Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
The chief executive of Philidor Rx Services and an executive at Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, were charged with multiple counts of fraud and conspiracy for an alleged multimillion dollar scheme. According to The New York Times, these arrests were representative of the first charges in multiple state and federal investigations into Valeant’s business practices. On Thursday, prosecutors alleged that the 2 men enriched each other through a kickback scheme by directing more business and money to the mail-order pharmacy, Philidor Rx.
Although the United States is one of the richest countries in the world, this is not necessarily the case if the 50 states are segregated by income rather than geography, according to the Los Angeles Times. In a new study, researchers looked to get a better sense of the actual impact of poverty on health by focusing on the poorest counties in the nation. They sorted the nation’s 3141 counties according to their median household income using income data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the LA Times reported. The 2% of counties with the lowest median household income comprise the poorest ‘state’ in their alternative United States. The next 2% of counties formed the second-poorest “state,” and so on, until researchers had 50 new “states” each with 62 or 63 counties, reported the LA Times. The results of the analysis showed that residents of the poorest state in the union would have a median household income that is just above the federal poverty line for a family of 4. Furthermore, the rich were found to outlive the poor by 9.5 years, according to the LA Times.
A new analysis revealed that fewer people are prematurely dying of cancer, heart disease, and stroke between 2010 and 2014; however, there was a significant increase in preventable deaths from unintentional injuries, reported The Washington Post. This growth is mostly because of the increase in deaths from opioid overdoses. The analysis was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reported that for the 5 leading causes of death in 2014, states in the Southeast continued to have the highest number of premature deaths that had a chance to be avoided, the Post reported. The potentially preventable deaths fell in 3 categories: cancer decreased 25% and was driven by a 12% decrease in the age-adjusted death rate from lung cancer; stroke decreased 11%; and heart disease dropped by 4%.