Despite Growing Trend, Doctors Warn Against Women Eating Their Placenta

Proponents have said eating placenta reduces pain, improves mood and energy level, increases milk production, but scientists find any evidence to support those claims lacking. In other public health news: diabetes during pregnancy, other viruses to look out for this flu season, concussions in teenagers, infectious diseases, and postpartum depression. The Washington Post: Don’t Eat …

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Rumor Mill Churning About Who Next Drug Czar Will Be After Original Pick Bows Out

Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) withdrew his name from consideration after reports tying him to legislation that undermined the Drug Enforcement Administration’s power during the opioid crisis. Stat: Next In Line As Trump’s Drug Czar? Candidate Names Start To CirculateThe Trump administration has gone nine months without a permanent drug czar. But within hours of the …

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Second Version Of Groundbreaking Immunotherapy Treatment Approved By FDA

The therapy is part of a hot new field that uses a patient’s own immune system to turn the cells into a “living drug” that attacks disease. The New York Times: F.D.A. Approves Second Gene-Altering Treatment For CancerThe Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved the second in a radically new class of treatments that …

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Anthem, Spurning Express Scripts, Will Join With CVS To Start A Drug Plan Business

The new business, which will start in 2020, will be a new pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) company. PBMs serve as intermediaries between drug companies and the prescription plans, but they have come under increasing pressure for not being transparent about how much money they save and how much is passed along to consumers. The New …

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Federal Judge Rules Undocumented Pregnant Girl Can Get An Abortion

Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered the government to move “promptly and without delay.” The administration is appealing the ruling. The Associated Press: Judge Orders Government To Allow Abortion For Immigrant TeenA federal judge on Wednesday ordered the government to allow a pregnant 17-year-old immigrant, who was detained after entering the country illegally, to undergo an abortion. …

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Desperate Quest For Herpes Cure Launched ‘Rogue’ Trial

As 20 Americans and Brits flew to a Caribbean island for a controversial herpes vaccine trial, many of them knew there were risks. The lead U.S. researcher, William Halford, openly acknowledged he was flouting Food and Drug Administration regulations in the consent forms they signed. He would be injecting them with a live, though weakened, …

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First Edition: October 19, 2017

Oct 19 2017 Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations. Kaiser Health News: Medicare Vs. Medicare Advantage: How To ChooseAs health insurers struggle with shifting government policies and considerable uncertainty, one market remains remarkably stable: Medicare Advantage plans. That’s good news for seniors as they select coverage for the year ahead during Medicare’s …

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Medicare Vs. Medicare Advantage: How To Choose

As health insurers struggle with shifting government policies and considerable uncertainty, one market remains remarkably stable: Medicare Advantage plans. That’s good news for seniors as they select coverage for the year ahead during Medicare’s annual open enrollment period (this year running from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7). For 2018, 2,317 Medicare Advantage plans will be …

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Despite GOP Efforts To Corral Medicaid Spending, States Expand Benefits

While congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump have been seeking major cuts in federal funding of Medicaid, 26 states this year expanded or enhanced benefits and at least 17 plan to do so next year, according to a report released Thursday. The increased benefits were largely for mental health and substance abuse treatment, but states …

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Lack of Sleep Tied to Diabetes of Pregnancy

By NICHOLAS BAKALAR October 18, 2017 Lack of sleep may raise the risk for gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes — abnormally high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy — can lead to excessive birth weight, preterm birth or respiratory distress in the baby, among other problems. It can also increase the mother’s risk for Type 2 diabetes later …

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Viewpoints: In Defense Of Sanctuary Hospitals; Medicare, Medicaid Funding Fairness For Puerto Rico

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country. JAMA: Making A Case For Sanctuary HospitalsIn July 2017, Jose de Jesus Martinez, an undocumented immigrant, wept at the bedside of his 16-year-old son Brandon, who was comatose in the intensive care unit of a San Antonio, Texas, hospital after being found in a …

