Study Finds H.I.V. Drugs Priced Out of Reach

NYT, 28 January 2015
Author: Katie Thomas
“Drugs to treat H.I.V. and AIDS are being priced out of reach for many patients enrolled in insurance plans through the new health care exchanges, according to a new analysis by Harvard researchers. The study looked at 48 health plans in 12 states and found that a quarter of the plans showed evidence of placing all of the drugs used to treat H.I.V. in a specialty tier where consumers are required to pay at least 30 percent of the cost of the drug.”
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Astra Zeneca drive to develop drugs from genome project

BBC, 29 January 2015
Author: Pallab Ghosh
“Astra Zeneca has announced a research programme to develop a generation of medicines to treat the genetic causes of many debilitating diseases. It will be the first concerted use of an emerging technique called Crispr to “snip out” specific disease genes in order to discover drugs.”
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Ebola outbreak: Virus mutating, scientists warn

BBC, 29 January 2015
Author: Tulip Mazumdar
“Researchers at the Institut Pasteur in France, which first identified the outbreak last March, are investigating whether it could have become more contagious. “A virus can change itself to less deadly, but more contagious and that’s something we are afraid of”,” said human geneticist Dr Anavaj Sakuntabhai. “That’s important for diagnosing (new cases) and for treatment. We need to know how the virus (is changing) to keep up.””
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Pregnant smokers quit habit if paid

The Guardian, 28 January 2015
Author: Libby Brooks
“Pregnant women who smoke are more likely to give up their habit if offered a financial incentive, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal. Researchers at the universities of Glasgow and Stirling concluded that offering pregnant smokers up to £400-worth of shopping vouchers was “potentially cost-effective””
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When talking about cancer screening, survival rates mislead

The Conversation, 28 January 2015
Authors: Katy Bell, Alexandra Barratt and Andrew Hayen
“Cancer screening is beneficial when it’s able to prevent people dying from cancer. And it should clearly be adopted where there’s evidence showing this. But using cancer survival rates to promote screening, as is often done, is misleading. For screening to prevent people from dying early, simply finding cancers is not enough”
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California Declares Electronic Cigarettes a Health Threat

abd News, 28 January 2015
Author: Fenit Nirappil
“California health officials on Wednesday declared electronic cigarettes a health threat that should be strictly regulated like tobacco products, joining other states and health advocates across the U.S. in seeking tighter controls as “vaping” grows in popularity. The California Department of Public Health report says e-cigarettes emit cancer-causing chemicals and get users hooked on nicotine.”
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Blood for sale: India’s illegal ‘red market’

BBC, 27 January 2015
Author: Anu Anand
“Blood is in chronic short supply in India, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which stipulates that every country needs at least a 1% reserve. India’s lack of a central blood collection agency, along with taboos against exchanging blood with people of different castes, largely accounts for the shortage, experts say. This fuels a vast illegal market”
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Peanut allergy researchers say they may have found key to a cure

The Guardian, 28 January 2015
Australian Associated Press
“Australian researchers have found a possible key to a cure for people with potentially fatal peanut allergies.Researchers from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute gave about 30 allergic children a daily dose of peanut protein together with a probiotic in an increasing amount over an 18-month period. At the end of the trial 80% of the children could eat peanuts without any reaction.”
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