Medicine and Health
By Kevin Martinez, 19 February 2016
The mosquito-borne virus is spreading and affecting entire countries and their societies, impacting an already severe economic situation.
By Brad Dixon, 8 February 2016
While there was plenty of political grandstanding by legislators, the primary concern was to protect the profits of the pharmaceutical industry by reining in the most egregious offenders.
By Brad Dixon, 5 February 2016
The practice of hiking prices to enrich shareholders and then obfuscating the issue through PR is endemic to the pharmaceutical industry as a whole.
By David Brown, 4 February 2016
The WHO held a meeting to assess the “appropriate level of international concern” and to avoid a repeat of the Ebola outbreak, when the WHO was criticized for its slow response.
By Kate Randall, 8 January 2016
Medical bills are straining family budgets to the breaking point, forcing significant numbers of people to go without basic household necessities or to forgo treatment.
By Brad Dixon, 28 December 2015
The move marks the latest episode of the drug industry’s attempts to roll back restrictions on “off-label” marketing practices based on “free speech” claims.
By Tom Hall, 18 December 2015
The 32-year-old CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals became infamous this year for price-gouging lifesaving medication.
By Brad Dixon, 11 December 2015
The price hikes of a number of generic drugs have limited patient access, according to expert testimony at a US Senate hearing.
By Brad Dixon, 7 December 2015
A report released by the US Senate found that the drugmaker Gilead priced its $84,000 hepatitis C drug to maximize revenue, even as it restricted patient access.
By Brad Dixon, 20 November 2015
Authors with links to industry were 22 times less likely to report negative statements about antidepressant drugs than authors with no industry affiliation.
By Brad Dixon, 14 November 2015
The Novartis settlement is but another example of the rampant criminality and parasitism found throughout the pharmaceutical industry.
By Brad Dixon, 1 October 2015
Nearly a third of 280 generic drug products widely used by older Americans have increased in price since 2006.
By Andre Damon, 29 September 2015
The gap in life expectancy between higher and lower-income Americans has soared in recent decades, according to the results of a new study commissioned by the US Congress.
By Nick Barrickman, 24 September 2015
Shkreli’s actions represent nothing more than an unabashed and especially brazen form of everyday business practice under capitalism.
By Ross Mitchell, 17 August 2015
The Conservatives plan to reduce the list of 65 funded cancer drugs by 37 items, which will severely impact the survival rates of thousands cancer patients.
By Brad Dixon, 14 July 2015
An investigation by Bloomberg News found that the prices of supposedly competing prescription drugs rose in lockstep.
By Zaida Green, 11 May 2015
Driving the outbreak are high levels of poverty and unemployment, conditions found in small towns throughout the United States.
By Tom Pearse, 24 April 2015
The Bart’s Health National Health Service (NHS) Trust serves more than 2.5 million people across London.
By Kate Randall, 17 April 2015
The new Medicare bill, which takes aim at health care for seniors, has been hatched as a conspiracy behind the backs of the American people.
By Kate Randall, 27 March 2015
The coming together of the Republican and Democratic parties behind the overhaul underscores the unanimity within the ruling class on the need for massive cuts in health care spending.
By Arun Kumar, 25 March 2015
Almost two thousand people have died from swine flu in India in the past four months and a further 33,000 have contracted the disease.
By Kevin Martinez, 4 February 2015
The Centers for Disease Control said Monday that 102 people have become infected with the virus in the US.
By Kevin Martinez, 24 January 2015
The disease, declared eradicated in the US in 2000, has made a comeback.
By E.P. Bannon, 23 January 2015
Roughly 8.5 percent of all deaths across the country for the week ending on January 10 resulted from influenza or pneumonia.
By Zaida Green, 7 January 2015
In a recent issue of the science and medicine journal PLOS ONE, health care workers in Mozambique described the challenges they face in treating tuberculosis.
