REUTERS S | Tue Sep 22, 2015 9:53am EDT Related: U.S., Health Exclusive: Americans overpaying hugely for cancer drugs - academic study LONDON | By Ben Hirschler http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/22/us-health-pharmaceuticals-cancer-usa-idUSKCN0RM1EC20150922 Americans are paying way over the odds for some modern cancer drugs, with pharmaceutical companies charging up to 600 times what the medicines cost to make, according to an independent academic study. The United States also pays more than double the price charged in Europe for these drugs - so-called tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), a potent class of cancer pills with fewer side effects than chemotherapy. The analysis by pharmacologist Andrew Hill of Britain's University of Liverpool, who will present his findings at the Sept. 25-29 European Cancer Congress in Vienna, is likely to fuel a growing storm over U.S. drug costs. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's declared aim to lower the cost of prescription drugs by ending what her campaign describes as "excessive profiteering" triggered a sell-off in drug stocks this week. Hill told Reuters he had shared his work on the cost of producing TKIs with the World Health Organization (WHO), which is keen to add such treatments to its list of medicines deemed essential for a basic healthcare system. WHO officials have used the findings in determining that the drugs can be made at low cost, he said. The first such TKI was added to the WHO's latest draft Essential Medicines List earlier this year. Several widely-used TKIs are expected to become available as generics within the next five years, as patents expire. Hill calculated that large-scale production could achieve treatment prices in the range of $159 to $4,022 per person a year, against current U.S. prices of around $75,000 to over $100,000. "It shows there is a lot of scope for prices to come down," he said. "There has to be some middle ground between the prices that companies are charging, which may not even be cost-effective by the standards set by some healthcare authorities, and the actual production cost." RESEARCH COSTS Drug companies argue that they need to make decent profits to pay for the billions of dollars needed for drug research. Many companies also have extensive low-cost or even free access schemes for patients who cannot afford their medicines. But the high prices charged for modern drugs is generating increasing push-back from healthcare providers, patients and some doctors. Hill used Indian government data on the cost of pharmaceutical ingredients and allowed for a 50-percent profit margin - but no money for investment in research - to work out the costs of producing certain drugs. On this basis, he found that Novartis' leukaemia drug Glivec actually cost $159 for a year's treatment, against the $106,000 charged in the United States. Roche's Tarceva for lung cancer cost $236, against a U.S. price of $79,000, and Novartis' Tykerb cost $4,000 against a price of $74,000. In all these cases the U.S. cost was far above that charged in certain western European countries, where Glivec costs approximately $29,000-35,000, Tarceva $26,000-29,000 and Tykerb around $35,000, Hill reported. Roche declined to comment. Novartis said it had no immediate response. The issue is not unique to cancer drugs. Earlier this month, for example, Amgen launched its new injectable cholesterol drug Repatha in Europe at around half the U.S. price. "Why should the U.S. bear this huge burden cost? It is not as if the GDP of the United States is so much higher than that of European counties, but they just seem to pay these big premiums," Hill said. The future pricing of TKIs could also have major implications for developing countries, Hill believes, since mass production could open the way to widespread cancer treatment in the same way that cheap generic drugs helped fight HIV/AIDS
This critical type of health-care error is far more common than medication mistakes or surgery on the wrong patient or body part. But until now, diagnostic errors have been a relatively understudied and unmeasured area of patient safety. Much of patient safety is focused on errors in hospitals, not mistakes in diagnoses that take place in doctors’ offices, surgical centers and other outpatient facilities.f
The new report by the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, outlines a system-wide problem that experts say affects an estimated 12 million adults each year. Remember to ask your clinician these three questions: 1. What could be causing my problem? 2. What else could it be? 3. When will I get my test results and what should I do to follow up?
The research represents "an unexpected new biology that provides the code, the software for turning off cancer," according to the Mr Anastasiadis, chair of the department of cancer biology at the Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida......enior science information manager Henry Scowcroft said: "This important study solves a long-standing biological mystery, but we mustn't get ahead of ourselves.” Mr Sowcroft added there was a “long way to go” before the findings were conclusive, but said there was still a “significant step forward”.
Researchers filmed 20 operations at two UK hospitals to observe. When music was played, operating staff often had to repeat themselves to be heard - when requesting a surgical instrument, for example. The Royal College of Surgeons says there is no evidence of a widespread problem in NHS hospitals. ...In some incidences, nurses visibly struggled to hear the surgeon's instructions. In one operation, the scrub nurse asked the surgeon to turn the music down because she was finding it hard to count up how many swabs had been used.
