Press Releases

  • Do Simple Nutrition Labels on the Grocery Store Shelf Help Consumers Make Healthier Food Choices?

    September 12, 2017

    Promoting healthy food choices is a critical component of any public health strategy designed to reduce the risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases. Nutrition labels are one tool that support consumers in making sound choices. But to what extent do consumers respond to labelling, in particular, to a simple, standardized on-shelf nutrition labelling system in supermarkets?  A new study in The Milbank Quarterly has found that the use of a simple, at-a-glance nutritional summary of the product that is located on retail shelf tags in supermarkets resulted in small but significant shifts towards consumers purchasing food with higher nutritional ratings.

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  • FDA Regulation of Digital Health: Software-Related Recalls Can Negatively Influence Medical Care

    September 12, 2017

    Medical software has become an increasingly critical component of health care, with the hacking of medical devices a growing concern.  And yet the regulatory landscape for digital health is inconsistent and controversial. In a new study in The Milbank Quarterly, Jay G. Ronquillo of Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine and Diana M. Zuckerman of the National Center for Health Research have found that software problems in medical devices are not rare and have the potential to negatively influence medical care.

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  • A Systematic Evaluation of the Clinical Evidence on Drugs Receiving FDA Accelerated Approval

    June 7, 2017

    Therapeutic agents that treat serious conditions are eligible for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accelerated approval. A new study in the June issue of The Milbank Quarterly has found that these drugs often quickly become part of standard treatment, despite shortcomings in their evidence base. The study, the first to provide a systematic evaluation of all clinical studies conducted on drugs receiving this type of approval, assessed 37 novel therapeutic agents that received accelerated approval between 2000 and 2013.

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  • Do Consumers Want Expanded Access to Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing?

    June 7, 2017

    In mid-April, the direct-to-consumer genetic testing firm 23andMe received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization to sell tests for 10 genetic health risk reports directly to consumers. As the New York Times reported on May 12, the tests pose potential programs for long-term care insurers who may not have access to results. While policymakers have been debating the appropriateness of these tests for more than a decade, little is known about past consumers’ views regarding the regulation of these products or whether personal experience with testing is related to these views.  A new study in the June issue of The Milbank Quarterly by Sarah E. Gollust of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and colleagues has found that a majority of consumers support expanded access to direct-to-consumer personal genomic testing (DTC-PGT) services and oppose additional government regulation, while those who have had a negative experience with the tests were less supportive of expanded availability without a medical professional.

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  • How Well Do Americans Understand Low-Value Tests and Treatments?

    March 7, 2017

    When it comes to medical care, patients and the public often think that more is better.  Yet, it’s well-documented that as much as 30% of US health care may be unnecessary, including tests that are used too often and treatments that are prescribed too quickly, like unnecessary antibiotics. A new study in the March 2017 issue of The Milbank Quarterly by Mark Schlesinger of the Yale University School of Public Health and Rachel Grob of the University of Wisconsin (Madison) Center for Patient Partnerships and Medical School offers fresh insight into how Americans think about “value” in health care.

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