Weekly Reader - September 26, 2022

Welcome to Finestra’s Weekly Reader, wherein we recount intriguing, important, or infamous health care-related stories you may have missed over the past week.

Weekly Reader - September 26, 2022
Photo by Fausto Sandoval / Unsplash

Welcome to Finestra’s Weekly Reader, wherein we recount intriguing, important, or infamous health care-related stories you may have missed over the past week.

  • As State Institutions Close, Families of Longtime Residents Face Agonizing Choices. (Kaiser Health News) "Seventeen states have closed all their large public institutions for people with disabilities. Just five states — Iowa, Nebraska, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming — haven’t closed any, according to a University of Minnesota expert."
  • Doctors want alcohol warning labels to flag cancer risks. (Washington Post) “If you drink alcohol, you’ve probably seen — or overlooked — warning labels on the back of bottles. But those labels haven’t been updated since the late 1980s. Now, researchers say they don’t adequately advertise alcohol consumption’s biggest potential health consequence: cancer, including breast cancer.”
  • Medical Coding Creates Barriers to Care for Transgender Patients. (Kaiser Health News) "Many trans patients have trouble getting their insurers to cover gender-affirming care. One reason is transphobia within the U.S. health care system, but another involves how medical diagnoses and procedures are coded for insurance companies."
  • F.D.A.’s Drug Industry Fees Fuel Concerns Over Influence. (New York Times) “The pharmaceutical industry finances about 75 percent of the agency’s drug division, through a controversial program that Congress must reauthorize by the end of this month.”
  • California and New York Aim to Curb Diet Pill Sales to Minors. (Kaiser Health News) “California and New York are on the cusp of going further than the FDA in restricting the sale of non-prescription diet pills to minors as pediatricians and public health advocates try to protect kids from extreme weight-loss gimmicks online.”
  • Is There an Adderall Shortage? What to Know About Difficulties Getting the ADHD Medication. (Health Magazine) “Supply issues have been complicated by an increased demand for the medication, due in part to telehealth prescriptions during the pandemic.”
  • Experts Question the Role of White Mulberry in the Death of Congressman’s Wife. (Kaiser Health News) “Scientists, doctors, and pathologists are questioning the Sacramento County coroner’s conclusion that Lori McClintock’s death was related to white mulberry, a plant that has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries”
  • The U.S. pours money into health care, then holds back on social services that can improve health. (USA Today) “One of the realities of our health system — the world’s most expensive, accounting for almost one-fifth of the U.S. economy – is that access to hospitals and doctors alone will not improve the overall health of people who face the challenge of being poor.”
  • Newborns Get Routine Heel Blood Tests, but Should States Keep Those Samples? (Kaiser Health News) “Some states allow the blood spots to be used in research studies, sometimes by third parties for a fee, or provided to law enforcement personnel investigating a crime. Permitting these or other uses without parents’ informed consent that they understand and agree to the use has prompted lawsuits from parents who want to make those decisions themselves and who seek to protect their children’s medical and genetic information.”
  • EU health regulator says COVID pandemic not over. (Reuters) “An official at the European Union’s drugs regulator said on Tuesday the COVID-19 pandemic was not over, contradicting U.S. President Joe Biden, and that a planned vaccination campaign in the region during the cold season was key to fighting it.”Southern States’ Lackluster Monkeypox Efforts Leave LGBTQ+ Groups Going It Alone. (Kaiser Health News) “The perception that the response to the monkeypox virus in the South has lacked coordination has rekindled familiar concerns about recent state policies that leave members of the region’s LGBTQ+ communities feeling marginalized and discriminated against."