3 months ago, the FDA yelled at Kim Kardashian — and revealed a much bigger problem.

Kim Kardashian, former breaker of the Internet and star of "That Show You Watch on the Treadmill," is pregnant.

But will she get her baby body back??? AMERICA NEEDS TO KNOW!!!


Unfortunately, pregnancy hasn't been all baby bump, push present, and smooth sailing for the reality star. Like most expectant mothers, Kardashian has suffered from occasional, painful bouts of morning sickness.

Fortunately, unlike most of her pregnant cohort, Kardashian was able to take that suffering, grab it by the collar, and monetize the ever-loving bejeezus out of it.


For those who hate squinting, that's Kardashian singing the praises of a morning sickness drug called Diclegis.

Just, you know, giving it some completely spontaneous love on social media. Like normal people do. For their 37 million friends. A genuine, heartfelt, totally-not-secretly-highly-compensated-stealth-endorsement from your bud, who definitely has real actual personal experience using the product in question.

Who wouldn't believe her?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for one.

An FDA official, seen here making sure some lettuce isn't a deadly biohazard. Photo by the FDA.

Turns out, Kardashian's post was, in fact, a paid advertisement. (I know. Try to remain calm.) Not only was it a paid advertisement, but it was a paid advertisement that left out some pretty crucial information about some of the drug's pretty nasty potential side effects.

Because of the vast reach of Kardashian's Instagram feed, the agency was compelled to issue a response — and it was an ornery one:

"The social media post is false or misleading in that it presents efficacy claims for DICLEGIS, but fails to communicate any risk information associated with its use and it omits material facts. Thus, the social media post misbrands DICLEGIS within the meaning of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and makes its distribution violative. ... These violations are concerning from a public health perspective because they suggest that DICLEGIS is safer than has been demonstrated."

Two things should be immediately clear from the FDA statement.

1. It would make amazing Adele lyrics...

"Amazing."

And...

2. Taking medical advice from a reality TV star is a terrible idea.

Unfortunately, Kim Kardashian is just the tip of the iceberg...

Prescription drug ads in general — even ones that do get their facts right — are kind of the worst.

Abilify has been great for my anxiet ... AAAGGHH A SENTIENT BATHROBE IS FOLLOWING ME AAAAGGHH! Photo by Raza Syed, used with permission.

If you watch any TV at all, chances are you've seen at least a bajillion-and-a-half commercials urging you to "talk to your doctor" about Nexium, Cialis, Novorex, Fontainebleau, Prospector Pete's Tooth Caulk, or what have you if you experience any number of vague, over-broad symptoms.

Sneezing? Talk to your doctor about oxycodone. Photo via iStock.

And sure, you could demand your doctor write you this or that prescription. And they'd probably smile and nod. Most likely, they'd try to gently talk you down. But there's a chance they would just decide it's not worth the trouble and give you what you wanteven if it's a drug you don't actually need. And that's where the problem lies.

Asking a professional to disregard their hard-won expertise on the advice of a commercial is kind of ridiculous when you think about it.

How ridiculous? Just ... imagine any of the following scenarios:

"Donating to earthquake relief in Haiti? Talk to your charity about sending your cash to Sweden instead."

"Claiming a deduction for that charitable gift you just made? Talk to your accountant about turning it into a home mortgage interest deduction!"

"And speaking of home, why does your home have to be made of bricks and mortar? Talk to your builder about graham crackers and strawberry cream cheese."

Sturdy as a rock! Photo by rcstanley/Flickr.

That's what drug ads are trying to get you to do.

Doctors aren't perfect, of course. They're human, and they do get things wrong from time to time. But drug commercials are essentially hoping you'll go to your physician and say, "Sure, you've got professional integrity, six years of graduate school, and took an oath to do no harm, but what about this 30-second B-roll of women in bathtubs voiced by the third lead actor from 'Suits' that I just saw? How does that stack up?"

They're trying to Kardashian you.

Not only are these ads often misleading, they also help drive up the price of drugs.

It's no secret that Americans like things bigger and better.

A "small" in America.

Our towels are plusher. Our French fries are more fried. Our hats are larger.

And our drugs are the most expensive in the world — often double the price of what they are in other similarly wealthy countries.

The United States is one of only two countries in the world that allow direct-to-consumer drug ads — and we pay extra for medicine because of it.

