Health care updates, March 5



Some health care news for you this weekend.

Sebelius to Meet with Insurance Company Leaders, Discuss Health Insurance Premiums
The insurance premiums discussion continues. US  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was scheduled to meet with the CEOs of the big insurance companies UnitedHealth Group Inc., WellPoint Inc., Aetna Inc., Health Care Service Corporation and CIGNA HealthCare Inc. along with leaders from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners at the White House earlier this week. Sebelius says:
“I’ve received letters from Americans across the country who have seen their health insurance premiums skyrocket and are desperate for relief. These Americans want to know why their premiums continue to skyrocket, what we can do to control health care costs and how we can fix our broken health insurance system. I look forward to discussing the American people’s concerns with the leaders of our nation’s largest insurance companies.”

GlaxoSmithKline Opens Chemical Database to Researchers Hunting Malaria Drugs
GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) move to open its malaria chemical database to the public last January was hailed by many as a step in the right direction. Malaria is one of the so-called “neglected diseases”, neglected because it, like many other tropical diseases, does not get the researching funding and attention needed to find vaccines and treatments.

China’s mystery HIV-like disease may be all in the mind
is it all in the mind? Hundreds of people in China reported HIV-like symptoms which doctors claim could be a result of a mental rather than physical disorder. HIV tests in most cases came back negatives. The patients, however, are skeptical of the doctors’ diagnosis because of a previous track record of medical professionals in the country to cover up health issues such as in the case of SARS a couple of years back. Doctors on the other hand are concerned about the lack of trust and the apparent spread of HIV phobia. According to BBC
Although incidences of “HIV phobia” have been reported in other countries, the doctor believes conditions unique to China have produced a larger number of cases here.

FDA warns of contaminated hand sanitizers
What is supposed to clean your hands free from bacteria may actually be the source of contamination. The US FDA warned Puerto Rican consumers not to use the products “Bee-Shield Hand Sanitizer” with Aloe Vera in 10-ounce and 1-gallon bottles and “MD Quality Hand Sanitizer” with Aloe Vera in 10-ounce bottles as they were found to contain high amounts of Burkholderia cepacia, a species of bacteria that can cause serious infections especially when it gets contacts with wounds and cuts.

Health observances:

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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