Blog

What’s Wrong with American Health Care

What’s Wrong with American Health Care

Recently, the esteemed publisher/editor/writer of the Bolin Report asked me what I thought was wrong with the US health care system. I was taken aback. Even though I have been involved in health care cases, organizations, and legislative initiatives for a long time, I don’t often get asked big picture questions. I thought it might be a nice change of pace to put down some of my observations and general critiques of the system based on my 30 years in…

Read More Read More

Board subpoenas , Yes (usually); De facto search warrants, No

Board subpoenas , Yes (usually); De facto search warrants, No

TMB personnel face damage claim for illegally trying to search and seize medical records  In the late 1980s, my New York law firm did some work for Robert Atkins involving the New York medical board, (aka the Office of Professional Medical Conduct). The board wanted the records of a number of his ozone therapy patients. The patients didn’t want their records released, so Bob Atkins hired our firm to try to quash the subpoena.   We made precedent, but not in…

Read More Read More

Are stem cells over?

Are stem cells over?

In 2003, I did my first stem cell case, and it was, as far as I know, the first time the Feds investigated a physician for the clinical use of stem cells. Mitch Ghen had treated a couple of dozen ALS patients with umbilical cord blood. He obtained the material from a Florida cord blood bank. The Feds found out and were not happy. So a half dozen agents raided his clinic in 2003.  After the raid, they threatened to…

Read More Read More

S 2689: Congress to the rescue on stem cells? (Not)

S 2689: Congress to the rescue on stem cells? (Not)

In my last post on stem cells, I painted a pretty bleak picture. Based on warning letters and recent FDA guidance documents, the clinical use of autologous stem cell therapeutics is essentially over. The only way patients are going to be able to receive autologous stem cell transplants for non-homologous use is either in FDA approved clinical trials or outside the United States. This hasn’t gone unnoticed in Congress. In March, 2016, a bill was introduced, by Senator Mark Kirk…

Read More Read More

Why can’t dying patients have ANY drug they can get their hands on?

Why can’t dying patients have ANY drug they can get their hands on?

For almost 40 years, terminal patients have been trying to obtain access to unapproved new drugs. The latest effort has come from the Goldwater Institute (“GI”) which has made the strategic decision to bypass Congress and the federal courts and go directly to the state legislatures. GI’s legislative efforts have been wildly successful, having passed its “right to try” law in more than half of the states. That’s an almost unbelievable accomplishment and everyone should laud and support it, but…

Read More Read More

Federal Right to Try; hopefully not déjà vu all over again

Federal Right to Try; hopefully not déjà vu all over again

  Recently, a federal right to try bill was introduced in the senate, which is a companion to a bill introduced in the house last summer, HR 3012.  I want so bad to feel hopeful and even excited. I’m trying, I really am, but I was deeply involved in similar past efforts, including the bill championed by the heavy weight senators, “the Toms” (Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle and Tom Harkin) along with Congressman Peter DeFazio. I was also around…

Read More Read More

Are all these anti-patients’ rights laws necessary for autologous stem cell transplants?

Are all these anti-patients’ rights laws necessary for autologous stem cell transplants?

  A long time ago as a first semester law student, I took the “Legal Method” course on how to read cases, the rules of statutory construction, and generally the analytic tools which lawyers use to analyze the law. I still remember the professor explaining how sometimes a law is created which makes sense when created, but the reason for the law is later eliminated, but the law continues.  He gave the example of the old English common law rule…

Read More Read More

To my Cali. anti-vaxer friends: here’s some probably unwanted but possibly useful advice

To my Cali. anti-vaxer friends: here’s some probably unwanted but possibly useful advice

So in California come July 1st, there will no vaccine exemptions based on personal belief. However, there still will be a medical exemption, such as it is. My understanding is that pediatrics/public health recognizes some contraindications for specific vaccines, but very, very few (if any) contraindications for not giving a child any vaccine anytime.  I’ve heard that at least one prominent CAM healthcare attorney is advising his California CAM physician clients not to write medical exemption letters for parents who…

Read More Read More

Manly Advice for my Cali. Anti-Vaxer Friends

Manly Advice for my Cali. Anti-Vaxer Friends

Ok, some of you were put-off by the “anti-vaxer” moniker.  Some suggested you’re all health freedom fighters.  I’m not willing to bestow that laudatory title until I see a more cohesive, rational and convincing case made, though I’m sure I am a minority of one on this in the health freedom community. How about the designator “vaccine-concerned” or “VC” for short? It’s neutral, accurately descriptive, and this is my post.  From now on, I am going to refer to you as…

Read More Read More

How many cosmeceuticals can fit on the head of a pin?

How many cosmeceuticals can fit on the head of a pin?

    How many cosmeceuticals can fit on the head of a pin? None, according to the FDA, because there is no such thing.  In FDA-land, there are only regular cosmetics which are essentially un-FDA regulated, and cosmetics which are drugs and regulated as drugs, meaning full-on FDA new drug approval applications. My guess is that the term “cosmeceuticals” was created from an analogy to nutraceuticals which are dietary supplements which have some structure/function type of medical application or value. Nutraceuticals…

Read More Read More