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Category Archives: Medicine

Report – Families Caring for an Aging America

National Academies: “At least 17.7 million individuals in the United States are providing care and support to an older parent, spouse, friend, or neighbor who needs help because of a limitation in their physical, mental, or cognitive functioning. The circumstances of individual caregivers are extremely varied. They may live with, nearby, or far away from the person receiving care. The care they provide may be episodic, daily, occasional, or of short or long duration. The caregiver may help with household tasks or self-care activities, such as getting in and out of bed, bathing, dressing, eating, or toileting, or may provide complex medical care tasks, such as managing medications and giving injections. The older adult may have dementia and require a caregiver’s constant supervision. Or, the caregiver may be responsible for all of these activities.  With support from 15 sponsors, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened an expert committee to examine what is known about the nation’s family caregivers of older adults and to recommend policies to address their needs and help to minimize the barriers they encounter in acting on behalf of an older adult. The resulting report, Families Caring for an Aging America, provides an overview of the prevalence and nature of family caregiving of older adults as well as its personal impact on caregivers’ health, economic security, and overall well-being. The report also examines the available evidence on the effectiveness of programs and interventions designed to support family caregivers. It concludes with recommendations for developing a national strategy to effectively engage and support them.”

Kaiser – How Much Has Medicare Spent on the EpiPen Since 2007?

Kaiser Data Note: “The latest example of high and rising prescription drug prices to attract significant media and public attention relates to the EpiPen, an auto-injector containing the drug epinephrine which is used to reverse the effects of severe allergic reactions. Since Mylan acquired the EpiPen from Merck in 2007, the company has increased the… Continue Reading

Medications in public wastewater focuses need for better safeguards

Mental Floss – “A new study reveals that most of the high concentrations of pharmaceuticals in wastewater don’t come from people flushing their meds willy-nilly down the toilet, as New Scientist reports. Rather, we are flushing meds through our bodies into the sewers.  In a new study in Science of the Total Environment, scientists collected wastewater… Continue Reading

GAO Reports – Bulk Fuel, Generic Drugs, DHS, Affordable Care Act, School Choice

Bulk Fuel: Actions Needed to Improve DOD’s Fuel Consumption Budget Data, GAO-16-644: Published: Sep 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 12, 2016. Generic Drugs Under Medicare: Part D Generic Drug Prices Declined Overall, but Some Had Extraordinary Price Increases, GAO-16-706: Published: Aug 12, 2016. Publicly Released: Sep 12, 2016. Homeland Security: DHS’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear… Continue Reading

Kaiser – Breast and Cervical Cancer Statistics (Updated State Data)

Updated – September 01, 2016 Breast Cancer Deaths per 100,000 Women Updated – September 01, 2016 Cervical Cancer Incidence Rate per 100,000 Women by Race/Ethnicity Continue Reading

Pew – U.S. Public Wary of Biomedical Technologies to ‘Enhance’ Human Abilities

“Cutting-edge biomedical technologies that could push the boundaries of human abilities may soon be available, making people’s minds sharper and their bodies stronger and healthier than ever before. But a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults shows that majorities greet the possibility of these breakthroughs with more wariness and worry than enthusiasm and… Continue Reading

Fentanyl Law Enforcement Submissions and Increases in Synthetic Opioid–Involved Overdose Deaths — 27 States, 2013–2014

CDC – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, August 26, 2016:  “In March and October 2015, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and CDC, respectively, issued nationwide alerts identifying illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF) as a threat to public health and safety (1,2). IMF is unlawfully produced fentanyl, obtained through illicit drug markets, includes fentanyl analogs, and is… Continue Reading

GAO Report – Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B: Data on Coupon Discounts Needed to Evaluate Methodology for Setting Drug Payment Rates, GAO-16-643: Published: Jul 27, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 26, 2016: “In 2015, manufacturers of 29 of the 50 high-expenditure Medicare Part B drugs GAO analyzed offered coupon programs, which reduce the costs patients incur for specific drugs. Part B… Continue Reading

The link between health spending and life expectancy: The US is an outlier

Via Our World in Data by Max Roser – “[This graph and much more can be found in the Our World In Data-entry on how healthcare is financed.] The graph shows the relationship between what a country spends on health per person and life expectancy in that country between 1970 and 2014 for a number… Continue Reading

Shedding Light on Health Care Prices: Patient Perspectives on Health Care Price Transparency Efforts

Public Citizen – Shedding Light on Health Care Prices: “Out-of- pocket health care costs for patients are soaring in the United States. Since 2010, insurance deductibles for workers have risen three times as fast as premiums and about seven times as fast as wages and inflation. For nearly two decades, states have attempted to address… Continue Reading

US Public Wary of Biomedical Technologies to ‘Enhance’ Human Abilities

Americans are more worried than enthusiastic about using gene editing, brain chip implants and synthetic blood to change human capabilities – By Cary Funk, Brian Kennedy and Elizabeth Podrebarac Sciupac “Cutting-edge biomedical technologies that could push the boundaries of human abilities may soon be available, making people’s minds sharper and their bodies stronger and healthier… Continue Reading

PubMed Also-Viewed: Quickly find related articles

NCBI Insights: “PubMed is free, but finding the important articles on a topic can cost a lot of time. To help you keep on top of the literature – with a little help from your fellow PubMed users – we are introducing a new type of link called “Articles frequently viewed together”. For some PubMed… Continue Reading