New Zealand is the other. Obviously, there's worse company we could be in. Photo by thinboyfatter/Flickr.

Turn on British TV, and you won't see Benedict Cumberbatch striding purposely across a cricket pitch, saying, "Pardon me, sir, but if it's not terribly much of a bother, would you mind inquiring with your physician about Crumpetrex?" Watch television in Germany, and no one will urge you to "ASKEN ZE DOCTOR FIR SCHNITZELGRAZ!"

We are the only suckers who get those ads shoved in our faces. (New Zealanders do too, but they get hobbits in exchange.)

And pharmaceutical companies go buck-wild on these ads ... spending $20 billion over the past five years.

That cost gets passed on to sick people (and to people who pester their dermatologist until she throws up her hands and signs over a prescription for Cialis so she can move on to her next wart-freezing already).

Regardless of our reasons for needing a medication, that's not a cost we should be paying.

Like Kim Kardashian's Instagram feed, drug commercials serve pretty much no practical purpose — and there's no reason they couldn't quietly disappear forever.

Serious doctors mean business. Photo via iStock.

That's what the American Medical Association — the largest professional organization of physicians in the United States — wants, which is why it voted to call for a ban on the ads last week.

"Today's vote in support of an advertising ban reflects concerns among physicians about the negative impact of commercially driven promotions and the role that marketing costs play in fueling escalating drug prices," Dr. Patrice Harris, a member of the AMA board, told the Chicago Tribune. (Come on, Adele, are you seeing this? So much gold here!)

That's a great first step. But there's still more that could be done.

Unfortunately, the AMA vote doesn't address subtle social media ads like Kardashian's, which could lead pharmaceutical companies to simply shift their ad dollars toward efforts on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. (And let's be honest, who among us wouldn't share a Facebook-optimized George Takei meme featuring dancing arthritic cats, sponsored by Celebrex?)

Meow to your doc ... purrrrr about Celebrex! Photo via iStock.

It also doesn't address direct-to-physician marketing, in which drug companies use sales representatives to tout the benefits of their medications to doctors in person, which accounts for a huge portion of pharmaceutical industry spending — in addition to just being generally kind of shady. ("Funny, my doctor prescribed me the exact same medication that was featured on that nifty pen in his office!)

If we really want our drugs to pull even price-wise with the Canadas and Norways of the world, a federal law that calls for transparency, competition, and fair pricing needs to be passed and enforced.

As for Kim Kardashian? She ultimately made good on her endorsement deal...

...and satisfied the FDA in the process.

#CorrectiveAd I guess you saw the attention my last #morningsickness post received. The FDA has told Duchesnay, Inc., that my last post about Diclegis (doxylamine succinate and pyridoxine HCl) was incomplete because it did not include any risk information or important limitations of use for Diclegis. A link to this information accompanied the post, but this didn't meet FDA requirements. So, I'm re-posting and sharing this important information about Diclegis. For US Residents Only. Diclegis is a prescription medicine used to treat nausea and vomiting of pregnancy in women who have not improved with change in diet or other non-medicine treatments. Limitation of Use: Diclegis has not been studied in women with hyperemesis gravidarum. Important Safety Information Do not take Diclegis if you are allergic to doxylamine succinate, other ethanolamine derivative antihistamines, pyridoxine hydrochloride or any of the ingredients in Diclegis. You should also not take Diclegis in combination with medicines called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), as these medicines can intensify and prolong the adverse CNS effects of Diclegis. The most common side effect of Diclegis is drowsiness. Do not drive, operate heavy machinery, or other activities that need your full attention unless your healthcare provider says that you may do so. Do not drink alcohol, or take other central nervous system depressants such as cough and cold medicines, certain pain medicines, and medicines that help you sleep while you take Diclegis. Severe drowsiness can happen or become worse causing falls or accidents. Tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions, including if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Diclegis can pass into your breast milk and may harm your baby. You should not breastfeed while using Diclegis. Additional safety information can be found at www.DiclegisImportantSafetyinfo.com or www.Diclegis.com. Duchesnay USA encourages you to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on


Maybe not ... quite as catchy. But ... progress?

