Category Archives: Health News

Opioid Epidemic May Be Keeping Prime-Age Americans Out of the Workforce

New research from Princeton’s Alan Krueger suggests link between falling workforce participation and rising painkiller prescriptions Ben Leubsdorf – The Wall Street Journal New research suggests a significant portion of the post-1990s decline in labor-force participation among Americans in their prime working years could be linked to the opioid epidemic. Conducted by Princeton University economist… Read More »

Opioids Aren’t the Only Pain Drugs to Fear

By JANE E. BRODY SEPT. 4, 2017 – NY TIMES Last month, a White House panel declared the nation’s epidemic of opioid abuse and deaths “a national public health emergency,” a designation usually assigned to natural disasters. A disaster is indeed what it is, with 142 Americans dying daily from drug overdoses, a fourfold increase… Read More »

E-Cigs May Still Damage Blood Vessels

Arterial stiffness increased immediately after vaping session by Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer September 10, 2017 Action Points • Note that this study was published as an abstract and presented at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. MILAN — Nicotine exposure from vaping was associated… Read More »

Physicians Say Up to 30% of Treatment Unnecessary

Cite ‘fear of malpractice’ as top reason for unnecessary care by Debra Beaulieu September 10, 2017 Despite years of emphasis on curbing costly and potentially harmful unnecessary care, physicians believe that overtreatment remains an ongoing problem, according to research from Johns Hopkins University published this week in the journal PLOS ONE. The findings, based on… Read More »

EpiPen Failures Get FDA Warning (MarketWatch)

Letter cites complaints that device doesn’t work in emergencies by MedPage Today Staff September 08, 2017 The FDA sent a warning letter to a Pfizer manufacturing unit that makes EpiPens for Mylan, saying the company failed to properly investigate “serious product failures,” MarketWatch reports. The agency said Meridian Medical Technologies continued to make a potentially… Read More »

Diet Beats Meds for Type of Reflux (JAMA)

Plant-based Mediterranean diet with alkaline water tops PPIs in laryngopharyngeal reflux by MedPage Today Staff September 08, 2017 A plant-based, Mediterranean diet plus alkaline water may be an effective alternative to meds for laryngopharyngeal reflux symptoms, a new study found. Proton pump inhibitors — the current standard of care — did not perform significantly better… Read More »

By the Numbers: Specialty Drug Costs Snowball

Largest price increase in at least a decade, AARP study finds by Matt Wynn, Staff Writer, MedPage Today September 08, 2017 Drug prices are higher than ever and getting worse, a new study confirms. Retail prices for some of the most commonly used specialty prescription drugs increased by 9.6% in 2015, the fastest annual change… Read More »

High-Dose Flu Vax Linked to Less Hospitalization Among Elderly

Lower rates of hospitalization for respiratory illness vs standard doses by Molly Walker, Staff Writer, MedPage Today July 20, 2017 Action Points • Nursing homes whose residents received the high-dose influenza vaccine had fewer hospital admissions for respiratory illnesses compared to those who received standard-dose vaccine. • Note that no significant difference was observed in all-cause mortality… Read More »

New Look at Old Data Confirms Mortality Benefit from PSA Screening

But analysis doesn’t address harms from screening and subsequent treatment by Molly Walker, Staff Writer, MedPage Today September 04, 2017 Prostate cancer screening resulted in a lower risk of prostate cancer death for older men, according to pooled data from two pivotal trials that shaped recent recommendations on PSA testing. Compared with those who received… Read More »

Some Physicians Switch Patients Off Invokana after FDA Warning

Doubled risk of amputations appears to be affecting usage by Cheryl Clark, Senior Staff Writer inewsource/MedPage Today September 02, 2017 Some physicians and their hospital-affiliated medical groups are scurrying to take patients off of the diabetes drug canagliflozin (Invokana), after results from CANVAS, the big FDA-mandated cardiovascular outcomes trial, found it doubled the risk of… Read More »