News, Policy & Economics

As Vax Rules Clash, Montana Clinics Caught in Crossfire

By Kristen Schepker, Contributing Writer

Clashes over vaccine mandates are the latest rifts defining a deeply politicized pandemic culture. In some states, local vaccination rules directly contradict national public health directives, putting hospitals and clinics in the difficult position of determining how to best safeguard patients and staff, amid a shifting landscape of conflicting directives. I am watching one such […]

NAC Supplements Face Ban Unless FDA Reverses Course

By Erik Goldman

Americans could lose access to N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) supplements in 2022, unless the nutrition and dietary supplements industries can prove to the Food and Drug Administration that this glutathione precursor was in widespread use as a supplement or food ingredient prior to the mid-1990s. Last year, the FDA made clear that it views NAC as […]

Single-Payer Healthcare, Just Not THAT Single-Payer

By Grant Jackson, MD, Contributing Writer

Among his many celebrated lines, Scottish economist Adam Smith–the original spokesman for capitalism—wrote in 1776: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest.”  Ahhh, the free market, in which our rational self-interests will keep all of […]

The Phytochemical Equivalency Controversy

By Elan Sudberg, Contributing Writer

Is it truly equivalent? It’s a question currently being applied to chemical compounds, formally known as phytochemicals, that have historically been made exclusively by plants, but are now–through recent advancements in genetic engineering—being manufactured by genetically modified yeasts, or protozoans like euglena. A host of widely used vitamins, amino acids, sweeteners, essential oils, and bioactive […]

Naturopathic Medicine Moves Toward Healthcare’s Center Stage

By Erik Goldman

The healthcare systems in the United States are in dire need of what naturopathic medicine has to offer, and the profession is ready to move from the margins onto center stage. That’s the message of a new mission statement issued jointly by the Institute for Natural Medicince (INM), the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), […]

Pandemic Boosts Telemedicine Use

By Kristen Schepker, Contributing Writer

Telemedicine has been the big winner in the COVID economy, and growth of this sector has shown no sign of slowing. In 2020, as the COVID-19 crisis forced practitioners, patients, and legislators to recognize the need for expansion of telehealth, the global market for digital healthcare services reached an estimated $152.5 billion. Researchers project that […]

In Healthcare, High Tech Gets a Taste of Its Own Disruption

By Kristen Schepker

Over the last five years, nearly all of the major information technology companies have launched some sort of healthcare initiative. The COVID pandemic, with its surging demand for telemedicine and rapid exchange of medical data, only intensifed that trend. But some tech giants have learned the hard way that healthcare is very different from other […]

New Collaboration Promotes Chromatography for Herb Quality

By Erik Goldman

The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) and the American Botanical Council (ABC)—two of the nation’s leading herbal medicine advocacy groups—have joined forces with the International Association for the Advancement of High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC Association) to promote greater consensus and wider use of this important analytical technique. According to an AHP press release announcing […]

COVID Pandemic Stokes Surge in Supplement Use

By Janet Gulland, Contributing Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled a massive surge in supplement use across the United States, according to data from a new Harris Poll sponsored by the Samueli Foundation. The survey gathered responses from 2,053 US women and men, representing a broad range of ages, ethnicities, and geographical locations. Over three quarters of the respondents (76%) […]

FDA Nixes NAC in Dietary Supplements

By Janet Gulland, Contributing Writer

A spate of warning letters issued by the Food and Drug Administration offers a clear indication that the agency wants to limit the availability of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) in dietary supplement products. NAC, a precursor to the key antioxidant glutathione, is widely recommended by functional medicine and naturopathic practitioners. It is a common component in […]