Trending News Today: Cancer Concerns Raised Over iPhone 7 Wireless Headphones
Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
The recent outrage over the rise in cost for the EpiPen has been a heavily discussed topic, but insurers and employers who pay a majority of drug costs say the bigger financial shock has come from expensive anti-inflammatory medications, such as Humira and Enbrel. This widely overlooked source are drugs taken by millions of people with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. In recent years, prices have doubled, making these the costliest drug class in the country by some calculations, The New York Times reported. Now drug payers are starting to push back on these high priced drugs, with Express Scripts announcing on Thursday that it changed its recommendations to employers and insurers to state that they should cover fewer drugs for many inflammatory conditions. The company hopes that these new limits will force drug manufacturers to lower their prices. However, this approach has already caused complaints among patients who are reliant on these drugs. Express Scripts countered by stated that the decision was necessary to contain costs. These drugs account for almost 10% of all drug spending among its members in the United States, and costs an estimated $7.5 billion, even though fewer than 1% of its members use them, according to the Times.
Nursing home chain, Vanguard Healthcare LLC, is being sued by health regulators for allegedly providing poor patient care in some of its 13 locations, which cost government insurance programs tens of millions of dollars, reported The Wall Street Journal. In the filed lawsuit, the US Department of Health and Human Services officials stated that the company provided a level of patient care “that caused serious physical and emotional harm to highly vulnerable elderly, disabled, and low income residents at [its] facilities.”
In developed countries, finding someone who does not own a cellphone is rare, and concerns have been raised on whether or not these phones can cause cancer. However, new concerns have begun to be voiced by potential users of Apple’s new iPhone 7, which requires wireless headphones after the earphone jack was eliminated. Unless users of the new iPhone can adopt a workaround that allows them to plug their earphones into the phone,s charging jack, they will need to wear these wireless headphones, according to the Los Angeles Times. But some users are wondering if it is safe to put a radiation-emitting earphone device directly in contact with their head. Experts who have studied the subject have reported that yes, it is perfectly safe to use. Apple’s new AirPods connect to the phone through Bluetooth, and the frequency Bluetooth devices operate on is not much different from those used by cellphones or WiFi service. However, if the lack of a headphone jack in the new iPhone 7 causes people to forgo the AirPods, and instead hold the phone up to their heads, they will only increase their exposure to electromagnetic radiation, and as a result, their risk of adverse health effects, according to The Times. afe to use theeadphones, according to the Los Angeles TImes.ce