Don’t laugh until you’re red in the face

Rosacea sufferers know how embarrassing it can be to have people always ask if they’re alright or if they’ve eaten something to make them break out. Allergan has recently begun a press tour for newly approved Rhofade to treat facial erythema, more commonly known as facial redness or rosacea. As is becoming the trend, Allergan has gone the route of a celebrity endorser. Actress and Tony Award winner Kristen Chenoweth is the literal face of their new campaign. Their slogan “Less Red, More You” makes us think about other times famous people’s faces have changed colors. On that note, do you think Donald Trump was born orange or is that a look he’s cultivated?

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Good immune system? Blame it on the dog

It’s easy to blame things on the dog. Chewed furniture? Yep. That mystery puddle on the floor? Sure. Being a slobbery, disgusting vehicle for germs entering the house? Definitely. But as you’re wiping dog snot off your windows for the billionth time, look on the bright side: the microbes brought into the house by dogs are actually helping our immune systems. Kids who grow up in households with dogs are less likely to develop autoimmune diseases and allergies – potentially due to the diversity of bacteria brought into the house by Fido. What about cats, you ask? All we know for sure is cats couldn’t care less if you get sick. Here are the 5 most popular dog breeds IN THE WORLD!

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FDA: Endo’s opioid is a no-no, has got to go

For the first time, the FDA is requesting that a drug maker remove its product from the market for public health reasons. Endo Pharmaceuticals’ Opana ER—an opioid designed to continuously manage moderate to severe pain—has already faced scrutiny for being easy to abuse via snorting. Turns out addicts aren’t too fond of the ‘extended’ aspect of the drug. To combat this, the company added a coating that made the drug harder to crush… so abusers injected it instead. Not only did this reformulation not meet the FDA’s standards of officially being abuse-deterrent, but the rise in injection abuse is also tied to an HIV/Hep C outbreak caused by needle sharing. God save us from people who mean well.

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Cream or sugar?

The good news is if it’s going in a cup of joe you’re reducing your risk of liver cancer. And the more the better! A new study by the Universities of Southampton and Edinburgh show the more coffee you drink the greater the reduction in risk of developing HCC, the most common form of primary liver cancer, which also happens to be the second leading cause of cancer death globally. So, go ahead and splurge at the coffee pot tomorrow. According to the findings, increasing coffee consumption by two cups a day was associated with a 35% reduction, and when compared to those that don’t drink coffee, five cups may halve the risk. For the decaf drinkers (by the way, what’s the point?), it’s beneficial, too. Here’s to chocolate and coffee tomorrow.

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Civil War: healthcare edition

The formula for rising healthcare costs in the US is filled with a bunch of pointed fingers lately. One finger is being pointed at drug maker Kaléo (no, not that Kaleo) by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts. They’re suing Kaléo over its price hikes on a heroin/painkiller overdose treatment. According to Express Scripts, these hikes triggered price protection rebates owed to Express Scripts, which total around $14 million—most of the lawsuit. The PBM has successfully sued larger drug companies like Horizon, so Kaléo may be at a bit of a disadvantage here. Especially since Express Scripts could use the extra cash to deal with the fingers pointed at it, including one $15B lawsuit by its (soon-to-be former) largest customer, the insurance provider Anthem.

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You can teach an old drug new tricks

Here at InsightCity we have a saying, “don’t get sick.” Why? Well, aside from medical errors as a leading cause of death in the US, you could pick up antibiotic resistant bacteria while receiving care in a medical environment. There is good news for the ~2 million Americans who catch one of these resistant strains each year (not always at hospitals!). An old antibiotic that’s been around since the 1950s, vancomycin, has been retooled to deliver a trinity of fatal blows to bacteria that have become antibiotic resistant—including strains impervious to the original vancomycin. Each of the three tweaks is capable of bactericide alone, combined it’s one killer antibiotic.  Thank you, scientists, Akinori Okano, Nicholas Isley and Dale Boger!

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I’m just a bill

Drug pricing is hot. Want proof? According to The New York Times, there are six major drug pricing bills under consideration. For those who require it, here’s a refresher on the U.S. legislative process. Two of the proposed bills focus on the approval of generic medications. One would require pharma companies to give notice before price increases. Another would allow U.S. citizens to import cheaper drugs from other countries. Two others would require PBMs to disclose rebate levels and increase transparency. Additionally, President Trump is asking why the government does not negotiate prices it pays for Medicare. Net-net: there are lots of spaghetti strands being thrown at the drug pricing refrigerator, let’s see what sticks.

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