FTC Raises Concerns About Efforts to Blunt Rx Competition

Biologic drugs are often used to treat health conditions that affect older populations – diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Derived from living organisms, biologics have an estimated average cost of $35,000 a year, which is far more than that of traditional, chemically derived drugs. Congress recently granted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to approve less expensive generic versions of biologic drugs, known as biosimilars or follow-on biologics. But while the FDA continues to work …

Poll: Nearly half of adults 50+ are currently trying to lose weight

Recently, I wrote about New Year’s resolutions and that, among those 50 years and older with resolutions, 25% are working on health/fitness goals–the largest category by far. We’ve found this focus on health and fitness in a variety of other research too. For example, AARP research shows that when many people are turning 50, they set a goal to lose weight and get in shape before that big day. In an AARP  study of conversations online about 50th birthdays, losing …

Are You in the Hospital or Not?

If you think you are having a stroke, you’ll probably go to the nearest ER. But will the hospital admit you? After you have been checked into the ER, the doctor may instead put you under “observation,” especially if it is unclear whether you have had a stroke, a fainting spell or something else. What is observation status? It’s an outpatient designation used to monitor patients during periods of medical uncertainty. Rather than being formally admitted as inpatients, patients in …

Second-Guessing a Blogger’s Life-and-Death Battle

[View the story "Second-Guessing a Blogger's Life-and-Death Battle" on Storify] Story summary: Controversy erupted Monday when a column in the New York Times by Bill Keller repeated criticism voiced last week by his wife, writer Emma Keller, in The Guardian concerning Lisa Bonchek Adams, a New England woman who blogs and tweets about her treatment for cancer in New York City. The Kellers wrote about Adams and her social media activities, including 165,000 tweets about her treatment. Responding to the …

Improving the Odds for 9 Million Uninsured Adults Ages 50-64

Amid all the criticism of healthcare.gov and Obamacare these days, it’s easy to forget that a key goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to help people get coverage. For people who are uninsured or underinsured, a major accident or illness is more than a health crisis; it’s a potential financial disaster. In 2012, 9 million people ages 50 through 64 were uninsured. For these individuals, the Affordable Care Act offers new opportunities for coverage and will help some …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and fun … 1. Cockroaches that survive harsh winters have invaded New York. (Learn more at U.S. News) 2. Saturn’s six-sided jet stream creates a stunning GIF. (Learn more at Engadget.com) 3. Singer Susan Boyle has Asperger’s Syndrome. (Learn more at AARP) 4. Kitty, the most popular name for female kittens from 2000 to 2006, has dropped behind Bella and Lucy. (Learn more at Vetstreet) 5. Not all species decline with age, a new survey finds. (Learn more at …