Aging/Longevity

We don’t usually link to blogs that focus on Baylor University’s athletic teams, but today is as good as any. The manager of the Our Daily Bears blog, Mark C. Moore, wrote a heartrending post on his young son’s diagnosis and prognosis with spinal muscular atrophy. Shortly after William was born, a friend remarked that he looked like a ragdoll in his mother’s arms; the comment stuck with Mark and Beth, his wife.

So it’s not a big deal if patients skip a pill or two? On the contrary. Several studies have looked at the issue and the range of their findings is exceptionally broad. One thing that cannot be disputed: The cost is extraordinary. On the low end of the range, the lack of adherence to medications costs the U.S. health care system $100 billion annually in direct costs.

The high end: $289 billion.

The reasons are obvious: In the absence of therapies, diseases and conditions aren’t slowed or defeated.


Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), left, and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) both spoke at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network rally on Capitol Hill on Thursday. Behind them is Christopher Hansen, president of ACS-CAN.

23andMe ’€” the company helping individuals interpret their own DNA ’€” is hosting a Capitol Hill briefing September 13 that will focus on the role of crowd-sourcing as it relates to the future of research on Parkinson’s disease.

The event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at the House Visitors Center, Room 201.

The numbers were shocking, but they weren’t meant to be. Amir Attaran, DPhil, LLB, a panelist at Tuesday’s event at the American Enterprise Institute on poor-quality and fake drugs in emerging markets, reframed some statistics that had been discussed earlier.

What if, he said, 40% of the arriving flights at Dulles International Airport originated outside the U.S. and were unknown to air traffic controllers until each plane was on final approach? What if 7% of flights were using substandard engines?

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