The Health News USA October 12 2017

  • California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday signed state legislation requiring drug companies to report certain price hikes for prescription medicines in a move that could set a model for other states to follow. The law, which aims to provide more transparency around pharmaceutical and biotech company pricing methods for their medicines, requires drug manufacturers to give a 60-day notice if prices are raised more than 16 percent over a two-year period.
  • Manju Devi, 28, had complained of a “lump” on her right side for three years before a scan revealed a huge 31-cm by 19-cm mass.  It took a team of surgeons eight hours to remove the 5.5-kg tumor from her kidney, which had dwarfed her other organs. The Guinness Book of World Records confirmed it was the largest renal tumour every discovered.
  • The Trump administration recently released regulations allowing employers, colleges, and universities to eliminate birth-control coverage from their health-benefit plans because of religious or moral objections. These new rules will allow employers and schools to discriminate against women while undermining the importance of women’s health.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 12th of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-healthcare-drugpricing/california-governor-signs-drug-pricing-transparency-law-idUSKBN1CE28W

California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday signed state legislation requiring drug companies to report certain price hikes for prescription medicines in a move that could set a model for other  states to follow. The law, which aims to provide more transparency around pharmaceutical and biotech company pricing methods for their medicines, requires drug manufacturers to give a sixty-day notice if prices are raised more than sixteen percent over a two-year period. The law also requires health plans and insurers to file annual reports outlining how drug costs affect health care premiums in California. “Californians have a right to know why their medication costs are out of control, especially when pharmaceutical profits are soaring,” Brown, a Democrat, said in a statement on his website announcing the new legislation.

The bill has been opposed by drugmakers, who argue that wholesale price increases do not reflect the actual prices paid for medicines after discounts and rebates. Biotechnology Innovation Organization, the leading biotech industry trade group, issued a statement condemning the bill and arguing that it would not serve its intended purpose.
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California is home to hundreds of biotechnology companies. Pharmaceutical companies have so far dodged stricter federal oversight despite growing public and political outrage over pricing practices for both branded and some generic medicines. But states, struggling to cover rising healthcare costs, have been addressing the issue rather than wait for federal help. At least one hundred seventy six bills on pharmaceutical pricing and payment have been introduced this year in thirty six states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
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Even annual price hikes of nine percent over a two-year period would put a company in the crosshairs of the new California legislation.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/10/09/surgeons-remove-record-breaking-tumor-from-patients-kidney.html

This is the gruesome moment surgeons removed a world record breaking renal tumor – fifty times the size of the patient’s kidney. Manju Devi, twenty eight, had complained of a “lump” on her right side for three years before a scan revealed a huge thirty one centimeters by nineteen centimeters mass.  It took a team of surgeons eight hours to remove the five point five kilogram tumor from her kidney, which had dwarfed her other organs.

“She was no longer able to do her day to day activities because of the huge mass in her abdomen,” Doctor Ajit Sawant, the urologist who led the surgical team, said. “In the past three years she had been referred to multiple hospitals, however because of the enormous size, the surgery was deferred.
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The operation was carried out at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital at Sion in Mumbai.
The woman, from the Darbhanga district of Bihar state in North India, was released from hospital after a week.  The Guinness Book of World Records confirmed it was the largest renal tumour ever discovered.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/09/trumps-birth-control-rule-is-discrimination-against-women-commentary.html

The Trump administration recently released regulations allowing employers, colleges, and universities to eliminate birth-control coverage from their health-benefit plans because of religious or moral objections. These new rules will allow employers and schools to discriminate against women while undermining the importance of women’s health. Employers or schools can drop birth control coverage from their health plan. The result is that these women will have to pay hundreds of dollars a year if they continue using birth control. Some women, who cannot afford the cost, will stop using birth control. Others will have to choose between birth control and other medical care or necessities. While there are claims that not many employers or schools will actually cut birth control, the reality could be quite different. Prior to the rules, employees and students of religiously affiliated entities received coverage for birth control through a third party. Now these organizations can simply cut birth control coverage without any other entity stepping in to provide the coverage. This could leave the more than half a million people, plus their dependents, working full time for Catholic hospitals, without birth-control coverage. It can leave hundreds of thousands of students of religiously affiliated colleges and universities without birth control coverage. The new regulations downplay the importance of birth control as a women’s health service.

Birth control was included on the list of preventive services because it is a health service used by women that can improve health and prevent poor health outcomes. Birth control allows women to plan their pregnancies which includes healthy spacing between pregnancies. Spacing pregnancies improves the health of women and babies. Planning pregnancies allow women to partake of important prenatal care that can improve the health of their pregnancy. The result is discrimination. Birth control is a vital health service for women. Instead of helping women access health care, the administration is downplaying the importance of women’s health and allowing companies and schools to withhold access to care because of their own moral judgments. In the end, women will be discriminated against and lose access to affordable birth control.

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