Cathryn Jakobson Ramin

book author, magazine journalist, columnist, essayist

I'm the author of the 2007 New York Times bestseller, Carved in Sand: When Attention Fails and Memory Fades in Midlife.  Currently, I'm working on my next book, The Fragile Column:  How to Beat the Back Pain Industry at Its Own Game, to be published at the end of 2012.  I live in Northern California, but frequently work in other U.S. cities and around the world.  Recent reporting for The Fragile Column took me to South Korea, Spain, Poland and the U.K. in person, and many other places via Skype. I am particularly interested in aspects of health care reform, particularly in how it (or should I say the lack of it?) affects people's daily lives. I haven't done a magazine article in a couple of years (no time, with this deadline), but I look forward to doing major investigative pieces again, and working in other media, such as radio and video documentary.


Creating custom hormone therapy is big business for compounding pharmacies. Regulated by state pharmacy boards and not the FDA, compounders have been known to get a pass in the face of substantial trespasses. So just how safe are these drugs?