Richard Knox http://kuer.org en WHO Calls For High-Priced Drugs For Millions With Hepatitis C http://kuer.org/post/who-recommends-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 14:02:00 +0000 Richard Knox 44604 at http://kuer.org WHO Calls For High-Priced Drugs For Millions With Hepatitis C Cholesterol Guidelines Could Mean Statins For Half Of Adults Over 40 http://kuer.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 43652 at http://kuer.org Cholesterol Guidelines Could Mean Statins For Half Of Adults Over 40 Evidence On Marijuana's Health Effects Is Hazy At Best http://kuer.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 42836 at http://kuer.org Evidence On Marijuana's Health Effects Is Hazy At Best Deadly MERS Virus Circulates Among Arabian Camels http://kuer.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 42601 at http://kuer.org Deadly MERS Virus Circulates Among Arabian Camels Research Shows New Flu Viruses Often Arise In Domestic Animals http://kuer.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 42239 at http://kuer.org Research Shows New Flu Viruses Often Arise In Domestic Animals Judge Dismisses Assisted Suicide Case Against Pennsylvania Nurse http://kuer.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 42054 at http://kuer.org Judge Dismisses Assisted Suicide Case Against Pennsylvania Nurse Maker Of $1,000 Hepatitis C Pill Looks To Cut Its Cost Overseas http://kuer.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 41825 at http://kuer.org Maker Of $1,000 Hepatitis C Pill Looks To Cut Its Cost Overseas Popular Testosterone Therapy May Raise Risk Of Heart Attack http://kuer.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 15:53:00 +0000 Richard Knox 41465 at http://kuer.org Popular Testosterone Therapy May Raise Risk Of Heart Attack Worries About Bird Flu Curtail Chinese New Year Feasts http://kuer.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 41335 at http://kuer.org Worries About Bird Flu Curtail Chinese New Year Feasts Silencing Many Hospital Alarms Leads To Better Health Care http://kuer.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 41303 at http://kuer.org Silencing Many Hospital Alarms Leads To Better Health Care Half Of A Drug's Power Comes From Thinking It Will Work http://kuer.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 20:30:00 +0000 Richard Knox 40658 at http://kuer.org Half Of A Drug's Power Comes From Thinking It Will Work 50 Years After Landmark Warning, 8 Million Fewer Smoking Deaths http://kuer.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 22:39:00 +0000 Richard Knox 40524 at http://kuer.org 50 Years After Landmark Warning, 8 Million Fewer Smoking Deaths $1,000 Pill For Hepatitis C Spurs Debate Over Drug Prices http://kuer.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 40161 at http://kuer.org Gene Therapy Keeps 'Bubble Boy' Disease At Bay In 8 Children http://kuer.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 39227 at http://kuer.org Gene Therapy Keeps 'Bubble Boy' Disease At Bay In 8 Children Hoped-For AIDS Cures Fail In 2 Boston Patients http://kuer.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 18:15:00 +0000 Richard Knox 39196 at http://kuer.org Hoped-For AIDS Cures Fail In 2 Boston Patients Obama Launches HIV Cure Initiative, Ups Pledge For Global Health http://kuer.org/post/obama-launches-hiv-cure-initiative-ups-pledge-global-health Commemorating the 25th World AIDS Day a day late, President Obama announced an initiative Monday to find a cure for HIV infections that would be funded by $100 million shifted from existing spending.<p>"The United States should be at the forefront of new discoveries into how to put people into long-term remission without requiring lifelong therapies — or better yet, eliminate it completely," Obama said at a meeting in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House.<p>The initiative reflects a <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/03/04/173258954/scientists-report-firs Mon, 02 Dec 2013 22:45:00 +0000 Richard Knox 38994 at http://kuer.org Obama Launches HIV Cure Initiative, Ups Pledge For Global Health Shift In Cholesterol Advice Could Double Statin Use http://kuer.org/post/shift-cholesterol-advice-could-double-statin-use After decades of cajoling Americans to know their cholesterol level and get it down as low as possible, the nation's leading heart specialists are changing course.