Healthcare News You Might Have Missed This Week

With so much going on, it’s easy to miss important health news that gets buried under the big headlines. Here are three things to know.

Tara Haelle

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Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

As I noted in my article about the new gun safety legislation, it’s been a rough few weeks when it comes to the news, particularly in terms of health-related news. Here are three news items you might have missed in all the chaos, especially the fallout of recent Supreme Court rulings.

Juul Can Keep Selling E-Cigs — for Now

What happened: After the FDA surprised many, including tobacco control researchers, by ordering Juul to remove its highly popular e-cigarettes from the market last week, a federal appeals court temporarily halted the FDA ruling.

What it means: Juul has appealed the FDA’s ruling and has to file additional court paperwork to advance their appeal. Meanwhile, the FDA has until July 7 to file a response to what Juul files. Juul has already argued that the order was politically motivated because the FDA is blaming Juul for rising rates of teen vaping.

Why it matters: We don’t know all the reasons the FDA ordered Juul off the market. The stated reasons were that the company didn’t provide enough data for the FDA to assess the health risks of their e-cigarettes, but that seems like flimsy reasoning. Evidence is growing for use of e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking traditional cigarettes, but evidence also shows that vaping continues to be a growing problem among teens. Balancing these two public health issues continue to be a challenge for the FDA, public health advocates, and industry.

Where to read more: Though paywalled, this article digs into more detail about why the FDA came after Juul.

Only Intentionally Misprescribing Opioids Is a Crime

What happened: The Supreme Court ruled 9–0 on Monday that doctors can only be prosecuted for prescribing opioids that are illegally distributed if the doctors knew the drugs would be illegally distributed. The case involved a doctor sentenced to 21 years in prison for running a “pill mill” and another doctor sentenced to 25 years…

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Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle is a science journalist, public speaker, and author of Vaccination Investigation and The Informed Parent. Follow her at @tarahaelle.