Health

The Income Gap Jeopardizing Retirement for Millions
Health

The Income Gap Jeopardizing Retirement for Millions

Monique Louvigny, an event coordinator in the San Francisco Bay Area, economizes where she can. She drives a 10-year-old Prius, brings a thermos of coffee to work instead of patronizing a place with baristas, and takes advantage of a drive-through food pantry once a month.Laid off at 57, “I kind of reinvented myself,” she said. She rebuilt her career as a freelancer, overseeing receptions and conventions for many companies and institutions, including the local de Young and Legion of Honor art museums.But her income fell to less than $30,000 last year. “It’s erratic,” she said. “In January, I have 12 days of work.” In the summer, she might have only three or four.Ms. Louvigny, 64, feels fortunate on two fronts. For health insurance, she has qualified for Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid prog...
F.D.A. to Issue First Approval for Mass Drug Imports to States from Canada
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F.D.A. to Issue First Approval for Mass Drug Imports to States from Canada

The Food and Drug Administration has allowed Florida to import millions of dollars worth of medications from Canada at far lower prices than in the United States, overriding fierce decades-long objections from the pharmaceutical industry.The approval, issued in a letter to Florida Friday, is a major policy shift for the United States, and supporters hope it will be a significant step forward in the long and largely unsuccessful effort to rein in drug prices. Individuals in the United States are allowed to buy directly from Canadian pharmacies, but states have long wanted to be able to purchase medicines in bulk for their Medicaid programs, government clinics and prisons from Canadian wholesalers.Florida has estimated that it could save up to $150 million in its first year of the program, i...
Florida Health Official Calls for Halt to Covid Vaccines
Health

Florida Health Official Calls for Halt to Covid Vaccines

Florida’s surgeon general on Wednesday called for a halt to the use of Covid vaccines, citing widely debunked concerns that contaminants in the vaccine can permanently integrate into human DNA.“These vaccines are not appropriate for use in human beings,” Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the state’s surgeon general and highest-ranking health official, said in a statement released by the Florida Department of Health.Federal health officials and other experts have repeatedly sought to counter Dr. Ladapo’s erroneous comments about the vaccines, noting that careful review of the scientific evidence has found no basis for his declarations.The Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday that it had not identified any “safety concerns related to the sequence of, or amount of, residual DNA.”The Covid vaccines...
Monica Bertagnolli, NIH’s New Leader, Wants to Broaden Participation in Medical Research
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Monica Bertagnolli, NIH’s New Leader, Wants to Broaden Participation in Medical Research

When Dr. Monica M. Bertagnolli moved into the director’s suite at the National Institutes of Health, she brought with her a single piece of art, a lithograph created by the granddaughter of a cancer patient she once treated. It depicts an abstract geometric female figure and the organs she lost to cancer. Its title: “We Are Not What You Have Taken: A Response to Cancer.”The image speaks to Dr. Bertagnolli, a cancer surgeon who previously led the National Cancer Institute and is a breast-cancer survivor herself.After being nominated by President Biden in the spring and winning Senate confirmation last month, she became the 17th director of the N.I.H., which has a budget of more than $47 billion and occupies a sprawling campus in Bethesda, Md. She is only the second woman to lead the biomedi...
La variante JN.1 ya domina en EE. UU.
Health

La variante JN.1 ya domina en EE. UU.

Hasta donde saben los expertos, la JN.1 no parece causar enfermedad grave en la mayoría de las personas, aunque hasta un caso leve puede hacerte sentir “bastante mal durante tres o cuatro días”, señaló Schaffner. Los síntomas de una infección por JN.1 son similares a los que causaban las variantes anteriores de covid, pues incluyen tos, fiebre, dolor de cuerpo y fatiga.Para protegerte contra la infección y enfermedad grave, los expertos siguen recomendando el uso de mascarillas, mejorar la ventilación en interiores siempre que sea posible, quedarse en casa si se está enfermo y pomerse la vacuna más reciente contra la covid.Las investigaciones preliminares muestran que las vacunas actualizadas contra la COVID-19 lanzadas en septiembre producen anticuerpos efectivos contra la JN.1, que tiene...
Ohio Governor Blocks Bill Banning Transition Care for Minors
Health

