- Marketplace 1
- While Theranos' Board Can Give Advice, Founder Elizabeth Holmes Doesn't Have To Listen
- Health Care Personnel 2
- Thousands Of Nurses At Stanford Prepared To Strike
- 'Don't Quit': Black Youth Urged Toward Medical Careers Through Mentorship Program
- Around California 1
- Verity Says It's Made 'Significant' Progress After Taking Over Daughters Of Charity
Latest From California Healthline:
Medi-Cal program provides vital services to HIV and AIDS patients, but providers say it doesn’t pay enough to allow them to serve everyone who needs it. (Anna Gorman, 4/25)
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Summaries Of The News:
The initiative, likened by one lobbyist to a "grenade being rolled into the conversation," would require the state to pay no more for prescription drugs than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the industry is gearing up to fight back.
Drug Makers Spend Big To Fight California Price Control Referendum
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton give drug makers the jitters when they talk about Medicare negotiating the prices of prescription drugs. But the biggest near-term threat to the industry comes from a California ballot initiative that would test a version of that idea in the most populous state. That ballot initiative “is a grenade being rolled into the conversation, and it is being taken very seriously,” says a Republican drug lobbyist in Washington, D.C. (Cook and Karlin-Smith, 4/25)
In other news, a "take back" law, which would require pharmaceutical companies to design, manage and pay for the collection and disposal of unused prescription medicines and sharps, is scheduled to come before the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors next month —
Proposed LA County Law Would Make Pharma Pay For Drug, Sharps Disposal
The ordinance would require pharmaceutical companies to design, manage and pay for the collection and disposal of unused prescription medicines and sharps. It would be the largest such program in the nation. Five Northern California counties have similar ordinances that are limited to unused medicines; one in Santa Cruz is the first in the nation to include medical sharps. (O'Neill, 4/22)
The situation at Theranos offers a stark reminder of the perils of investing in Silicon Valley, where it is common for founders to control a company, leaving boards with little real power, including over who should be chief executive.
The New York Times:
Theranos’s Fate Rests With A Founder Who Answers Only To Herself
It’s all up to Elizabeth Holmes. Theranos, a blood-testing lab started and led by Ms. Holmes that promised to revolutionize the industry, is now under criminal investigation and faces increasing skepticism about whether its core technology works. Several federal agencies are looking into the company’s operations. Ms. Holmes herself may have to answer to federal regulators about what she told investors. (Abelson, 4/24)
The union representing more than 3,000 nurses at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Stanford Hospitals and Clinics still has to issue a formal declaration of a strike, at which time it would give the hospitals 10 days notice -- as required by law -- to prepare for any action.
The San Jose Mercury News:
Three Thousand Nurses At Stanford Hospitals, Clinics, Prepared To Call Strike
Thousands of nurses from Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and Stanford Hospitals and Clinics said Friday they are prepared to call a strike after failing to reach a deal in three days of mediation with hospital administrators over wages and benefits. Colleen Borges, president of the Committee for Recognition of Nursing Achievement, which represents 3,300 nurses, issued a statement saying the union "has participated in good faith in mediation, and agreed to yesterday's extended session in an effort to get a fair contract." ... Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford said in a statement late Friday that they will continue to participate in negotiations with the union and the federal mediator. (Seipel, 4/22)
Black doctors, dentists, chiropractors and therapists share their stories of adversity and triumph with high school students at the third annual Minority Health Professions Mentor Program held in Sacramento.
The Sacramento Bee:
Students Of Color Nudged Toward Health Careers
The Sacramento area, with four hospital systems, a budding biotech industry and many medical nonprofits, has become a hub for medical careerists. Parents and teachers at the event said they are determined that black youths pursue those opportunities. Students received inspirational lessons on how to succeed in the health field and not be thwarted by emotional, academic or economic barriers. (Caiola, 4/23)
It was David Daleiden's first appearance since investigators searched his home and seized his footage earlier this month. Daleiden says he has retained Steve Cooley, a former opponent of Attorney General Kamala Harris, to fight any charges that may come from her office.
