Soaring Prices Put Drugs out of Reach for Many Americans

Retail prices for more than 100 widely used specialty prescription drugs surged by nearly 11 percent in 2013, according to a new AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) report issued today. The report found that the average annual cost of a specialty medication used to treat chronic diseases and conditions rose to more than $53,000 — greater than the U.S. median income and more than twice the $23,500 median income of people on Medicare. Specialty-prescription-drug prices are 18 times higher than …

Bedtime Blood Pressure Meds May Help Prevent Diabetes

Sometimes it’s not just a matter of taking your medication, but also when you take it that’s paramount. That’s the surprising conclusion of a new study that found that taking your blood pressure pills at bedtime, rather than waiting until morning, can cut your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by more than half. Spanish researchers with the University of Vigo conducted two related studies, both published Sept. 23 in the journal Diabetologia, that tested the link between blood pressure …

Midlife Diabetes Tied to Memory Problems Later in Life

Having diabetes or prediabetes in midlife is linked to memory problems later in life, according to new research published in Annals of Internal Medicine. In fact, diabetes appears to age the brain about five years faster than normal aging. Johns Hopkins researchers in Baltimore tracked the blood sugar levels and brain health of more than 15,000 adults ages 48 to 67 with regular exams for 20 years and found there was nearly 20 percent greater decline in memory and cognitive function in those with …

The Cost of Health Freebies

Many freebies come at a cost. And with unsolicited offers for supposedly free medical supplies and services, it’s often identity theft. As your phone likely continues to ring with robocalls touting “free” medical alert systems — a scam that’s been going strong for more than a year (with some calls still lying about phony AARP ties and bogus coupons) — expect other equally dubious deals. Some offer “no-cost” medications and supplies for diabetes or other conditions. Others are even bolder, claiming that “doctor-ordered” …

The Financial Burden of Being a Family Caregiver

Caring for family or friends is not just a matter of love and time, it’s also a matter of dollars and cents. According to a new survey from Caring.com, nearly half of caregivers spend more than $5,000 per year — a whopping $25,000 over the average caregiving stint of five years. And many spend far more. Complicating things is the reluctance of caregivers to talk about finances: Seven out of 10 have not spoken with loved ones about how to …

Major New Study Tests Drug to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

In what some experts are calling the most important Alzheimer’s research of the decade, scientists at 61 medical centers across the country and elsewhere have launched a groundbreaking study to test whether an experimental new medication can protect healthy older adults from the memory loss and brain damage caused by the disease.  “Our best chance of really changing the disease is to start treatment before people have symptoms,” said lead researcher Reisa Sperling, professor in neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of the …