Richard Knox http://blog.wlrn.org en WHO Calls For High-Priced Drugs For Millions With Hepatitis C http://blog.wlrn.org/post/who-calls-high-priced-drugs-millions-hepatitis-c Authors of the first-ever global guidelines for treating hepatitis C went big Tuesday, advocating for worldwide use of two of the most expensive specialty drugs in the world.<p>The <a href="http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/hepatitis/hepatitis-c-guidelines/en/">new guidelines</a> from the World Health Organization give strong endorsement to the two newest drugs. Gilead Sciences' Sovaldi costs $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment. Wed, 09 Apr 2014 14:11:00 +0000 Richard Knox 30515 at http://blog.wlrn.org WHO Calls For High-Priced Drugs For Millions With Hepatitis C Cholesterol Guidelines Could Mean Statins For Half Of Adults Over 40 http://blog.wlrn.org/post/cholesterol-guidelines-could-lead-statins-half-adults When sweeping new advice on preventing heart attacks and strokes came out last November, it wasn't clear how many more Americans should be taking daily statin pills to lower their risk.<p>A <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1315665?query=featured_home">new analysis</a> provides an answer: a whole lot. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 13:28:00 +0000 Richard Knox 29512 at http://blog.wlrn.org Cholesterol Guidelines Could Mean Statins For Half Of Adults Over 40 Evidence On Marijuana's Health Effects Is Hazy At Best http://blog.wlrn.org/post/evidence-marijuanas-health-effects-hazy-best Colorado opened its first pot stores in January, and adults in Washington state will be able to walk into a store and buy marijuana this summer. But this legalization of recreational marijuana is taking place without much information on the possible health effects.<p>"We should have been doing a lot more research to find out just how useful it is, how it affects the brain, et cetera, et cetera," according to <a href="http://asp.cumc.columbia.edu/facdb/profile_list.asp?uni=hdk3&DepAffil=Psychiatry">Dr. Mon, 03 Mar 2014 08:33:00 +0000 Richard Knox 28638 at http://blog.wlrn.org Evidence On Marijuana's Health Effects Is Hazy At Best Deadly MERS Virus Circulates Among Arabian Camels http://blog.wlrn.org/post/deadly-mers-virus-circulates-among-arabian-camels Scientists have gotten close to pinning down the origin of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a dangerous respiratory disease that emerged in Saudi Arabia 17 months ago.<p>It turns out the MERS virus has been circulating in Arabian camels for more than two decades, scientists report in a study published Tuesday.<p>So far MERS has sickened more than 180 people, killing at least 77 of them — an alarming 43 percent. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 05:09:00 +0000 Richard Knox 28384 at http://blog.wlrn.org Deadly MERS Virus Circulates Among Arabian Camels Research Shows New Flu Viruses Often Arise In Domestic Animals http://blog.wlrn.org/post/research-shows-new-flu-viruses-often-arise-domestic-animals As flu-watchers like to say, you can always count on influenza virus to surprise.<p>The <a href="http://uanews.org/node/54538">latest revelation</a> is that scientists have apparently been wrong about where new flu viruses come from. The dogma is that they always incubate in wild migratory birds, then get into domestic poultry, and then jump into mammals — especially pigs and humans.<p>If novel flu viruses acquire the ability to transmit readily in humans — boom! — you've got a pandemic on your hands. Sun, 16 Feb 2014 18:17:00 +0000 Richard Knox 27999 at http://blog.wlrn.org Research Shows New Flu Viruses Often Arise In Domestic Animals Judge Dismisses Assisted Suicide Case Against Pennsylvania Nurse http://blog.wlrn.org/post/judge-dismisses-assisted-suicide-case-against-pennsylvania-nurse A Pennsylvania county judge has thrown out an assisted suicide case against a 58-year-old nurse named Barbara Mancini, who was accused of homicide last year for allegedly handing her 93-year-old father a bottle of morphine.<p>The <a href="n%09https:/www.compassionandchoices.org/userfiles/Mancini-Dismaissal-Decision.pdf">decision</a> is the latest in a series of <a href="n%09http:/www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/us/easing-terminal-patients-path-to-death-legally.html?_r=0">recent developments</a> signaling a reluctance of courts and state legislatures to criminalize medical care that may hasten death Wed, 12 Feb 2014 18:16:00 +0000 Richard Knox 27820 at http://blog.wlrn.org Judge Dismisses Assisted Suicide Case Against Pennsylvania Nurse Maker Of $1,000 Hepatitis C Pill Looks To Cut Its Cost Overseas http://blog.wlrn.org/post/maker-1000-hepatitis-c-pill-looks-cut-its-cost-overseas An effective new medicine is developed as a cure for a major disease. The drug company prices the medicine at tens of thousands of dollars for a course of treatment. Fri, 07 Feb 2014 15:52:00 +0000 Richard Knox 27581 at http://blog.wlrn.org Maker Of $1,000 Hepatitis C Pill Looks To Cut Its Cost Overseas Popular Testosterone Therapy May Raise Risk Of Heart Attack http://blog.wlrn.org/post/popular-testosterone-therapy-may-raise-risk-heart-attack There's new evidence that widely prescribed testosterone drugs — touted for men with flagging libidos and general listlessness — might increase the risk of heart attacks.