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The decision by Astra Zeneca to stop the so-called JUPITER trial of its Crestor cholesterol medication last year garnered a ton of press attention. The New York Times captured the general tone of the coverage with this lead on a front-page story.

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If you do a Google News search for the word "octomom," you will get more than 4,000 results on most days.

What is lost in much of the coverage of Nadya Suleman and her expanding brood is how completely expected this all should be. No one should be surprised that a woman with six kids could order up another eight more or that she could find a doctor willing to help her.

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Six of the world's biggest drug companies are about to be winnowed down to three. If all the mergers go through, we will have Pfizer-Wyeth, Merck-Schering-Plough and Roche-Genentech controlling more than $100 billion in drug sales every year - amounting to one seventh of all revenues for drug companies worldwide. (I wrote a story about this a couple weeks ago for the Los Angeles Times.)

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Victor Merina is a senior fellow at the USC Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism. Previously, as an investigative reporter at the Los Angeles Times, he was a member of the paper's projects team and was part of a group of reporters named as finalists for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for a series on homicides in Los Angeles County. He also shared in the paper's 1993 Pulitzer for spot news coverage of the 1992 riots. Since leaving The Times, Mr. Merina has written opinion pieces for that paper and for the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Sean Connelley and Katy Newton teamed up in 2004 while working for the Oakland Tribune. Inspired by the integration of multimedia and web-based news sites across the country, Mr. Connelley and Ms. Newton saw an opportunity to develop their passion for documentary storytelling.

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Michael F. Cannon is the Cato Institute's director of health policy studies. Previously, he served as a domestic policy analyst for the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee under Chairman Larry E. Craig, where he advised the Senate leadership on health, education, labor, welfare, and the Second Amendment. Mr. Cannon has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, C-SPAN, Fox News Channel, and NPR.

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Lisa Girion joined the Los Angeles bureau of Reuters as a correspondent in January after 16 years at the Los Angeles Times, most recently as an investigative reporter assigned to the Metro desk, where she produced major multimedia stories on the intersection of government, commerce, health and welf

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Dr. Lester Breslow is a professor and dean emeritus of the UCLA School of Public Health. He has been professionally active in public health for 65 years, especially in chronic disease control and health promotion. His colleagues call him Mr. Public Health "mostly because he helped set the course for modern thinking about health and fitness," according to a Los Angeles Times profile.

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Ms. Ikeda is a nutrition education specialist with the College of Natural Resources' cooperative extension. She is a nationally recognized expert on pediatric obesity and the dietary practices of ethnic and immigrant populations. She is a pioneer in conducting community collaborative research on the food habits and dietary quality of California's low-income, immigrant and ethnic populations, and has developed culturally sensitive and relevant educational programs for these groups.

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Jack Cheevers is the communications director for Region 9 of the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal agency responsible for administering Medicare, Medicaid, State Children's Health Insurance (SCHIP), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), and several other health-related programs. Cheevers oversees communications in Region 9, which covers California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Trust territories.

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Are you passionate about helping journalists understand and illuminate the social factors that contribute to health and health disparities at a time when COVID-19 has highlighted the costs of such inequities? Looking to play a big role in shaping journalism today in the United States? The USC Center for Health Journalism seeks an enterprising and experienced journalism leader for our new position of “Manager of Projects.” 

 

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