Filter Results

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Dealing With Drug Prices

KHN Original

Medicare officials tentatively plan to restrict the use of a controversial Alzheimer’s drug to only those patients participating in clinical trials, while the Department of Health and Human Services looks into lowering the monthly Medicare Part B premium. Meanwhile, covid confusion still reigns, as the Biden administration moves, belatedly, to make more masks and tests available. Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.

Quebec’s Plan To Tax The Unvaxxed Drives Surge In Shot Uptake

KHN Morning Briefing

Threatening fines for unvaccinated residents who lack medical exemptions has reportedly led to soaring sign-ups for first shots among the Quebecois. Meanwhile, the Pan American Health Organization says it expects omicron covid to become the dominant variant across the Americas soon.

Labor Union Sues 3 Health Providers, Alleging Racism In Dialysis Care

KHN Morning Briefing

According to the labor union suing DaVita, Fresenius Medical Care and Satellite Healthcare, Latino and Asian patients are more likely to experience adverse symptoms during hemodialysis. Investment in Black-owned health tech firms and news on the illustrator who drew a black fetus is also reported.

Gene For Dangerous Drug-Resistant Bacteria Found In Georgia Sewer

KHN Morning Briefing

Studies of Georgia’s sewer water have turned up a worrying find: The MCR-9 gene, which can cause bacteria to become resistant to one of the world’s most important antibiotics — a potential global health threat. Separately, Florida moves to limit abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Blood Shortage Briefly Shutters LA County Trauma Unit

KHN Morning Briefing

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services hasn’t had to take this sort of action in over three decades. The national blood shortage is so bad that the Red Cross is trying to tempt donors by offering the chance to win Super Bowl 2022 tickets.

11.5 Hours: New Record Speed For Rare Illness Diagnostic DNA Sequencing

KHN Morning Briefing

Stat reports on a remarkable case where a young man was suffering mystifying heart problems and an extremely fast diagnosis was possible thanks to speedy gene sequencing. Also in the news, President Joe Biden’s FDA nominee; potential for vaccines to help the opioid crisis; and wider impact of Medicare’s Aduhelm decision.

America’s Cancer Death Rate Has Fallen 32% Over 28 Years

KHN Morning Briefing

The overall risk of dying from cancer continues to drop at an ever-faster rate, too. News outlets cover the data, noting that while millions of deaths have been averted, racial disparities are still a problem when it comes to treatment and detection.

Pfizer’s Covid Pill In Short Supply; A New One From Europe May Arrive Soon

KHN Morning Briefing

Despite the promise of Pfizer’s antiviral covid drug, CNN reports on how it can be tricky to source the pills. Meanwhile, Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis is seeking a quick U.S. emergency approval for its own promising experimental covid pill, ensovibep, before results from a big clinical trial arrive.

Covid Tests Also Prove Positive When It Comes To Company Profits

KHN Morning Briefing

For example Abbott, the maker behind the BinaxNow at-home covid tests, reported third-quarter profits up 48% compared to last year’s figure. But while for many finding tests is difficult, some corporations are making it easy for staff. There are also warnings over fraudulent testing services.

Kids Who Get Covid Are At Higher Risk Of Developing Diabetes: Study

KHN Morning Briefing

And a separate study identifies risk factors that may determine if a child will become severely ill from covid. In related news, despite historic infection levels, less than 20% of American elementary school kids are vaccinated. And debates over protective measures once again rage in schools.