Viewpoints: Monkeypox Causing Confusion; FDA Must Act To Avoid Future Drug Shortages
Editorial writers tackle these public health topics.
The New York Times:
How Worried Should You Be About Monkeypox?
On May 22, when President Biden described the global outbreak of monkeypox, a close but less lethal relative of smallpox, as a phenomenon that “everybody should be concerned about,” 109 cases had been confirmed in 14 countries outside those where the virus typically circulates, including the United States. By May 31, those numbers had grown to just over 600 confirmed cases in 26 countries. (Spencer Bokat-Lindell, 6/2)
Beyond Baby Formula: FDA Needs Best Practices To Prevent Shortages
The firestorm over baby formula shortages offers an opportunity for the Food and Drug Administration to address a bigger and more fundamental issue: the potential for similar circumstances across the agency’s entire regulatory portfolio. More than a decade ago, the FDA was in the midst of addressing a similarly intense tempest over drug shortages, with clarion calls to fix the problem from Congress, the media, health care providers, and the broader regulatory ecosystem. In 2010, 77% of drugs in short supply were sterile injectable products, critical in the acute care setting. Media coverage highlighted the plight of patients and physicians faced with shortages for cancer drugs, anesthetic agents, and critical care medications. Drug back orders caused patients to receive substitute therapies that added expense to patient care. Not surprisingly, the reasons for these shortages were almost identical to the current baby formula imbroglio: manufacturing issues. (Peter J. Pitts, 6/2)
The Washington Post:
I’ll Never Forget Performing An Autopsy On An Unvaccinated Baby
Several years ago, I stood at my stainless steel autopsy table staring at a tiny bundle swaddled in white cotton. I had never performed an autopsy on a baby before. Medical records indicated the 4-month-old died after 30 hours of fever and excruciating abdominal pain. She had vomited continuously, curled her knees up and screamed. Hers was not the impatient cry of hunger, discomfort, loneliness or fatigue. It was a howl of distress. (Thomas Gross, 6/1)
Time To Address The Mental Health Crisis Of Young Men
It is time that we address the nefarious mental health crisis of young men in America. Gun violence is cataclysmic to the health and safety of all people in our nation. For most of us, our awareness has acutely shifted in wake of the two mass shootings in the U.S. during the month of May. (Nicholas Roades, 6/1)
The Boston Globe:
Drug Overdoses Spiked During The Pandemic. Here’s What States Need To Do
While the United States has spent the last two years dealing with a pandemic that has killed more than a million Americans, the drug overdose crisis has also continued at an unprecedented pace. The latest estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 107,000 people died from overdoses in 2021, about a 15 percent increase from the prior year, in which 93,000 people died. (Abdullah Shihipar, Alexandria Macmadu and Alexandra Collins, 6/2)