June 19, 2024

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Rosalind Pichardo, who founded Operation Save Our City in Philadelphia, sprays a container of Narcan during a demonstration Sept. 8 at the Health and Human Services Humphrey Building in Washington, DC. Health officials held the event to mark the availability, without a prescription, of the opioid overdose-reversal drug.

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein


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AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein


Rosalind Pichardo, who founded Operation Save Our City in Philadelphia, sprays a container of Narcan during a demonstration Sept. 8 at the Health and Human Services Humphrey Building in Washington, DC. Health officials held the event to mark the availability, without a prescription, of the opioid overdose-reversal drug.

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Earlier this month, drug stores and pharmacies nationwide began stocking and selling the country’s first over-the-counter version of naloxone, a medication that can stop a potentially fatal overdose from opioids. It’s sold as a nasal spray under the brand name Narcan.

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Coming off a year with a record number of drug overdose deaths in the United States — nearly 110,000 in 2022, according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics – community health workers and addiction medicine experts were hopeful that the arrival of Narcan on retail shelves might make it easier for people to get the medication.

The urgent and ultimate goal is to prevent more fatal overdoses.

But it’s unclear if the move will actually expand access to Narcan. Experts worry that its retail price, sporadic availability on store shelves, or general consumer confusion about potentially having to ask a pharmacist to retrieve it will mean that fewer people than expected will purchase Narcan and actually have it at the ready when an overdose occurs.

That means that more education and outreach will be needed to get this lifesaving medication into more hands. Those already engaged in the opioid epidemic – community health workers and nonprofits focused on harm reduction – will have to stay intensely involved. Over-the-counter Narcan will be an additional tool, alongside prescription and free versions of the drug.

“It’s not by any means a game changer. I don’t think it’s a step in the wrong direction. I just think it’s a tiny, tiny baby step that does not deserve a round of applause,” says Shoshana Aronowitz, a family nurse practitioner and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing in Philadelphia.

“We should not be under any illusion that this is going to meaningfully change things for a lot of people,” she says. “But we need to be moving in this direction, we just need to be doing it faster and with an understanding that this is just way overdue.”

Over-the-counter can mean behind the counter

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved over-the-counter marketing and sales of Narcan in March. It’s manufactured by Emergent BioSolutions, and started arriving in stores in early September, with a suggested retail price of $44.99 for a two-dose package.

As an over-the-counter product, Narcan should ideally appear on store shelves in the same way as

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2 min read

An different to statins could assist lessen fatalities from heart disorder amongst persons with higher ranges of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, new exploration finds.

When taken as a each day capsule, bempedoic acid decreased LDL cholesterol and showed a considerable 39% reduction in coronary heart sickness fatalities and heart assaults, researchers described Saturday at the American Diabetes Association’s once-a-year assembly. The conclusions ended up at the same time published in JAMA.

“What we noticed really stunned me,” explained the study’s direct writer, Dr. Steven Nissen, chief educational officer of the Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. “I hope this will be a wake-up phone for clients and physicians.”  

Ideal now, less than 50 % the people today who should be prescribed a cholesterol-decreasing treatment because of coronary heart illness risk are finding it, according to Nissen. That demands to adjust, he said.

“Treating men and women who have threat variables in advance of their first cardiovascular function would have substantial gains,” not just in blocking difficulties but also in avoiding deaths, he explained.

What is a nutritious amount of cholesterol?

Bempedoic acid, which was authorized in 2020 by the Food and Drug Administration, is not as effective as statins, which are regarded as the gold normal in dealing with high cholesterol. Having said that, lots of people quit or refuse to take statins since of probable aspect consequences this sort of as muscle mass soreness, problems, sleep difficulties and digestive challenges.

New research identified that about 20% of folks at significant threat for heart sickness refuse to consider statins when approved by their health practitioner. Females in specific had been less probable to accept a statin prescription, in accordance to the study published in JAMA Community Open.

Though the new study looked at only the influence of bempedoic acid on men and women who experienced adverse reactions to statins, it found that reducing cholesterol resulted in a significant minimize in coronary heart assaults and heart-disorder relevant fatalities.

What’s most critical is to get blood cholesterol to healthful amounts, whether by taking a statin or bempedoic acid or other lipid-decreasing treatment, Nissen reported in an job interview.