<p>Cholesterol is still important. Tue, 12 Nov 2013 22:43:00 +0000 Richard Knox 38114 at http://kuer.org Shift In Cholesterol Advice Could Double Statin Use WHO Rates Typhoon's Medical Challenges "Monumental" http://kuer.org/post/who-rates-typhoons-medical-challenges-monumental Images of the swath of devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in the central Philippines are reminiscent of the tsunami's aftermath in Banda Aceh, Indonesia nearly a decade ago.<p>And indeed, the World Health Organization grades the great typhoon of 2013 as a Category 3 disaster – its most severe category.<p>"The scale [of the typhoon's damage] is huge," Dr. Richard Brennan of the World Health Organization tells Shots. "It's monumental. Tue, 12 Nov 2013 08:01:00 +0000 Richard Knox 38064 at http://kuer.org WHO Rates Typhoon's Medical Challenges "Monumental" Insurance Cancellations: The Price Of Mending A Broken System? http://kuer.org/post/insurance-cancellations-price-mending-broken-system Lisa Dieckman, a retired psychologist in Los Angeles, likes the Affordable Care Act's promise that everybody can get health insurance. But she's not happy about being told she can't keep her own coverage and will have to pay considerably more for a policy she doesn't consider any better.<p>Doug Normington, who runs his own video production company in Madison, Wis., is also among those who recently got a cancellation letter from his health insurer. He's frustrated he can't find out about his options on the government's HealthCare.gov website. Tue, 05 Nov 2013 15:32:00 +0000 Richard Knox 37768 at http://kuer.org Insurance Cancellations: The Price Of Mending A Broken System? Insurance Firms Forced To Cancel Many Individual Policies http://kuer.org/post/insurance-firms-forced-cancel-many-individual-policies More than 12 million Americans buy health insurance on their own, and many are getting cancellation notices because their individual coverage does not meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act. This is causing anxiety and anger — especially since most of these people can't get onto the healthcare.gov website to figure out their options for 2014. Tue, 05 Nov 2013 09:02:00 +0000 Richard Knox 37753 at http://kuer.org AIDS Scientists Encouraged By Antibodies That Hit Monkey Virus http://kuer.org/post/aids-scientists-encouraged-antibodies-hit-monkey-virus Scientists have a new idea for beating HIV: Target the virus with guided missiles called monoclonal antibodies.<p>At least in monkeys infected with an experimental virus similar to the human AIDS virus, the approach produced what researchers call "profound therapeutic efficacy."<p>The results appear Thursday in two papers published by <em>Nature</em> — one from a <a href="http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12746.html">Boston group</a> and a <a href="http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature12746.html">confirmatory report</a> from the National Ins Thu, 31 Oct 2013 15:47:00 +0000 Richard Knox 37538 at http://kuer.org AIDS Scientists Encouraged By Antibodies That Hit Monkey Virus A Toddler Remains HIV-Free, Raising Hope For Babies Worldwide http://kuer.org/post/toddler-remains-hiv-free-raising-hope-babies-worldwide A 3-year-old girl born in Mississippi with HIV acquired from her mother during pregnancy remains free of detectable virus at least 18 months after she stopped taking antiviral pills.<p>New results on this child, published online by the <em>New England Journal of Medicine</em>, appear to green-light a study in the advanced planning stages in which researchers around the world will try to replicate her successful treatment in other infected newborns.<p>And it means that the Mississippi girl still can be considered possibly or even probably cured of HIV infection — only the second person in the w Wed, 23 Oct 2013 21:21:00 +0000 Richard Knox 37179 at http://kuer.org A Toddler Remains HIV-Free, Raising Hope For Babies Worldwide Haitian Cholera Strain Spreads To Mexico http://kuer.org/post/haitian-cholera-strain-spreads-mainland-mexico-outbreak A South Asian strain of cholera that was introduced into Haiti three years ago this month has now spread to this continent's mainland.<p><a href="http://www.who.int/csr/don/2013_10_19_cholera/en/index.html">Mexico</a> is the fourth Western Hemisphere country to experience the cholera outbreak. It's a disease that's very hard to stamp out once it gets into an area with poor water and sanitation.<p>Mexican health officials first picked up on the problem Sept. 9, through routine surveillance of hospital cases of severe diarrhea. Wed, 23 Oct 2013 07:12:00 +0000 Richard Knox 37141 at http://kuer.org Haitian Cholera Strain Spreads To Mexico To Prevent HIV Infection, Couples Try Testing Together http://kuer.org/post/prevent-hiv-infection-couples-try-testing-together Getting tested for HIV in the U.S. is almost always private, sometimes even secretive. Ditto for disclosing the results.