Drugmakers raise prices despite criticisms | Wall Street Journal
Drugmakers have raised prices on some branded drugs as much as 9% or 10% since December, despite increasing scrutiny of drug price increases by lawmakers and backlash from the public, the Wall Street Journal reports. Drugmakers blame the cost of new drug development for price increases.
Law on ultrasounds reignites abortion battle in North Carolina | New York Times
A law requiring physicians who perform abortions after the 16th week of pregnancy to send data regarding their method for determining gestational age to the state department of health took effect earlier this month. Critics say the controversial law is a means of intimidating physicians who provide abortion services since judgments of gestational age can be inexact.
Illumina creating company to develop early-stage cancer test | New York Times
The world's largest maker of DNA-sequencing machines has announced plans to launch an offshoot, Grail, to develop a blood test to diagnose early-stage cancers. The test Illumina aims to develop, which the company hopes to debut by 2019, would be a preliminary screen for all cancers, unlike current blood biopsy tests which target select cancers and are used to confirm tissue biopsies. The blood-testing offshoot also has the financial backing of tech giants including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos.
The NIH, in pursuit of precision medicine, tries to avoid ghosts of its past | STAT
As the National Institutes of Health embarks on a study to enroll and track the health of one million Americans in an effort to learn more about the onset of diseases and the individual factors that affect their treatment, it will have to avoid the pitfalls of a smaller, failed study undertaken 15 years earlier, the National Children's Study. But critics already see similar design flaws and even greater challenges ahead for the Precision Medicine Initiative, STAT reports.
U.S. considers ending program that lures Cuban doctors to defect | Reuters
Amid improving relations with Cuba, the U.S. is reviewing the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program, an asylum program for Cuban health workers started by George W. Bush in 2006. Under the program, U.S. officials are given discretion to grant admittance to Cuban health workers who have been sent abroad by their government to work on humanitarian missions or under contract to other nations with physician shortages.