Good morning. Today's word count is 875 words, <4 minutes.
Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Photo: Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images
The FDA has its work cut out for it as it tries to rein in unregulated and unproven industries that are racking up public attention and billion-dollar profits.
Why it matters: "I think the FDA is taking on industries where there is a potent political constituency trying to resist regulation. And that's hard," former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.
Driving the news: A judge sided with the FDA earlier this month, in a ruling that will stop stem-cell treatments at a Florida clinic, NYT reports.
The agency is also just beginning to wade into the discussion around CBD, which is being marketed as a therapy for a huge number of ailments.
Yes, but: The risks of these 2 unproven areas aren't comparable.
Religious organizations in which members pay each other's medical bills are increasing in both membership and controversy, WSJ reports.
How it works: Members pay a set amount to the organization or to those with medical bills, and they also submit their own medical bills to be paid.
The ministries say that the increase in complaints tracks with the increase in membership, and that they tell members ahead of time that they're not buying insurance. They also have an appeals process for denied claims.
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
A small yet influential group called Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance, or RADARS, monitors how opioids are misused across the nation. It also accepts money from the companies that make those opioids, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
How it works: RADARS tracks opioid misuse and abuse by collecting phone call information from poison control centers and patient survey data from addiction treatment programs.
Details: Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, founded RADARS in 2001 after concerns of prescription painkiller addictions started to rise.
RADARS still has close connections to the pharmaceutical industry.
What they're saying: Dart referred all questions to lawyers at Denver Health. A Denver Health spokesperson submitted written responses, which acknowledged the system had contracts with Purdue and other manufacturers, but did not respond to follow-up questions.
The FDA today starts its 2-day meeting to hash out whether it should limit or even remove high-dose opioids from the market, Bob reports.
The big picture: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says "higher dosages of opioids are associated with higher risk of overdose and death," and people really shouldn't take painkillers that exceed a certain limit.
Guess who’s presenting: RADARS, which has advocated against restricting prescriptions of high-dose painkillers. Ted Cicero, a paid researcher for RADARS, will talk about "understanding opioid trajectories."
Two-year-old Maxwell Freed has a rare genetic disease, and his mother is trying to raise $1 million to fund research for a cure, HuffPost reports.
The bottom line: "[W]hile Maxwell's disease is far from common, the Freed family is facing the same problem as everyone who gets sick in the United States: Health care is very expensive, and we’re all on our own to figure out how to navigate [the] labyrinthian health care system and afford care," HuffPost's Jeffrey Young writes.