A remedy to the U.S.'s vastly troubled health care system is simply to provide universal coverage and create one agency to collect medical fees and pay claims, a Time opinion piece says. A single-payer system is already in place for people over 65 in the form of Medicare, and the authors propose a similar plan for the rest of the population.
Alzheimer's research may have produced a side benefit in the form of a potential treatment for a rare childhood leukemia. Scientists say the inhibition of a key cellular enzyme could lead to safe, effective treatments for both diseases. Clinical trials could begin as early as next year, and the development also may speed research into proving these drugs can fight Alzheimer's.
Longer stays in intensive care units do not always equate to better outcomes for elderly patients and in some cases, patients may be worse off for the care, according to two new studies. Researchers said not only are higher intensity levels of care not associated with better care, but also they can result in worse quality.
Federal health officials plan to investigate reports of price gouging for flu vaccines, although it was not clear what action could be taken against distributors or doctors taking advantage of the vaccine shortage. One report from California said a vendor had called a hospital pharmacist and offered to sell his supply of Aventis-produced vaccine for 10 times the usual price.
The federal government says it is offering financial incentives of $50 million for this fiscal year and $100 million for the next to encourage drug companies to speed up development of new flu vaccines. The announcement comes after Britain announced on Tuesday that it was halting shipments to the U.S. of flu vaccine, which would have amounted to half of the nation's vaccine supply. Officials said better technology in the U.S. would prevent the nation from being left in the lurch.