<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Health News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/health http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.comen-usThu, 29 Jun 2017 10:32:15 -0400Thu, 29 Jun 2017 10:32:15 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[GOP Health Care Bill Could Raise Premiums 74 Percent: Study]]> Tue, 27 Jun 2017 18:44:31 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/699666664-Mitch-McConnell.jpg

Health care premiums could rise 74 percent for the average customer under the Republican Senate health care bill, according to a new report.

Older and low-income Americans could face the highest increases for coverage, with Americans between ages 55 and 64 with lower incomes seeing a 294 percent increase in premiums. NBC News reported that the study by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation factored in the price of insurance and the amount of subsidies people would receive. 

The Senate bill, supported by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., encourages customers to purchase plans with higher deductibles. The subsidies would cover an average of 58 percent of costs, compared to Obamacare’s 70 percent.

In its analysis on Monday, the Congressional Budget Office said that premiums and deductibles could be too high for many low-income customers to buy coverage.



Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Hot Car Deaths: Scientists Detail Why Parents Forget]]> Tue, 27 Jun 2017 12:58:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/hotweatherPHX_1200x675.jpg

Neuroscientists at the University of South Florida have taken a deep dive into the psychological and biological science behind the "Forgotten Baby Syndrome," NBC News reported.   

Dr. David Diamond has studied the phenomenon of children forgotten in cars and discovered it can be common.

“We all experience when we have a plan to do something in the future and then we forget to complete that plan," he told NBC News.

Diamond's research team has focused on the brain center, which operates on a subconscious level and stores abilities such as riding a bike -- the brain center allowed people to turn on their "autopilot" brain function.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Seniors Concerned Health Care Plan is 'Age Tax']]> Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:22:30 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/senior-health-care.jpg

A Senate Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act aims to reduce funding for Medicaid, the single largest source of health care coverage in the United States.

Organizations like AARP are concerned that the cuts unfairly target senior citizens.

AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said in a statement that the Senate bill imposes an “age tax” on older adults.

“AARP is adamantly opposed to the Age Tax, which would allow insurance companies to charge older Americans five times more for coverage than everyone else while reducing tax credits that help make insurance more affordable,” LeaMond noted.

The advocacy organization notes on its website that the current law keeps insurers from charging older adults more than three times as much for premiums as they charge those who are younger for the same coverage. Both the Republican House and Senate legislation would "allow insurers to charge older adults five times as much, and states could receive waivers to remove even that limit."

Jerome Mosman agrees with the “age tax” characterization.

Mosman is the CEO of Sixty & Better, a nonprofit that provides nutrition and socialization services to senior citizens at 25 activity centers across Tarrant County in Texas.

“I think it is an Age Tax because there is a presumption that all older people are sicker, and this is not true,” Mosman said.

“To lose that [Medicaid] safety net is frightening. States are ultimately going to have to ration [their allotment] and say, ‘Well, we only get so much from Medicaid, therefore we cannot insure more disabled people, more elderly people.’ It is frightening for those on low income,” Mosman said.

At the age of 71, Anita Strange — a retired school teacher and lifelong Fort Worth resident — was dropped by her health insurance company, Aetna, which Strange believes was a direct result of her age.

Since then, Strange, now 74, has been enrolled in Medicare.

“I’m watching [the developments] but I’m just going to wait and see [before I pass judgment],” Strange said. “There’s got to be a better plan out there for us because we have to have insurance.”

Republicans have been said to be considering a vote this week, though the bill has a narrow path to victory with Democrats united against it and some moderates and conservatives calling for changes. 

A Congressional Budget Office analysis of the number of people likely to keep coverage under the bill is due out this week. Twenty-three million people would lose insurance under the House version of the legislation, the CBO said last month. 

"Republican Senators are working very hard to get there, with no help from the Democrats," Trump tweeted on Monday. "Not easy! Perhaps just let OCare crash & burn!"



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Medical Groups Hate the 'Heartless' Senate Health Care Plan]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:11:45 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-699840802.jpg

Both versions of the Republican plan to fix the American health care system would make things worse, not better, according to groups that represent a variety of physicians.