<p>A <a href="http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0085805">study</a> of more than 55,000 men found a doubling of heart attack risk among testosterone users older than 65, compared with men who didn't take the drug.<p>The research was inspired by a <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1000485#t=articleResults">smaller study</a> published in 2010 that hinted at an elevated risk among frail, older men who were Thu, 30 Jan 2014 15:13:00 +0000 Richard Knox 27188 at http://blog.wlrn.org Popular Testosterone Therapy May Raise Risk Of Heart Attack Worries About Bird Flu Curtail Chinese New Year Feasts http://blog.wlrn.org/post/worries-about-bird-flu-curtail-chinese-new-year-feasts As China gets ready to usher in the Year of the Horse on Friday, millions of them will find it hard to buy chicken for traditional Lunar New Year feasts. That's a mark of the nation's growing anxiety about a poultry-borne flu virus called H7N9.<p>On Tuesday, Hong Kong agricultural workers will <a href="http:/www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201401/27/P201401270820.htm">begin destroying</a> 20,000 chickens. Mon, 27 Jan 2014 22:02:00 +0000 Richard Knox 27054 at http://blog.wlrn.org Worries About Bird Flu Curtail Chinese New Year Feasts Silencing Many Hospital Alarms Leads To Better Health Care http://blog.wlrn.org/post/silencing-many-hospital-alarms-leads-better-health-care Go into almost any hospital these days and you'll hear a constant stream of beeps and boops. To most people it sounds like medical Muzak.<p>But to doctors and nurses, it's not just sonic wallpaper. Those incessant beeps contain important coded messages.<p>"The three-burst is a crisis alarm," systems engineer James Piepenbrink of Boston Medical Center explains on a tour of 7 North, the hospital's cardiac care unit. Mon, 27 Jan 2014 08:35:00 +0000 Richard Knox 27007 at http://blog.wlrn.org Silencing Many Hospital Alarms Leads To Better Health Care Half Of A Drug's Power Comes From Thinking It Will Work http://blog.wlrn.org/post/half-drugs-power-comes-thinking-it-will-work When you take a pill, you and your doctor hope it will work — and that helps it work.<p>That's not a new idea. Fri, 10 Jan 2014 19:42:00 +0000 Richard Knox 26307 at http://blog.wlrn.org Half Of A Drug's Power Comes From Thinking It Will Work 50 Years After Landmark Warning, 8 Million Fewer Smoking Deaths http://blog.wlrn.org/post/50-years-after-landmark-warning-8-million-fewer-smoking-deaths Saturday marks an important milestone in public health – the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health.<p>Few if any documents have had the impact of <a href="http:/profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/retrieve/ResourceMetadata/NNBBMQ">this one</a> — both on the amount of disease and death prevented, and on the very scope of public health.<p>An <a href="doi:10.1001/jama.2013.285112">analysis</a> in the <em>JAMA, </em>the American Medical Association journal, estimates that 8 million Americans avoided premature death as a result of tobacco control efforts launched by the 1 Tue, 07 Jan 2014 23:03:00 +0000 Richard Knox 26163 at http://blog.wlrn.org 50 Years After Landmark Warning, 8 Million Fewer Smoking Deaths $1,000 Pill For Hepatitis C Spurs Debate Over Drug Prices http://blog.wlrn.org/post/1000-pill-hepatitis-c-spurs-debate-over-drug-prices Federal regulators this month opened a new era in the treatment of a deadly liver virus that infects three to five times more people than HIV. Now the question is: Who will get access to the new drug for hepatitis C, and when?<p>The drug <a href="http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/byaudience/forpatientadvocates/ucm377920.htm">Sovaldi</a> will cost $1,000 per pill. A typical course of treatment will last 12 weeks and run $84,000, plus the cost of necessary companion drugs. Mon, 30 Dec 2013 08:22:00 +0000 Richard Knox 25775 at http://blog.wlrn.org Gene Therapy Keeps 'Bubble Boy' Disease At Bay In 8 Children http://blog.wlrn.org/post/gene-therapy-keeps-bubble-boy-disease-bay-8-children Researchers say they are achieving success in curing the genetic defect that causes some children to be born without immune defenses, a rare condition made famous in the 1970s by a Texas boy who lived most of his short life in a sterile "bubble."<p>Scientists now report that 8 out of 9 young children given gene therapy for a type of severe combined immunodeficiency disease, called <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18046520">SCID-X1</a>, are alive and living amid the everyday microbial threats that would otherwise have killed them. Sat, 07 Dec 2013 15:03:00 +0000 Richard Knox 24788 at http://blog.wlrn.org Gene Therapy Keeps 'Bubble Boy' Disease At Bay In 8 Children Hoped-For AIDS Cures Fail In 2 Boston Patients http://blog.wlrn.org/post/hoped-aids-cures-fail-2-boston-patients HIV has reappeared in the blood of two Boston patients who scientists had hoped had been cured of their infections.<p>This disappointing development, <a href="http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2013/12/05/hiv-virus-returns-after-cure-hope-rose/kSUyH1YkgJ27AP4aZwpUXJ/story.html">reported</a> by <em>The Boston Globe</em>'s Kay Lazar, is yet another cautionary tale of how researchers can never afford to underestimate the human immunodeficiency virus's ability to hide out in patients' bodies and overcome their most ingenious efforts to eliminate it.<p>The Boston patients have sti Fri, 06 Dec 2013 17:33:00 +0000 Richard Knox 24740 at http://blog.wlrn.org Hoped-For AIDS Cures Fail In 2 Boston Patients