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When historians write the history of ghostwriting in U.S. medicine, they will mark Sept. 17, 2009 as pivotal.

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The medical examiner called Dr. Bernard N. Bass with some bad news: one of his
patients had been found dead. Bass refused to sign the death certificate.

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Let's assume that Dr. Conrad Murray did not kill Michael Jackson.

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As Congress goes into recession, the debate over healthcare hits home. But what's really happening on the reform front? Will it meet the needs of the American public? In a 5-hour special series over five days, we'll hear from doctors, hospital administrators, insurance companies, economists and average people about what's driving up healthcare costs, what it will take to make real changes, and what trade-offs people are willing to make to see meaningful reform through.

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When does it make sense to tamper with a time-released medication? If the drug is a controlled substance, like the painkiller OxyContin, the answer is: never.

Doing so damages the time-released properties of the drug and can lead to a massive dose all at once. This is what makes OxyContin such a great high for people who crush it, and such a long, painful addiction for them, too.

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When a major insurance company goes under in California's strained healthcare system, the reverberations run deep.

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Lucien Wulsin is an attorney in Los Angeles specializing in health law and health policy. He is director of the Santa Monica-based Insure the Uninsured Project, where he is working on approaches to expand coverage for uninsured working Californians under grants from The California Wellness Foundation, The Blue Shield of California Foundation and The California Endowment.

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The nation’s overdose epidemic has entered a devastating new phase. Drugs laced with fentanyl and even more poisonous synthetics have flooded the streets, as the crisis spreads well beyond the rural, largely white communities that initially drew attention. The death rate is escalating twice as fast among Black people than among white people. This webinar will give journalists deep insights, fresh story ideas and practical tips for covering an epidemic that killed more than 107,000 people in the U.S. last year. Sign-up here!

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