Test detects every known human virus from single drop of blood Washington: Researchers have developed a new test that can detect every known human virus that currently or previously infected a person from a single drop of blood.
The method, called VirScan, developed by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers can test for current and past infections with any known human virus, including HIV and hepatitis C. The method, called VirScan, is an efficient alternative to existing diagnostics that test for specific viruses one at a time. With VirScan, scientists can run a single test to determine which viruses have infected an individual, rather than limiting their analysis to particular viruses. The comprehensive analysis can be performed for about USD 25 per blood sample. (2015 June)
The trial tracking 68 to 77 year olds found that doing less than an hour a week of light exercise had no impact.
But overall those putting in the equivalent of six, 30-minute sessions of any intensity, were 40% less likely to have died during the 11-year study
...."Our message is that every 10 minutes counts and that making simple, more active changes to your daily routine can set you on a path to improved heart health."
So if we’re born to run, why are runners so often injured? A combination of factors is likely to play a role, experts say. Exercise early in life can affect the development of tendons and muscles, but many people don’t start running until adulthood, so their bodies may not be as well developed for distance. Running on only artificial surfaces and in high-tech shoes can change the biomechanics of running, increasing the risks of injury.Natural History Magazine: says running joggles the head more than walking does. Homo therefore has several “antibobblehead” adaptations that other apes and Australopithecus lack. The first is a modification of the semicircular canals, the organs in each inner ear that tell the brain which way is up...An elastic ligament that runs from a ridge at the base of the skull to the base of the neck, damps the bobbing effect. Analogous ridge structures, to which damping ligaments can be attached, occur in dogs and horses, the other long distance runners, but not in Lucy. [AND OTHER COMPARISONS OF HUMANS TO ANIMALS/ANCESTORS AND ESPECIALLY TO CHIMPS ARE MADE] Also liveScience article I did nto read on related matters...
What’s the solution? Slower, easier training over a long period would most likely help; so would brief walk breaks, which mimic the behavior [read, so-called "roving" keyword rove] of the persistence hunter.....THE BOOK ALSO CLAIMS THAT "running on a variety of surfaces and in simpler shoes with less cushioning can restore natural running form."
New research from Harvard University indicates that the amount of mercury in the environment is much higher than previously thought. Prior estimates put mercury levels around 720,000 metric tons; the new study suggests it's actually 2 ½ times that number.
Before we understood mercury was a dangerous neurotoxin, it was used in an array of consumer products, from thermometers to latex paint. Silver mining alone, which peaked in the 1890s, resulted in some 100,000 metric tons of mercury pollution. We are still experiencing the ill effects.
Once released, mercury endures in the environment. The Harvard study found that nearly 60 percent of the mercury in our soil, air and water dates back hundreds to thousands of years.
Mercury is most harmful when microbes convert it into a compound called methylmercury. In this form, it can accumulate in the fat of fish. Consuming too much mercury-laden fish can cause neurological and cardiovascular damage.
Today, most new mercury emissions are from coal-fired power plants and artisanal gold mining. Vinyl chloride, a key ingredient in vinyl and plastics, also uses mercury in its production. The Minamata Convention, created in 2013, requires participating nations to phase out mercury emissions. But targets don't account for mercury's long legacy effects.
Patients typically open their eyes and look around, but cannot react to commands or make any purposeful movements. Some people remain in this state for many years.
But a handful of recent studies have questioned this diagnosis - suggesting some patients may actually be aware of what is going on around them, but unable to communicate.
A team of scientists at Cambridge University studied 13 patients in vegetative states, mapping the electrical activity of their nerves using a mesh of electrodes applied to their scalps.
The electrical patterns and connections they recorded were then compared with healthy volunteers. The study reveals four of the 13 patients had an electrical signature that was very similar to those seen in the volunteers.
Dr Srivas Chennu, who led the research, said: "This suggests some of the brain networks that support consciousness in healthy adults may be well-preserved in a number of people in persistent vegetative state too."
In the second stage of their experiment, scientists arranged for these four patients to have their brains scanned using an MRI machine while being asked to imagine playing tennis.
Previous research shows the area of the brain linked to planning movement lights up when some people in vegetative states performed the task.
