Each week, KHN’s Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
The Atlantic: Did Free Pens Cause The Opioid Crisis?
Early in dopesick, a book examining how Purdue Pharma helped addict an alarming number of Americans to opioids, Beth Macy writes about the army of drug reps who pushed the painkiller OxyContin. In its approach to sales, Macy shows, Purdue was scientific. (Ray Fisman and Michael Luca, 12/11)
Vox: School Lunches: The Trump Administration’s Tone-Deaf Regulatory Rollback
The Trump administration wants to keep the salt, fat, and sugar in kids’ lunches. The new rules, first announced in May 2017 by Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue as part of a plan to “Make School Meals Great Again,” will officially relax Obama-era nutrition standards for federally subsidized school lunch programs. (Julia Belluz, 12/10)
The Economist: Takeda’s Acquisition Of Shire Is Japan’s Biggest-Ever Foreign Takeover
As befits a deal in the medical industry, this one has been rather hard to swallow. But on December 5th, eight months after Takeda, Japan’s largest pharmaceutical firm, said it was interested in buying Shire, an Irish-headquartered drugmaker of a similar size, shareholders at last voted to approve the acquisition. (12/6)
The Atlantic: The Recurring Dread of a Paralyzing Illness
In 2014, as summer transitioned into fall, many of Riley Bove’s friends, colleagues, and family members came down with a particularly nasty cold. People were off sick from work, and kids were staying home from school, so when Bove’s 4-year-old son, Luca, developed some breathing problems, she wasn’t especially concerned. (Ed Yong, 12/12)
BuzzFeed News: She Spent 14 Years In Prison After Her Unexpected Birth Was Ruled A Homicide
On the morning of May 21, 2004, Miriam Frías fell, the plastic chair at her 7-year-old daughter’s school collapsing from under her. Even though she was 25 weeks pregnant — and hit her belly as she met the floor — she didn’t give the tumble much thought when it happened. (Melissa Amezcua, 12/9)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.