Wednesday, September 21, 2016

EpiPen price-gouging scandal brings a closer look at Mylan

I'm happy to say that the EpiPen price-gouging scandal has stirred enough outrage to trigger several investigations into Mylan.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch was called in to testify before the House Oversight Committee today.  She's claiming that they're not price-gouging, that they only make $50 off of each pen...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Price gouging on insulin is a thing, too

Remember the EpiPen price gouging story I posted not long ago?  It's funny, when I posted the story I said, "It's not related to diabetes."  But now that EpiPen prices have attracted such widespread attention, people have now brought up how much the cost of insulin has risen in recent years, too.

The EpiPen wasn't alone: Price gouging on insulin draws outrage

The rise in prices on insulin probably isn't quite as dramatic as the rise in EpiPen prices -- 200 percent on insulin, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, contrasted with more like 500 percent on the EpiPen, but it's still a serious increase that we absolutely should be questioning.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Big Pharma price-gouging with EpiPens

It's not related to diabetes, but if you pay attention to the headlines at all lately, you probably heard about the latest scandal in the pharmaceutical world: Mylan has raised the price of their EpiPens something like 450 percent, from $100 for a two-pack in 2007 to $600 now.  And they can't even claim they have to cover the cost of inventing the drug, since they actually only bought the rights to the patent from another company.

So what have they been spending their money on?  Their CEO's salary, apparently, which has also jumped since then, from $2 million to $19 million.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Diabetes and your period: Is skipping periods a good idea?

There was an article recently on NPR about whether women need periods.  The article was largely about how there is no point to having a period if you're not trying to get pregnant, and discussing different birth controls that suppress periods.

At the bottom of the article, however, was one lone dissenter:

Monday, June 13, 2016

Promising study results for oral insulin

All of us diabetics who take insulin, whether we are type 1 or type 2, have to inject the insulin.  That's because taken orally, our bodies would just digest the insulin.

But it seems that at least one pharmaceutical company may have figured out a way around that.

Oramed Announces Positive Top-Line Results from Phase IIb Oral Insulin Study

Friday, June 10, 2016

Sleep issues increase diabetes risk

We know sleep is important for your health, but did you know just how important?  Turns out insomnia increases your diabetes risk.  Women who have trouble going to sleep, or tend not to stay asleep, are 22 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes (after accounting for other risks).  Women who get less than six hours of sleep a night are a whopping 47 percent more likely.

The worst offenders, women who had difficulty sleeping plus three other problems (choosing between snoring, sleep apnea, less than six hours a night, and working a night shift) were a mind-boggling 400 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Metformin as a breast cancer drug?

Remember some other recent studies that showed metformin had protective qualities against aging?  Well, now the drug has been linked to better breast cancer survival rates in women who took metformin after their diagnosis.

The catch?  If you took metformin before your diagnosis, you were actually twice as likely to die.  Holy shit!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Lifestyle changes are a life sentence

Most people know that lifestyle changes are a primary focus when it comes to treating type 2 diabetes.  Eat better, exercise more, lose weight -- as if it's that easy.

Recent studies about the aftermath for contestants on the show The Biggest Loser demonstrate that it's not that easy.

After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight

It's a long article, but totally worth reading.  There are details about the contestants: their before and after weights, as well as their after-after weights.  In most cases, they regained a substantial amount, if not all, of the weight.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Dairy and diabetes, take 2

I find it fascinating how stories spread sometimes.  Recently I blogged about findings that whole-fat dairy reduces the risk of diabetes, contrary to what diet "experts" have been telling us for years about fat.

Now the story has gotten picked up by NPR:

The Full-Fat Paradox: Dairy Fat Linked To Lower Diabetes Risk

Now that the major news sources have the bit between their teeth, it's likely to get a lot of attention.  This is good news for those who have been touting the health benefits to full-fat dairy for a while.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Newsflash: Full-fat dairy is better for you

I started consuming full-fat dairy about ten years ago, and I'm not alone.  A lot of people have started to move away from low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese.  Most people have done so out of concerns of processing, but it turns out there might be other reasons to switch to full-fat dairy:

The Case Against Low-fat Milk Is Stronger Than Ever

It turns out that full-fat dairy makes you less likely to develop diabetes.  Who would've thought?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Watch out for upcoming vitamin D recommendations

Remember a few years back when doctors suddenly got gung ho about testing for vitamin D and recommending vitamin D supplements?  Well, it seems we might be in for another wave of that:

Vitamin D Boosts Heart Function in Study

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Diabetes costs you money... duh

I've learned a lot recently about how much diabetes costs to treat.  It really is staggering how many thousands of dollars more -- a year -- it costs to treat someone with diabetes versus someone without.  Now someone has come up with a figure that shows how much diabetes costs each person in the United States -- even if you don't have the disease.

What Diabetes Costs You, Even If You Don't Have The Disease

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Peter Lee: UnitedHealth is a whiny little b*tch

I have a lot of headlines saved up that I've been meaning to blog about, but haven't had the time.  I'm hoping to do a little catching up this week, though, so stay tuned!

This one harkens back to United's announcement that their Obamacare plans had lost them a lot of money.  Well, Peter Lee -- the executive director of Covered California -- says that United needs to put on their big kid pants.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The price of dodging Obamacare: Employer edition

With small employers having to comply this year with Obamacare's health insurance mandate -- stating that now even small employers have to provide full-time employees with health insurance -- it can be more difficult for some to find full-time work.  Many employers are attempting to compensate by keeping less full-time staff, but they're finding that the struggles of a mostly part-time staff aren't always worth the savings, according to this article from NPR.

Bosses Find Part-Time Workers Can Come With Full-Time Headaches

Monday, January 25, 2016

Avoid Affordable Care Act penalties!

The penalties under the Affordable Care Act for not having health insurance are going up for 2016.  Apparently the previous penalties were not enough of an incentive, because the ACA's new penalties are more than doubling.

Those without health insurance were charged $325 or 2 percent of their household incomes–whichever was higher–in 2015. That penalty will jump to $695 per adult, or 2.5 percent of their income, in 2016, according to the government.

Luckily, it's not too late to get health insurance.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

"Health" foods are the new diet gimmick

Anyone who knows me personally knows how annoyed I get with diet gimmicks.  Half of them are pyramid or MLM schemes, and most of them are total snake oil.  Add that to the fact that they're contributing to a distressingly unhealthy body image for many women, and you have a perfect recipe for pissing me off.

So of course I haven't missed that diet schemes are overwhelmingly being replaced with "health" foods -- supplements, diets, gimmicks, and more, oh my!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Metformin's newfound benefits

Recently the drug metformin, used to treat type 2 diabetes, has been found to have some unintended benefits.  Studies were announced months ago that found metformin protects against aging in roundworms and mice, and could even make 120 years the new human life expectancy.  They'll be doing studies on humans in the U.S. to find out if the same is true for people.

I intended to blog about it back then, but I got busy and it slipped my mind... and then this new headline popped up.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Is United pulling out of Obamacare?

A little while back I noticed a headline that United was contemplating pulling out of Obamacare due to losses in that department.  I intended to blog about it then, but forgot... until another headline about it showed in my Facebook feed today:

What would an exit by UnitedHealth Group mean for Obamacare?

This, in addition to Congress's recent attempt to axe the Affordable Care Act, has me very concerned about the future of Obamacare.  United is one of the biggest health insurers on the plan, and for people like me with a need for good health care, one of the only real choices.  It definitely won't go over well if they back out.