Business of Medicine

Flurry of Federal and State Probes Target Insulin Drugmakers and Pharma Middlemen

Nov 4, 2017

With the price of a crucial diabetes drug skyrocketing, at least five states and a federal prosecutor are demanding information from insulin manufacturers and the pharmaceutical industry’s financial middlemen, seeking answers about their business relationships and the soaring price of diabetes drugs.

Dan Margolies / KCUR

No one at the hospital in Fulton, Missouri (population 12,790) had ever heard of a management consultant named Jorge Perez until he showed up at its potluck in September.


Many Breast Cancer Patients Receive More Radiation Therapy Than Needed

Oct 23, 2017

When Annie Dennison was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, she readily followed advice from her medical team, agreeing to harsh treatments in the hope of curing her disease.

"You're terrified out of your mind" after a diagnosis of cancer, said Dennison, 55, a retired psychologist from Orange County, Calif.

In addition to lumpectomy surgery, chemotherapy and other medications, Dennison underwent six weeks of daily radiation treatments. She agreed to the lengthy radiation regimen, she said, because she had no idea there was another option.

Pressure Mounts On Insurers To Examine Role In Opioid Crisis

Oct 20, 2017

A prominent Democratic lawmaker has asked major health insurers whether their policies and preferred prescription drug lists have made the nation’s opioid epidemic worse.

Matt Roth / for ProPublica

If you’ve ever put in an eyedrop, some of it has almost certainly spilled onto your eyelid or cheek.

The good news is the mess doesn’t necessarily mean you missed. The bad news is that medicine you wiped off your face is wasted by design — and it’s well-known to the drug companies that make the drops.

Lori Wallace is sitting on a couch with her 11-year-old son and his new pet snake. It's burrowing under his armpit, as if it were afraid. But Wallace says it's not.

"If he was terrified, he would be balled up," Wallace says. "See, that is why they are called ball pythons. When they are scared, they turn into a little ball."

University of Toronto Students For Life / https://www.flickr.com/photos/utsfl/

Every medical provider must have a qualified company to haul away their waste. That includes everything from used needles, soiled bandages, discarded paper gowns, and fetal tissue from abortions.

Abortion opponents have seized on this as an Achilles heel of sorts and have pressured companies that provide medical waste services to end their relationships with abortion clinics.

Would Indiana Hospitals Be Ready For A Las Vegas-Style Mass Shooting?

Oct 3, 2017

Indiana has at least a dozen trauma hospitals which could respond in the event of a mass shooting like the one in Las Vegas Sunday night. But those campuses have varying capabilities.

Only three hospitals are rated as “trauma one”– the highest rating, with doctors specializing in certain types of surgery that may be required after a severe wound.

As Loyal Donors Age, Industry Is Out For Young Blood

Sep 27, 2017

When Corinne Standefer retires as a volunteer from the Lane Bloodworks in Eugene, Ore., this month, she will have donated 37 years of her life — and almost 19 gallons of blood.

The 89-year-old gave her first pint decades ago to help a friend who had cancer.

“When they called me and said ‘Could you donate again?’ I just started coming in,” she recalled.

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