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MEDICINE AND RX

Canada vows to defend its drug supply against Florida importation plan

ARS TECHNICA – Canada issued a warning Monday that it stands ready to defend its prescription drug supply from US importation plans—and also said the plans wouldn't work for the US, anyway. "Bulk importation will not provide an effective solution to the problem of high drug prices in the US," Health Canada said in a statement. The defensive stance comes just days after the US Food and Drug Administration granted Florida authorization to directly import cheaper...

China’s cancer drug finally approved in the US – but it will cost 30 times more to buy

A new Chinese cancer drug has been approved by the FDA, but there's one big financial catch.

Cutting a teaspoon of salt is comparable to taking blood pressure medication

NPR – A new study published Monday in the journal JAMA found that cutting one teaspoon of salt a day results in a decline in blood pressure comparable to taking blood pressure medication. In this latest study, participants who cut out their daily salt intake by one teaspoon had lower blood pressure in just one week. This was even true for people already on blood pressure medication. But how much sodium is in one teaspoon of...

Tornado damage to Pfizer plant will probably create long-term shortages of some drugs hospitals need

AP – The fallout from a Pfizer factory being damaged by a tornado could put even more pressure on already-strained drug supplies at U.S. hospitals, experts say. Wednesday's tornado touched down near Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and ripped up the roof of a Pfizer factory that makes nearly 25% of Pfizer's sterile injectable medicines used in U.S. hospitals, according to the drugmaker. Pfizer said all employees were safely evacuated and accounted for, and no serious injuries...

Abortion Bans Are Driving Off Doctors

KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION HEALTH NEWS – The rush in conservative states to ban abortion after the overturn of Roe v. Wade is resulting in a startling consequence that abortion opponents may not have considered: fewer medical services available for all women living in those states. Doctors are showing — through their words and actions — that they are reluctant to practice in places where making the best decision for a patient could result in huge...

He Returned to the US for His Daughter’s Wedding. He Left With a $42,000 Hospital Bill.

KFF Health News – Last June, Jay Comfort flew to the United States from his home in Switzerland to attend his only daughter’s wedding. But the week before the ceremony — on a Friday evening — Comfort said he found himself in “excruciating pain.” “I tried to gut it out for three hours because of the insurance situation,” said Comfort, a retired teacher and American citizen who has Swiss insurance. When the pain became unbearable, Comfort...

Salve Lucrum: The Existential Threat of Greed in US Health Care

JAMA – In the mosaic floor of the opulent atrium of a house excavated at Pompeii is a slogan ironic for being buried under 16 feet of volcanic ash: Salve Lucrum, it reads, “Hail, Profit.” That mosaic would be a fitting decoration today in many of health care’s atria. The grip of financial self-interest in US health care is becoming a stranglehold, with dangerous and pervasive consequences. No sector of US health care is immune from the...

Hospital’s water purification system stripped out chlorine, killing 3 patients

ARS TECHNICA – Water purification systems installed in two ice machines in a Boston hospital were supposed to make the water taste and smell better for patients on a surgery floor—but it ended up killing three of them, an investigation found. The purification systems inadvertently stripped chlorine from the municipal tap water, allowing bacteria normally found at low levels to flourish and form biofilms inside the machines. This led to infections in four vulnerable cardiac-surgery patients...

Ozempic for Weight Loss: Experts Answer 9 Common Questions

Despite its popularity, heath experts warn against using Ozempic off label for weight loss.

Enjoying nature may lessen need for some medications, study finds

After eight years, the researchers found having access to the most green space reduced the women’s death rate by 12% — and improved their mental health.

Want to email your doctor? You may be charged for that

WASHINGTON (AP) — The next time you message your doctor to ask about a pesky cough or an itchy rash, you may want to check your bank account first — you could get a bill for the question. Hospital systems around the country are rolling out fees for some messages that patients send to physicians, who they say are spending an increasing amount of time poring over online queries, some so complex that they require...

Here are 4 common drugs that are in shortage right now

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some commonly used medications, including albuterol, Adderall, Tamiflu and Amoxicillin, are facing supply chain issues.

$38,398 for a Single Shot of a Very Old Cancer Drug

KAISER HEALTH NEWS – Dr. Josie Tenore and Paul Hinds were introduced by a mutual friend in 2017 and hadn’t been going out long when she laid down the law: He had to get a physical. “I don’t date people who don’t take care of their health,” said Tenore, who practices cosmetic dermatology and functional medicine in suburban Chicago. One of Hinds’ blood tests that summer came back with an alarming result: His prostate-specific antigen, or...

These Doctors Admit They Don’t Want Patients With Disabilities

Lisa Iezzoni, a professor of medicine at Harvard, wanted to understand why people with disabilities kept reporting receiving substandard care. “I thought I needed to start talking to doctors,” she said.
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