By Sibylle Fuchs, 4 December 2014
Against a background of widespread poverty among the elderly, the debate over euthanasia is centered on eliminating care rather than providing compassionate treatment.
By Roger Jordan, 4 November 2014
Canada’s decision reflects the callous indifference of the government to the plight of the growing numbers of people suffering as a result of the spread of Ebola in Africa.
As World Health Organization, drug companies meet
By Patrick Martin, 25 October 2014
There are several reports that after the US National Institutes of Health developed an Ebola vaccine that worked in monkeys, major drug companies refused to develop it further because it was not profitable.
By Jean Shaoul, 23 October 2014
The imperialist powers are using the Ebola outbreak as a cover for re-establishing a military presence in their former African colonies.
By Kate Randall, 22 October 2014
There are now 851 confirmed cases of Ebola and an estimated 20 deaths a day in two western Sierra Leone districts.
By Patrick Martin, 20 October 2014
The major imperialist powers and the drug companies are leaving tens of thousands to die.
By Niles Williamson, 14 October 2014
The head of WHO described the vast social and economic inequalities highlighted by the Ebola crisis, saying, “The rich get the best care. The poor are left to die.”
By our reporter, 14 October 2014
Healthcare workers in several countries have protested the lack of training and equipment necessary for safely treating those infected with Ebola and halting the spread of the virus.
By Patrick Martin, 13 October 2014
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa requires immediate, massive global action to save lives and prevent the spread of the disease.
By Thomas Gaist, 13 October 2014
Two decades of US military bombardment have saturated Iraq with genotoxic compounds, leading to historically unprecedented rates of birth defects and child cancers.
By Niles Williamson, 11 October 2014
The United States and other Western powers are seeking to take advantage of the crisis sparked by the deadly Ebola epidemic, not to save the victims, but to establish a stronger military presence in West Africa.
By Niles Williamson, 9 October 2014
Responsibility for the ongoing Ebola crisis in West Africa lies with the imperialist powers that have subjected the continent to extreme economic exploitation.
By Shannon Jones, 2 October 2014
A man from Liberia visiting family in Texas is the first person in the US diagnosed with the deadly virus.
By Patrick Martin, 26 September 2014
The epidemic now devastating West Africa is not a natural calamity, but a social one: it is a product of colonialism and imperialist oppression.
By David Brown, 25 September 2014
International health agencies predict the Ebola outbreak in West Africa could affect hundreds of thousands.
By Bill Van Auken, 17 September 2014
The response to the Ebola epidemic underscores the reliance of US imperialism on its residual military superiority in the second “scramble for Africa”, which pits it against China.
By Julie Hyland, 17 September 2014
Figures from England and Wales indicate that there was a 19 percent increase in the number of people hospitalised for malnutrition in the last year.
By John Rowe, 11 August 2014
The Ebola virus has already claimed the lives of nearly a thousand people in West Africa, amid a breakdown of health care systems in the impoverished region.
By Douglas Lyons, 1 August 2014
The drug used for patients suffering from atrial fibrillation has a grave side effect: internal and irreversible bleeding.
By David Brown, 29 July 2014
Liberia has closed most of its borders in response to an Ebola outbreak that has killed one doctor and infected two others.
By Gabriel Black, 29 July 2014
In the wake of a massive budget cut in 2013, an investigation probing the anthrax scare at several CDC labs found a culture of “insufficient” safety.
By John Rowe, 9 July 2014
International agencies say that the deadly Ebola virus is spreading out of control in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.
By W. A. Sunil, 5 March 2014
The disease has reached epidemic levels because of inadequate health facilities and government neglect.
By Kate Randall, 23 November 2013
Of the 34 member nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the US ranks 26th in life expectancy, below Greece, Portugal, South Korea and Slovenia.
By Jordan Shilton, 10 September 2013
Facing intolerable working conditions as a result of an 8 percent health budget cut, Irish junior doctors have voted in favour of strikes.