The Sacramento Bee:
Anti-Abortion Activist With Davis Roots Protests Outside Sacramento Planned Parenthood
David Daleiden said he doesn’t take it personally that state law enforcement agents searched his Orange County home earlier this month. But the seizure of equipment and footage he used to produce a controversial series of undercover videos about Planned Parenthood seems to have fired up the now famous anti-abortion activist for a fight. (Kosseff, 4/23)
In other news, Vista Community Clinic has expanded into Orange and Riverside counties.
The San Francisco Business Times:
Verity's Progress, Prognosis After Taking Over Daughters Of Charity Hospitals
Verity Health System, in its first in-depth discussion of its progress so far at running the former Daughters of Charity Health System hospitals, says it's made "significant" progress but has a lot of work to do. (Rauber, 4/24)
The San Diego Union-Tribune:
Vista Clinic Expands Into Orange, Riverside Counties
Vista Community Clinic is no longer just a North County health care operation, recently expanding its services into Orange and Riverside counties. (Figueroa, 4/24)
She was tested after traveling to Central America. Meanwhile, U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy appeared at a Bakersfield pharmacy to preview opioid-related legislation he's introducing. And news outlets cover other public health news on vaping and two providers' moves to align with sports teams.
The San Francisco Chronicle:
Pregnant SF Woman Tests Zika-Positive After Central America Trip
A pregnant San Francisco woman who had recently been in Central America tested positive for the Zika virus, public health officials said Friday. The woman has experienced no symptoms of Zika, but got tested because of known risks to babies born to women who were infected during pregnancy. Her test came back positive Thursday. (Allday, 4/22)
The Bakersfield Californian:
McCarthy Previews Bill To Hold Addiction Treatment Programs Accountable
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy previewed legislation to evaluate federal opiate addiction programs on Friday at a Walgreens in the northwest, as store officials promoted new medication disposal bins and the coming availability of an opiate overdose reverser without a prescription. (Douglas, 4/22)
The San Diego Union-Tribune:
Tobacco Control Experts Defend Vaping
Regulators should avoid heavy-handed condemnation of e-cigarette use, seven international tobacco control experts urged in a study published in the journal Addiction. (Fikes, 4/24)
The Sacramento Business Journal:
Health Systems Hope To Score Big With Sports Sponsorships
Two health care systems in the area have formed partnerships with professional sports teams, moves that could help raise the systems’ regional profiles and align their brands with fitness. (Anderson, 4/24)
Scientists announce a clinical trial to see if a common Type 2 diabetes treatment could stave off some of the most devastating diseases of advanced age — and seniors are coming out of the woodwork in droves to be involved.
The Wall Street Journal:
Fountain Of Youth? Drug Trial Has Seniors Scrambling To Prove They’re Worthy
What if there were a way to stave off the creaks and calamities of old age? Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is working on it. With word leaking out, seniors from all over the globe have been hounding Dr. Barzilai and his colleagues to get in on the action—with many writing to prove their worthiness. Never mind that formal patient recruitment is still perhaps a year away. (Levitz, 4/24)
Meanwhile, doctors worry about the amount of medications seniors are prescribed —
The New York Times:
The Dangers Of ‘Polypharmacy,’ The Ever-Mounting Pile Of Pills
Dr. Caleb Alexander knows how easily older people can fall into so-called polypharmacy. Perhaps a patient, like most seniors, sees several specialists who write or renew prescriptions. “A cardiologist puts someone on good, evidence-based medications for his heart,” said Dr. Alexander, co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness. “An endocrinologist does the same for his bones.” And let’s say the patient, like many older adults, also uses an over-the-counter reflux drug and takes a daily aspirin or a zinc supplement and fish oil capsules. “Pretty soon, you have an 82-year-old man who’s on 14 medications,” Dr. Alexander said, barely exaggerating. (Span, 4/22)