What’s the latest in health care, July 10

July 10, 2009 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

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doctorsSchool vacations has started on my part of the world. Have fun!

What’s new with health insurance?

Study Finds Fewer Families Can Afford Health Insurance
If you are one of the lucky ones, then you and your family have insurance coverage through work. However, 30 million American families do not have access to health insurance through their employers. Many of them remain without coverage because they simply can’t afford it. This is the latest figures from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) of the US Dept. of Health sand Human Services.

Uninsured with Asthma – Data Shows Many Less Likely To Take Daily Meds
Another sad report from AHRQ: Those with chronic health conditions but do not have health insurance coverage simply forego their medications. Take asthma, for example. According to this AHRQ study, “…about 6.7 million Americans with asthma take daily medicine to prevent asthma attacks. In comparison, those under 65 without insurance are only about half as likely to take the drugs they need to control their asthma symptoms.”

Who got busted?

Medicare Fraud Strike Force Operations Lead to Charges Against 53…
$ US 50 million worth of false Medicare claims have been uncovered by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force of the US HHS. Charged with fraud were 53 doctors, health care executives and beneficiaries.

What’s dangerous?

FDA strengthens Darvon, Davvocet warnings
The US FDA is requiring manufacturers of propoxyphene-containing drugs to include a boxed warning in the label that emphasizes the potential for overdose. Painkillers such as Darvon and Darvocet fall under this category of drugs. Propoxyphene has been on the market since 1957. It is a widely prescribed member of a group of drugs known as opioids and is used as a treatment for mild to moderate pain. Recent data show that overdose with propoxyphene can be fatal.

Warning on Testosterone Gel Products
Another FDA warning concerns two topical testosterone gels. Testim 1% and AndroGel 1% are indicated for men who don’t produce sufficient testosterone. The manufacturers are required to add a boxed warning about the danger of children getting in contact with the gel. Such incidents have been reported which resulted in abnormal enlargement of the genitals and premature development of public hair, and behavioural problems, among others.

What’s new?

FDA Approves Generic Prescription-Only Version of Plan B Emergency Contraceptive for Women Ages 17 and Under
Another victory for the “morning after” pill. It is now available in generic form, but for prescription only for women aged 17 and younger. The US FDA approved the first generic version of the emergency contraceptive Plan B (levonorgestrel) tablets.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

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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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