Biologics improve productivity and reduce missed workdays in rheumatic disease

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The results of a systematic review of published studies showed that biologics improve both absenteeism (not showing up for work) and presenteeism (being at work but not functioning fully) in patients with chronic inflammatory arthritides. Rheumatic conditions are the most frequently cited reason for absence from work, and these findings suggest that biologics could significantly reduce the economic burden of these diseases.

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Traveling abroad? Check health coverage off your to-do list first!

If you’re planning a vacation abroad, you already know that there’s a lot to do before you leave. There are suitcases to pack, an itinerary to plan, and perhaps a passport to renew. We want you to have a fun, relaxing trip – so don’t forget to include health coverage on your to-do list.

If you have Original Medicare, your health care services and supplies are covered when you’re in the U.S., which includes Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Study shows 28% decline in prostate cancer diagnoses following USPSTF recommendation against PSA testing

A new study led by Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators found new diagnoses of prostate cancer in the U.S. declined 28 percent in the year following the draft recommendation from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) against routine PSA screening for men. The new research, led by first author Daniel Barocas, M.D., MPH, assistant professor of urological surgery and medicine, was posted online in the June 15 issue of The Journal of Urology in advance of publication.

In October 2011, the USPSTF issued a draft guideline discouraging the use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based screenings for prostate cancer after concluding the harms outweigh potential benefits. Harmful side effects of treatment may include incontinence, erectile dysfunction and radiation cystitis.

'Make work healthier' bosses told

Bosses must make work happier and healthier, health chiefs say

By Smitha Mundasad
Health reporter, BBC News
  • 24 June 2015
  • From the section Health
Work related stress

Managers across England must “raise their game” to create happy, healthy workplaces, England’s chief health advisers have warned.

Guidelines from the health watchdog, NICE, urge employers to make sure their staff work reasonable hours and take regular breaks.

NICE says healthier workplaces will not only benefit staff, but also increase the productivity of businesses.

Figures indicate work-related illnesses cost society about £13bn a year.

Ebola crisis 'harming malaria fight'

Ebola crisis in Guinea ‘has set back malaria fight’

  • 24 June 2015
  • From the section Health
Bed nets can help prevent malaria (picture taken in Kenya)

Most malaria deaths occur among children living in Africa

The continuing Ebola epidemic in Guinea has set back the country’s fight against malaria, say experts.

They estimate 74,000 cases of malaria went untreated in 2014 because clinics were either closed or patients were too scared to seek help.

They warn that malaria deaths since the Ebola outbreak began will far exceed the number of Ebola deaths in the country – which now stand at 2,444.

Vancouver votes to regulate booming marijuana dispensary industry


Vancouver city councillors on Wednesday voted in favor of new rules for licensing marijuana dispensaries, despite objections from the federal government, becoming the first Canada city to regulate retailers selling the drug.

The bylaw, part of an effort to slow the thriving but so-far unlicensed industry in Vancouver, comes as the number of shops selling everything from joints to marijuana-infused lollipops has jumped from about 10 five years ago to roughly 100.

Under the new rules, the city will charge dispensaries a C$30,000 ($24,197) annual licensing fee, restrict where shops can be located, and impose criminal record checks for staff.

U.S. CDC updates recommendation for new meningitis B vaccines


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday recommended that decisions to use new meningitis B vaccines from Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline in people aged 16 to 23 be made on an individual patient basis by physicians, the companies said, potentially paving the way for wider access to the drugs.

The CDC stopped short of broadly recommending Pfizer’s Trumenba and Glaxo’s Bexsero, but did expand the target group.

The CDC’s February recommendation had listed people aged 10 to 25, but only those deemed to be at high risk of contracting the deadly disease.