Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Live from Aspen!

With President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress stymied in their efforts to change the nation’s health care system, individual states are wrangling with public ire over price and coverage.

Two guests this week, Democratic Govs. John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Steve Bullock of Montana, have made health a priority in their states and are among the governors who have signed on to bipartisan efforts to shore up parts of the Affordable Care Act that are not working. Both governors are also among the long list of Democrats mentioned as possible presidential candidates in 2020.

U.S. District Court rules in favor of Lilly’s Alimta patent

(Reuters) – Eli Lilly and Co said on Friday a U.S. District Court ruled in favor of its patent on Alimta vitamin regimen and prevented Hospira Inc and India’s Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories from launching generics until the patent expires.

FILE PHOTO: The logo and ticker for Eli Lilly and Co. are displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The patent for Lilly’s top-selling cancer drug will expire in May 2022.

U.S. medical device firm electroCore IPO price set at $15 per share

(This version of the story has been refiled to correct company designation to electroCore Inc from electroCore Llc in first paragraph)

By Tamara Mathias

(Reuters) – U.S. medical device maker electroCore Inc’s initial public offering is expected to price at $15 per share, Chief Executive Officer Frank Amato told Reuters on Thursday.

ElectroCore, which is backed by the venture capital arm of Merck & Co, is set to debut on the Nasdaq on Friday under the ticker symbol “ECOR”. The Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based electroCore’s 5.2 million share offering is raising $78 million.

Could Herpes Virus Play a Role in Alzheimer’s?

News Picture: Could Herpes Virus Play a Role in Alzheimer's?By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

Latest Alzheimers News

THURSDAY, June 21, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Viruses could play a key role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests.

Brains riddled with Alzheimer’s disease contain high levels of two strains of human herpes virus, researchers discovered.

Human herpes virus 6 and 7 were found in Alzheimer’s-affected brains at levels up to twice as high as in those without Alzheimer’s, the scientists reported Thursday.

A detailed genetic analysis found that herpes viruses appear to interact with human genes previously linked to Alzheimer’s, said senior author Joel Dudley.

Doling Out Pain Pills Post-Surgery: An Ingrown Toenail Not The Same As A Bypass

What’s the right painkiller prescription to send home with a patient after gallbladder surgery or a cesarean section?

That question is front and center as conventional approaches to pain control in the United States have led to what some see as a culture of overprescribing, helping spur the nation’s epidemic of opioid overuse and abuse.

The answer isn’t clear-cut.

Surgeon Marty Makary wondered why and what could be done.

So, Makary, a researcher and a professor of surgery and health policy at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, took an innovative approach toward developing guidelines: matching the right number of opioid painkillers to specific procedures.

Study provides clues to how cancer cells develop resistance to chemotherapies

June 22, 2018

About half of all drugs, ranging from morphine to penicillin, come from compounds that are from-;or have been derived from-;nature. This includes many cancer drugs, which are toxic enough to kill cancer cells.

So how do the organisms that make these toxic substances protect themselves from the harmful effects? Scientists on the Florida campus of Scripps Research have uncovered a previously unknown mechanism-;proteins that cells use to bind to a toxic substance and sequester it from the rest of the organism.

Key marijuana drug approval looms as cannabis goes mainstream

LONDON (Reuters) – Evidence that cannabis can ease epilepsy and other conditions is building as a British company counts down to what would be the first U.S. government approval for a prescription drug derived from the marijuana plant.

FILE PHOTO: Charlotte Caldwell, and her son Billy, sit outside the Home Office during a break in a meeting with officials to discuss how Billy can have his severe epilepsy treated with cannabis oil, which is a banned substance in Britain, in London, June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

GW Pharmaceuticals, which has spent 20 years developing medicines from cannabis, is hoping for a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) green light by June 27, after winning support from an advisory panel in April.

Israel’s UroGen to start mid-stage bladder cancer trial

RAANANA, Israel (Reuters) – Israel’s UroGen Pharma plans to begin a mid-stage trial of its treatment for bladder cancer patients in August, after positive interim results last month from an advanced trial of a treatment for upper urinary tract cancer.

Workers are seen at the laboratory of Israeli company UroGen Pharma in Raanana, Israel, June 17, 2018. Picture taken June 17, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

UroGen’s shares have more than tripled in the past year. In May, it reported 59 percent of patients with upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) went into full remission in a phase three trial of its MitoGel treatment.

Working Together for Value

June 20
by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

June 20, 2018 

By Seema Verma, Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Working Together for Value

Over the past year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has engaged with the provider community in a discussion about regulatory burden issues. This included publishing a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting comments about areas of high regulatory burden. One of the top areas of burden identified in the over 2,600 comments received was compliance with the physician self-referral law (often called the “Stark Law”) and its accompanying regulations.  In response to these concerns, CMS undertook a review of the existing regulations to determine where the agency could consider potential areas for burden reduction. In coordination with HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan, CMS is now soliciting specific input on a range of issues identified with the Stark Law to help the agency better understand provider concerns and target its regulatory efforts to address those concerns.

Biosimilar competition may offer hope for cheaper, better psoriasis treatments in the future

June 20, 2018

A new study by iData Research estimates that there are nearly 150,000 new cases of psoriasis (PsO) every year in the United States, affecting 2.2% of the population. Approximately 80% of those affected have mild-to-moderate psoriasis, while 20% have moderate-to-severe psoriasis, which is often treated with immunology drugs. These drugs command a high price, but there may be hope for better options in the future.

People with psoriasis suffer from the overproduction of skin cells, which causes the redness and inflammation typically found on elbows, knees, or the scalp. The disease is usually associated with other serious health conditions, often involving the immune system. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are some examples, both of which can be up to 7 times more prevalent in psoriasis patients.