News & Information
Influenza Hospitalizations Highest on Record, Flu Reminders For Staff
Written by Editor   
Thursday, February 15, 2018 09:29 AM

Overall hospitalizations for influenza-like illness (ILI) are at their highest since the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began collecting such data. 

"In the past week, we have seen increased [ILI] activity, more hospitalizations, and tragically, more flu-associated deaths in children and adults," the acting director, CDC, said. "As of this week, overall hospitalizations are now the highest we've seen, even higher than in 2014-2015, our previous high season. Unfortunately, our latest tracking data indicate that flu activity is still high and widespread across most of the nation. This is an unusual pattern for flu in the [United States]."

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National Health Spending at $3.5 Trillion, $5+ Trillion in Less Than a Decade
Written by Editor   
Thursday, February 15, 2018 09:07 AM

National health spending grew by an estimated 4.6% in 2017, to $3.5 trillion, up slightly from a 4.3% increase in the growth rate in 2016, officials from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said Wednesday.

The projected increase was due in part to increased growth in Medicare spending and higher premiums for health insurance bought through the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces, officials said. Over the longer term, national health spending is expected to increase 5.5% annually over the next decade -- 1% faster than the increase in the gross domestic product during that period -- reaching a total of $5.7 trillion by 2026.

Spending on physician and clinical services grew by an estimated 5% in 2017, to $698.3 billion, a decline from 5.4% in 2016, said an economist at CMS's National Health Statistics Group. The proliferation of high-deductible health plans, which encourage less spending on healthcare, will have contributed to that deceleration.

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Neurotransmitters, Adrenals, Blood Sugar & Nutrition
Written by Andrea Howard   
Thursday, February 15, 2018 12:00 AM

Guest Contributor Jesse Davis, DC
Sponsored by Innate Response

The adrenal glands are a primary stress response organ and play a key secondary role in raising blood sugar. Primarily performed by pancreas-originating glucagon, adrenal hormones, like cortisol, and neurotransmitters like epinephrine, contribute to raising blood sugar as well. Since glucose in the blood is critical for brain function, the body employs a tight web of control using several mechanisms to regulate blood sugar levels. 

When blood sugar is physiologically detected as low, glucagon is secreted by the pancreas to promote the release of glycogen from the liver. This same mechanism is how epinephrine (aka adrenaline) raises blood sugar in the body. Epinephrine is also released during times of acute stress such as a threat or noxious stimuli.  Epinephrine is directly mediated by the central nervous system (CNS) through the sympathetic nerve system, which stimulates the adrenal medulla.
 

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Fed Up With Drug Companies, Hospitals Decide to Start Their Own
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:31 PM

Several major hospital systems, including Ascension, a Catholic system that is the nation’s largest nonprofit hospital group, plan to form a new nonprofit company, that will provide a number of generic drugs to the hospitals. The Department of Veterans Affairs is also expressing interest in participating.  In all, about 300 hospitals are now included in the group. Other hospitals are expected to join.

Group leaders said they planned to focus only on certain drugs. “There are individual places where there are problems,” he said. “We are not indicting an entire industry.”  A professor of medicine at the Duke University School of Medicine who has studied the generic drug market and is advising the effort, said: “If they all agree to buy enough to sustain this effort, you will have a huge threat to people that are trying to manipulate the generic drug market.”

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Producing Drugs on 3D Printers?
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, February 07, 2018 09:02 AM

It may become available sooner than you think.  Doctors, pharmacists, or anyone could fabricate drugs on demand using 3D printers.  

Researchers at the University of Glasgow have unveiled a new process of building “reactionware," or small reactors that can produce drugs, using a $2,000 off-the-shelf 3D printer, Science reports. The new process makes it possible for anyone to fabricate drugs, allowing doctors in developing nations to quickly produce medicines to curtail outbreaks, or even let you produce your own ibuprofen at home.

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