Day: July 21, 2021

In the same health system, Black patients are prescribed fewer opioids than white patients

Inequities in health care are pervasive, from access to quality of care, and a new study finds that common opioids such as codeine and morphine are more often prescribed to white patients than to Black patients treated within the same health system. White patients received both more pills and stronger doses, according to the study, […]

STAT+: Pfizer looks to widen access to Covid-19 vaccine in Africa, but advocates say it doesn’t go far enough

Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) moved Wednesday to widen access to Covid-19 vaccines by striking a production deal with a South African company, but the effort was quickly panned by patient advocates who argued the arrangement doesn’t go far enough. In a ballyhooed announcement, the drug makers said they contracted with The Biovac Institute, a […]

States reach $26 billion deal with three wholesalers and J&J to end opioid lawsuits

Three of the largest pharmaceutical wholesalers and a major drug maker reached a $26 billion deal to settle lawsuits accusing the companies of fomenting the opioid crisis, which has claimed half a million lives over nearly two decades. As part of the settlement, the wholesalers – McKesson (MCK), AmerisourceBergen (ABC) and Cardinal Health (CAH) – […]

Opinion: ‘When Memory Fades’: Misinformation about Alzheimer’s disease and Aduhelm must be limited

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued a timely and thought-provoking advisory about the serious threat to public health posed by misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic on July 15. Just two days later, the New York Times chose to run a disconcerting ad on its pages about yet another global public health challenge: Alzheimer’s disease. The ad […]

In world’s first genetically engineered marsupials, scientists get a fresh window into human biology

When the pile of opossums arrived at John VandeBerg’s lab from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in 1978, the geneticist had an ambitious plan for the soft-eyed, hamster-sized animals. He wanted to domesticate them to live in a lab anywhere on the planet. Mice were well and good, but imagine what biomedical insights might be lurking […]

U.S. life expectancy in 2020 saw biggest drop since WWII

NEW YORK — U.S. life expectancy fell by a year and a half in 2020, the largest one-year decline since World War II, public health officials said Wednesday. The decrease for both Black Americans and Hispanic Americans was even worse: three years. The drop spelled out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is […]

STAT+: Pharmalittle: Pfizer cuts deal for Covid-19 shot to be partially made in South Africa; wholesalers to pay $1.1b to NY to settle opioid suit

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the middle of the week. Congratulations on making it this far and remember, there are only a few more days until the weekend arrives. So keep plugging away. After all, what are the alternatives? While you ponder the possibilities, we invite you to join us for a delightful cup […]

STAT+: Therapy chatbot startup Woebot raises $90 million

Woebot announced Wednesday that it raised a $90 million Series B investment to further the development of chatbots to treat a range of mental health conditions. The new funding, led by JAZZ Venture Partners and Temasek, comes as the 4-year-old company hopes to turn its bevy of research projects into products commonly used by patients. […]

Opinion: Listen: Ezekiel Emanuel on vaccine mandates: ‘Covid might not be done with you’

Are health care workers more obligated than others to get a Covid-19 vaccine? In this week’s episode of the “First Opinion Podcast,” physician and bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel answers that question and more. He argues that hospitals and other health care facilities nationwide, including nursing homes and home health companies, need to issue vaccine mandates for […]

STAT+: Accelerated approval, the path used to greenlight Biogen Alzheimer’s drug, has a checkered track record, critics say

If ever there were a cautionary tale for the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm, it might be in the 2016 approval of Exondys 51. In signing off on the drug, the FDA bucked the recommendation of an independent advisory committee and issued a landmark accelerated approval for the drug, which […]

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