Scripps researchers awarded two grants to support studies on cocaine, oxycodone addiction

April 27, 2018

Last year, more than 60,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose, and millions more struggled with opioid and cocaine addiction. To get to the roots of why some people are more prone to drug addiction than others, researchers at The Scripps Research Institute are launching a pair of studies on genetic factors behind oxycodone and cocaine addiction and treatment.

Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ What’s Next For The VA?

The Trump administration has withdrawn the nomination of White House physician Ronny Jackson to head the Department of Veterans Affairs after allegations surfaced about inappropriate handling of prescription drugs, issues with alcohol and difficulties working with other White House medical unit staffers. It is unclear whom the White House will turn to next to take over the helm at the VA.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate are working on legislation to address the nation’s opioid epidemic, although there are doubts about how effective the proposals might be and whether what is really needed is more money.

‘Rapid Autopsy’ Programs Seek Clues To Cancer Within Hours Of Death

After Keith Beck died of bile duct cancer last year, family members said more than 900 people showed up to pay respects to the popular athletic director at the University of Findlay in northwestern Ohio.

Many were former students who recalled acts of kindness during Beck’s nearly 30-year career: $20 given to a kid who was broke, textbooks bought for a student whose parents were going through bankruptcy, a spot cleared to sleep on Beck’s living room floor.

AbbVie’s beat fueled by demand for Humira, Hep C drugs

(Reuters) – AbbVie Inc reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, on higher sales of its rheumatoid arthritis treatment Humira and its Hepatitis C drugs, leading the company to raise its full-year earnings forecast.

FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the share price for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 18, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The company’s shares, which have been under pressure due to setbacks to its drug pipeline, gained about 3.6 percent to $95.22 in late morning trading.

EU wants coordinated vaccine push against measles, other diseases

(Reuters) – The European Commission urged EU member states on Thursday to cooperate more closely in fighting diseases such as measles and flu, saying vaccines against them were among the most powerful and cost-effective public health measures.

FILE PHOTO: EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis gestures after a news conference in Brasilia, Brazil March 29, 2017. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Setting out the Commission’s plans, health and food safety commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said all European Union member states should develop and implement national or regional vaccination plans by 2020 and include in them a target of at least 95 percent coverage for measles.

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California Lawmakers Seek Reparations For People Sterilized By The State

Rosie Zaballos liked to host playtime tea parties and was sweet to everyone she met. But her older brother worried that the 16-year-old, whom her family described as “a little slow,” might someday become pregnant.

In his 30s and married, he had three kids of his own. And their mom was sick and needed help. So he took Rosie to be sterilized at a state-run hospital so she couldn’t have babies who might place an extra burden on the family.

Rosie never came home. She died during the operation.

Peak Health Plan Premiums Give Rise To Activism — And Unconventional Solutions

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — When Garnett and Dave Mellen sent their 19-year-old daughter, Gita, off to college an hour away at Virginia Commonwealth University last fall, they didn’t expect to follow her.

But in November, the family received notice that its monthly health insurance premium in Charlottesville would triple for 2018, from $1,200 to an unaffordable $3,600.

So, the Mellens, both longtime local business owners, packed their bags and spent time with Gita in her off-campus apartment in Richmond.

Novartis’ digital drive continues with eye-disease app

ZURICH (Reuters) – Novartis’s foray into digital technology intensified on Wednesday as the Swiss drugmaker launched a mobile-phone based app to help collect data from people participating in eye disease studies.

FILE PHOTO: Swiss drugmaker Novartis’ logo is seen at the company’s plant in the northern Swiss town of Stein, Switzerland October 23, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

It is using Apple’s ResearchKit for its “FocalView” application to help researchers track ophthalmic disease progression by collecting data directly from patients without requiring them to travel to a doctor.

U.S. court upholds dismissal of $200 million Merck verdict against Gilead

(Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday affirmed a ruling that pharmaceutical company Merck & Co dishonestly obtained patent rights and was not entitled to collect a $200 million infringement verdict it won against rival Gilead Sciences Inc.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a June 2016 ruling that the two Merck patents, which cover methods of treating Hepatitis C, were unenforceable because of a pattern of misconduct by the company, including lying under oath by one of its in-house lawyers.