<p>But some say the approach is outmoded at a time when many at risk for HIV — gay men — are in committed relationships.<p>Research <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19417579">shows</a> as many as two-thirds of new HIV infections among gay men these days are within committed couples. That's very different from the days when promiscuity fueled the epidemic.<p>The implications of this for HIV prevention are big. Fri, 18 Oct 2013 16:01:00 +0000 Richard Knox 36949 at http://kuer.org To Prevent HIV Infection, Couples Try Testing Together Activists Sue U.N. Over Cholera That Killed Thousands In Haiti http://kuer.org/post/activists-sue-un-over-cholera-killed-thousands-haiti Human rights activists are suing the United Nations on behalf of five Haitian families afflicted by cholera — a disease many believe U.N. peacekeeping troops brought to Haiti in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake there.<p>The <a href=":%20http:/www.ijdh.org/cholera-complaint-against-the-un/#.UlWCb8akp7M">lawsuit</a>, filed Wednesday in a New York federal court, challenges the U.N.'s claim that it's immune from lawsuits arising out of damage done in the course of its activities. The activists say they have no choice but to sue because the U.N. Wed, 09 Oct 2013 18:52:00 +0000 Richard Knox 36543 at http://kuer.org Activists Sue U.N. Over Cholera That Killed Thousands In Haiti Some Online Journals Will Publish Fake Science, For A Fee http://kuer.org/post/some-online-journals-will-publish-fake-science-fee Many online journals are ready to publish bad research in exchange for a credit card number.<p>That's the conclusion of an elaborate sting carried out by <em>Science</em>, a leading mainline journal. Thu, 03 Oct 2013 22:37:00 +0000 Richard Knox 36296 at http://kuer.org Some Online Journals Will Publish Fake Science, For A Fee Lessons For The Obamacare Rollout, Courtesy Of Massachusetts http://kuer.org/post/lessons-obamacare-rollout-courtesy-massachusetts Today marks a milestone on the nation's long march toward universal health coverage: the launch of online marketplaces, called exchanges, designed to help people find insurance they can afford.<p>It's an idea <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5330854">pioneered</a> by Massachusetts seven years ago. Tue, 01 Oct 2013 07:23:00 +0000 Richard Knox 36135 at http://kuer.org Lessons For The Obamacare Rollout, Courtesy Of Massachusetts For A Price, Volunteers Endure Scientists' Flu Spritzes http://kuer.org/post/price-volunteers-endure-scientists-flu-spritzes What would it take to persuade you to allow government researchers to squirt millions of live flu viruses up your nose?<p>A recently concluded project at the National Institutes of Health found, among other things, that $3,400 each was enough to attract plenty of volunteers.<p>"I am happy I could contribute in some way," says Kelli Beyer, 24, one of 46 healthy people who volunteered for the project. Thu, 26 Sep 2013 16:39:00 +0000 Richard Knox 35944 at http://kuer.org For A Price, Volunteers Endure Scientists' Flu Spritzes On Eve Of U.N. Goal-Setting, AIDS Agency Claims Big Progress http://kuer.org/post/eve-un-goal-setting-aids-agency-claims-big-progress Despite a plateau in funding by international donors, the United Nations AIDS agency reports striking progress in curbing new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS.<p>That <a href="http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/campaigns/globalreport2013/index.html">progress</a> — apparently due in large part to increases in affected countries' own anti-HIV spending — is fueled by a steady increase in the number of people getting antiviral drugs. Treatment not only prevents their death but can sharply reduce their risk of passing HIV to their sexual partners and children. Mon, 23 Sep 2013 17:41:00 +0000 Richard Knox 35800 at http://kuer.org On Eve Of U.N. Goal-Setting, AIDS Agency Claims Big Progress Even As MERS Epidemic Grows, The Source Eludes Scientists http://kuer.org/post/even-mers-epidemic-grows-source-eludes-scientists A year after doctors first identified an illness that came to be known as Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome researchers are reporting fresh genetic information about the virus that causes it.<p>The findings don't bring scientists any closer to understanding where <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/">MERS</a> is coming from. Fri, 20 Sep 2013 13:15:00 +0000 Richard Knox 35681 at http://kuer.org Even As MERS Epidemic Grows, The Source Eludes Scientists