NBC News reported that pediatrician, cancer specialist, cardiologist and family doctor groups were denouncing the Senate version of the bill within hours of its release Thursday.

"The Senate draft health care bill is literally heartless," American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said.

Among the reasons so many medical professionals oppose the changes Republicans have proposed to the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," is that it reduces funding for Medicaid, the state-federal health plan that covers many low-income, disabled and pregnant people, as well as a large portion of American children.



Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hummus Sold At Wal-Mart, Target Recalled for Listeria Risk]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:40:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/armus-hummus.jpg

A brand of pine nut hummus sold at major retailers including Wal-Mart and Target has been recalled by its manufacturer because it may be contaminated with listeria.

House of Thaller, which is based in Knoxville, Tennessee, voluntarily recalled all 10-ounce packages of hummus products containing pine nut topping, after a supplier reported the possible contamination.

Thaller sells its hummus under the brand names Marketside, Lantana, and Fresh Foods Market across the country, including at large nationwide retailers.

Listeria monocytogenes, the bacteria that may have contaminated the hummus, can cause serious infections in young children, the elderly, and anyone with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include fever, nausea and diarrhea.

No illnesses have been reported in relation to the product, which was distributed from April 18 to June 13, according to the FDA.

Anyone with questions about the recall can call the House of Thaller customer service center on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST at 855-215-5142. Or click here for more information.  



Photo Credit: US Food & Drug Administration]]>
<![CDATA[5 Key Issues to Look for in the Senate Health Care Bill]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 01:44:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/mcconnell3.jpg

With Senate Republican leaders expected to release details of their health care bill in a 9:30 a.m. meeting Thursday, NBC News rounded up five big issues that are at the heart of the proposed legislation. 

Medicaid has been a major talking point in the health care debate. Republican leaders have been contemplating a slow winding-down of the program, making it less generous or creating carve-outs so certain groups don't lose coverage, such as children with chronic health problems.

Lawmakers are also looking at taxes. The Senate is trying to correct the House's version of the bill that gives tax credits based on age. But some lawmakers also want to repeal the taxes they believe increase the cost of premiums, including the tax on insurance companies, pharmaceuticals and more.

Opioid treatment could also lose funding, though some senators are weighing the option of creating a pool of money to be available for that purpose. And Planned Parenthood is facing strict opposition from Republicans, but moderates don't want the organization to lose funding.



Photo Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Women Keep Dressing Like ‘Handmaids’ at Statehouses]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:02:43 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/handmaidslegislation_1200x675.jpg

Women across the country are using creative methods to get their message on reproductive rights to their local and state legislative bodies by channeling the characters from the dystopian novel "The Handmaid's Tale," NBC News reported.

Groups of women gather in legislative rooms and hold discussions dressed in long red robes and white bonnets, just like the characters in the Margaret Atwood novel and current Hulu series.

"The Handmaid’s Tale is based on what actually has happened to women throughout history, where women have been essentially narrowed down to their reproductive abilities," said Stephanie Craddock Sherwood, executive director of the Ohio abortion fund Women Have Options (WHO).



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[FDA Wants To Stop Pharma From 'Gaming' Generic Drug System]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:30:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/pills-generic-03-GettyImages-108339198.jpg

The Food and Drug Administration is trying to stop pharmaceutical companies from "gaming" the system by blocking or delaying generic competition, Reuters reported.

The agency plans a public meeting on July 18 to help it search for ways pharmaceutical companies are using its rules to block generic competition, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a blog post Wednesday.

"We know that sometimes our regulatory rules might be 'gamed' in ways that may delay generic drug approvals beyond the time frame the law intended, in order to reduce competition," he said in the blog post. "We are actively looking at ways our rules are being used and, in some cases, misused."

President Donald Trump and lawmakers in Congress are searching for ways to lower prescription costs.



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Namaste: It's International Yoga Day]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:13:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/DIT+YOGA+DAY+THUMB.jpg

June 21 is the third annual International Yoga Day, which thousands of yogis across the world marked at mass gatherings. It's estimated that over 36 million Americans practice yoga annually, spending more than $16 billion on classes, clothes and equipment.

