Trending News Today: Prescription Drug Price Hikes May Threaten Patient Health

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Following huge price increases, the use of 2 older cardiovascular drugs were significantly reduced in hospitals, according to Kaiser Health News. Nitroprusside is administered when patients’ blood pressure is dangerously high and isoproterenol is used to treat heart-rhythm issues during surgery. Between 2012 and 2015, the use of nitroprusside dropped 53%, which is in line with a price jump from $27.46 to $880.88 for 50 milligrams, according to KHN. During this time, isoproterenol use also dropped 35%, while the price increased from $26.20 to $1790.11 per milligram, according to the article. Since there are no alternatives for these treatments, patient health may be compromised, the article concluded.

Even when diagnosed as children, aging with asthma can be difficult. A new study found that mortality rates for older adults with asthma are 5 times higher than mortality rates for younger adults, according to Kaiser Health News. The authors also discovered that these patients are also more likely to experience complications. In addition to physical changes in the lungs and body during aging, immune response to inflammation can become dampened and make it difficult to fight asthma, according to the article.

Several states have found that declaring an emergency over opioids has been helpful, NPR reported. Thus far, only 6 states have declared an emergency or disaster to implement more aggressive approaches to combat the opioid epidemic. Making these declarations allows the state to use additional resources, including funding and personnel, to better fight the epidemic, according to the article.