Author Archives: Brian Honermann

11.25.15

Public Health Emergency Preparedness in Action: The Medical Response to the November Paris Terror Attacks

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On November 13, Paris experienced the worst terrorist attack in the city’s history. In coordinated attacks across the city, terrorists detonated suicide vests and gunned down concertgoers. In the end 130 people were killed and more than 350 wounded—many seriously. Mass casualty, multi-site terror attacks pose an extraordinary challenge to health system capacity. An influx […]

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09.25.15

Behind Recent Drug Price Gouging, a Bad CEO and an Even Worse Legal System

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It’s been a rough week for bad executives. Volkwagen’s CEO, Martin Winterkorn, resigned after investigators discovered that the carmaker had installed software that allowed its vehicles to pass emissions tests, while during normal operation they spewed out pollutants far beyond legal limits. Another executive received a 28-year prison sentence for deliberately shipping tainted peanut butter […]

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08.13.15

Remembering Dr. Frances Oldham Kelsey, the Regulator Who Saved a Generation of American Children

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In the late 1950s, a new over-the-counter sedative, thalidomide was introduced in Germany. At the time, it was the only non-barbiturate sedative on the market and it was marketed as an extraordinarily safe sleeping aid. The drug company “advertised their product as ‘completely safe’ for everyone, including mother and child, ‘even during pregnancy,’ as its […]

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07.17.15

Can Biohacking Solve the Global Insulin Shortage?

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For many diabetics, access to insulin can mean the difference between life and death. However, this vital product is often exorbitantly expensive, particularly for those living in low- and middle-income countries. As a result, many needlessly suffer and die from a manageable disease. One study estimates that the global prevalence of diabetes will rise from […]

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06.05.15

What We Know (and Don't Know) About the South Korean MERS-CoV Outbreak

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Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has been circulating since at least April 2012. Since then it has been confined largely to the Middle East (with some notable exceptions). The two weeks have seen the largest outbreak of the disease outside of the region, with at least 41 MERS-CoV cases and 4 deaths in South […]

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05.08.15

How to Follow the 2015 World Health Assembly

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Author’s Note: Since this was published, the World Health Organization has announced that, for the first time in its history, the deliberations of the Plenary, Committee A and Committee B will be webcast and available to the general public. Live webcasts can be viewed here. In 10 days, delegates from World Health Organization member states will gather to […]

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04.10.15

What I’ve Been Reading: Infectious Disease

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Looking back over the public health books I’ve read in the last few months, I realized a noticeable slant towards infectious disease. In this post I will share some of my favorite reads from the past 6 months or so. These range from a page-turning beach read (The Demon in the Freezer) to a classic work […]

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03.20.15

Injecting Compassion into the Vaccine Debate

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As a child I was surrounded by vaccine resisters. Nearly everyone I knew was vociferously opposed to the practice. We were particularly galled by the mandatory nature of vaccination—it seemed beyond the pale that such an invasive and traumatic procedure would be conducted without our consent. There was one ringleader in particular who spurred on […]

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02.26.15

An "Epidemic Within an Outbreak:" The Mental Health Consequences of Infectious Disease Epidemics

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  Most infectious disease epidemics target the body, and thus epidemic response focuses on preventing the spread of infection and attempting to heal those who have become ill. However, even where pathogenesis disregards the brain, an epidemic can still sicken the mind. A silent epidemic of mental illness often accompanies outbreaks of infectious disease. Here […]

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12.18.14

The Public Health Implications of Normalized U.S.-Cuba Relations

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Many thanks to Sarah Roache, O’Neill Institute Law Fellow, for her invaluable insights into legal interventions to prevent NCDs. In January 1959, after half a decade of armed revolution, Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement took control of Cuba from Fulgencio Batista, a president with increasingly dictatorial tendencies. Relations between the United States and Castro’s […]

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The views reflected in this blog are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law or Georgetown University. This blog is solely informational in nature, and not intended as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed and retained attorney in your state or country.

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