The prescription painkiller sold under the brand-name Vicodin contains hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen. To reduce the risk of liver damage, the Food and Drug Administration is moving to limit the amount of acetaminophen allowed in prescription medicines.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 3:14 pm
For decades, rural parts of the Northwest have found it difficult to lure doctors to small towns. Community leaders in Yakima, Wash. went so far as to found a small medical school to train doctors to practice in these underserved areas.
The Pacific Northwest University opened in 2006. But there is a problem. Small towns throughout the region just don’t have enough residency programs. And that means many of these doctors-in-training may move away.
Before 1970, doctors used to lie to their patients all the time. They knew that some hypochondriacs became noticeably better when doctors gave them a sugar pill.
This was called "the placebo effect." After 1970, we thought of placebos differently. Researchers decided that for a drug to be deemed effective, it had to outperform a placebo. But we never stepped back and took a good hard look at the placebo and why it worked.
Medical mistakes are now the third highest cause of death in the United States, writes Dr. Marty Makary. As a surgeon, Makary has witnessed the power of medicine firsthand. But he's also been shocked by the errors that can have tragic circumstances: wrong limbs amputated, children getting the wrong doses of medicine because of bad handwriting, surgical sponges left inside patients.
Makary advocates for a culture that holds hospitals and doctors accountable for these mistakes in order to bring about positive change in this system. He spoke at Seattle's Town Hall on November 15, 2012.