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<![CDATA[Six Experts Resign From President's HIV/AIDS Advisory Panel]]> Sun, 18 Jun 2017 18:40:48 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-499435366.jpg

Scott Schoettes, Counsel and HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal, explained in a Newsweek op-ed Friday that he and five colleagues decided to leave their posts on the council in protest of the Trump administration, which they allege "has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic."

Schoettes, who is openly HIV positive, added that the White House is also pushing legislation that would harm people with HIV and “reverse gains made in the fight against the disease.”

Lucy Bradley-Springer, Gina Brown, Ulysses W. Burley III, Michelle Ogle and Grissel Granados are the five other members who resigned.

The White House and the Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment.



Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Laundry Pods Can Be Fatal for Adults With Dementia]]> Fri, 16 Jun 2017 16:14:26 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/detergent-pods-file.jpg

Within the past five years, six adults with cognitive impairment have died from ingesting brightly colored laundry detergent pods. During the same time, two children died from doing the same.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the numbers indicate that the pods, which some argue closely resemble sweets or candy, pose more of a danger to adults with dementia than they do to children.

The deaths were first revealed by independent non-profit consumer advocacy group Consumer Reports after it filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with the CPSC. The CPSC told NBC News it was aware of five such deaths in the U.S. and one in Canada.



Photo Credit: Pat Sullivan/AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[App for Air Pollution Could Make City Living a Lot Safer]]> Fri, 16 Jun 2017 11:50:53 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/calipollutionx1200x675.jpg

Out of a pollution study an app, that can pinpoint pollution hot spots block by block, is being developed for city dwellers, reported NBC News. 

A study suggests that it might be possible for local authorities to pinpoint air quality that would otherwise go undetected — and help citizens avoid living in or traveling through those areas.

Researchers from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the University of Texas tracked two Google Street View cars rigged with air quality monitoring equipment for levels of black carbon, nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide as they drove throughout Oakland, Calif.

The study was published last week in the journal of Environment Science & Technology.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fewer Teens Are Vaping and Smoking, CDC Survey Finds]]> Thu, 15 Jun 2017 15:41:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-647804748.jpg

Teen smoking rates have hit new lows in the U.S. and, for the first time, fewer high school students are trying e-cigarettes, NBC News reported.

The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows cigarette smoking and vaping rates went down in 2016.

“The decline in use of tobacco products was primarily driven by a drop in e-cigarette use among middle and high school students from 3 million in 2015 to just under 2.2 million in 2016,” the CDC report says.

CDC and anti-smoking groups both said a combination of tobacco restrictions, advertising and taxes has helped reduce smoking rates.



Photo Credit: Sergei Konkov/TASS via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Study Finds Traces of Lead in Some Baby Foods]]> Thu, 15 Jun 2017 11:56:02 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/240*120/061517+generic+baby+food.JPG

A startling new report finds detectable levels of lead in baby food, a finding that may concern parents. But experts say it's important to stay vigilant about bigger sources of lead poisoning in kids.

Crumbling, peeling paint in older homes is one of the nation's biggest sources of lead exposure. Now there's evidence of another, more minor source of lead exposure in some food produced.

"That included fruit juices; baby fruit juices; root vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, and some categories of cookies, like arrowroot biscuits and teething cookies,” said Sarah Vogel from the Environmental Defense Fund.

The Environmental Defense Fund explored data from the Food and Drug Administration, finding what it calls "detectable" levels of lead in some baby food — though there's no information about how much or which brands are involved, and some samples had no lead at all.

"Lead can have an impact on the developing brain. It can have consequences later in life when it comes to issues around attention, behavior," said Dr. Aparna Bole, a pediatrician with UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

The FDA says the administration set a maximum daily lead intake of six micrograms, which is being reviewed, saying on its website, "lead is in food because it is in the environment and lead cannot simply be removed from food."

