Health Feed

The CEO who jacked up the price of a drug by 5,000% has done this before - Yahoo Finance

Almost exactly a year ago, Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli pulled virtually the same stunt he recently tried with Daraprim, a critical parasitic-infection-fighting drug whose price he attempted to raise overnight from $13.50 per pill to $750.

Only last year, hardly anyone noticed.

In 2014, Shkreli bumped up the price of a drug called Thiola by 2,000%, from $1.50 a pill to $30. Back then, he was the chief executive officer of a company called Retrophin Inc.

Thiola, like Daraprim, is an orphan drug, meaning it was developed specifically to treat a rare medical condition. In this case, the drug in question was used to treat cystinuria, a rare disease that causes amino acids in the body to form stones in the kidney, ureter, and bladder.

Thiola is the only drug of its kind on the market, and people with cystinuria generally need to take more than one Thiola pill each day. There's no cure for cystinuria, which means people with the genetic disease have to take the medication frequently to prevent the stones from building up. The starting dose for adults is 800 milligrams, or eight pills, per day.


Obamacare in Iowa: Higher Costs, Failing Insurers

Hillary Clinton will be in Iowa today, embracing Barack Obama’s signature failed policy - Obamacare. Unfortunately for Clinton, Iowans are already struggling to handle double-digit rate increases, collapsing insurers, and a rigid policy that puts D.C. bureaucrats in charge of healthcare decisions. 

Statement from Iowa GOP Co-Chair Dr. Cody Hoefert: “Obamacare has been a disaster for Iowa, prompting double-digit rate hikes for consumers and creating an inflexible healthcare system run by D.C. bureaucrats. Today Hillary Clinton is in Iowa doubling-down on this misguided and rigid policy, when she should be working on real solutions that empower people to make their own healthcare decisions. Clinton doesn't trust Iowans with their health, which is one of the many reasons why we don't trust her."

Obamacare in Iowa

Two of Iowa’s healthcare providers requested, and were granted, double-digit premium increases. 

Des Moines Register: For Wellmark, Iowa's dominant health insurance carrier ... [rates increased] 17.6 percent to 28.7 percent on average for different insurance plans. Those rate increases affect about 137,000 Wellmark policyholders... [there was also] a 19.8 percent rate increase on average for Coventry, the largest Iowa carrier that sells insurance policies that qualify for Affordable Care Act subsidies.

A health insurance company set up under Obamacare collapsed after receiving $146 million in federal money, leaving Iowans and the State government to pick up the pieces.

Des Moines Register: CoOportunity Health, a fledgling Iowa health insurance company set up under the Affordable Care Act, has been taken over by state regulators and could soon go under, officials said Wednesday. CoOportunity Health is an insurance cooperative, which was set up to give consumers and small businesses an alternative in a market with few choices. The company has received about $146 million in federal money under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Low vitamin D levels linked to faster memory loss in older adults | Reuters

(Reuters Health) - Older adults with low vitamin D levels – and that accounts for most of them – may lose their memories and thinking abilities faster than those with normal vitamin D levels, researchers say.

“We were not particularly surprised by our findings because there is a recent and growing literature on the associations between vitamin D status and risk of Alzheimer's disease/dementia, cognitive decline, and brain atrophy,” Dr. Joshua W. Miller from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey told Reuters Health by email


Mediterranean diet may reduce breast cancer risk | Fox News

The Mediterranean diet may be able to add "reduces risk of breast cancer" to its long list of health benefits, according to a new study from Spain.

In the study, researchers found that women who were asked to follow a Mediterranean diet that was high in extra-virgin olive oil were 68 percent less likely to develop breast cancer than those who were advised only to reduce the amount of fat in their diets. 

In the study, 4,152 post-menopausal women who had never had breast cancer were asked to follow one of three diets: One was a Mediterranean diet rich in extra-virgin olive oil (extra-virgin olive oil accounted for 15 percent of their daily calories), the second was a Mediterranean diet rich in nuts, and the third was a control diet, in which the women were advised to reduce the amount of fat they ate. After about five years, 35 women in the study had developed breast cancer. [6 Foods That May Affect Breast Cancer Risk]


Federal researchers urge older adults to aim for much lower blood pressure

Federal researchers recommended Friday that people 50 and older should work to push their blood pressure significantly below the commonly recommended target, saying a large new study offers critical guidance on a subject that has long been unclear.

The new research advises those people to keep their systolic blood pressure — the top number in the reading that health-care providers routinely tell patients — to 120. When the study began in 2009, clinical guidelines called for a systolic blood pressure of 140 for healthy adults and 130 for adults with kidney disease or diabetes.


‘Pink Viagra’ Approved by FDA: 5 Things You Need to Know

Pink viagraThere are currently 26 drugs out there to treat forms of sexual dysfunction in men, and that does not include the additional 15 generic medications on the market. Women, on the other hand, have never even had one drug to tackle such issues — until now.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday evening approved the first drug aimed at increasing sexual desire in women. Referred to as “female Viagra”or “pink Viagra,” Sprout Pharmaceuticals’ flibanserin (aka Addyi) has the potential to affect millions of women who suffer from hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).


Chocolate, Chocolate, It's Good For Your Heart, Study Finds | Community Idea Stations

Here's a sweet notion: Eat a little chocolate each day and you could be doing your heart a favor.

A new study published in the journal Heart found that habitual chocolate eaters had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and strokes compared to people who didn't eat chocolate.

So, what it is about chocolate that could possibly lead to such a benefit? Well, when you strip out the sugar and milk that's added to chocolate, you're left with the cocoa bean. And it's compounds in the cocoa that researchers are most interested in.

The study is part of a growing body of evidence that suggests the bioactive plant compounds found in cocoa beans, called polyphenols, may help protect against heart disease.


Lisa Royle posts photo of 'subtle dimple' on breast to warn women of cancer risk

A widely shared Facebook photograph of a British woman's breast has raised awareness of a more subtle symptom of breast cancer.

Lisa Royle, of Wigan, posted a picture, which has been shared more than 65,000 times, showing a slight puckering on the underside of her breast. 

"Ok so I never thought I'd post a boob picture on Facebook but I thought I would before it gets chopped off next week", Mrs Royle, 42, wrote on May 11.