A program in Grand Junction, Colo., pairs shelter pets with youths in a residential facility and other people in need of emotional support. "[T]he idea is that we're not doing the therapy, we're letting that bond do the work on its own," says Roice-Hurst Humane Society Executive Director Anna Stout.
The FDA plans to implement a new law allowing certain biologics approved under new drug applications, such as insulin, to be approved under biologics license applications, leading to the approval of interchangeable insulin that can serve as an alternative for branded insulin, said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. "Given our long experience regulating insulin products, and high interest among sponsors who are proposing to develop interchangeable insulins, we're confident that interchangeable insulins -- insulins that will be available for automatic substitution at the pharmacy level -- will be attainable after the transition to deemed BLAs in March 2020," Gottlieb said.
A study in Diabetes Care showed an association between normalized A1C levels for two years and reduced nephropathy and increased retinopathy among patients with type 2 diabetes. Researchers used a cohort of 158 patients and found those with extensive A1C control had lower mean A1C levels and a reduced body mass index during follow-up, compared with those without extensive A1C control.
Researchers evaluated 120 adults with obesity and type 2 diabetes who were at risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and found a mean reduction in fasting plasma glucose levels among those who received 20 mg of pegbelfermin weekly and an increase in whole-body insulin sensitivity among those who received 20 mg of pegbelfermin daily over 12 weeks, compared with those on placebo. The findings in Obesity revealed that those who received the drug also had increased adiponectin levels compared with those on placebo.
UK researchers found that body mass index could help evaluate an individual's overall health, with high BMI having a similar effect on 230 traits like blood pressure and cholesterol as did measurements of fat along the arms, legs and trunk. The findings in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, based on 2,840 youths ages 10 to 18, showed that "trunk fat is the most damaging to health, but that simple BMI gives very similar answers to more detailed measures."
Individuals from lower-income households are at a higher risk of developing obesity and diabetes, which could be attributed to an increase in sugar consumption, according to a study in the journal Palgrave Communications. Researchers evaluated CDC data on 3,000 US counties and found that 35% of the population in states with median household incomes below $45,000, such as Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi, were obese, compared with about 25% of those in states with median household incomes above $65,000, like California, Colorado and Massachusetts.
A study published in Nature Communications revealed 14 genetic regions that play a role in an individual's physical activity levels. UK researchers analyzed data on 91,000 people from the UK Biobank and found an association between brain structure, mental health and neurodegenerative diseases, specifically in relation to physical activity and sleep.
Employers want a bigger role in employee health care and health care transformation, according to the National Business Group on Health's top trends for 2019. The NBGH said meaningful and sustained changes in health care are coming too slowly for employers, who are "driving transformation in health care delivery by either directly contracting, partnering with their health plans, or working with other third parties to promote value-based care."
Forward CEO Adrian Aoun said his company's goal is to build the first billion-person health care system based on prevention using artificial intelligence and genetic data. "The way to do that is to take health care from being a service into being a product -- reinventing the health care system on top of a platform like Forward," Aoun said.
Higher costs for development and lower revenues from investing in innovative medications will be major challenges for pharmaceutical companies in 2019 as they put more emphasis on outsourcing, says Results Healthcare analyst Kevin Bottomley. Pharmaceutical companies will want to deal with fewer suppliers, which will increase consolidation, Bottomley said.
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