A New Contaminant Found in Popular Drugs Could Cost Big Pharma Millions

When a drug is recalled because there’s something in it that shouldn’t be, it’s scary but often traceable: Foreign objects such as shards of metal or microorganisms might infiltrate medications through dirty factories or lax manufacturing practices. But recently a more insidious—and difficult to eradicate—form of contamination has surfaced among makers of some of the world’s best-selling pharmaceuticals. They’re called nitrosamines. read more


Stem Cell Transplant in MS: Patients Support, but Neurologists Hesitant

People who underwent a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), many of them patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), were supportive of the treatment despite its high costs — and hesitancy and opposition from their neurologists — a survey study showed.

Most surveyed HSCT recipients — about 85% — believed their symptoms were better controlled after the stem cell transplant, and those with MS saw an overall reduction in disability.

However, more than half of the transplant recipients’ neurologists did not support the procedure, and more than 30% did not continue patient care post-treatment, the survey found. read more



Thousands of Pa. nursing home workers may strike despite $600M for care in state budget

Months after the state approved hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to bolster caregiving in nursing homes, thousands of nurses, health aides, and other support staff may soon go on strike over how two for-profit companies plan to use the money.

At issue is how much of the $600 million earmarked by Gov. Tom Wolf and the legislature will actually go to workers who say they are working longer hours, taking duties outside their jobs, and even rationing food for residents. read more


Students wait months for mental health help. ‘We’re bombarded,’ counselor says

Leo Peñaloza was a freshman at San Bernardino High School when campuses closed as the pandemic hit. His father was hospitalized with COVID-19 for months, fighting for his life. Leo’s mother cared for his father by day and began working nights to keep their family afloat.

An only child, Leo spent months fearing for both of them. “That took a toll,” he said, making it difficult to focus on school. He said he never talked about the stress. read more


Tea drinkers enjoy possible health benefits, study suggests

cup of tea just got a bit more relaxing.

Tea can be part of a healthy diet and people who drink tea may even be a little more likely to live longer than those who don’t, according to a large study.

Tea contains helpful substances known to reduce inflammation. Past studies in China and Japan, where green tea is popular, suggested health benefits. The new study extends the good news to the U.K.’s favorite drink: black tea. read more


Administration overhauling Medicaid, CHIP enrollment

In an effort to improve healthcare access, the Biden Administration has proposed a new rule that would overhaul the enrollment processes for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Basic Health Programs (BHPs), and eliminate what it considers arbitrary coverage caps for children in CHIP.

In a Notice of Proposed Rule Making, the Department of Health and Human Services, through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is working to reduce red tape and simplify application and verification processes in a bid to make it easier for children, older adults and people with lower incomes with Medicaid and CHIP coverage to enroll in and retain insurance. read more


Minnesota nurses to strike as they demand better work conditions

Thousands of Minnesota nurses are planning to strike later this month because they say their employers have ignored demands for a new union contract.

The strike will begin at 7 a.m. September 12 and end at 7 a.m. September 15, Mary Turner, president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, said during a press conference Thursday. About 15,000 nurses plan to stop working in what is believed to be the largest private-sector nurses strike in U.S. history. read more


UK health workers were let down by government during COVID pandemic, say doctors

Health and social care workers were often let down by the government whose claims that it was ‘guided by the science’ when developing policy to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic were questionable, according to an editorial published online today in The BMJ.

Many questions need to be answered when assessing how well the UK responded to the pandemic, says an opinion piece written by editor in chief of The BMJ, Kamran Abbasi, and Martin McKee and Kara Hanson, both from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London. read more


Semantix Announces the Acquisition of Zetta Health Analytics

Semantix, Inc. (NASDAQ: STIX), a leading Latin American end-to-end data platform provider (“Semantix”), today announces the acquisition of Zetta Health Analytics S.A. (“Zetta”), a Brazilian health tech company focused on data analytics, with the strategic objective to further expand Semantix’s presence and capabilities in serving healthcare clients through proprietary SaaS data solutions.

Founded in March 2019, Zetta has a robust variety of SaaS data solutions to enhance data-driven decision-making, leveraging client insights to improve care and costs and deepen value-based healthcare (VBHC) approach enriched by market analysis. In particular, Zetta provides to clients embedded dashboards utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) tools that help manage claims and improve assertiveness through the display of key indicators to optimize selection of providers and health outcomes. Currently, Zetta caters to a portfolio of more than 640 companies, including pharmaceutical companies, health insurers, health insurance brokers, hospitals and large companies in various sectors. In recognition of the powerful capabilities of Zetta’s data solutions, Zetta was named the number one tech company in the Brazilian healthcare market, according to the Ranking 100 Open Startups 2021. read more


Massachusetts biotech companies thrive during pandemic, report finds

The Massachusetts biotechnology industry appears to be thriving, despite a national stock slump and the ongoing COVID pandemic.

A report from the industry group MassBio found more than 106,000 people worked at drug companies and life science research institutions in 2021 — 13% more than the previous year. The industry continued to add jobs in research, development and manufacturing, even as some companies have laid off workers. read more