Soaring generic drug prices draw scrutiny

By: Matthew Perrone
Posted on: January 22, 2015

Some low-cost generic drugs that have helped restrain healthcare costs for decades are seeing unexpected price spikes of up to 8,000 percent, prompting a backlash from patients, pharmacists and now Washington lawmakers.A Senate panel met in November to scrutinize the recent, unexpected trend among generic medicines, which usually cost 30 to 80 percent less than their branded... READ MORE

Precursors to blood cancers discovered

By: Marilynn Marchione
Posted on: January 15, 2015

Many older people silently harbor a blood “pre-cancer” — a gene mutation acquired during their lifetime that could start them on the path to leukemia, lymphoma or other blood disease, scientists have discovered. It opens a new frontier on early detection and possibly someday preventing these cancers, which become more common with age.The discovery was made by two... READ MORE

It’s not easy to discontinue sleep meds

By: Harvard Health Letter
Posted on: January 11, 2015

Do you take a drug to help you sleep every night? You’re not alone. Millions of Americans rely on prescription sleep medications, called sedative hypnotics.“People believe they can’t sleep without them, and they stay on them for years,” said sleep expert Dr. Lawrence Epstein, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School. But you can wean yourself off the drugs ... READ MORE

Stem cells safely reverse some vision loss

By: Maria Cheng
Posted on: January 04, 2015

An experimental treatment for blindness that uses embryonic stem cells appears to be safe, and it improved vision in more than half of the patients who got it, two early studies show.Researchers followed 18 patients for up to three years after treatment. The studies are the first to show long-term safety of an embryonic stem cell treatment in humans.“It’s a wonderful first step, ... READ MORE

90-year-old caregiver among nation’s best

By: Rebekah Sewell
Posted on: December 10, 2014

On an average day, 90-year-old Mary Hartsock wakes up around 5 a.m. and works up to eight hours as a caregiver.She began her career working for the in-home care company Right at Home at the age of 79, when most of her peers were either already retired or retiring. She currently works for the branch of the company in Frederick, Md.In her 11 years with Right at Home, Hartsock has never been... READ MORE

How quickly will you recover from surgery?

By: Lauran Neergaard
Posted on: December 02, 2014

One of the big frustrations of surgery: There’s little way to know if a patient will be a fast or slow healer — someone who feels back to normal in a week, or is out of work for a month with lingering pain and fatigue.Now Stanford University researchers have discovered that right after surgery, patients’ blood harbors clues about how fast they will bounce back — and... READ MORE