Trending News Today: Early Levels of Ustekinumab May Determine Patient Response

Top news of the day across the health care landscape.

A new study suggests that measurement of early levels of ustekinumab may successfully be used to direct treatment strategy for patients with psoriasis, The American Journal of Managed Care reported. According to the article, the study evaluated the clinical utility of drug monitoring for ustekinumab in 491 British adults with psoriasis. Overall, the results showed that early measured drug levels had a statistically significant association with 6-month response, indicating that adequate drug exposure early in the treatment cycle may help determine clinical outcome with ustekinumab, the article reported.

A World Health Organization report found that governments must invest in primary health care by at least an additional 1% of their gross domestic product to curb increasing out-of-pocket spending for patients, Reuters reported. According to the article, the agency noted that public investment in primary health care close to home, including immunization, is key to extending coverage and saving lives. It would cost an additional $200 billion per year to scale up primary health care in low- and middle-income countries, the article reported.

A recent survey found that more than 1 in 10 US adults aged 18 to 34 years old with a medical condition smoke marijuana on a daily basis, MD Magazine reported. According to the article, the study sample included 169,036 participants from the 2016 and 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System telephone surveys. Overall, the findings showed that adults with medical conditions were more likely to report marijuana use at each age category. Among the 18 to 24 year old age group, 25.2% reported use of marijuana within the last month and 11.2% reported using it on a daily basis, according to the results.