Courtesy of Macy's

Brantley and his snowman

True

"Would you like to build a snowman?" If you asked five-year-old Brantley from Texas this question, the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" While it may sound like a simple dream, since Texas doesn't usually see much snow, it seemed like a lofty one for him, even more so because Brantley has a congenital heart disease.

On Dec. 11, 2019, however, the real Macy's Santa and his two elves teamed up with Make-A-Wish to surprise Brantley and his family on his way to Colorado where there was plenty of snow for him to build his very own snowman, fulfilling his wish as part of the Macy's Believe campaign. After a joy-filled plane ride where every passenger got gift bags from Macy's, the family arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado where Santa and his elves helped Brantley build a snowman.

Brantley, Brantley's mom, and Santa marveling at their snowmanAll photos courtesy of Macy's

Brantley, who according to his mom had never actually seen snow, was blown away by the experience.

"Well, I had to build a snowman because snowmen are my favorite," Brantley said in an interview with Summit Daily. "All of it was my favorite part."

This is just one example of the more than 330,000 wishes the nonprofit Make-A-Wish have fulfilled to bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses since its founding 40 years ago. Even though many of the children that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for manage or overcome their illnesses, they often face months, if not years of doctor's visits, hospital stays and uncomfortable treatments. The nonprofit helps these children and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

It's hardly an outlandish notion — research shows that a wish come true can help increase these children's resiliency and improve their quality of life. Brantley is a prime example.

"This couldn't have come at a better time because we see all the hardships that we went through last year," Brantley's mom Brandi told Summit Daily.

Brantley playing with snowballs

Now more than ever, kids with critical illnesses need hope. Since they're particularly vulnerable to disease, they and their families have had to isolate even more during the pandemic and avoid the people they love most and many of the activities that recharge them. That's why Make-A-Wish is doing everything it can to fulfill wishes in spite of the unprecedented obstacles.

That's where you come in. Macy's has raised over $132 million for Make-A-Wish, and helped grant more than 15,500 wishes since their partnership began in 2003, but they couldn't have done that without the support of everyday people. The crux of that support comes from Macy's Believe Campaign — the longstanding holiday fundraising effort where for every letter to Santa that's written online at Macys.com or dropped off safely at the red Believe mailbox at their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. New this year, National Believe Day will be expanded to National Believe Week and will provide customers the opportunity to double their donations ($2 per letter, up to an additional $1 million) for a full week from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5.

There are more ways to support Make-A-Wish besides letter-writing too. If you purchase a $4 Believe bracelet, $2 of each bracelet will be donated to Make-A-Wish through Dec. 31. And for families who are all about the holiday PJs, on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), 20 percent of the purchase price of select family pajamas will benefit Make-A-Wish.

Elizabeth living out her wish of being a fashion designer

Additionally, this year's campaign features 6-year-old Elizabeth, a Make-A-Wish child diagnosed with leukemia, whose wish to design a dress recently came true. Thanks to the style experts at Macy's Fashion Office and I.N.C. International Concepts, only at Macy's, Elizabeth had the opportunity to design a colorful floral maxi dress. Elizabeth's exclusive design is now available online at Macys.com and in select Macy's stores. In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, 20 percent of the purchase price of Elizabeth's dress (through Dec. 31) will benefit Make-A-Wish.You can also donate directly to Make-A-Wish via Macy's website.

This holiday season may be a tough one this year, but you can bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses by delivering hope for their wishes to come true.

There's a weird thing that happens when we talk about people dying, no matter what the cause. The 2,977 souls who lost their lives in the 9/11 attack felt overwhelming. The dozens of children who are killed in school shootings are mourned across the country each time one happens. The four Americans who perished in Benghazi prompted months of investigations and emotional video montages at national political conventions.

But as the numbers of deaths we talk about get bigger, our sensitivity to them grows smaller. A singular story of loss often evokes more emotion than hearing that 10,000 or 100,000 people have died. Hearing a story of one individual feels personal and intimate, but if you try to listen to a thousand stories at once, it all blends together into white noise. It's just how our minds work. We simply can't hold that many individual stories—and the emotion that goes along with them—all at once.

But there are some ways we can help our brains out. An anonymous visual effects artist has created a visualization that can better help us see the massive number of Americans who have been lost to the coronavirus pandemic. The number alone is staggering, and seeing all of the individual lives at once is overwhelming.