Doctors discourage parents from worrying too much about lead in baby food, saying they can make their own baby food by using local produce when possible and speaking to their pediatricians about the best ways to avoid lead.

"I certainly would not recommend avoiding entire food groups because of a concern about lead exposure," Bole said. "Root vegetables are a really healthy choice for babies."



Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[GOP Health Care Law Could Cost Nearly 1 Million Jobs: Report]]> Wed, 14 Jun 2017 19:14:20 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-649341364.jpg

The American Health Care Act, the GOP’s answer to Obamacare, could end up costing the U.S. economy close to 1 million jobs, researchers predicted Wednesday.

If the bill passes, it would initially boost jobs and increase economic output, "however, cuts in funding for Medicaid and health subsidies then begin to deepen, triggering sharp job losses and broad disruption of state economies in the following years," said Leighton Ku, director of the Center for Health Policy Research, who led the study team.

Health care jobs are an enormous part of the U.S. economy — making for 18 percent of the total Gross Domestic Product or GDP. Hospitals, clinics, doctors and health care services are major sources of jobs, too.



Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tyson Recalls 2.4M Pounds of Chicken Due to Allergy Risk]]> Mon, 12 Jun 2017 11:21:00 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Tyson-Foods-generic.jpg

Tyson Foods Inc. is recalling more than 2.4 million pounds of ready-to-eat breaded chicken products because the bread crumbs may contain milk, a potential allergen not included on the label.

The Arkansas-based company said there have been no confirmed cases of illnesses related to the recall.

Affected frozen chicken products were packaged between Aug. 17, 2016, through Jan. 14, 2017, and sold nationwide.

Below is a list of affected products:

• 31.86-lb. bulk cases of “Tyson FULLY COOKED, WHOLE GRAIN STRIP-SHAPED CHICKEN PATTIE FRITTERS-CN” with case code 003859-0928 and production dates of 09/09/2016, 10/05/2016, 10/14/2016, 10/15/2016, 11/09/2016, 12/10/2016, 12/30/2016 and 01/14/2017.
• 31.05-lb. bulk cases of “Tyson FULLY COOKED, WHOLE GRAIN CHICKEN PATTIE FRITTERS-CN” with case code 003857-0928 and production dates of 11/12/2016.
• 30.6-lb. bulk cases of “Tyson FULLY COOKED, WHOLE GRAIN BREADED CHICKEN PATTIES-CN” with case code 016477-0928 and production dates of 09/10/2016, 09/16/2016, 09/23/2016, 09/30/2016 and 10/06/2016.
• 30.6-lb. bulk cases of “Tyson FULLY COOKED, WHOLE GRAIN CHUNK-SHAPED BREADED CHICKEN PATTIES-CN” with case code 016478-0928 and production dates of 09/16/2016, 09/28/2016 and 10/06/2016.
• 20.0-lb. bulk cases of “Tyson FULLY COOKED, BREADED CHICKEN PATTIES-CN” with case code 005778-0928 and production dates of 09/14/2016, 09/19/2016 and 10/03/2016.32.81-lb. bulk cases of “Tyson FULLY COOKED, WHOLE GRAIN GOLDEN CRISPY CHICKEN CHUNK FRITTERS-CN CHUNK-SHAPED CHICKEN PATTIE FRITTERS” with case code 070364-0928, packaging and production date of 08/17/2016.
• 20-lb bulk cases of “SPARE TIME, Fully Cooked Breaded Chicken Patties” with case code 005778-0861 and production date of 10/03/2016.
• 20-lb bulk cases of “SPARE TIME, Fully Cooked Chicken Pattie Fritters” with case code 016477-0861 and production date of 09/16/2016 and 10/06/2016.

Schools have purchased the products through Tyson's commercial partners, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Affected products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

The recall was limited to foodservice customers, and affected products are not available for purchase in retail stores, according to the news release.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trader Joe's Recalls Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream]]> Mon, 12 Jun 2017 09:35:12 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/trader-joes-green-tea.jpg

Trader Joe's is recalling all of its Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream because the products may contain small pieces of metal.

