Medical devices and equipmentHow an obscure medical technology caught the eye of Joe Biden. And John Grisham. | STAT
Focused ultrasound is a little-known medical technique that entails zapping a body part with converging beams of sound. The technique is employed to treat only a few medical conditions, like uterine fibroids and prostate cancer. But the procedure might finally be getting some attention, as retired neurosurgeon Dr. Neal Kassell—who has made it his goal to speed up development of the treatment—was named to a panel advising Vice President Joe Biden on the national cancer moonshot initiative.
PharmaceuticalsCancer treatment costs aren't rising as fast as you thought | Fortune
The costs of treating cancer haven't been outpacing the overall rise in healthcare costs, it turns out. Over the last decade, the cost to treat cancer patients has grown at roughly the same rate as all health care spending. That goes against a wide-reaching narrative that said cancer care costs have been outstripping other medical concerns, according to a new study by actuarial firm Milliman.
Injectable medicines that lower cholesterol, known as PCSK9 inhibitors, were released last year. But high costs of the medicine and the resistance to injections by some patients made for disappointing sales. So, manufacturers are now running clinical trials to find out the extent that their medicines lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes. According to a survey conducted last month by the Leerink brokerage firm, cardiologists are more apt to write prescriptions for the drugs if the trials show cardiovascular risks drop by at least 20%.
PhysiciansMinnesota doctors sharing medical records with patients weigh changing how they take notes | Minneapolis Star Tribune
More doctors in Minnesota are allowing their patients to have unlimited access to their clinical notes in order to help them better understand treatment recommendations. But the doctors are now deciding whether to write the notes in layman language, which would be a change from the jargon and acronyms familiar to colleagues.
Safety, quality and clinical practiceGoogle's biotech venture hit by ethical concerns over deal with luxury clinic | STAT
Google startup Verily Life Sciences CEO Andrew Conrad has raised concerns by awarding a research contract to a luxury health clinic he owns a majority stake in. The contract has caused concern inside Verily and also with corporate governance experts who view the deal as a conflict of interest.
Evidence, policy, and e-cigarettes—will England reframe the debate? | New England Journal of Medicine
The United States and England have taken different positions on the electronic cigarette debate. Public Health England, which is an agency of England's Department of Health, released a report in August 2015 which stated that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than combustible cigarettes. But in the U.S., the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has denounced e-cigarettes, and at a Public Health Grand Rounds meeting hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all speakers focused on possible health risks that could come from e-cigarette use.