive impairment and early Alzheimers.
Now that it’s clear the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is moving ahead with the patient registry requirement for the Alzheimer’s drug, experts weigh in on how best to collect useful information.
CBS News says that the drug Leqembi for mild cognitive impairment and early Alzheimer’s is likely to cost taxpayers billions of dollars. We are among the policy experts who tell Medicare that all registry data need to be public to see if it is safe or effective. Will that happen?
Medicare could shell out more than $100,000 a year per patient to cover the drug and the complex scans and tests needed to monitor its potentially lethal risks for patients.
We support the White House proposal to restrict “junk” health insurance policies. These policies were supposed to be for emergency coverage for 3-4 months, but the Trump Admin extended them for 3 years instead. We explained to a reporter that these inexpensive policies result in patients paying much more if they have any medical needs – or going without needed health care. Don’t be fooled by misleading ads for cancer coverage or other limited coverage.
White House proposes restricting “junk” health insurance policies to 3-4 months for emergencies, instead of 3 years. NCHR explains junk policies harm everyone.
We were glad to be among the health policy and ethics experts who sent a letter to CMS to urge Medicare to require all Alzheimer’s drug registries to share their de-identified data publicly. The goal is to allow statistical analyses by CMS and other independent researchers. NCHR explains why that is important, but Alzheimer’s Association and Beth Israel Hospital make excuses. Find out more at:
More than two dozen prominent health policy experts are urging the Biden administration to ensure that patient data collected about a new Alzheimer’s treatment is accessible to the public.
A new study shows more excess deaths for registered Republicans than registered Democrats in Florida and Ohio in the months after the COVID vaccine was widely available, but not before. Excess deaths are considered the most accurate way to determine deaths related to COVID. These results suggest that differences in vaccination attitudes and vaccination rates between Republicans and Democrats may have affected the severity of the pandemic in the U.S. Read more here:
This cross-sectional study examines the differences in excess death rates between Republican and Democratic voters in Florida and Ohio after the COVID-19 vaccine became available for all adults.
A new study funded by NIH (National Institute of Health) found that the popular cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins can substantially reduce the chances of people with HIV developing heart disease. The research also suggests that statins may prevent premature deaths in people living with HIV. More research is needed but these findings are promising! Read more here: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/daily-statin-reduces-heart-disease-risk-among-adults-living-hiv
NIH-funded clinical trial finds cholesterol-lowering treatment reduced cardiovascular events by 35%.
Experts disagree about what age (40? 50?) to start mammograms -- radiologists (who financially benefit from mammography!) suggests Black women start at age 25, which would result in unnecessary costs, radiation exposure, and anxiety due to young women having dense breasts that mammograms can’t accurately diagnose. We point out that the science suggests that the age to start screening mammography should vary based on race and risk. US Task Force recommendations raise concerns about costs, accuracy, timing, and ensuring that abnormal mammograms result in biopsies to learn if treatment is needed.
USPSTF's update of recommendations on breast cancer screening is drawing calls for broader insurance coverage of mammograms, while reviving debates about frequency and testing approaches.
Today is National Junk Food Day! Before you decide if or how you want to celebrate, read our Fast Food Calorie Count Cheat Sheet to get some of the latest information on what's out there!
Your ideal daily calorie intake depends on your age, activity level, and gender. Find the least fattening choices for you at these popular fast food restaurants.
Why would a physician who received tens of thousands of dollars from Eisai and Biogen over the last five years be allowed to participate in an "independent" FDA Advisory Committee review of a drug made by those companies? That almost happened for Leqembi, the recently approved Alzheimer’s drug! Fortunately, that physician signed a letter from the Alzheimer’s Association urging the FDA to grant Leqembi approval, which was publicly available and resulted in complaints from other researchers when it became known he was on the FDA’s Advisory Committee reviewing Leqembi. Even after removing his from the Advisory Committee, FDA stated it was just being extra careful, which we told reporters was even more “outrageous.” And he wasn’t the only one who signed the letter and so was removed from the Advisory Committee at the last possible minute. Why did the FDA ever think any of these physicians were objective enough to serve on their Advisory Committee? What should be done to prevent such serious conflicts of interest from being overlooked by the FDA?
These 2 articles each have uniquely important information about this!
As the FDA explores how to reform its advisory committees in ways to ensure the agency receives more timely and sound advice — a process the agency acknowledges is ongoing and not easy — new research points to a decline in adcomms in recent years, and an FDA commissioner who
The use of ghost guns by teenagers for violent crimes has increased over the past few years. Ghost guns are homemade fi****ms assembled from parts that can be bought on the internet. They do not have serial numbers, so they are untraceable as well as highly dangerous. The companies selling the parts do not consider them to be fi****ms, so they don’t require background checks and age restrictions. It is important to hold these ghost gun kit manufacturers and sellers accountable to protect children and teenagers – and all of us! – from these weapons. ****ms
Dozens of teens have bought, built and shot ghost guns in recent years, and a federal attempt to regulate sales has faltered.
