Antibiotics are often prescribed at urgent care centers for people with the common cold or other conditions for which antibiotics don't work, researchers reported in JAMA Internal Medicine. An analysis of outpatient visits for patients younger than 65 in 2014 showed 46% of those who went to urgent care centers because of conditions for which antibiotics are ineffective still received prescriptions for the drugs.
Pharmaceutical industry stakeholders are offering their take on reducing the cost of prescription drugs, following the release of a Trump administration blueprint in May. Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky said drug prices are just a fraction of total US health care costs, and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America CEO Stephen Ubl said decoupling supply chain payments from list prices could improve affordability and promote value.
A study in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism revealed that patients with type 2 diabetes who switched from first-generation to second-generation basal insulin analogs, using either insulin glargine 300 units/mL or insulin degludec, had similar improvement in glycemic control. Researchers used a cohort of 3,184 patients from the DELIVER D+ study and found that hypoglycemic events were significantly reduced from baseline to six months among insulin glargine users.
A study of how self-regulation affects obesity prevalence found differences in results for boys and girls, researchers reported in JAMA Pediatrics. At 24 months, boys generally had lower self-regulation scores than girls, and at 5.5 years of age, 19.2% of the boys were obese, compared with 16.5% of the girls.
UK researchers evaluated data on 8,794 obese patients and found a 77% reduced risk of developing hormone-related cancer, including endometrial, prostate or breast cancer, among those who underwent weight-loss surgery, compared with obese patients who did not have surgery. The findings in the British Journal of Surgery showed that while gastric bypass was tied to an 84% reduced risk of hormone-related cancer, it was also associated with a more than twofold increased risk of colorectal cancer.
Researchers in Canada found that younger adults with HIV had a lower prevalence of viral suppression and shorter time to viral rebound compared with older adults with HIV, according to a study in Medicine. The analysis of data for 9,031 HIV-positive adults found a 1% increase in the rate of viral suppression for every increase in age of one year.
Texas-based physician group UMC Physicians has notified more than 18,000 patients about a data breach involving an employee's email account that was hacked March 15. The incident may have compromised patients' protected health information, including names, medical record numbers, health insurance information, diagnoses, dates of service, phone numbers, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.
Fortified Health Security's 2018 Mid-Year Horizon Report showed a more than 1,000% increase in the number of individuals whose information was compromised by data breaches at health plans in the first five months of this year. A total of 24 breaches that affected 884,360 individuals were reported by health plans during the period, up from 15 breaches that affected 70,166 people during the same period last year, while business associates reported 12 breaches that affected 100,602 individuals, compared with seven breaches that affected 71,462 people in 2017.
The University of North Carolina Health Care system at Chapel Hill will integrate its Epic EHR system with the state's prescription drug monitoring program in an effort to help curb the opioid epidemic. "Access on the same screen where we order medications removes the previous barriers to accessing the controlled substance database at the point of care," said Vinay Reddy, a family medicine physician at UNC Health Care.
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority will provide a total of $24 million in funding to Cue Health and Diassess for the development of a mobile health device that would allow consumers to test for influenza at home and seek treatment with a health care provider via telemedicine. "Empowering people to answer the basic question, 'Do I have the flu?' without leaving home could have a profound effect on controlling and treating influenza, whether it's seasonal or a widespread pandemic," BARDA Director Rick Wright said.
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