FDA Authorizes Marketing of the New Dexcom G6® CGM Eliminating Need for Fingerstick Blood Testing for People with Diabetes | Business Wire

This seems like good news. Whether it will be available for lower income people through medicare/medicaid would mean a lot to help them monitor their glucose levels.

FDA Authorizes Marketing of the New Dexcom G6® CGM Eliminating Need for Fingerstick Blood Testing for People with Diabetes
— Read on www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180327006343/en/FDA-Authorizes-Marketing-New-Dexcom-G6®-CGM

One-of-a kind collaboration expected to train health care workers on Peninsula – PDN

This is a great idea to try and work to train and bring on qualified local people quickly.  Thanks to the Littlejohns and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe for also helping to fund the initiative. Jefferson Healthcare has tried with little success to find medical professionals willing to relocate here for the long term. I personally have seen them pass over qualified local candidates in favor of people from elsewhere, only to see them leave after a few years of work here. Now this program presents the opportunity to grow candidates on the peninsula, which is far more likely to having them stay for the long haul. A good use of our tax dollars, I’d say.

PORT ANGELES — Peninsula College is teaming up with health care providers from Clallam and Jefferson counties in a wide-ranging $1 million effort funded by state lawmakers, the college foundation, local hospitals and others. The goal: Add registered nurses, medical assistants and certified nursing assistants to a rural medical industry workforce on the North Olympic Peninsula that is typically starving for job applicants.

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/one-of-a-kind-collaboration-expected-to-train-health-care-workers-on-peninsula/

Amid Statewide Mental Health Care Crisis, UW Looks to Shutter Psychiatric Unit – The Stranger

A sad state of affairs. The mentally ill are perpetually short changed by our State government. And if you have a mentally ill adult child up until this recent session you had virtually no way to try and get them into a facility against their will no matter how bad they got, other than being sent off to jail for behavioral issues. At least that was made easier this session.

It seems like there never is enough for the military in this country given the last federal budget that both Democrats and Republicans voted in favor of funding yet our mentally ill facilities are struggling. I personally would be glad to have a mechanism on my tax form to at least state what % of my taxes should go to the military vs. healthcare and other social and infrastructure needs. It could at least act as a guide for grading how our legislators work.

When the American College of Emergency Physicians graded every state back in 2014, it gave Washington a D+. Among our state’s worst marks: psychiatric beds. Washington has just 8.3 beds for every 100,000 people, worse than all but two other states.

https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2018/04/03/25990360/amid-statewide-mental-health-care-crisis-uw-looks-to-shutter-psychiatric-unit

Medicine affordability recommendations made for the U.S

From the Consumer Health Digest

An ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has issued a 235-page report on Making Medicines Affordable: A National Imperative. The report includes 14 findings about the complexity of the biopharmaceutical marketplace, 18 findings about factors influencing affordability of prescription drugs, and these eight recommendations (each accompanied by suggested actions):

  • Accelerate the market entry and use of safe and effective generics as well as biosimilars, and foster competition to ensure the continued affordability and availability of these products.
  • Consolidate and apply government purchasing power, strengthen formulary design, and improve drug valuation methods. This includes modifying existing legislation to allow the Dept. of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices for Medicare and other programs (p. 127).
  • Assure greater transparency of financial flows and profit margins in the biopharmaceutical supply chain.
  • Promote the adoption of industry codes of conduct, and discourage direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs as well as direct financial incentives for patients.
  • Modify insurance benefits designed to mitigate prescription drug cost burdens for patients.
  • Eliminate misapplication of funds and inefficiencies in federal discount programs that are intended to aid vulnerable populations.
  • Ensure that financial incentives for the prevention and treatment of rare diseases are not extended to widely sold drugs.
  • Increase available information and implement reimbursement incentives to more closely align clinicians’ prescribing practices with treatment value.

Pages 52 and 53 cover Medicare drug price negotiation in detail. Pages 96 to 98 discuss drug reimportation. The full report can be read online or downloaded free of charge by registered users of the Academy’s site.

Master herbalist and iridologist charged in diabetic boy’s death – Consumer Health Digest

I’m posting this because of the notoriety of the man charged in this. Given the large number of alternative medicine followers here on the Olympic Peninsula I thought this would be of interest.

The Los Angeles City Attorney has charged Timothy Morrow, 83, with child abuse causing death and practicing medicine without a license. The City Attorney’s press release describes the circumstances this way:
During 2014, Morrow allegedly began to treat the 13-year-old victim for his diabetes by prescribing herbs in lieu of the insulin the victim’s pediatrician had prescribed. In August, 2014, Morrow allegedly came to the family’s Harbor Gateway home to treat the 13-year-old victim after he became sick and semi-comatose due to complications from his Type-1 diabetes. Shortly before the victim died, Morrow allegedly told the victim’s parents not to give him insulin but instead to administer the herbal oils that he was selling. The victim suffered a cardiac arrest and died the next day as a result of complications from his diabetes. The medical examiner determined the victim would have lived had he received proper medical treatment.
Morrow’s YouTube channel offers 40 videos and has 2,700 subscribers. His current “Message from Our Founder”on the Common Sense Herbal Products Web site describes him as a “Master Herbalist and Iridologist” to whom God began talking about herbs over 25 years ago. The site includes a page offering a “Social Network Marketing System” as a business opportunity along with a home business compensation plan structured like many other multilevel marketing companies. Morrow’s mission page claims: “Keep in mind: there are no side effects to herbs, no labels that read “Keep Out of Reach of Children.” These herbs, in fact, are gentle enough for children.”
According to Morrow’s attorney, Sanford Perliss, since Edgar’s death, “no one did anything to indicate that Morrow did anything wrong”—no efforts have been made to take away his business license and Edgar’s parents have not sued him. If convicted of the charges, which are misdemeanors, Morrow faces up to two years in jail and a $10,000 fine. He is scheduled for arraignment on March 27th. [Herbalist charged in death of boy with diabetes. CBS/AP, March 7, 2018]

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/timothy-morrow-herbalist-charged-death-diabetic-boy-los-angeles/