KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

Viewpoints: Protecting The ‘Miracle Drugs’; Family Physicians And The Opioid-Abuse Battle

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.

The Washington Post: How To Save Our Miracle Drugs
A major public-health danger that languished for too long is at last getting more attention. Antibiotic resistance, the tendency of bacteria to fight back against antibiotics, has been known to exist for decades but was often met with complacency, in part because new and effective antibiotics were discovered frequently. Now there is a growing realization that these miracle drugs could lose their punch. (8/7)

Lexington Herald Leader: Family Physicians Key To Opioid-Abuse Fight
Across Kentucky, community leaders, health care professionals, public-policy makers and law-enforcement officials are stepping up to address the opioid epidemic. The Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians is one of the many groups working to stop opioid abuse before it starts and to help those who are already struggling with opioid use disorders (Dr. William C. Thornbury Jr., 8/7)

The Columbus Dispatch: Help Wanted: Drug Treatment Key
President Donald Trump has made a political career out of linking the demise of American manufacturing to globalism, tax policy and hyper-regulation. But a different, serious cause is that employers cannot find enough workers for good-paying jobs because many applicants can’t pass a drug test. This is a particular problem in old, industrial communities from the Rust Belt to Appalachia, and it shows that solutions lie in greater drug counseling and job-training programs, not in the Trump administration’s push for harsher drug prosecutions. (8/8)

The Wall Street Journal: Money For Marrow, Finally
Arya Majumder would have celebrated his 19th birthday last month. Instead he died of cancer in 2010, his condition exacerbated by a scarcity of bone-marrow donors. Arya’s father later recounted how the loss of his only child “took away my very heart and soul, and triggered the collapse of my 23-year-old marriage.” Other families may be spared the same life-upending sorrow because last week the Department of Health and Human Services withdrew a proposed Obama-era regulation that would have prohibited compensation for bone-marrow donation. About 11,000 ailing Americans are currently searching the national marrow registry, hoping to find a compatible donor. (8/7)

Lexington Herald Leader: Urgent Need To Provide More Care For Health-Care Workers
Something frightening is happening to our health-care students and providers. “A Roadmap to Decreasing Clinician Burnout” published in Hospitals and Health Networks in May, reported that more than 50 percent of nurses are emotionally exhausted and 25 percent are clinically depressed. In “Breaking the Culture of Silence on Physician Suicide” (2016) The National Academy of Medicine found that about 400 physicians take their lives each year, and that they are more than twice as likely to take their own lives as non-physicians. Female physicians are three times more likely to kill themselves than male physicians. (Janie Heath, 8/7)

Stat: Hey, Hippocrates: Food Isn't Medicine. It's Just Food
Hippocrates supposedly said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” I disagree. Food is not medicine. ... Food is so much more than medicine. Food is intrinsically related to human social interactions and community. Food is culture, love, and joy. Turning food into medicine robs it of these positive attributes. (Dylan MacKay, 8/7)

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