The Health News USA March 18 2018

  • Holding up a few drops of blood, Elizabeth Holmes became a darling of Silicon Valley by promising that her company’s new device would give everyday Americans unlimited control over their health with a single finger prick. Ms. Holmes, a Stanford University dropout who founded her company, Theranos, at age 19, captivated investors and the public with her invention: a technology cheaply done at a local drugstore that could detect a range of illnesses, from diabetes to cancer. On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Ms. Holmes, now 34, with widespread fraud, accusing her of exaggerating — even lying — about her technology while raising $700 million from investors.
  • A new study suggests that the U.S. spends about twice what other high-income nations do on health care but has the lowest life expectancy and the highest infant mortality rates. More doctor visits and hospital stays aren’t the problem. The study found that Americans use roughly the same amount of health services as people in other affluent nations. n 2016, the U.S. spent 17.8 percent of its GDP on healthcare. Other countries’ spending ranged from a low of 9.6 percent of GDP in Australia to a high of 12.4 percent of GDP in Switzerland.
  • Federal health officials are taking the first step in a sweeping anti-smoking plan to drastically cut nicotine levels in cigarettes so they aren’t addictive. The FDA estimates its plan, first announced last summer, could push the U.S. smoking rate to 1%. Currently about 15% of adults in the U.S. smoke.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 18th of March 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/health/theranos-elizabeth-holmes-fraud.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fhealth

Holding up a few drops of blood, Elizabeth Holmes became a darling of Silicon Valley by promising that her company’s new device would give everyday Americans unlimited control over their health with a single finger prick. Miss Holmes, a Stanford University dropout who founded her company, Theranos, at age nineteen, captivated investors and the public with her invention: a technology cheaply done at a local drugstore that could detect a range of illnesses, from diabetes to cancer. With that carefully crafted pitch, Miss Holmes, whose striking stage presence in a uniform of black turtlenecks drew comparisons to Steve Jobs, became an overnight celebrity, featured on magazine covers and richest-woman lists and in glowing articles.

Her fall — and the near-collapse of her company— has been equally dramatic in the last few years. On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Miss Holmes, now thirty four, with widespread fraud, accusing her of exaggerating — even lying — about her technology while raising seven hundred million dollars from investors.

The company, whose valuation was once estimated at nine billion dollars, has skirted bankruptcy and is now barely afloat. Miss Holmes was exceptionally secretive about the private company’s finances and its intellectual property. In announcing the charges, the S.E.C. said that Ms. Holmes had agreed to a settlement, with Miss Holmes agreeing to pay a five hundred thousand dollar penalty. Miss Holmes, who clung to her position as chief executive even after revelations about her company first surfaced three years ago, will be stripped of control of her company. She is barred from serving as an officer or director of any public company for ten years.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2018/03/14/u-s-health-spending-twice-other-countries-with-worse-results.html

A new study suggests that the U.S. spends about twice what other high-income nations do on health care but has the lowest life expectancy and the highest infant mortality rates. More doctor visits and hospital stays aren’t the problem. The study found that Americans use roughly the same amount of health services as people in other affluent nations.  Instead, health spending may be higher in the U.S. because prices are steeper for drugs, medical devices, physician and nurse salaries and administrative costs to process medical claims.
….
For the study, researchers examined international data from two thousand thirteen to two thousand sixteen comparing the U.S. with ten other high-income countries: the U.K., Canada, Germany, Australia, Japan, Sweden, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

In two thousand sixteen, the U.S. spent seventeen point eight percent of its gross domestic product on healthcare. Other countries’ spending ranged from a low of nine point six percent of GDP in Australia to a high of twelve point four percent of GDP in Switzerland.

A large part of this was administrative costs, which accounted for eight percent of GDP in the U.S., more than double the average of three percent of GDP. At the same time, the U.S. spent an average of one thousand four hundred forty three per person on drugs, compared with an average of seven hundred forty nine per person across all of the countries in the study.
….
The study also found that life expectancy in the U.S. was the lowest, at seventy eight point eight  years. In the other countries, life expectancy ranged from eighty point seven to eighty three point nine years. Infant mortality rates were highest in the U.S., with five point eight fatalities out of every one thousand live births. For other countries, the average infant mortality rate was three point six fatalities for every one thousand live births. Some individual U.S. states, however, have outcomes on par with other high-income countries. For example, life expectancy in Hawaii, Minnesota and Connecticut were similar to other high-income countries, while life expectancy was much worse in states like Mississippi.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2018/03/15/fda-begins-anti-smoking-push-to-cut-nicotine-in-cigarettes.html

Federal health officials are taking the first step in a sweeping anti-smoking plan to drastically cut nicotine levels in cigarettes so they aren’t addictive. The Food and Drug Administration estimates its plan, first announced last summer, could push the U.S. smoking rate to one percent. Currently about fifteen percent of adults in the U.S. smoke.

Regulators estimate about five million additional people would quit cigarettes within one year of the new nicotine limits. On Wednesday, the agency published its formal notice to begin regulating nicotine in what’s expected to be a multi-year process littered with potential obstacles.

The FDA gained authority to regulate ingredients in cigarettes and other tobacco products in two thousand nine. But FDA’s regulatory efforts have been hampered for years by legal challenges by Big Tobacco companies.

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