NPR Blogs

Right To Try Act Poses Big Challenge For FDA

NPR Health Blog - 1 hour 6 min ago

Legislation that would give terminally ill people a direct path to get experimental treatments raises questions about how the Food and Drug Administration would safeguard patients.

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Where You Live Affects Your Happiness And Health, But How Exactly?

NPR Health Blog - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 4:10pm

Bike commuting, access to health care and racial diversity contribute to higher levels of well-being in communities.

(Image credit: Amanda Hall/Robert Harding/Getty Images)

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For Troubled Kids, Some Schools Take Time Out For Group Therapy

NPR Health Blog - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 3:21pm

A growing number of schools are offering training for emotional and social skills that can benefit kids in school and throughout their life.

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Trying Physical Therapy First For Low Back Pain May Curb Use Of Opioids

NPR Health Blog - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 12:27pm

A study of patients with low back pain finds that those who got physical therapy first needed fewer pricey scans and surgeries and had "significantly lower out-of-pocket costs" for treatment overall.

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California's Message To Hospitals: Shape Up Or Lose 'In-Network' Status

NPR Health Blog - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 5:00am

Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, will exclude hospitals from insurance networks if they don't reduce their numbers of C-sections, back scans and opioid prescriptions.

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House Passes 'Right-To-Try' Bill For Experimental Drugs

NPR Health Blog - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 6:05pm

Some patient groups, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the American Lung Association opposed the bill because they said it could do more harm than good.

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Routine DNA Screening Moves Into Primary Care

NPR Health Blog - Tue, 05/22/2018 - 5:00am

The Pennsylvania-based health care chain Geisinger Health System plans to soon offer DNA sequencing as part of routine care for all patients. Is there a downside?

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Another Cause of Doctor Burnout? Being Forced To Give Immigrants Unequal Care

NPR Health Blog - Mon, 05/21/2018 - 6:58pm

Undocumented patients with kidney disease often can't get treatment unless they are in a state of emergency — this bothers clinicians who want to treat all patients equally.

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Bill Of The Month: Audience Reacts To Big Bill For Tiny Screws

NPR Health Blog - Sat, 05/19/2018 - 8:01am

The latest installment in our Bill of the Month series about a huge bill for four orthopedic screws drew lots of responses from readers and listeners. Some had ideas for improving the health system.

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What Does Trump's Proposal To Cut Planned Parenthood Funds Mean?

NPR Health Blog - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 6:51pm

The Trump administration is pulling out an old regulation that it believes will be able to meet a conservative goal: cutting a key program's funding for Planned Parenthood. The strategy might work.

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New Type Of Drug To Prevent Migraines Heads To Market

NPR Health Blog - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 11:09am

An antibody-based drug reduces the frequency of migraine headaches, according to data reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. The agency approved Aimovig, priced at about $6,900 a year.

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Report: Most Former Research Chimps Should Move To Retirement Sanctuaries

NPR Health Blog - Fri, 05/18/2018 - 9:36am

A working group convened by the National Institutes of Health looked at where chimps that had been used in research should live now. Unless relocating chimps would endanger them, a sanctuary is best.

(Image credit: Brandon Wade/AP Images for The Humane Society)

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Army 'Leans In' To Protect A Shooter's Brain From Blast Injury

NPR Health Blog - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 5:32pm

The Army tells NPR of plans to monitor blast exposure across a military career, to enforce limits on firing certain weapons, and to even look into whether special helmets could help stop blast waves.

(Image credit: Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg/U.S. Marines/DVIDS)

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How A Drugmaker Gamed The System To Keep Generic Competition Away

NPR Health Blog - Thu, 05/17/2018 - 5:00am

Celgene Corp. has thwarted rival drugmakers eager to make cheaper versions of medicines for a form of blood cancer. Now administration officials are criticizing practices they say hold generics back.

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Test of Herceptin Finds Briefer Treatment Can Work, With Fewer Side Effects

NPR Health Blog - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 5:05pm

An aggressive type of breast cancer — a HER2-positive tumor — often shrinks with Herceptin treatment, but side effects can be tough. Researchers say a shorter course of the drug may be a good option.

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Why Do Some Lizards Have Green Blood?

NPR Health Blog - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 2:00pm

Scientists are trying to figure out how green-blooded lizards might benefit from the unusual pigment. The answer could provide new insights into human illnesses like jaundice and malaria.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Christopher C. Austin/LSU)

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What Explains The Rising Overdose Rate Among Latinos?

NPR Health Blog - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 10:53am

Opioid addiction is often portrayed as a white problem, but overdose rates are now rising faster among Latinos and blacks. Cultural and linguistic barriers may put Latinos at greater risk.

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June Ballot Measure Would Ban All Flavored Tobacco Products In San Francisco

NPR Health Blog - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 5:00am

City supervisors tried to ban menthol cigarettes and vape flavors in 2017, but tobacco purveyors funded a drive to put the measure to voters instead. Now dueling ads vie for hearts and minds.

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Hospitals See Growing Numbers Of Kids And Teens At Risk For Suicide

NPR Health Blog - Wed, 05/16/2018 - 12:01am

The number of children and teens who visited the hospital for suicidal thoughts or attempts doubled from 2008 to 2015. Rates were highest during the school year.

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'Reluctant Psychonaut' Michael Pollan Embraces The 'New Science' Of Psychedelics

NPR Health Blog - Tue, 05/15/2018 - 1:17pm

Author Michael Pollan, who experimented with mushrooms, LSD and other psychedelics while researching his latest book, says: "I had an experience that was by turns frightening and ecstatic and weird."

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