Ohio Governor Blocks Bill Banning Transition Care for Minors

BackgroundLawmakers passed the measure earlier in December. Those in favor of the bill argued that parents are pressured by doctors to sign off on transition care treatments for their children. The bill’s sponsor, Representative Gary Click, said parents are “being manipulated by the physicians.’’In addition to banning transition care for minors, the bill says medical professionals who provide the care could lose their licenses and be sued. It also prohibits transgender girls and women from playing on high school and college sports teams that correspond with their gender identity.On Friday, Mr. DeWine said that if the bill were to become law, “Ohio would be saying that the state, that the government, knows better what is medically best for a child than the two people who love that child the...
Your Top Health Questions of 2023, Answered
Health

Your Top Health Questions of 2023, Answered

One thing I love about editing the Ask Well column is the camaraderie of it. Every week we answer a health question: Why am I so congested all the time? (I’ve wondered that, too!) Why does my sleep get worse as I age? (I’m right there with you.) Is my coffee habit in need of an intervention? (Pour me another while we figure it out.)When I survey our inbox, I’m amazed at what comes in — questions that cover the joys, agonies, confusions and vulnerabilities of being a person. And luckily for us all, we get to seek out the answers.Here are 10 of the most popular health questions of 2023.1. Is it bad to wash your hair every day?The answer depends on your hair texture, how oily it is, whether it’s color-treated and more.“While it may seem that getting the scalp squeaky clean and without any oil...
Serious Medical Errors Rose After Private Equity Firms Bought Hospitals
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Serious Medical Errors Rose After Private Equity Firms Bought Hospitals

The rate of serious medical complications increased in hospitals after they were purchased by private equity investment firms, according to a major study of the effects of such acquisitions on patient care in recent years.The study, published in JAMA on Tuesday, found that, in the three years after a private equity fund bought a hospital, adverse events including surgical infections and bed sores rose by 25 percent among Medicare patients when compared with similar hospitals that were not bought by such investors. The researchers reported a nearly 38 percent increase in central line infections, a dangerous kind of infection that medical authorities say should never happen, and a 27 percent increase in falls by patients while staying in the hospital.“We were not surprised there was a signal...
This Gorilla’s Caregivers Face Familiar Questions About Aging
Health

This Gorilla’s Caregivers Face Familiar Questions About Aging

This month, as the patient lay anesthetized on a table, a cardiologist made a half-inch incision through the skin of his chest. She removed a small implanted heart monitor with failing batteries and inserted a new one.The patient, like many older males, had been diagnosed with cardiac disease; the monitor would provide continuing data on heart rate and rhythm, alerting his doctors to irregularities.Closing the incision required four neat stitches. In a few hours, the patient, a gorilla named Winston, would rejoin his family in their habitat at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.“Winston, at 51, is a very old male gorilla,” said Dr. Matt Kinney, a senior veterinarian at the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance who led the medical team through the procedure. With improved health care, new technology a...
Bristol Myers to Acquire the Drugmaker Karuna for $14 Billion
Health

Bristol Myers to Acquire the Drugmaker Karuna for $14 Billion

Bristol Myers Squibb, the global pharmaceutical giant, said on Friday that it would acquire Karuna Therapeutics, which makes drugs to treat schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s, in an all-cash deal valued at $14 billion as it looks to strengthen its pipeline of neuroscience drugs.Bristol Myers said in a statement that it would pay $330 per share in cash, a premium of roughly 53 percent to Karuna’s share price on Thursday.An increasing prevalence of schizophrenia, driven in part by an aging population, has led to a push to make more drugs to treat it. The market for such therapies is estimated to grow to $12.6 billion by 2032, according to the research firm Market.Us. Earlier this month, the biomedical company AbbVie bought Cerevel Therapeutics, which develops drugs to treat psychiatric and neurol...