Gallery

Health Updates 1 December 2011

  • Generic version of top-selling cholesterol fighting drug Lipitor seen helping consumers’ wallets: “The drug’s manufacturer, Pfizer Inc., already has slashed its price to as little as $4 a month for privately insured patients, the majority of Lipitor users.  That’s down from typical co-pays of $25 to $45.  In the months to come, patents will expire on other popular drugs including Lexapro, used to treat depression, and Plavix, which is widely prescribed for blood thinning.  Asthma sufferers will be able to get generic versions of Singulair next summer. (LA Times)
  • World AIDS Day reminds us to remember those who have died and health officials to assess the state of the disease: “Innovations like rapid finger-prick blood testing and new antiviral medications that can make the virus virtually undetectable were major breakthroughs.  But much remains the same: while HIV/AIDS is not the death sentence it once was, the stigma of infection is still so great that practitioners say it’s tough to get people in for testing.  Some people at high risk still don’t take the disease seriously – or even realize they’re at risk.” (St Petersburg Times)
  • 2 Governors asking US to ease rules on marijuana to allow for its medical use: “The governors of Washington and Rhode Island petitioned the federal government on Wednesday to reclassify marijuana as a drug with accepted medical uses, saying the change is needed so states like theirs, which have decriminalized marijuana for medical purposes, can regulate the safe distribution of the drug without risking federal prosecution….Marijuana is currently classified by the federal government as a Schedule I controlled substance, the same category as heroin and LSD.  Drugs with that classification, the government says, have a high potential for abuse and ‘no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States’.  The governors want marijuana reclassified as a Schedule II controlled substance, which would put it in the same category as drugs like cocaine, opium and morphine.” (NY Times)
  • Depression may slow exercise recovery: “Exercise is known to ease the symptoms of depression.  But does depression change the way the body responds to exercise?  A new study suggests that clinical depression may hamper the body’s ability to recover from physical activity, prolonging the amount of time it takes for a depressed person’s heart rate to slow down and return to normal after a workout.  Although it may sound minor, some research suggests that a difference of even just a few beats per minute during post-exercise recovery is associated with a shorter lifespan.” (Anahad O’Connor, NY Times)
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