We hope we have helped you! For almost 25 years, the National Center for Health Research has helped fight cancer, heart disease, and other health problems on an individual, local, state, and national level, improving the health and safety for all adults and children. Whether providing life-changing information to individuals or influencing national or local policies that affect you every day, our work is amazingly effective and unique.
2023 has already been full of challenges, so please help us fight to improve the safety and effectiveness of the medical treatments and consumer products you rely on every day, by making your donation either online https://donate.givedirect.org/?cid=13680&n=271786 or by mailing a check by January 1 to NCHR, 1001 Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20036.
Please support our important work with your donation today!
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued four warnings to consumers about unsafe products that failed to meet federal safety requirements. The products include Girasol Rainbow Love Woven Wrap Sling Carriers, CCATTO Brand Baby Tents, Momaid Infant Loungers, and Gorsetle US Infant Loungers. Despite the warnings, the sellers have not recalled their products or offered any remedies to consumers. CPSC is a small agency with an important mission! Congress needs to provide better funding for CPSC so that they can do more to protect children and adults from hazardous products.
Find out more at https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/popular-infant-lounger-may-increase-the-risk-of-suffocationinjury-cpsc-warns-060923.html and https://www.kiro7.com/news/trending/cpsc-stop-using-girasol-rainbow-love-sling-wrap-immediately/3QHPBMRPGBGYTKPVACUSITHNNQ/ and https://www.wral.com/story/cpsc-warns-of-safety-hazards-for-baby-beach-tents/20911934/ and https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/family/story/parhttps://www.wral.com/story/cpsc-warns-of-safety-hazards-for-baby-beach-tents/20911934/
The Consumer Product Safety Commission warns parents to stop using CCATTO brand baby tents because of the risk of suffocation.
We are pleased about the FDA black box warnings about brain swelling and bleeding and other cautions about who is most likely to be harmed by Alzheimer’s drug Leqembi. We wish all the warnings were in the black box, where more physicians and patients are likely to read them. These warnings will help protect patients with mild cognitive impairment, but only if their doctors pay attention and accurately discuss the risks vs. uncertain benefits with patients and family members.
How safe Eisai Co. and Biogen Inc.’s Alzheimer’s drug is for patients will depend on whether physicians adequately heed the FDA’s warnings of potential brain swelling and bleeding, clinicians and researchers say.
We are glad to see that the EPA has proposed new and stricter standards on lead in old paint to protect children from lead poisoning. The new rules apply to homes, schools, day-care centers, and other facilities. They aim to almost completely prohibit lead dust in old buildings, allowing only for the lowest levels of lead dust that current removal efforts cannot eliminate. The EPA estimates that these requirements would reduce lead exposure for 250,000 - 500,000 children under the age of 6 each year.
The only contamination allowed would be the lowest levels of lead dust that current removal efforts couldn’t completely eliminate, the agency said.
We thank the Biden Administration for proposing long overdue restrictions on "junk" health insurance plans. Although inexpensive, they are often close to worthless, becausevthey dont pay for essential health care. The new proposal would require these short-term plans to disclose what they can and cannot cover so customers will not have to guess before they decide whether to buy the policy. The goal is to better protect patients from large and unexpected medical bills. You can read more here
The plans offer less expensive monthly premiums than standard forms of health insurance — in exchange for scanty benefits.
As expected the FDA has granted full approval to Leqembi, and unfortunately, the FDA is making grandiose statements that the drug is safe and effective. We wish that the FDA and the Washington Post headline writer didn’t sound so much like a PR firm for Leqembi but we’re glad to see that there is a “black box” warning about the risks of brain swelling and brain bleeds and that patients with two copies of a genetic variant that increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s — called APOE4 — are at higher risk of serious complications and that genetic testing should be done before a patient receives the drug. And FDA told doctors to warn patients who are on blood thinners, and fear of law suits should make those warnings effective.
The medicine, called Leqembi, slowed decline by 27 percent over 18 months compared with placebo, a study showed. But side effects and cost are fueling controversy.
Novo Nordisk gave doctors 450,000 free restaurant meals and snacks in 2022 while promoting drugs like Ozempic for weight loss. One doctor got 183 meals. Some got free trips to Paris or Hawaii. We ask: Is that education or a bribe? Can those doctors be objective about the risks and benefits of the drugs?
Novo Nordisk bought 457,222 meals to educate doctors about its drugs like Ozempic. More than 200 doctors had more than 50 meals with the company.
Why should you care that water beads can absorb water that enable them to maximally grow up to 1,500 times their size? Although the beads are labeled “non-toxic” by manufacturers, they can be life-threatening when swallowed by children or adults. These beads can look like candy and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has recently issued a safety warning, but the company has refused to take the product off the market. Keep water beads away from children and immediately seek emergency medical treatment if a child or adult swallows a water bead or puts one into their ears.
Hannah Rief said her 14-month-old daughter had to undergo emergency surgery.
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