By Kate Randall, 7 August 2013
The ranks of doctors accepting Medicare are steadily decreasing under the impact of the Obama health care legislation.
By Ellis Wynne, 31 July 2013
The attack on health provision follows the lockout of 70,000 teachers.
By Joan Smith, 24 June 2013
Pharmaceutical conglomerates Merck and GlaxoSmithKline have won contracts to supply some of the world’s poorest countries with cancer vaccines.
By Harvey Thompson, 1 May 2013
An epidemic outbreak of measles in Swansea, Wales has seen almost 950 cases to date.
By Dietmar Henning, 6 April 2013
Large sections of the European population are paying with their health, or even their lives, for EU-dictated austerity measures.
By Shane Feratu, 30 March 2013
Researchers have been able to neutralize the HIV virus from causing harm in two separate studies.
By John Marion, 2 March 2013
The United Nations has refused reparations to Haitian victims and survivors of cholera, which was brought to the island by its forces.
By Naomi Spencer, 25 January 2013
Although the company was aware that 40 percent of metal hip replacements would fail in five years, it sold the devices anyway.
By Naomi Spencer, 9 January 2013
While the proposals have been hailed as “landmark” improvements to US food oversight, they will provide FDA inspectors with no meaningful enforcement powers.
By Tony Robson, 4 January 2013
The downsizing of local hospitals is in line with plans to dismantle much of the NHS.
By Mark Blackwood, 22 December 2012
A report reveals that when compared to the London area, the UK’s poorest region in the North East has almost three times the rate of self-harm/attempted suicide hospital admissions.
By Richard Duckworth, 19 December 2012
Private consultancy firms have been central to the coalition government’s plans to carve up the National Health Service.
By Robert Stevens, 26 November 2012
The ongoing offensive against the National Health Service (NHS) has led to 28,500 health workers losing their jobs since the Conservative Party/Liberal Democrat coalition came to power in 2010.
By Mark Blackwood and Paul Mitchell, 24 November 2012
The Socialist Party is helping public sector unions Unison and Unite isolate 300 National Health Service clerical and administrative workers employed by Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust.
By Werner Albrecht and Konrad Kreft, 19 November 2012
It has taken the Grünenthal company 50 years to apologise for its role in subjecting thousands of people around the world to the disastrous effects of thalidomide poisoning.
By Richard Duckworth and Paul Stuart, 8 November 2012
Four out of nine A&E departments catering to nearly 2 million people in northwest London face closure as part of £20 billion in cuts to the NHS.
By our reporters, 30 July 2012
Some 3,000 people gathered in Millennium Square, Leeds on July 23, to protest the proposal to end paediatric heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary.
By Will Morrow, 5 July 2012
Monday’s settlement is the latest in a long list of cases in which pharmaceutical giants have paid cash fines for fraudulent and criminal practices, without anyone being held accountable.
By Paul Stuart, 9 April 2012
The first privatised hospital since the creation of the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948, Hinchingbrooke Cambridgeshire, began operating under Circle Healthcare Limited on February 1.
By Elisabeth Steinert, 2 February 2012
The Siemens group has decided not to commission its particle therapy cancer treatment facility in Kiel.
By Debra Watson, 27 January 2012
Doctors in Mumbai, India’s largest city, reported in December that they had confirmed four cases of Totally Drug Resistant Tuberculosis.
By Eileen Rose, 25 January 2012
The ongoing scandal over PIP (Poly Implant Prostheses) breast implants makes clear the human cost of the privatisation of health care in the UK, and the callous indifference of the political elite towards its consequences.
By Nicholas Russo, 11 January 2012
Since 2010, at least 15 deaths have been linked to the shortage of critical drugs in the US.
By Joe Mount, 16 July 2011
Detailed health profiles for each English local authority highlight large health inequalities and the underlying poverty in Britain’s major towns and cities.
By John Mackay, 19 May 2011
Despite warnings by health professionals, no national surveillance system has been introduced for the potentially fatal Clostridium difficile bacteria.