LDL, or minimal density lipoprotein, is the kind of cholesterol that contributes to the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries and raises the chance of cardiovascular events, this sort of as heart assault and stroke. In accordance to the American Coronary heart Affiliation, the optimal complete cholesterol level for an adult is about 150 mg/dL, with LDL stages at or underneath 100 mg/dL.

The 4,206 individuals enrolled in the new analyze are component of a more substantial group explained in a New England Journal of Medication post in March. The NEJM review incorporated both of those patients who experienced skilled a cardiovascular event, such as a stroke or heart attack, as effectively as those people who only experienced threat things.

In the new analysis, Nissen and his colleagues centered only on members who had in no way been

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3 min read

At a meeting to simplify the nation’s covid vaccination coverage, the FDA’s panel of professionals could concur on only just one issue: Information and facts is woefully missing about how generally distinct teams of Individuals will need to be vaccinated. That data gap has contributed to prevalent skepticism, undervaccination, and finally unwanted deaths from covid-19.

The committee voted unanimously Thursday to support the FDA’s proposal for all vaccine-makers to adopt the similar pressure of the virus when creating adjustments in their vaccines, and proposed they may well meet in Might or June to select a pressure for the vaccines that would be rolled out this tumble.

Nevertheless, the panel associates disagreed with the FDA’s proposal that everybody get at least one shot a calendar year, indicating extra facts was required to make these kinds of a declaration. Many panelists famous that in latest scientific studies, only about a 3rd of men and women hospitalized with a positive covid examination really were being there simply because of covid ailment. That’s because anyone entering a clinic is analyzed for covid, so fatalities of individuals with incidental infections are counted as covid fatalities even when it is not the trigger.

The authorities questioned the rationale for yearly photographs for everyone, presented that latest vaccines do not appear to defend versus infection for additional than a number of months. Still even a one booster seems to reduce loss of life and hospitalization in most men and women, apart from for the quite aged and persons with specified health-related conditions.

“We want the CDC to convey to us particularly who is having hospitalized and dying of this virus — the ages, vulnerability, the type of immune compromise, and irrespective of whether they ended up treated with antivirals. And we want immunological information to indicate who’s at risk,” explained Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education and learning Centre and a pediatrician at Children’s Healthcare facility of Philadelphia. “Only then can we determine who will get vaccinated with what and when.”

Offit and other individuals have expressed annoyance in excess of the deficiency of distinct federal government messaging on what the general public can be expecting from covid vaccines. While common boosters could be critical for keeping the aged and medically frail out of the medical center, he mentioned, the once-a-year boosters prompt by the Fda and the drug corporations may possibly not be vital for absolutely everyone.

“The target is to maintain people today out of the healthcare facility,” he said. “For the vulnerable, it would be essential for vaccines to maintain up with circulating strains. But for the standard inhabitants, we already have a vaccine that prevents hospitalization.”

Other panelists mentioned the federal government requirements to drive study more difficult to get better vaccines. Pamela McGinnis, a retired official of the National Institutes of Overall health, claimed she had hassle detailing to her two young-adult sons why they promptly bought unwell following venturing out to bars a person night only weeks following receiving

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3 min read

This is an excerpt from Next Viewpoint, a weekly evaluation of wellbeing and medical science news emailed to subscribers. If you haven’t subscribed, you can do that by clicking here.


Irrespective of many years of investigation and billions of pounds, no cure has ever definitively proven to sluggish the development of Alzheimer’s sickness.

Two pharmaceutical corporations have created a drug that they say does just that.

On Tuesday, the entire final results of a around the globe human trial of the drug, known as lecanemab, will be unveiled at an Alzheimer’s analysis conference in San Francisco.

The companies — Biogen of the U.S. and Eisai of Japan — have so much simply summarized the benefits of the human trial in a September information release. It stated early-stage Alzheimer’s condition sufferers who received lecanemab around the study’s 18-month timeframe scored 27 for every cent greater on cognitive tests than all those who’d obtained a placebo.

Far more than 600,000 Canadians are dwelling with dementia, and Alzheimer’s sickness is the most popular kind. The Alzheimer’s Society of Canada forecasts that selection to get to one particular million by 2030.

