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The illegal use and sale of prescription drugs is not just a topic for Michael Jackson headlines. A fact sheet from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says that nearly 7 million Americans are addicted to prescription drugs. The DEA says that abusers get their drugs from "'doctor-shopping,' traditional drug-dealing, theft from pharmacies or homes, illicitly acquiring prescription drugs via the Internet, and from friends or relatives."

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The June 8 edition of Newsweek has a must-read story about the world's most influential celebrity.

Weston Kosova and Pat Wingert meticulously detail how Oprah Winfrey uses her show, her magazine and her Web site as a platform for some completely loony health advice, including needle-and-thread facelifts, avoiding vaccines, daily hormone injections into the vagina to stop aging and thinking positively as an alternative to surgery.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

Two new swine flu developments today remind us that this pandemic is still very much with us, despite its near-absence lately in the mainstream media. Reuters reports that H1N1 cases have been confirmed in all 50 states and that more than 10,000 people have been infected with the virus (you can check out the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's official state-by-state count here).

Picture of Angilee Shah

What happens when 20 health journalists walk in to a convenience store in downtown Los Angeles and ask about buying tetracycline without a prescription?

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't issue policy statements all that often. When it does, the statements tend to be deeply researched and full of fodder for future stories. That's the case with the "The Built Environment: Designing Communities to Promote Physical Activity in Children," which appears today in the AAP journal Pediatrics.

Picture of William Heisel

Anyone who has driven the highways around Los Angeles has seen the giant billboards with a chubby man stuffing a giant piece of cake in his mouth next to the words "Dieting Sucks." It's a promo for a plastic surgery practice that promises to use Lap-band surgery to cure overweight patients.

Picture of Barbara Feder Ostrov

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

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Public hospitals have been closing at an alarming rate. Last month, the troubled Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Center in Los Angeles announced it was preparing to reopen after years of quality concerns, but it has lived on the precipice for more than two decades.

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