And the Cambridge team found three of their patients had similar results - suggesting they were conscious enough to understand a command and to decide to follow it through
DSPS is caused by a shift in a person’s circadian rhythm, which leads to feeling tired at later times. Though it is a common sleeping pattern among youth, it is still not understood why this shift happens.
ohttp://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health-fitness/studies-raise-doubts-about-the-success-of-cancer-drug-bexarotene-in-treating-alzheimers/story-fneuzlbd-1226650968494 FOUR separate teams of scientists have said they were unable to replicate a ******HIGHLY PUBLICIZED****** study that last year touted a cancer drug's success against Alzheimer's disease in mice. also:http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-05-23/lifestyle/sns-rt-us-alzheimers-micebre94m0zo-20130523_1_cancer-drug-sangram-sisodia-mice http://www.nature.com/news/studies-cast-doubt-on-cancer-drug-as-alzheimer-s-treatment-1.13058
In both sexes, the number of white blood cells per person declined with age as expected from previous studies. However, closer examination revealed differences between men and women in two key components of the immune system - T-cells, which protect the body from infection, and B-cells, which secrete antibodies. The rate of decline of most T-cell and B-cell lymphocytes was faster in men, while men also showed a more rapid age-related decline in two cytokines.....The researchers believe a person's immunological parameters could provide an indication of their true biological age.
another researcher responds, "It's likely that the slower ageing in the immune system of women reflects a generally slower rate of intrinsic ageing, rather than that the immune system itself is setting the pace," he told BBC News.
(1)Therefore, a team of researchers set out to determine whether the rise in the number of these infections might be associated with the increasing popularity of pubic hair removal. OH WAIT SO YOU JUMPED ON ATTENTION-GRABING "BRAZLILIAN WAXES" IN HEADLINE BUT THE STUDY WAS ABOUT *ANY* TYPE OF HAIR REMOVAL? (2) i GENERALLY AGREE THAT A LOT THAT WE DO UNNATURALLY (PROCESSED FOOD, STIMULANT ETC) IS BAD, AND THAT *ANYTHING* WE DO UNNATURALLY WE SHOULD _NOT DO "UNQUESTIONINGLY"_ ---SO WORTH INVESTIGATING (3)BUT i ALSO SEE EROPHOBIA/SENSATIONALISM BECAUSE POINT (2) ABOVE WOULD NOT BE USED ABOUT SOCIETY'S EXPECTATIONS THAT MEN SHAVE THE (VERY SENSITIVE, BTW) SKIN ON THEIR FACES - NOT THE SAME COVERAGE, TONE, ETC ETC (also re "Since Molluscum contagiosum can spread quite easily by self infection, for example by scratching, the authors pointed out that hair removal may also encourage spread as a result of the micro-trauma it causes to the skin." -- one certainly self-scrateches shaved face!) and " The scientists explained why pubic hair removal may be increasingly popular:" they mean SPECULATED and also they would far less often feature "explain why facial hair removed may be so common"
"It's encouraging to find these signs because it opens up the possibility of some meaningful communication," said Paul Matthews, a professor of neurology at Imperial College London. Until recently, he said, it had been assumed that many comatose patients diagnosed as being in a "vegetative state" had no meaningful awareness of their surroundings. (keywords s so called brain-dead brain dead coma)2013 January) The science behind such possibilities has made significant advances in recent years, allowing some patients previously thought to be completely unaware to show they are in fact conscious and able - with help - to communicate. The experiments use imagery tasks - such as asking a patient to imagine playing tennis or walking from room to room in their home. The fMRI scanner maps the distinctive activity of the brain when each task is performed. The patient is then asked to equate one of the imagery tasks to the answer "yes" and another to the answer "no", and apply them to simple yes-or-no questions.....ne possibility being explored in some vegetative state patients who show an ability to control brain processes is the use of electroencephalography (EEG) caps, which attach electrodes to the scalp and record electrical brain activity. Research published in 2011 showed that scientists using these devices were able to communicate with people who had been considered to be in a vegetative state for more than a year. Because the caps are mobile, they allow communication to be more frequent, since putting a patient into an fMRI scanner every time doctors want to ask a question is invasive, disruptive and expensive...."If you can put an EEG cap on somebody's head, and the computer is trained to recognize different brain states, that's like having a language,"
The researchers at the German Cancer Research Centre, in Heidelberg, followed 23,980 people for more than a decade...people taking calcium supplements WERE 86% MORE LIKELY TO HAVE HAD A HEART ATTACK during the study. [compared to the other group whose rate was 5.3% of the 15k patients having a heart attack)..."n ed more study" say some, yeah yeah...there have been sturies in 2010 and before...meanwhile:
Ian Reid and Mark Bolland, researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, said: "The evidence is also becoming steadily stronger that it is not safe, nor is it particularly effective. "Therefore, the administration of this micro nutrient should not be encouraged; rather people should be advised to obtain their calcium intake from an appropriately balanced diet.
