A public health initiative deemed acceptable by one generation might be denigrated and avoided by a subsequent one. It may be hard to believe, but table salt was a key player in one of the most successful public health campaigns of the early 1920s.
By Howard Markel
Our Op-Ed section features eight of the best minds currently working to improve the public's health. In this issue, they tackle the subjects of global polio eradication, the slow growth of health care spending, lead poisoning, and the medicalization of HIV prevention.
Our lead article examines the potential for financial conflicts of interest to influence the members of the FDA's advisory committee as they proceed through the drug approval process. A commentary that looks at the harmful effects that conflicts of interest can have on medical professionalism accompanies the study.
By Genevieve Pham-Kanter
This study, which documents the debate over vaccines by analyzing the political efforts and outcomes of state vaccine legislative efforts between 1998 and 2012, suggests that vaccine politics are entering a new phase, one in which immunization supporters may be gaining ground.
By Denise F. Lilvis, Anna Kirkland, Anna Frick