By Barry Mason, 11 May 2011
Two recent reports highlight the lack of health care provision affecting women in semi-colonial countries.
By Ed Hightower, 30 June 2010
For the past several months, a recall crisis has been developing at the Johnson & Johnson company over serious quality control problems in over-the-counter medicines, including children’s versions.
By Carl Bronski, 9 November 2009
Federal and provincial health officials are backtracking on earlier commitments to help both high-risk groups and members of the general population seeking vaccination.
By Alex Lantier, 4 May 2009
The handling of the swine flu outbreak underscores the difficulty, in the present political environment, of separating medical science from corporate interests and the political agendas of governments that are beholden to them.
By John MacKay, 29 December 2008
A study, based on a survey of Canadian hospitals, has found that hospital-acquired infection rates continue to rise and that for want of funding, infection-control programs continue to fall well short of expert recommendations.
1 November 2008
The following letter was sent to the World Socialist Web Site in response to the article, “Canadian Government defends export of asbestos to poorer nations.”
By John Mackay, 14 October 2008
The number of deaths linked to the listeriosis outbreak that originated at the Maple Leaf Foods meatpacking plant in Toronto has now risen to 20.
By Barry Mason, 25 September 2008
In August the World Health Organisation (WHO) published a report, “Closing the gap in a generation: Health equity through action on the social determinants of health.”
Unregulated dairy industry
By John Chan, 24 September 2008
The contamination of Chinese milk products with the toxic industrial chemical melamine is rapidly becoming a major national and international scandal. Already, some 53,000 infants have become sick and at least 12,892 have been hospitalised.
By John Mackay, 20 September 2008
The Canadian Medical Association Journal, one of the world’s top medical publications, has made a scathing attack on Canada’s Conservative government, charging that “government policy errors helped bring about” the recent epidemic of listeriosis.
By Barry Mason, 12 August 2008
The latest figures for the AIDS epidemic were published by UNAIDS and WHO (World Health Organisation) last month. Two million people died of AIDS in 2007—of whom one-quarter of a million were children. A total of 33 million people are now living with HIV/AIDS, two million of them children.
By Barry Mason, 13 January 2007
Last year saw a major spread of the global AIDS epidemic. According to the report “2006 Aids Epidemic Update” published by the United Nations bodies UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated 39.5 million people now live with HIV, and in 2006 alone 4.3 million became infected with the HIV virus and 2.9 million died from the effects of AIDS.
By Françoise Thull and Pierre Mabut, 15 March 2006
The epidemic that has raged on the Réunion Island since March 2005 has, according to official figures, affected 157,000 people, 20 percent of the population, with 77 deaths directly or indirectly attributed to the chikungunya virus. This very debilitating disease is transmitted by the Aedes Albopictus mosquito, which had only been present in Africa before appearing in Réunion at the start of 2005. The disease’s symptoms are bouts of high temperatures associated with pain or even paralysis of the body’s joints, forcing the patient to move in a bent position; hence the name chikungunya, which in Swahili means “he who walks bent over.”
By Andreas Reiss, 13 March 2006
Cases of Asiatic bird flu are spreading in Germany and other European states, but no governmental authorities—at either the national, state or local levels—seem to have developed serious plans to deal with this fully foreseeable crisis.
By Perla Astudillo, 6 March 2006
Last year’s Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded in December to two Australian scientists who revealed the bacterial basis for the world’s second most prevalent disease—gastritis and peptic ulcers. Ulcers were previously connected to bad diet or a stressful lifestyle—to the point that it pervaded popular culture, including in film and literature. The breakthrough paved the way for relatively straightforward treatments for a debilitating and potentially fatal disease.
By Patrick Martin, 21 February 2006
In the most rapid and far-flung extension of the area of infection since the most recent strain of avian flu was first detected nine years ago, health authorities in India, Western Europe and parts of Africa reported new outbreaks of the disease and announced emergency measures over the weekend.
