Trending News Today: Low Health Insurance Literacy Associated with Avoiding Care

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

Officials with the FDA have placed a hold on US clinical trials of Zafgen’s experimental diabetes drug ZGN1061 due to potential heart safety risks, Reuters reported. According to the article, the company said it planned to request a meeting with the FDA to discuss the next steps with the clinical trial. The drug is also undergoing mid-stage trials outside of the United States and no safety signals have been found to date, the article reported.

A recent study showed that individuals who don’t understand how their health insurance works or how to estimate out-of-pocket costs are more likely to avoid care, Reuters reported. According to the article, the researchers surveyed 506 insured adults to determine their health insurance literacy using scores ranging from 0 to 84, with lower scores indicating less familiarity with covered benefits and how much services cost. Overall, each 12-point increase in score was associated with a 39% lower likelihood of delaying or skipping preventive health services and a 29% lower change of avoiding other types of care, the article reported.

Vectura Group Plc will stop developing its experimental drug for severe uncontrolled asthma after a clinical trial failed to showed positive results, Reuters reported. According to the article, Vectura’s VR475 treatment, which delivers asthma medication budesonide through its nebulizer inhaler, failed to reduce the number of asthma attacks in patients to a level that was significantly different from those treated with a placebo. However, the company said that the trial indicated that other nebulized projects, including VR647 for pediatric asthma, may be worth pursuing, the article reported.