A spokeswoman for the UK's Department of Health said it would consider the study carefully once the complete article had been published. "The majority of people do not need to take a calcium supplement," she said. "A healthy balanced diet will provide all the nutrients, including calcium, that they need. Good sources of calcium include milk and dairy foods, fortified dairy food alternatives, e.g. soya drink, and green leafy vegetables."
A rare genetic variant which causes reduced levels of vitamin D appears to be directly linked to multiple sclerosis, says an Oxford University study.Researchers say this adds weight to suggestions of a link between vitamin D deficiency and MS. The study is in Annals of Neurology.Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16086004 Nearly half of cancers diagnosed in the UK each year - over 130,000 in total - are caused by avoidable life choices including smoking, drinking and eating the wrong things, a review reveals. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16031149 MRI scans on 40 athletes training for challenging sporting events like triathlons or alpine cycle races showed most had stretched heart muscles. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16048121
"In sunlight, UVB represents at most 5 or 6 per cent of the UV rays so the vast majority is UVA, whereas with UVB the intensity is very dependent on the height of the sun," Professor Young said. "We advise people to avoid the sun at noon for example. With UVA, there is much less variation with the height of the sun so the strength of UVA is reasonably constant throughout the day and doesn't change so much with season compared to UVB. "So we are exposed to quite a lot of UVA."
In order to map out the current situation, researchers from the University of Gothenburg and the University of London carried out a review of the state of the art of mixture toxicology and ecotoxicology. The study showed that all the relevant research is unambiguous: the combined "cocktail effect" of environmental chemicals is greater and more toxic than the effect of the chemicals individually.
The authors say this is the first prospective investigation of incense and cancer risk and given the widespread and sometimes involuntary exposure to the smoke of burning incense, the findings carry significant public health implications.
In many parts of Asia incense burning is an integral part of daily life, but incense is made of plant materials mixed with oils which the researchers say produces a mixture of possible carcinogens, including polyaromatic hydrocarbons, carbonyls and benzene.
"It's a symbol of how degraded our system is in this country that we are resorting to a lottery," she tells me. "It's pathetic and repugnant at the same time... [but it's] a necessity because I don't earn thousands each month."
...Yet Oregon's Director of Human Services, Dr Bruce Goldberg, hopes national leaders will take note of his state's efforts but not copy them. "I hope what they're working for is not a national lottery..." he says. "I think it's an issue about how to use this as an example of what the problem is.
(..Dr Tim Kendall, deputy director of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Research Unit, has published research concluding that drug companies tend only to publish research which shows their products in a good light...He called for drug companies to be forced to publish all their data.)..... Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 February 2008, 11:36 GMT E-mail this to a friend Printable version Anti-depressants' 'little effect' Woman taking pill (Photo: SPL/file) Anti-depressant prescription rates have soared Study author New generation anti-depressants have little clinical benefit for most patients, research suggests. A University of Hull team concluded the drugs actively help only a small group of the most severely depressed. Marjorie Wallace, head of the mental health charity Sane, said that if these results were confirmed they could be "very disturbing". But the makers of Prozac and Seroxat, two of the commonest anti-depressants, said they disagreed with the findings. A spokesman for GlaxoSmithKline, which makes Seroxat, said the study only looked at a "small subset of the total data available". Reviewed data And Eli Lilly, which makes Prozac, said that "extensive scientific and medical experience has demonstrated it is an effective anti-depressant". There seems little reason to prescribe anti-depressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients Professor Irving Kirsch University of Hull Q&A: Anti-depressant study Popularity of 'happy pills' Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary, has announced that 3,600 therapists are to be trained during the next three years in England to increase patient access to talking therapies, which ministers see as a better alternative to drugs. Patients are strongly advised not to stop taking their medication without first consulting a doctor. The researchers accept many people believe the drugs do work for them, but argue that could be a placebo effect - people feel better simply because they are taking a medication which they think will help them. In total, the Hull team, who published their findings in the journal PLoS Medicine, reviewed data on 47 clinical trials. They