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Sarilumab Effective in RA After Failure of Anti-TNF Therapy

November 26, 2016

Sarilumab, an investigational human monoclonal antibody directed against the interleukin 6 receptor (IL-6R), added to conventional synthetic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (csDMARDs), significantly improves the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and physical function

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In T1D, Lower BP Protects Kidneys

November 21, 2016

Lower blood pressure at <120/70 mm Hg was linked to a substantially lower risk of adverse renal outcomes in patients with type 1 diabetes, suggesting that the current guideline-recommended target of 140/90 mm Hg for these patients

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By the Numbers: New Top Drug in Medicare, Medicaid

November 18, 2016

Medicare and Medicaid together spent more than $9 billion on a single drug in 2015, Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C drug combo Harvoni (sofosbuvir/ledipasvir), according to data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Monday.

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How Can You Tell Medication Use From Medication Abuse?

November 17, 2016

Opioid painkillers, such as Vicodin (hydrocodone) and OxyContin (oxycodone), are crucial medical tools that are addictive and widely abused. Tranquilizers and sleeping pills of the benzodiazepine class, like Xanax (alprazolam), Ativan (lorazepam), and Klonopin (clonazepam).

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Oral Antibiotics Best for Kids' Pneumonia

November 17, 2016

Children with complicated pneumonia should be discharged from the hospital with oral instead of intravenous antibiotics when possible, researchers said, based on a study showing no disadvantage for the oral agents

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Comparing Medical and Prescription Costs in Disease-specific and Standard Benefit Plans Over Time

June, 2016

Results from the Natural Experiments for Translation in Diabetes Study show that disease-specific insurance benefit design may, over time, improve health care costs.

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Diabetes Drug Benefits MS Patients In Small Clinical Trial

March 7, 2016

MedPage Today (3/7, Brown) reports that diabetes drug Actos (pioglitazone) “benefited multiple sclerosis patients with metabolic syndrome in a small trial.” In the study of 50 MS patients with obesity, “those receiving the active drugs showed reductions in several biomarker measures including MRI lesion burden compared with the untreated controls, according to a report published on Monday in JAMA Neurology.”

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FDA Approves Hemophilia B Treatment

March 7, 2016

The Philadelphia Inquirer (3/7, Loyd) reports that the Food and Drug Administration approved CSL Behring’s intravenous Hemophilia B treatment, Idelvion (coagulation factor IX [recombinant], albumin fusion protein). Idelvion “is a genetically-engineered albumin fusion protein linking recombinant coagulation factor IX with recombinant albumin.” The drug can be self-administered and “will be the first on the market with up to 14-day dosing.”

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Walgreens: Arizona and Texas leading country in flu incidence

February 25, 2016

Arizona, Texas and Tennessee are the three states with the greatest number of inlfuenza cases, Walgreens reported as part of its Walgreens Flu Index Thursday. On its Walgreens Flu Index heat map, both Arizona and Texas are already at the higest level of flu incidence.

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This Year’s Flu Vaccine Is 59% Effective, Preliminary Data Show

February 25, 2016

The AP (2/25, Stobbe) reports preliminary data suggest that the flu vaccine is 59 percent effective this year. Unlike last year’s vaccine, the AP adds, “this year’s is a good match to the strains making people sick.” The data was presented Wednesday at the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meeting in Atlanta. The committee gives advice on vaccine use to the CDC. Medscape (2/24, Lowes) and Modern Healthcare (2/24, Rubenfire, Subscription Publication) also report the story.

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State Regulation Of Compounding Pharmacies Varies Widely, Analysis Finds

February 24, 2016

STAT (2/24, Silverman) reports that a new analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts “finds state oversight” of compounding pharmacies “is a spotty patchwork of regulations, raising questions about the ability to protect the public health.” According to the analysis, “only about half of the states require compounding pharmacies that make sterile medicines...to fully comply with recognized quality standards,” while 60% of the states “do not require compounding pharmacies to report serious adverse events and reactions related to sterile compounding.” Over half of all states “allow traditional compounding pharmacies — as opposed to those that make large amounts of medicines for hospitals — to provide drugs without prescriptions for individual patients,” a practice in violation of Federal law. Modern Healthcare (2/24, Rubenfire, Subscription Publication) also covers the story.

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Medical spending among the U.S. elderly

February 22, 2016

In the year 2050, there will be 83.7 million people in the United States who are 65 years old or older, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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CDHP, Private Exchange Use to Skyrocket Next 5 Years

February 5, 2016

The number of employers offering consumer-directed health plans and/or utilizing a private benefit exchange is expected to climb sharply over the next five years, just two of several healthcare related trends advisers should be tracking, experts say.

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Drug Shortages Forcing Hard Decisions on Rationing Treatments

January 29, 2016

CLEVELAND — In the operating room at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Brian Fitzsimons has long relied on a decades-old drug to prevent hemorrhages in patients undergoing open-heart surgery.

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Retirement Giant Fidelity Now Wants Workers' Health Insurance

January 26, 2016

(Bloomberg) -- Fidelity Investments is already the U.S.’s No. 2 mutual fund company. Now, it wants to get bigger in the health insurance business.

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