While some industry experts say there is a good deal of optimism to be observed about lecanemab’s prospective, other have cautions and thoughts: What will the total details expose? How significantly will the drug cost? How long can it stave off the devastating results of Alzheimer’s illness, which can contain critical memory decline, mood changes and the incapability to perform basic responsibilities. 

About translated, the benefits counsel lecanemab slowed the advance of Alzheimer’s disease in its early levels by 4-to-5 months around the 18-month period of the review.

“We’ve had lots of failures and disappointments in drug development in this illness,” reported Dr. Sharon Cohen, health care director of the Toronto Memory Plan, 1 of the human demo web-sites for lecanemab.

Dr. Sharon Cohen, pictured below Nov. 17, is a neurologist and health care director of the Toronto Memory Program, where she oversaw aspect of the human demo of lecanemab. (Turgut Yeter/CBC)

“This is a extremely hopeful time in Alzheimer’s disease,” Cohen stated in an job interview with CBC Information. “We have, for the to start with time, an possibility to sluggish down a bad ailment at an early stage when people today are continue to operating nicely.”

Cohen will be one particular of the researchers presenting the lecanemab info on Tuesday at the Medical Trials on Alzheimer’s Sickness conference.

“Any slowing of disorder — if what you might be performing today you’re nonetheless executing in 6 months or a calendar year — that’s a acquire, since we know this sickness is relentless,” Cohen reported. “We have not been equipped to cease it from progressing earlier.”

‘A large amount of revenue for 27 per cent improvement’

The news launch by Biogen and Eisai explained the getting that the drug slowed cognitive drop by 27 for each cent as “highly statistically substantial.”

But some are questioning how major that would be for

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2 min read

New York resident Lynn Scarfuto, 72, used a number of a long time operating as a nurse navigator, assisting people by their cancer ordeals just before she turned a most cancers affected person herself.

Scarfuto was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012 and about 6-decades later on was diagnosed with lung cancer.

The money burden that arrives with dealing with her diseases has not been effortless. Imbruvica, a most cancers medicine approved by her physician, carries a wholesale selling price of about $16,000 a thirty day period. Scarfuto is on Medicare but does not qualify for a minimal-profits subsidy. Her out-of-pocket value for the drug that would maintain her most cancers from progressing arrives to $12,000 a 12 months. 

“How the hell are you meant to dwell?” stated Scarfuto, who now depends on her retirement cost savings. “I don’t have that kind of funds.”

Scarfuto’s battle to address her daily life-threatening health issues just isn’t unconventional in the U.S., wherever prescription drug prices are usually significantly increased than in other produced nations.

About 1 in three People in america on Medicare who do not qualify for reduced-income subsidies really don’t fill prescriptions for their most cancers prescription drugs, according to a modern analyze in the journal Overall health Affairs. Minimal revenue is described as all over $15,000 a yr for an personal or about $30,000 a year for a married couple, in accordance to the Social Protection Administration.

The out-of-pocket cost for the medication is also higher, claimed Stacie Dusetzina, the study’s direct author and a wellness coverage professor at Vanderbilt College Health care Heart. In some scenarios, clients would require to shell out practically half their gross money to be equipped to afford to pay for their drugs, she claimed.

The value is “unbelievable,” she mentioned. “Nevermind the lots of doctors’ visits and other treatment options that clients probably will need at the same time.”

Congress has proposed a range of changes above the final a number of decades to control sky-superior drug price ranges, however most have not made it into legislation.

Exorbitant prescription drug charges are a vital motive why Democratic lawmakers are reported to be now pushing ahead a deal that would enable the federal government to negotiate lessen discounts on behalf of Medicare. Proponents say the transfer would lower the charge of the most high priced medications, including cancer medicines.

For cancer clients, the problem is primarily dire due to the fact there are commonly number of reduce-cost treatment options, stated Nishwant Swami, a researcher at the College of Massachusetts Health care.

In June, Swami offered data at the American Society of Medical Oncology conference that uncovered nonwhite Hispanic most cancers survivors in the U.S. noted better prices of financial stress than white cancer survivors. About 70% of Mexican Individuals, in unique, claimed they could not manage their expenditures, he reported.

Scientists call the financial stress individuals confront after a life-threatening health and fitness analysis “economical toxicity.” The results of the monetary distress can variety

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