In this video, each marble represents one American who has died of COVID-19, and each second represents six days. At the top, you can see the calendar fill in as time goes by. Unlike just seeing a grid of dots representing the visual, there's something about the movement and accumulation of the marbles that makes it easier to see the scope of the lives impacted.

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Courtesy of Macy's

Brantley and his snowman

True

"Would you like to build a snowman?" If you asked five-year-old Brantley from Texas this question, the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" While it may sound like a simple dream, since Texas doesn't usually see much snow, it seemed like a lofty one for him, even more so because Brantley has a congenital heart disease.

On Dec. 11, 2019, however, the real Macy's Santa and his two elves teamed up with Make-A-Wish to surprise Brantley and his family on his way to Colorado where there was plenty of snow for him to build his very own snowman, fulfilling his wish as part of the Macy's Believe campaign. After a joy-filled plane ride where every passenger got gift bags from Macy's, the family arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado where Santa and his elves helped Brantley build a snowman.

Brantley, Brantley's mom, and Santa marveling at their snowmanAll photos courtesy of Macy's

Brantley, who according to his mom had never actually seen snow, was blown away by the experience.

"Well, I had to build a snowman because snowmen are my favorite," Brantley said in an interview with Summit Daily. "All of it was my favorite part."

This is just one example of the more than 330,000 wishes the nonprofit Make-A-Wish have fulfilled to bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses since its founding 40 years ago. Even though many of the children that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for manage or overcome their illnesses, they often face months, if not years of doctor's visits, hospital stays and uncomfortable treatments. The nonprofit helps these children and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

It's hardly an outlandish notion — research shows that a wish come true can help increase these children's resiliency and improve their quality of life. Brantley is a prime example.

"This couldn't have come at a better time because we see all the hardships that we went through last year," Brantley's mom Brandi told Summit Daily.

Brantley playing with snowballs

Now more than ever, kids with critical illnesses need hope. Since they're particularly vulnerable to disease, they and their families have had to isolate even more during the pandemic and avoid the people they love most and many of the activities that recharge them. That's why Make-A-Wish is doing everything it can to fulfill wishes in spite of the unprecedented obstacles.

That's where you come in. Macy's has raised over $132 million for Make-A-Wish, and helped grant more than 15,500 wishes since their partnership began in 2003, but they couldn't have done that without the support of everyday people. The crux of that support comes from Macy's Believe Campaign — the longstanding holiday fundraising effort where for every letter to Santa that's written online at Macys.com or dropped off safely at the red Believe mailbox at their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. New this year, National Believe Day will be expanded to National Believe Week and will provide customers the opportunity to double their donations ($2 per letter, up to an additional $1 million) for a full week from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5.

There are more ways to support Make-A-Wish besides letter-writing too. If you purchase a $4 Believe bracelet, $2 of each bracelet will be donated to Make-A-Wish through Dec. 31. And for families who are all about the holiday PJs, on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), 20 percent of the purchase price of select family pajamas will benefit Make-A-Wish.

Elizabeth living out her wish of being a fashion designer

Additionally, this year's campaign features 6-year-old Elizabeth, a Make-A-Wish child diagnosed with leukemia, whose wish to design a dress recently came true. Thanks to the style experts at Macy's Fashion Office and I.N.C. International Concepts, only at Macy's, Elizabeth had the opportunity to design a colorful floral maxi dress. Elizabeth's exclusive design is now available online at Macys.com and in select Macy's stores. In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, 20 percent of the purchase price of Elizabeth's dress (through Dec. 31) will benefit Make-A-Wish.You can also donate directly to Make-A-Wish via Macy's website.

This holiday season may be a tough one this year, but you can bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses by delivering hope for their wishes to come true.

via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

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The story of Patricia and Leslie "LD" McWaters dying together might have both of those elements, but it is also tragic because they died of a preventable disease in a pandemic that hasn't been handled well. The Michigan couple, who had been married for 47 years, both died of COVID-19 complications on November 24th. Since they died less than a minute apart, their deaths were recorded with the exact same time—4:23pm.

Patricia, who was 78 at her passing, had made her career as a nurse. LD, who would have turned 76 next month, had been a truck driver. Patricia was "no nonsense" while LD was "fun-loving," and the couple did almost everything together, according to their joint obituary.

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