Marijuana: A Missed Medical Opportunity
Clinical trials show marijuana might be useful for pain, nausea and weight loss in cancer and HIV/AIDS and for muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis. But research funding is sparse.
What's the Latest Development?
At the end of this year, funding will run out for medical marijuana research in California, the only state to support research on the whole cannabis plant. Some projects researching isolated compounds from marijuana, however, are having an easier time. "The Mayo Clinic is investigating [marijuana's active chemical tetrahydrocannabinol], trade-named Marinol, as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston are studying Marinol for chronic pain."
What's the Big Idea?
Despite a 2002 petition supported by the American Medical Association to change marijuana's classification, it remains a Schedule I drug, a substance that 'has a high potential for abuse' and 'has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the U.S.' Some see a catch-22: the D.E.A. claims there are not enough clinical trials demonstrating marijuana's benefit, yet classification as a Schedule I drug severely limits research by making marijuana difficult for researchers to obtain.
The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think
The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.
Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
The climate change we're witnessing is more dramatic than we might think.
A lazy buzz phrase – 'Is this the new normal?' – has been doing the rounds as extreme climate events have been piling up over the past year. To which the riposte should be: it's worse than that – we're on the road to even more frequent, more extreme events than we saw this year.
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