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State highlights: Mass. can't ban painkiller, judge rules; Kan. and health care compact bill

State highlights: Mass. can't ban painkiller, judge rules; Kan. and health care compact bill

A selection of health policy stories from Massachusetts, Kansas, Florida, Michigan, Connecticut, Maryland, Arizona, Hawaii, Missouri and Georgia. [More]

First Edition: April 16, 2014

Today's headlines include a report detailing how changes in the Census Bureau's annual survey could mask the health law's impact. [More]
Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Polls have consistently shown that even though the public opposes Obamacare, people like some of its most significant provisions. That's particularly true of the requirement that insurers ignore preexisting conditions when signing up customers for coverage. [More]

Special Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation conference to focus on issues surrounding addiction

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's Professionals in Residence program in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and the Scaife Family Foundation will host a special conference June 20-21 in Minnesota for primary health care providers to learn more about the issues surrounding addiction. [More]
Ketamine offers novel treatment for patients with severe depression

Ketamine offers novel treatment for patients with severe depression

New data show ketamine (a drug widely used for anaesthesia and pain relief) has a rapid antidepressant effect in some patients with severe depression. The first UK study of ketamine intravenous infusions in people with treatment-resistant depression was conducted by the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Oxford. [More]
Research roundup: New medical coding system; choosing a hospice; revamping Medicare

Research roundup: New medical coding system; choosing a hospice; revamping Medicare

On October 1, 2014, all health plans, health data clearinghouses, and health care providers that transmit health information electronically must use a new, significantly broader, coding system, called ICD-10, for diagnoses and inpatient procedures. [More]

Antibe Therapeutics completes pre-clinical program for its lead product ATB-346

Antibe Therapeutics Inc. ("Antibe" or the "Corporation") is pleased to announce that it has completed its planned pre-clinical program for its lead product ATB-346 to support initial clinical studies in humans. [More]

First Edition: March 17, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about new health coverage rules and guidances announced by the Obama administration. [More]
New approach to breast reconstruction surgery decreases use of postoperative opioid painkiller

New approach to breast reconstruction surgery decreases use of postoperative opioid painkiller

A new approach to breast reconstruction surgery aimed at helping patients' bodies get back to normal more quickly cut their postoperative opioid painkiller use in half and meant a day less in the hospital on average, a Mayo Clinic study found. [More]
Photoreactive compounds open new routes to treatment of neurological diseases

Photoreactive compounds open new routes to treatment of neurological diseases

Photoreactive compounds developed by scientists of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich directly modulate nerve-cell function, and open new routes to the treatment of neurological diseases, including chronic pain and certain types of visual impairment. [More]
Study raises concerns about use of acetaminophen during pregnancy

Study raises concerns about use of acetaminophen during pregnancy

Acetaminophen, found in over-the-counter products such as Excedrin and Tylenol, provides many people with relief from headaches and sore muscles. When used appropriately, it is considered mostly harmless. Over recent decades, the drug, which has been marketed since the 1950s, has become the medication most commonly used by pregnant women for fevers and pain. [More]

Pairing school and home programs most effective in curbing teen prescription drug abuse

Programs that aim to curb teen prescription drug abuse have vastly differing effectiveness, ranging from big drops in drug abuse to no measurable effect, according to a new study of 11,000 teenagers by researchers at Duke and Pennsylvania State universities. [More]
Researchers identify key step to prevent liver failure resulting from painkiller overdose

Researchers identify key step to prevent liver failure resulting from painkiller overdose

University of Adelaide researchers have identified a key step for the future prevention of liver failure resulting from taking too much of the everyday painkiller paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen). [More]
Research examines link between opioid suppression of immune system and cancer recurrence

Research examines link between opioid suppression of immune system and cancer recurrence

​The methods used to anesthetize prostate cancer patients and control pain when their prostate glands are surgically removed for adenocarcinoma may affect their long-term cancer outcomes, a study led by Mayo Clinic has found. [More]

Chemists able to trace narcotics substances, prescription drugs in Swedish wastewater

Chemists at Ume- University in Sweden have been able to trace narcotics substances and prescription drugs in measurements of wastewater from 33 Swedish sewage treatment plants. Cocaine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine, in measurable concentrations, were found in a total of half of the locations. [More]

Research finds link between opioid-sparing technique and reduced progression of prostate cancer

The methods used to anesthetize prostate cancer patients and control pain when their prostate glands are surgically removed for adenocarcinoma may affect their long-term cancer outcomes, a study led by Mayo Clinic has found. Opioids, painkillers commonly given during and after surgery, may suppress the immune system's ability to fight cancer cells. [More]
Using morphine to fight surgical pain may prolong patient's suffering

Using morphine to fight surgical pain may prolong patient's suffering

Using morphine to fight the pain associated with abdominal surgery may paradoxically prolong a patient's suffering, doubling or even tripling the amount of time it takes to recover from the surgical pain, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder. [More]
New study reveals striking data about misuse of painkillers and sedatives by teens, young adults

New study reveals striking data about misuse of painkillers and sedatives by teens, young adults

​With prescription drug abuse at epidemic levels nationwide, and overdoses killing more people than auto accidents in many states, a new University of Michigan study provides striking new data about the misuse of potent prescription painkillers and sedatives by teens and young adults. [More]

Viewpoints: Sen. Sanders says don't cut entitlements before making corporations pay taxes; Rep. Smith argues that if entitlements are tamed, other priorities will suffer

Instead of talking about cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, we must end the absurdity of corporations not paying a nickel in federal income taxes. A 2008 report from the Government Accountability Office found that was the case with 1 in 4 large U.S. corporations. At a time when multinational corporations and the wealthy are avoiding an estimated $100 billion a year in taxes by stashing money in tax havens like the Cayman Islands, we need to make them pay taxes just as middle-class Americans do (Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., 10/28). [More]

Natural painkiller system in the brain responds to social rejection

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," goes the playground rhyme that's supposed to help children endure taunts from classmates. But a new study suggests that there's more going on inside our brains when someone snubs us - and that the brain may have its own way of easing social pain. [More]