The California-based company said on Saturday that all potentially affected products have been removed from store shelves.

Anyone who's purchased the ice cream shouldn't eat it. You can return it to any Trader Joe's for a full refund.

No one has gotten sick and no injuries have been reported, the grocery chain said.

Trader Joe's customer service can be reached at 626-599-3817 or through email.



Photo Credit: Trader Joe's]]>
<![CDATA['Beating Heart in a Box' Promises Major Medical Revolution]]> Fri, 09 Jun 2017 14:57:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/182*120/humanheartcopyART_1200x675.jpg

The most current method and technology available for heart transplants is an estimated 50 years old but new technology may revolutionize how heart transplant surgeries may change in the near future, reported NBC News. 

The current method starts by having the organ taken out of the donor then it is flushed with a cold salt solution, which includes preservatives to  keep the organ viable for transplant. It’s then put on ice and sent to a hospital where it is needed. 

But the new technique will allow donated organs to stay healthy outside of a human body for longer periods of time, so they can be sent farther distances to waiting recipients.



Photo Credit: Lester V. Bergman/CORBIS/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[FDA Asks Company to Pull Its Opioid Opana Because of Abuse]]> Thu, 08 Jun 2017 20:56:16 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_16271837996563.jpg

The Food and Drug Administration has asked Endo Pharmaceuticals to remove Opana ER, an extended release form of the opioid drug oxymorphone made by the drug company, from the market because it has such a high potential for abuse.

"This is the first time the agency has taken steps to remove a currently marketed opioid pain medication from sale due to the public health consequences of abuse," the FDA said in a statement.

The company is pushing back, saying the drug is safe and effective. The FDA says if Endo doesn’t voluntarily pull the drug from the market, it will withdraw approval.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says opioid overdoses have hit record highs, killing more than 47,000 people in 2014 — more than the 32,000 who died in road accidents.



Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File]]>
<![CDATA[6 Reasons to Celebrate Global Running Day]]> Wed, 07 Jun 2017 16:49:09 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/running-shoes.jpg

Last week had National Doughnut Day. Global Running Day is here Wednesday, giving you a good excuse to work off those treats. 

Here are six reasons why you should join more than 1.2 million people from 185 countries around the world and get moving for the second annual Global Running Day:

Physical and mental health benefits: Physical exercise has long been known to improve health, and running provides an easy way to get active. Studies suggest that running can reduce the risk of heart problems and cancers as well as strengthen bones and joints. A study in PLOS Medicine showed that people who began exercising lived longer. Beyond physical health, running has the power to provide mental health benefits. The “feel-good” hormones associated with physical activity can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, according to a study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

Individual, but universal: Running is often solitary—treadmills are not built for two. But the individual nature of the activity does not stop runners from coming together with others who enjoy the sport either to discuss technique or participate in group runs. A runner’s personal goals can be shared and allow for connections with other runners.

Raise money for a good cause: Fundraising when participating in races or signing up for specific charities’ sponsored races has become the new norm among runners and non-runners alike. Online fundraising platforms let runners reach a wide audience when looking to raise money for a cause. The app Charity Miles, a Global Running Day sponsor, connects individuals and corporations with one of their 37 charity partners and allows users to track their distance and earn money for the charity.

You don’t need to be an athlete: Runners come in all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels. Even people who steered clear of P.E. class in elementary school learn to run, even if they just begin by walking. People run at all different speeds and distances, and runners of any skill level can reap the physical and mental benefits that come with the sport.

Room for improvement: As with any activity, there are always ways to improve as a runner.

Apps such as Runkeeper or Nike+ Run Club allow runners track their progress on their smartphones, so goals to increase distance or decrease times have become easier than ever to achieve. Signing up for runs in your area can serve as motivation to boost running ability.

All you need to start is a pair of sneakers: Unlike activities that require equipment or a specific venue, running can be done anytime, anywhere. Routes for outdoor runs can easily be accessed online and treadmills are lined up in any local gym. Runners can choose the best time for their exercise in their schedule.

Global Running Day celebrates longtime runners and encourages those who have never run before to start. Take a pledge to run today on the Global Running Day website.



Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mary Schwalm]]>
<![CDATA[AI Sex Robots Are on Their Way]]> Fri, 02 Jun 2017 16:54:42 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/sexrobots_1200x675.jpg

Robots are becoming smarter and have become a part of our daily lives more than ever, from the work they do in hospitals and restaurants to helping around the house.

But some of these robot personal assistants are going to be more personal than others. Sex doll manufacturers and independent roboticists are now designing and building humanlike robots that people can have sex with, reported NBC News.

One of the early entries into this market is an animatronic head named Harmony that's infused with artificial intelligence to give it a personality and the ability to “learn” about its human partner. Harmony will connect to the silicone body of a RealDoll, a life-sized sex doll that’s been around for 20 years.



Photo Credit: Abyss Creations LLC]]>
<![CDATA[This Device Combats Ebola and Extremists in Africa]]> Fri, 02 Jun 2017 10:32:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ebolanbcnews_1200x675.jpg

In some villages deep in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where bridges may just be felled trees and there are few roads or telephones, a growing network of solar-powered radios is doing double duty, NBC News reports.

The FM and high-frequency radios, brought in to warn of imminent extremist attacks from a group called the Lord's Resistance Army, also help keep tabs on Ebola outbreaks.

One in May left at least three people dead, but after the second death, radio operators started transmitting warnings, Catholic Relief Services said. They advised people on what to do when they encountered someone who was infected.

"If this project did not exist, people would literally be dying and nobody would know about it until it became a huge crisis. Or nobody would know about it ever," Driss Moumane told NBC News.



Photo Credit: Catholic Relief Services]]>
<![CDATA[Cancer Drug Spending Passes $110 Billion]]> Fri, 02 Jun 2017 10:34:56 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/cancerdrugspendingspikes.jpg

Spending on cancer treatments has spiked past the $100 billion mark globally over the past five years, with almost half that amount in the U.S. alone, NBC News reported, citing a report released Thursday. 

The independent QuintilesIMS Institute found that worldwide spending on cancer drugs and supportive medications — such as anti-nausea drugs and blood boosters — grew from $91 billion in 2012 to $113 billion in 2016. Patients in the U.S. accounted for 46 percent of that spending. 

The extra money is largely going to pricey new targeted drugs that are adding years to some patients' lives and transforming the way certain cancers are treated, the report found. 

The report predicts annual growth of between 6 percent and 9 percent through 2021, according to NBC News.



Photo Credit: Toronto Star via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Trump Climate Decision Endangers Human Health: Doctors]]> Thu, 01 Jun 2017 20:04:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-542739377.jpg

President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement will endanger human health and make it hard to prevent even more damage from global warning, medical groups told NBC News.

Many studies clearly lay out the risks from climate change — including respiratory and heat-related illnesses, insect-borne infections, water-borne diseases and threats to safe food and water.

"The elderly, the sick, and the poor are especially vulnerable," the American College of Physicians said.

Heat can raise blood pressure and worsen cholesterol levels. Longer, hotter summers can aid the spread of mosquitoes that carry diseases such as malaria, dengue, Zika and yellow fever — and warmer winters may fail to kill off populations of the insects.



Photo Credit: Getty Images, file]]>
<![CDATA[Taxpayers May Have Overpaid by $1B for EpiPen: Senator]]> Wed, 31 May 2017 16:56:49 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/epipen1.jpg

American taxpayers may have overpaid by as much as $1.27 billion for EpiPen anti-allergy devices over the course of a decade, a U.S. senator said Wednesday. 

That is nearly three times the $465 million that EpiPen’s owner, drugmaker Mylan, last October said it agreed to pay the federal government to settle claims it overcharged the government-run Medicaid system for the devices. 

As CNBC reports, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said it looks like Mylan overcharged taxpayers for years by knowingly classifying the brand-name EpiPen as a generic drug, resulting in the company paying a lower rebate rate to Medicaid.

A spokeswoman for Mylan had no immediate comment.



Photo Credit: AP (File)]]>