It's often cheaper to pay cash for your prescriptions rather than the co-pay, but the pharmacy is legally prohibited from suggesting it

America's health care is totally screwed up, Part Ten Gazillion: in many cases, the medicines your doctor prescribes are cheaper than the co-pay your health insurance charges, which means that if you just buy the meds instead of charging them to insurance, you save money. Read the rest

Frozen Rat Kidney Shipping Container: The incredibly bounty of the NIH's 3D printables repository

The National Institutes of Health maintain a 3D Print Exchange, a kind of miniature Thingiverse for open-licensed, 3D printable objects for teaching and practicing public health. Read the rest

Which American cities have lowest herd immunity due to anti-vaxxers?

Parents of Seattle, Spokane, Portland, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Provo, Houston, Fort Worth, Austin, Plano, Detroit, Troy, Warren, Kansas City and Pittsburgh: beware. Read the rest

The rich-poor obesity gap in kids is widening

A long time ago, obesity was often used as a shorthand for wealth, but over the decades obesity has become more and more correlated with poverty, both in culture and science (while wealth is increasingly correlated with being slim). Read the rest

Terminal breast cancer "cured" by injecting patient with billions of her own white blood cells

Researchers at the US National Cancer Institute have reported in on an experimental breast cancer therapy that achieved remarkable results, rehabilitating Judy Perkins from the brink of death (she had been given two months to live, had tumors in her liver and throughout her body) to robust health two years later. Read the rest

Sentimental coal-miners carried canary resuscitators to revive their feathered lifesavers

This Canary Resuscitator was manufactured in the 1920s by Siebe Gorman and Co.; it was carried by miners to revive the canaries that were used from the late 19th century until 1987(!) as early-warning signals for potentially lethal gas leaks. Read the rest

America is the world's first poor rich country

Americans' median income is $60,000 -- but the average American couldn't stump up $500 to bail themselves out of an emergency, and a third of Americans can't afford food, shelter and healthcare. Read the rest

Illinois votes to eliminate inmates' doctor visit co-pays, equivalent to one month's wages

Illinois lawmakers have want to end inmates' co-payments of $5 for each prison doctor visit -- the equivalent of a month's wages in the prison's $0.05/hour and under workshops; in Oregon, they're contemplating creating a $3-5/visit co-pay. Read the rest

Vanuatu will use drones to deliver vaccines across its remote chain of tiny islands

Vanuatu and UNICEF have issued a request for tender inviting drone companies to bid on a contract to deliver vaccines along the nation's chain of tiny, remote islands -- 83 volcanic islands strung along a 1600km atoll. Read the rest

Tell your parents: Trump is lying to them about Medicare

The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Justice in Aging, and the Medicare Rights Center have issued a joint statement condemning the 2018 edition of Medicare & You, the annual guide published by the federal government; the groups say that the Trump administration is lying to seniors in order to trick them into switching to privatized, HMO-run Medicare Advantage programs, away from the superior, publicly maintained Meidcare system. Read the rest

Ad brokers are selling the fact that you visited an emergency room to ambulance-chasing lawyers

Philadelphia's WHYY radio reports that visitors to the city's hospital emergency room are blitzed for weeks with ads for personal injury lawyers, thanks to "geofenced ad" brokerages. Read the rest

Vaccinations against Ebola begin in Congolese town of Bikoro

Last week, officials in charge of stemming the latest outbreak of Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo began the process of inoculating healthcare workers and other individuals who may have come in direct contact with infect individuals, in the Congolese city of Mbandaka. According to The Globe & Mail, inoculations are now also being doled out in Bikoro, a town in the northwest of Congo, where 5 of the 12 confirmed cases of Ebola are believed to have originated.

It’s believed that there are at least 56 cases of the Ebola: 35 cases have been confirmed, leaving 13 probable cases and 13 suspected cases for doctors to deal with and patients to fret over.

From The Globe & Mail:

Amid worries of the spread of Ebola, several schools in the Iboko health zone, about 180 kilometres (112 miles) southeast of Mbandaka, have been closed, according to reports by U.N.-backed Radio Okapi.

Many residents in one of the Iboko localities told Radio Okapi that they prefer to stay at home to avoid infection, following the death of a woman who had Ebola in the nearby Bobala area.

One resident said that what they first thought were rumours were becoming reality with the death and that they were very scared to interact. Four confirmed Ebola deaths have taken place in the Iboko health zone, according to Congo’s health ministry.

Given that the hemorrhagic fever-causing virus has up to a 90% chance of killing those that it infects, to say that such precautions and the fear that those living in areas where the virus has cropped up during this most recent outbreak are reasonable would be an understatement. Read the rest

Motiv fitness-tracking ring comes in all sizes

Beth Skwarecki reviewed the Motiv fitness-tracking ring and liked it a lot. I can't get over how tiny and inconspicuous it is: it syncs wirelessly with a phone app and needs about an hour's charge every two or three days. The limitations are that it only tracks heartrate and movement, deducing sleep, steps and active cardio sessions.

The Motiv ring doesn’t nag you. It doesn’t over-analyze. It just tells you when you slept, how your resting heart rate is doing, and with a little help it can keep track of how much you exercise.

That’s really all the data you can rely on from a fitness tracker, anyway. Tracking heart rate accurately would be nice, but it wouldn’t change my motivation to exercise or my understanding of my own fitness.

It also needs a snug fit and costs $200. [Amazon Link] Read the rest

Watch Shingle Jingle, the best way to experience shingles

Brian David Gilbert is the anxiety-laden voice of a generation in Shingle Jingle, the most upbeat song ever written about suffering from shingles outbreaks. Read the rest

For decades, it was an open secret that patients of USC's only full-time gynecologist were complaining about sexual assaults during exams

For nearly 30 years, there was only one full-time gynecologist on staff at the University of Southern California's student health clinic: Dr. George Tyndall, about whom there was a widespread understanding among staff and students that he sexualized his examinations, making overt sexual remarks to the teenagers under his care, fondling them, and waxing creepy about his predilection for Asian women. Read the rest

Bay Area nurses protest, demanding removal of Mark Zuckerberg's name from their hospital

Nurses picketed The Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital And Trauma Center (AKA "Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital") and covered up Zuckerberg's name on the hospital sign, citing concerns that patients would not trust a hospital that was associated with someone with such a long rap-sheet for privacy violations. Read the rest

Nigerian government shutters cough syrup manufacturers in an effort to stem an epidemic of codeine addiction

A few years back, I had a cough that was so bad that I ended up dislocating a rib from hacking away. My doctor prescribed me a cough syrup laced, heavily, with codeine. The stuff worked, easing my pain and letting me sleep. There were only two side effects from it: I felt too groovy to work for hours at a time and found it pretty hard to poop.

According to The BBC, a lot of people see the side effects of codeine laced cough syrup as a feature, rather than a problem. Nigeria's National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (Nafdac) was recently forced to shutter three of the country's largest pharmaceutical companies after it was discovered that the cough syrup they were producing was being sold on the black market, in massive quantities, to a growing number of codeine addicts in the African nation.

The forced closure of the companies comes as the result of a BBC investigation into the use of cough syrup containing codeine by many Nigerian youths as an easy conduit to a quick high. The crappiest part of it all is that the drug companies knew that this was the case. In an under cover interview with an executive from the Emzor pharmaceutical company, an executive was caught bragging about how he could sell one million bottles of the elixir in a week on the black market.

Codeine's a dandy painkiller, when used as prescribed by a physician. But it comes with a number of serious issues that crop up when used for long periods of time. Read the rest

More posts