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Blog Posts

  • Back to school? got your meds?

    The L.A. Times today did a great story yesterday on the rising use of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) drugs and how an increase in marketing in the last few years may have contributed to this.

  • Conflict of Interest

    Doctors with Drug Ties Chosen for Avandia Panel

  • Historic drug safety bill passes

    In a vote of 403-16, the House yesterday overwhelmingly passed historic drug safety overhaul bill.

  • How do we fix this?

    I finally saw “Sicko” with a friend the other night. About half way through the movie, after we hear the heart breaking tales of a few Americans’ health care disaster stories, Michael Moore asks the question, “Who are we?”..a question that stays in your mind long after the closing credits. But a more appropriate question might be: How do we fix this?

  • CU Activists descend on Washington and hit the ground running for drug safety

    Consumers Union hosted its first-ever Activist Summit this week in which 50 activists from all over the country came to learn, meet each other and speak out for change in Washington.

  • Battle for safer drugs now in the House

    It’s time for action. With strong legislation sitting in committee, the House has a chance now to take a hard line against the drug industry.

  • Senate drug safety bill passes

    The vote came down to 93-1, as Senate bill S.1082 was passed this week. Drug industry lobbyists breathed a sign of relief as reimportation was not tacked on to the bill.

  • Pet food safety, drug importation… everything but the kitchen sink?

    The Senate debate on the FDA funding/drug safety bill continued this week. Since last Tuesday when the Senate began discussing the bill, a slew of amendments have been tacked on.

  • Senate takes up critical drug safety bill this week

    The vote on FDA reform bill S.1082 may not happen until Thursday…depends on how much time it takes members to get through all the amendments and weave through a flood of drug company lobbyists.

  • Drug companies pushing for another payday!

    I may have discovered an unknown side effect of those prescription drug TV ads—lowering my IQ. As I digested new diseases, wondering if I have them, and new cures, wondering if I should ask for them, the drug companies apparently walked away with all the money.

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News Articles

  • Gov. Inslee rebuffs state hospitals, signs all of infection-reporting bill’s elements
    Source: News Tribune (Tuesday May 21, 2013)

    “Gov. Jay Inslee rejected pressure from the Washington State Hospital Association and signed a bill into law Tuesday that requires much broader reporting of patient infections that happen during care in hospitals.” Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project Director, Lisa McGiffert, quoted.

  • Hospitals fight to limit reports on infections
    Source: The News Tribune (Tuesday May 21, 2013)

    “Consumers Union and the Washington State Hospital Association are still tangling over legislation approved unanimously by the Legislature to require more reporting by hospitals when patients develop infections during care.”

  • Malpractice sought after surgeon operates on wrong eye
    Source: KATU (Thursday March 14, 2013)

    Physician operates on wrong eye; will settle but not publicly admit mistake

  • Advocacy group wants infection-data law left alone
    Source: The News Tribune (Sunday February 24, 2013)

    News Tribune: “Six years after a landmark state law forced Washington hospitals to publicly report the rates at which their patients were catching serious infections while in care, Washington lawmakers are tinkering with the law. And that worries a major consumer advocacy group, Consumers Union.”

  • Op-ed: The culture of health-care secrecy harms patients
    Source: Seattle Times (Wednesday December 26, 2012)

    A former nurse writes about the inside knowledge she had about a doctors and other nurses concerning their performance history, including medical errors. But patients don’t have access to that same information.

  • Morphine dosage error kills elderly patient
    Source: kirotv (Monday November 19, 2012)

    Washington state elderly woman dies due to an overdose of morphine by an unlicensed, unregistered nurse in a nursing home. Yanling Yu of Washington Advocates for Patient Safety quoted.

  • Just 1 in 5 medical malpractice cases end in settlements or judgments for patients, study says
    Source: Washington Post (Wednesday August 17, 2011)

    Only 1 in 5 malpractice claims against doctors leads to a settlement or other payout, according to a new study published in the New England Journal Medicine. Most patients who are harmed are not able to pursue a lawsuit.

  • Medicare rule would decrease payments to hospitals with high re-admission rates
    Source: The Washington Post (Saturday July 30, 2011)

    In an effort to save money and improve care, Medicare, the federal program for the elderly and disabled, is about to release a final rule aimed at getting hospitals to pay more attention to patients after discharge. This includes cutting back payments to hospitals where high numbers of patients are re-admitted [often due to infections or medical harm].

  • Study of Medical Device Rules Is Attacked, Unseen
    Source: New York Times (Wednesday July 27, 2011)

    The medical device industry is crawling over Washington in an attempt to discredit an upcoming Institute of Medicine report that could propose a tougher approval process for a wide range of devices like hip implants, hospital pumps and external heart defibrillators.

  • Health News: Medical devices debated in Congress; controversies surface; Oregon connection
    Source: The Oregonian (Tuesday July 5, 2011)

    A sampler of articles on the issue of fees for medical device manufacturers, a debate heating up in Washington DC.

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