How pharmaceutical companies game the patent system

When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.

  • When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
  • When this happens in the pharmaceutical world, certain companies stay at the top of the ladder, through broadly-protected patents, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
  • Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation — "tweaks" — the same as product invention.

​Americans now more likely to die from opioids than car crashes

It marks a first for the U.S., where some 49,000 people died from opioids in 2018.

Narcan kits are available at a homeless encampment in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 22, 2018.
  • Each American has about a 1 in 7,569 chance of dying from an opioid overdose, according to a National Safety Council report. The probability of dying in a motor vehicle accident is 1 in 8,096.
  • The death rate for opioids is now six times higher than it was in 1999, with about 130 Americans dying every day from the drugs.
  • Narcan is a life-saving drug that can stop opioid overdoses in their tracks, however factors like stigma and cost are preventing this antidote from becoming more accessible.
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These new keto diet tortillas are made of 100% cheese

Folios cheese wraps can be a surprisingly healthy substitute for traditional tortillas. Of course, there's a catch.

Photo: Lotito Foods
  • To help keto dieters stay the course, Lotito Foods has developed the Folios cheese wrap, a tortilla made entirely of cheese.
  • These cheese wraps can be part of a healthy diet, but only if eaten in extreme moderation and alongside low-fat, low-salt foods.
  • Research shows that replacing grains and fiber with fat and salts in the long term can be dangerous.
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We could cut the opioid death rate by 50% – but we’re not

As more and more people die, drug companies keep reaping in a massive profit.

  • Drug companies make huge profits by flooding the market with overly powerful — and highly addictive — drugs.
  • Some high profile deaths over the last several years have brought this problem to the headlines. It's everyone, not just middle America, who is getting hooked.
  • Why do we let Big Pharma rule over? Journalist and author Maia Szalavitz investigates.
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There was no relationship between obesity and poverty — until high-fructose corn syrup

A new study out of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville traces a disturbing correlation.

Photo credit: rawpixel on Unsplash
  • Before 1990, there was no noticeable correlation between obesity and poverty.
  • Within a quarter-century, impoverished regions showed a massive uptick in obesity and type 1 diabetes.
  • Researchers chart the relationship between "food deserts" along with obesity levels.
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