By Frank Gaglioti, 4 November 2005
Health authorities around the world are warning that humanity could face the first global influenza pandemic of the twenty-first century. The spread of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza through poultry stocks in Asia and recently into Europe raises the prospect that the virus will mutate so that it can be transmitted from person to person, resulting in millions of deaths. In spite of the constant warning from scientists, governments in wealthier countries have responded in an uncoordinated and belated manner, largely leaving poorer countries to their own devices.
By Barry Mason and Chris Talbot, 20 October 2005
Cases of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu virus have now been confirmed in poultry in Turkey, Romania and Greece. So far, the virus that is spreading from the Far East, through Russia and into Europe is infecting birds, though more than 100 people working in proximity to infected poultry have caught the flu and at least 63 have died over the last two years. Large-scale culling of domestic birds in Vietnam, China and other countries has failed to stop the spread. A World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesman said, “Never before in the history of this disease have so many countries been simultaneously affected, resulting in the loss of so many birds.”
By Dragan Stankovic, 10 September 2005
The discovery of avian influenza, or bird flu, among migratory birds and domestic poultry in Siberia during July has triggered fears that the virus will reach Western Europe. Despite warnings by many scientists that bird flu could mutate and cause a global pandemic, sharp divisions emerged among European Union (EU) member states over whether to take action to stem the spread of the virus.
By Perla Astudillo, 5 September 2005
The complex connection between genes and cancer has been further clarified in fascinating findings published in the June 9 edition of the British science journal Nature. Separate studies by three major US cancer research laboratories have positively correlated the relationship between over 200 types of miRNA (also called microRNA) and the development of cancer tumours.
By Perla Astudillo, 20 June 2005
Recent successful medical trials of a cancer treatment involving the use of “nanotechnology” may open up important new avenues for the diagnosis and treatment of other cancers and diseases.
By Barry Mason, 31 March 2005
A new study using epidemiological, geographical and demographic data has demonstrated that there are over 500 million cases of malaria each year. This figure is more than double that previously estimated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) of around 210 million. Of these cases, 70 percent occur in Africa and 25 percent in Southeast Asia. Around 2 billion people, i.e., a third of the world’s population, are at risk of contracting the disease.
By Dragan Stankovic, 29 March 2005
The appearance of new cases of the bird flu virus HIN5 among poultry and humans in Asia has prompted urgent warnings about the potentially catastrophic consequences of a deadly worldwide pandemic. At present, the virus is transmitted to humans via infected birds. With the virus entrenched in parts of Asia, what concerns scientists and health workers is the possibility that a mutant strain will emerge that can spread directly from human to human.
Asbestos industry—corporate murder on a global scale
Review of a Real Life documentary produced in the UK for ITN television.
14 September 2004
This documentary, broadcast in August, is about corporate murder, premeditated and on a massive scale. Widows Joan Baird and Pauline Bonney listen to a haunting song about the epidemic of asbestos deaths that is an international scandal. The words of “He Fades Away” bring the heartache back. Joan lost her husband, William, seven years ago to asbestos-induced mesothelioma. Pauline’s husband, John, succumbed to the same deadly form of cancer five years previously. ITN followed the quest of these two courageous women as they investigate the reasons why their loved ones had died—a journey that takes them to disused, though still contaminated, asbestos factories, and all the way to the mines in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. Wherever they travel, they uncover a trail of death.
By Guy Charron, 11 September 2004
Infectious disease specialists have drawn a causal link between an alarming rise in the number of Quebec hospital patients becoming infected with and dying from Clostridium difficile—a bacterium resistant to standard antibiotics—and government budget-cutting. As the World Socialist Web Site previously reported, researchers studying the C. difficile pandemic in Quebec have linked the bacteria’s spread to the unsanitary environment created by decaying infrastructure, patient overcrowding, and reduced staffing. [See “Canada: budget cuts have contributed to spread of super-bug”]