The Health News USA October 23 2017

  • The number of US adults without health insurance is up nearly 3.5 million this year, as rising premiums and political turmoil over Obamacare undermine coverage gains that drove the nation’s uninsured rate to a historic low. Among Hispanics, the rate increased by 1.6 percentage points, and among blacks the increase was 1.5 percentage points.
  • President Trump said Monday that he would officially declare America’s opioid epidemic a national emergency next week, which would provide an influx of funding and policy initiatives across the country. New Hampshire ranks 2nd in overdose death rates across the country, behind West Virginia. But looking only at synthetic opioids like fentanyl, New Hampshire has twice West Virginia’s overdose death rate.
  • DBV Technologies SA said on Friday its peanut allergy treatment did not meet the main goal in a highly anticipated late-stage study, sending its U.S.-listed shares sharply down. The trial, which tested a 250 microgram stick-on patch called Viaskin Peanut, in 356 children between the ages of 4-11, missed the main goal of achieving a certain tolerance to peanut protein.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 23rd of  October 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/20/health-insurance-us-adults-obamacare-trump

The number of US adults without health insurance is up nearly three point five million this year, as rising premiums and political turmoil over Obamacare undermine coverage gains that drove the nation’s uninsured rate to a historic low. That finding is based on the latest installment of a major survey, released on Friday. The Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index asks a random sample of five hundred people each day whether they have health insurance.

The survey found that the uninsured rate among adults was twelve point three percent during the period from July one to September thirty, an increase of one point four percentage points since the end of last year. The increase in the number of uninsured is more striking because it comes at a time of economic growth and low unemployment. The annual sign-up season for subsidized private insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act starts  November one, but it may not make much of a difference. Donald Trump has stopped federal payments that reimburse insurers for lower co-pays and deductibles that the Obama-era law requires them to provide to people with modest incomes. His administration slashed the advertising budget for two thousand eighteen sign-ups, cut the length of open enrollment in half, and sharply reduced federal grants to groups that help consumers navigate the process. Next year’s premiums for plans sold on the health law’s marketplaces are expected to increase significantly in many communities, and insurer participation is down sharply, with about half of US counties having only one carrier.
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The loss of coverage was concentrated among middle-aged adults, with the uninsured rate rising by one point eight percentage points among those thirty five to sixty four since the end of two thousand sixteen. Households making less than thirty six thousand dollars a year saw their uninsured rate go up by one point seven percentage points. Among Hispanics, the rate increased by one point six percentage points, and among blacks the increase was one point five percentage points.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/20/health/opioids-new-hampshire/index.html

President Trump said Monday that he would officially declare America’s opioid epidemic a national emergency next week, which would provide an influx of funding and policy initiatives across the country. Few states know the epidemic as viscerally as New Hampshire, which President Trump previously said he won because it was a “drug-infested den.”
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New Hampshire ranks second in overdose death rates across the country, behind West Virginia. But looking only at synthetic opioids like fentanyl, New Hampshire has twice West Virginia’s overdose death rate.

The prevalence of fentanyl versus other opioids is one factor that makes New Hampshire’s crisis different from some other states, said Lisa Marsch, a professor at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. She leads a study that is trying to get to the bottom of what’s behind the state’s epidemic. Because fentanyl is more potent, the risk of overdose is much higher, she said. The high is shorter than other opioids, so users tend to inject it more often, putting themselves at greater risk of life-threatening infections, too. Unlike heroin, illicit fentanyl and its ingredients are largely manufactured in labs overseas, particularly in China.

Opioid use has surged in rural communities like those in New Hampshire. Rates of drug overdose deaths in rural areas surpassed urban areas by two thousand fifteen, having converged in two thousand four, according to a report released Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rural areas present many other transportation and economic challenges for people battling addiction. Even if they’re lucky enough to get placement in a treatment program, they might deal with a potentially long commute or harsh weather during the winter. This can discourage people who might otherwise seek help.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-dbv-tech-study/dbv-technologies-peanut-allergy-drug-fails-key-study-idUSKBN1CP2O2

DBV Technologies SA said on Friday its peanut allergy treatment did not meet the main goal in a highly anticipated late-stage study, sending its U.S.-listed shares sharply down. Nasdaq-listed shares of the French drug developer plunged sixty point five percent to nineteen dollars in extended trading. The trial, which tested a two hundred fifty microgram stick-on patch called Viaskin Peanut, in three hundred fifty six children between the ages of four to eleven, missed the main goal of achieving a certain tolerance to peanut protein. Shares of rival Aimmune Therapeutics Inc, which is developing an oral peanut allergy pill, soared about forty percent to thirty five dollars and sixty five cents after market. Aimmune is expected to announce results of its late-stage trial early next year.

Preliminary results of DBV’s trial show twelve months of the treatment resulted in thirty five point three percent of patients achieving a certain tolerance, versus a higher-than-expected thirteen point six percent response from a placebo group. However, DBV said the results showed a statistically significant response with a favorable tolerability profile. Plans to submit a marketing application for the patch to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration next year remain unchanged, the company said. DBV is also testing a similar patch to treat cow milk-related allergies in a mid-stage trial, the results of which are expected early next year.  There are currently no U.S. regulator-approved treatments for peanut allergies, the leading cause of death from food-induced allergic reactions in the US.  The market is desperate for recourse, experts say, as peanut allergies have more than doubled in children from 1997 to 2008, and affect about two percent of American children.

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