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Thoughts On The Drug Industry And The Opioid Epidemic: Look No Further Than The Swamp; Examining Enforcement Tools

Opinion writers continue to examine the government’s role in the opioid crisis and strategies to curb it. Chicago Tribune: Drug Industry Swims In Washington’s SwampBut not so fast. More than most of the controversies that have tested this president, the opioid crisis tragically plagues some of the most desperate communities in Trump’s political base. To …

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Examining The Alexander-Murray Plan: A Bipartisan Deal On Obamacare? Stop The Presses; It’s Not A Bailout

Editorial pages examine the agreement announced yesterday to stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces after President Donald Trump announced last week that he would end federal payments to fund the law’s cost-sharing reductions. Los Angeles Times: Two Senators Announce A Bipartisan Deal On Obamacare, But Don’t Celebrate Yetn a window into how the U.S. Senate …

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Viewpoints: It’s Time To Stop Drug Companies From ‘Gaming The System And Gaming The Rules’

Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues. USA Today: Stop Big Pharma From ‘Getting Away With Murder’Few things are more infuriating to consumers than the constant, surging increases in drug prices. Americans under 65 are projected to pay an additional 11.6% this year, while seniors are expected to see increases of 9.9%. These increases follow similar …

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‘I’m Not Interested In Their Money,’ Trump Says Of Pharma. But He Took It Anyway.

News outlets report on stories related to pharmaceutical pricing. Stat: When It Comes To Pharma Money, Trump Was With The Elephant In The RoomPresident Trump on Monday addressed a well-established tenet of life in Washington: The pharmaceutical industry has loads of money and doesn’t hesitate to spend it on Congress. “They contribute massive amounts of …

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State Highlights: $72M Award In J&J Talcum Case Tossed Due To Jurisdiction Problems; Death Toll In Calif. Hep A Outbreak Climbs

Media outlets report on news from Texas, Missouri, California, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Illinois. The Associated Press: Appeals Court Tosses $72 Million Award In Talcum Powder CaseA Missouri appeals court on Tuesday that vacated a $72 million award to an Alabama woman who claimed her use of Johnson & Johnson products that contained talcum contributed …

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Michigan Officials Bring Home A Message About Impact Of Medicaid Cuts

At a community forum, a diverse group of officials point out how proposals to cut federal funding to Medicaid could play out in Michigan. Also in Medicaid news, Maine voters weigh whether to expand the program there and Indiana hospitals are buying or leasing nursing homes to increase federal funding. MLive: Proposed Medicaid Cuts ‘Devastating’ …

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Google Faces Backlash From Eating Disorder Specialists After Adding Calorie Counts To Maps

The feature showed how many calories a person would burn walking instead of driving to their new location. But experts warned that it could be triggering to those suffering from an eating disorder. In other public health news: obsessive compulsive disorder, diabetes, patients’ bigoted remarks, obesity, HIV and dementia. The New York Times: Google Maps …

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Following Investigation, Congress On Edge Over Old Bill That Undermined DEA’s Power During Opioid Crisis

The report caused Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) to withdraw his name for the White House drug czar position and has prompted Sen. Claire McCaskill to introduce legislation to repeal the law. The Hill: Newly Controversial Opioid Enforcement Law Under Fire Several lawmakers are pushing to repeal or revisit a law critics say enables the flow of …

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Former Lilly Executive Is A Leading Candidate For HHS Secretary

Alex Azar, who served as general counsel at HHS during the George W. Bush administration, is a top contender for the job, according to reports in The Washington Post and Politico. The Washington Post: Trump Eyeing Former Drug Firm Executive Alex Azar For Health And Human Services SecretaryAlex Azar, a former pharmaceutical executive and a …

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How to Be Mindful at a Wedding

October 18, 2017 Meditation for Real Life By DAVID GELLES “Weddings can be stressful. The ceremony and reception can pass by in a whirl of emotion and interactions. Staying mindful can connect you with the people around you, and can help you feel the love.” — Sara Williams, a wedding planner and founder of The …

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