reviewed published clinical trial data, and unpublished data secured under Freedom of Information legislation. They focused on drugs which work by increasing levels of the mood controlling chemical serotonin in the brain. These included fluoxetine (Prozac) and paroxetine (Seroxat), from the class known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), alongside another similar drug called venlafaxine (Efexor) - all commonly prescribed in the UK. The number of prescriptions for anti-depressants hit a record high of more than 31 million in England in 2006 - even though official guidance stresses they should not be a first line treatment for mild depression. There were 16.2m prescriptions for SSRIs alone. The researchers found that the drugs did have a positive impact on people with mild depression - but the effect was no bigger than that achieved by giving patients a sugar-coated "dummy" pill. People with severe symptoms appeared to gain more clear-cut benefit - but this might be more down to the fact that they were less likely to respond to the placebo pill, rather than to respond positively to the drugs. HAVE YOUR SAY When used correctly and appropriately anti-depressant therapy saves lives Stephen Brown, Birmingham Send us your comments Lead researcher Professor Irving Kirsch said: "The difference in improvement between patients taking placebos and patients taking anti-depressants is not very great. "This means that depressed people can improve without chemical treatments. "Given these results, there seems little reason to prescribe anti-depressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients, unless alternative treatments have failed to provide a benefit." Professor Kirsch said the findings called into question the current system of reporting drug trials. Reviewing guidance Dr Tim Kendall, deputy director of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Research Unit, has published research concluding that drug companies tend only to publish research which shows their products in a good light. These medicines have been licensed by a number of regulatory authorities around the world, who looking at all the evidence, have determined that they do work bette than placebo Dr Richard Tiner Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry He said the Hull findings undermined confidence in the ability to draw meaningful conclusions about the merit of drugs based on published data alone. He called for drug companies to be forced to publish all their data. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently reviewing its guidance on the use of antidepressants. Marjorie Wallace of Sane commented: "If these results were upheld in further studies, they would be very disturbing. "The newer anti-depressants were the great hope for the future.... These findings could remove what has been seen as a vital choice for thousands in treating what can be a life-threatening condition." Dr Andrew McCulloch, of the Mental Health Foundation, said: "We have become vastly over-reliant on antidepressants when there is a range of alternatives. "Talking therapies, exercise referral and other treatments are effective for depression. .....
Subject: health news: heart risks from oil pollution Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org --text follows this line-- another reason to avoid cities This same class of PAHs is found in emissions from the burning of gasoline and other petroleum products; emissions that are ubiquitous in urban air. "There is now an emerging link between ambient urban air and human heart diseases..Our analysis indicates that these airborne contaminants are likely to be toxic to the human heart when inhaled and should be considered prime suspects in the cardiovascular impacts of urban air" http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-02/nr-nsa_3021108.php
No risk factors: (Non-smoker, normal blood pressure, normal weight, no diabetes, regular exerciser): 54% One risk factor: Sedentary lifestyle: 44% High blood pressure: 36% Obese: 26% Smoker: 22% Three risk factors (for instance, sedentary lifestyle, obesity and diabetes): 14% All five risk factors: 4% " ODDS OF LIVING TO 90" -- All odds for a 70-year-old man
MRSA EVOLUTION The first MRSA strain, resistant to the penicillin substitute methicillin, was discovered in 1961 The USA300 strain was first isolated from a patient in 2001 - it is now the dominant form of Staphylococcus infection in the US The latest variant of USA300 - FPR3757- is resistant to six major kinds of antibiotics Even the new variant is treatable with some antibiotics, most importantly vancomycin However, doctors fear it is close to acquiring resistance to that drug as well
The report, published on the Internet at http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/abstract/26/6/w7 17T ,
s in previous surveys, U.S. adults were most likely to have gone without care because of cost and to have high out-of-pocket costs," the report reads.In the U.S., nearly two of five (37 percent) of all adults and 42 percent of those with chronic conditions had skipped medications, not seen a doctor when sick, or foregone recommended care in the past year because of costs -- rates well above all other countries," it adds.
The link below is the most comprehensive unbiased health information