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Category Archives: Medicine

The Myth and the Cost of Drug Expiration Dates

Investigative research and report by PrpPublica and NPR’s Shots Blog: “Hospitals and pharmacies are required to toss expired drugs, no matter how expensive or vital. Meanwhile the FDA has long known that many remain safe and potent for years longer…The dates on drug labels are simply the point up to which the Food and Drug Administration and pharmaceutical companies guarantee their effectiveness, typically at two or three years. But the dates don’t necessarily mean they’re ineffective immediately after they “expire” — just that there’s no incentive for drugmakers to study whether they could still be usable. ProPublica has been researching why the U.S. health care system is the most expensive in the world. One answer, broadly, is waste — some of it buried in practices that the medical establishment and the rest of us take for granted.  We’ve documented how hospitals often discard pricey new supplies, how nursing homes trash valuable medications after patients pass away or move out, and how drug companies create expensive combinations of cheap drugs. Experts estimate such squandering eats up about $765 billion a year — as much as a quarter of all the country’s health care spending…”

Senate Republicans release draft Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017

The 142 page discussion draft (bill), titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 was released at 11am on April 22, 2017 to the entire Senate who with the exception of 13 Senators, had not been engaged in its creation nor had prior access to its content. The goal of the bill is to replace… Continue Reading

FTC – New dietary supplement website launched

“Ever wonder if your dietary supplements are truly safe, effective and risk-free? If you are a member of the military, this question can be particularly important. Servicemembers often are targeted by companies selling supplements: to help members of the military lose weight, enhance workouts, or be in top shape for battle. If you’re considering using… Continue Reading

Inequalities in Life Expectancy Among US Counties, 1980 to 2014

Inequalities in Life Expectancy Among US Counties, 1980 to 2014 – Temporal Trends and Key Drivers. Laura Dwyer-Lindgren, MPH; Amelia Bertozzi-Villa, MPH; Rebecca W. Stubbs, BA; et al Chloe Morozoff, MPH; Johan P. Mackenbach, MD, PhD2; Frank J. van Lenthe, PhD; Ali H. Mokdad, PhD; Christopher J. L. Murray, MD, DPhil. JAMA Intern Med. Published… Continue Reading

Consumer Reports – How the Affordable Care Act Drove Down Personal Bankruptcy

How the Affordable Care Act Drove Down Personal Bankruptcy Expanded health insurance helped cut the number of filings by half by Allen St. John May 02, 2017: “As legislators and the executive branch renew their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act this [past] week, they might want to keep in mind a… Continue Reading

The Future of Jobs and Jobs Training

Pew – May 3, 2017: The Future of Jobs and Jobs Training – “As robots, automation and artificial intelligence perform more tasks and there is massive disruption of jobs, experts say a wider array of education and skills-building programs will be created to meet new demands. There are two uncertainties: Will well-prepared workers be able… Continue Reading

CRS – Advanced Gene Editing: CRISPR – Cas9

Advanced Gene Editing: CRISPR-Cas9, Congressional Research Service, April 28, 2017. [via FAS] “Scientists have long sought the ability to control and modify DNA—the code of life. A new gene editing technology known as CRISPR-Cas9 offers the potential for substantial improvement over previous technologies in that it is simple to use and inexpensive and has a… Continue Reading

Fortune Global 500

View the Full List of Fortune Global 500 Visualize The Global 500 – “People visit and revisit the Global 500 for lots of reasons, chief among them: job prospects, sales leads, corporate research and investor information. And bragging rights, of course. Below are two visualizations that allow you to explore the Global 500. On the… Continue Reading

Report Provides Blueprint Of How Memory Can Be Improved When It’s Lagging

Kaiser Health News: “A new study looks at the effects of electrical stimulation on the brain, and how those pulses can improve and impair memory.” The New York Times: ‘Pacemaker’ For The Brain Can Help Memory, Study Finds  – Well-timed pulses from electrodes implanted in the brain can enhance memory in some people, scientists reported… Continue Reading

Kaiser – Repeal, Replace, Revise: Your Guide To How A Trump Proposal Might Change ACA Insurance

Kaiser Health News: “Repeal and replace is on-again, off-again, but that doesn’t mean the rules affecting your insurance will remain unchanged. The Trump administration late Thursday issued a final rule aimed at stabilizing the health law’s insurance marketplace that could have rapid, dramatic effects on people who do not get insurance through work and buy it on the… Continue Reading

Will the US have enough workers to help an aging population?

GAO WatchBlog: “More than 12 million Americans need assistance with routine daily activities, such as eating, dressing, bathing, and making meals. Direct care workers—home health aides, psychiatric aides, nursing assistants, and personal care aides—are the primary paid providers of the long-term care they need. As the baby boomers age, there are concerns that there may… Continue Reading

PLOS medical special issue research on dementia

Dementia: Across the Lifespan & Around the Globe – “Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) estimates there will be over 131.5 million people living with dementia by 2050, as well as a shift in burden from the richest to poorest countries. These trends emphasize the need for a greater understanding of dementia from a global perspective. This… Continue Reading