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MEDICINE AND RX

Big Pharma Twists Arms To Keep Insulin Prices High

Josh Wilkerson could not afford his insulin on the high-deductible health plan offered by his employer. He died at 27 after switching to over-the-counter insulin. August 14, 2020 FairWarning – Tennessee state Rep. Jason Hodges wanted to do something about the soaring cost of insulin. He learned that in the United States, the average list price for insulin tripled from 2002 to 2013 and then doubled from 2012 to 2016, forcing some diabetics to spend as...

100s Of Rx ID’ed As Possible Covid-19 Treatments

Aug 12, 2020 | University of California - Riverside – Scientists at the University of California, Riverside, have used machine learning to identify hundreds of new potential drugs that could help treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, or SARS-CoV-2. "There is an urgent need to identify effective drugs that treat or prevent COVID-19," said Anandasankar Ray, a professor of molecular, cell, and systems biology who led the research. "We have developed a drug discovery...

‘We Will Not Cut Corners’ On Coronavirus Vaccine: FDA

"All of our decisions will continue to be based on good science ... " PLUS: Russia's approval of virus vaccine greeted with some alarm Aug 10, 2020 |  The Hill – The head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pledged Monday that the U.S. "will not cut corners" in its race to develop a coronavirus vaccine. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn told the American Medical Association (AMA) in a video briefing that he’s heard experts have wondered...

The Risks of Rushing a COVID-19 Vaccine

"We all hope for a rapid end to the pandemic and an effective vaccine would be a surefire solution. But there are risks that come with a fast-tracked vaccine ... " By William A. Haseltine June 22, 2020 Scientific American – The excitement and enthusiasm for a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020 is both palpable and understandable. We all hope for a rapid end to the pandemic and an effective vaccine would be a surefire solution....

Who Gets Priority For New COVID-19 Vaccine?

"It's a global dilemma." WHO wants vaccines sent to Third World countries ASAP Aug 02, 2020 AP – U.S. health authorities hope by late next month to have some draft guidance on how to ration initial doses, but it's a vexing decision. "Not everybody's going to like the answer," Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, recently told one of the advisory groups the government asked to help decide. "There will be many people...

State Has Run Out Of Places To Put Bodies, Coroners Say

"My morgue was completely full all last week. It’s bad ... " |  "The bodies are piling up fast" COVID-19 deaths are exploding in the state – and it may be a massive undercount. One coroner put it simply: “It’s bad.” Aug. 02, 2020 Daily Beast – In the months before his county’s morgue neared capacity, before he started wearing his face shield and “moon suit” to answer calls in neighbors’ homes, and before his own coronavirus...

Trump Doubles Down On HCQ

‘I happen to think it works.’ July 28, 2020 |  Politico – President Donald Trump on Tuesday doubled down on his promotion of hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 despite no evidence of the malaria drug’s efficacy in doing so. “Many doctors think it is extremely successful, the hydroxychloroquine coupled with the zinc and perhaps the azithromycin,” Trump asserted at a White House briefing, though there is no evidence from at least five rigorous clinical trials that hydroxychloroquine has...

These Outdated Body Part Names Are No Longer Deemed Appropriate

July 21, 2020 The Patriot Hill – Doctors have been calling out gender bias on some of the origins of human body parts, believing that the medical language is both “sexist” and “misogynistic.” For ob/gynDr. Kristin Small, these medical terms represented an older generation and had become increasingly irrelevant in today’s generation. These terms include Achilles Tendon, which was named after the weak spot of a Greek Trojan war hero. Another example is the term Adam’s...

What Contact Tracers Really Do

"People who talk to contact tracers will be sent to FEMA camps ... ” and other Covid-19 conspiracy theories that won't go away July 15, 2020 Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News – In the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, contact tracing is downright buzzy, and not always in a good way. Contact tracing is the public health practice of informing people when they’ve been exposed to a contagious disease. As it has become more widely employed across the...

Medical Exceptions For Masks – Are They Legit?

July 5, 2020 Dallas Morning News – Wearing masks, a practice that health experts say is one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19, is now required across the state. But what if you’re unable to wear a mask because of a legitimate medical condition or disability? Can a business refuse to serve you? Here’s what you need to know. Who isn’t required to wear a mask? State and local mandates requiring masks acknowledge...

Decimated U.S. Public Health System Struggles To Cope

Hollowed-Out Public Health System Faces More Cuts Amid Virus July 1, 2020 The Associated Press via Kaiser Health News – The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and lacks the resources to confront the worst health crisis in a century. Marshaled against a virus that has sickened at least 2.6 million in the U.S., killed more than 126,000 people and cost tens of millions of jobs and $3 trillion in federal rescue money, state...

Vaccines Don’t Always Work The Same In Older Patients: KHN

Kaiser Health News – Scientists are worried a vaccine will be developed and work best in younger people--who are far less vulnerable to COVID than seniors are. Other vaccine news focuses on the global development race. The Wall Street Journal: Efforts For Coronavirus Vaccine Focus On Vulnerable Group: Older Adults Health experts are worried about whether coronavirus vaccines under development will adequately protect the elderly, sparking efforts to make sure there are shots that can help...

FDA Backs Fauci, Withdraws HCQ Approval For Covid-19

"The FDA’s appears to formally close the door on U.S. officials’ willingness to use to prevent or treat Covid-19." June 15, 2020 STAT News, WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration on Monday said it had withdrawn an emergency approval for use of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 treatment. Almost since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Trump and other world leaders have touted hydroxychloroquine as an effective treatment based...

Covid-Infected Border Crossers Overwhelm SoCal Hospitals

"48% of COVID-positive patients who visited the emergency room between May 24 and May 30 said they had recently traveled to Mexico." | Heidi de Marco, Kaiser Health News June 5, 2020 CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Even as most California hospitals have avoided an incapacitating surge in coronavirus patients, some facilities near the Mexican border have been overwhelmed. They include El Centro Regional Medical Center in Imperial County and Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista in San Diego...

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