The Health News USA October 28 2017

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declined to approve PTC Therapeutics Inc’s experimental drug to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, saying an additional clinical trial would be needed to prove the drug works. The company said on Wednesday that it strongly disagreed with the agency’s conclusions and plans to file a formal dispute next week.
  • According to a poll released on Wednesday, 24% of American voters mistakenly believe Obamacare has been partially repealed.  And another 15% of voters incorrectly believe Obamacare has either been fully repealed, or repealed and replaced with a new health-care law, according to the Morning Consult/Politico survey.  Obamacare advocates have expressed concern that confusion over the law’s status, and other factors, will decrease the number of people signing up for health plans that take effect January 1.
  • Hurricane Maria disrupted production at Puerto Rican factories that make critical drugs and medical supplies. The American Hospital Association told CBS News the shortage “is quickly becoming a crisis and threat to public health.” There was already an existing shortage for several years — made worse by facilities being damaged by hurricanes.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 28th of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ptc-therapeutics-duchenne-fda/fda-declines-to-approve-ptcs-duchenne-drug-idUSKBN1CU2GO

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declined to approve PTC Therapeutics Inc’s experimental drug to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, saying an additional clinical trial would be needed to prove the drug works. The company said on Wednesday that it strongly disagreed with the agency’s conclusions and plans to file a formal dispute next week. The drug, ataluren, is designed to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy or DMD caused by a mutation in the DMD gene known as a nonsense mutation. The FDA’s decision comes after a panel of outside FDA advisors last month concluded that although the drug might work, the company would have to do more work to prove it.

The FDA’s own scientists formed similar conclusions saying the company had failed to prove the product worked, and that the company had diced data to try to extract a positive result, making the entire data set untrustworthy. PTC’s shares, which fell nearly fourteen percent to sixteen dollars and eighty one cents after the FDA posted its initial review on September twenty six, fell as low as fifteen dollars and twenty cents on Wednesday before rising four percent to sixteen dollars and eighty cents  in midday trading.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/25/nearly-1-in-4-americans-believe–wrongly–that-obamacare-is-partially-repealed.html

According to a poll released on Wednesday, twenty four percent of American voters mistakenly believe Obamacare has been partially repealed. And another fifteen percent of voters incorrectly believe Obamacare has either been fully repealed, or repealed and replaced with a new health-care law, according to the Morning Consult/Politico survey. The findings come less a week before open enrollment begins November one in Obamacare individual health insurance plans. Customers on Wednesday could begin window-shopping for those plans, checking out the prices of coverage in their region. Obamacare advocates have expressed concern that confusion over the law’s status, and other factors, will decrease the number of people signing up for health plans that take effect January one.

Part of that confusion stems from efforts since the beginning of two thousand seventeen by Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a new law. Those efforts have repeatedly failed, despite the fact that the GOP, which has promised repeal of Obamacare since it became law in two thousand ten, holds majorities in the Senate and the House.
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The poll, which questioned one thousand nine hundred eighty eight registered voters from last Thursday through Monday, has a margin of error of two percentage points. The Affordable Care Act continues to require most Americans to have some form of health insurance or pay a tax penalty.
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Only twenty percent of voters said Trump is responsible for the current state of the Affordable Care Act, the health-care law championed by Obama. And just twenty eight percent say Trump is responsible for the state of the American health-care system generally. In contrast, sixty seven percent of voters said Obama is responsible for the state of Obamacare and fifty percent of them said Obama is responsible for the state of U.S. health care.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/iv-bags-in-short-supply-after-hurricane-maria-disrupted-production/

Hurricane Maria disrupted production at Puerto Rican factories that make critical drugs and medical supplies. CBS News chief medical correspondent Doctor Jon LaPook found hospitals on the U.S. mainland are already seeing shortages.  Small bags of intravenous fluid deliver life-saving medications like antibiotics and chemotherapy. Régine Villain’s job at NYU Langone Health is to manage supplies — and she’s worried because the bags are in short supply.
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The American Hospital Association told CBS News the shortage “is quickly becoming a crisis and threat to public health.” There was already an existing shortage for several years — made worse by facilities being damaged by hurricanes. On top of that, Villain says the three major manufacturers usually shut down for maintenance before the end of the year.
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It’s a big deal because IV fluids are “the first thing we do — we use an IV, we hang an IV and that’s how we start taking care of you.” CBS News was told that patient care has not been compromised so far, but it’s unclear how long that can last, given the strain on the system.

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