Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
Although a majority of colon and rectal cancer cases occur in patients 50 years and older, there has been a sharp increase of the disease among individuals in their 20s and 30s, according to The New York Times. In a recent study, investigators analyzed the incidence of colon and rectal cancers by birth year. The findings showed that rates dropped steadily for individuals born between 1890 and 1950, but increased for every generation born since 1950. The cause of these increases remains a mystery to scientists, who do not believe that sexual behaviors or the human papillomavirus are driving the increase. The investigators stressed that their findings should not create alarm, but rather raise awareness among physicians of the increased frequency of cases among younger adults, and to be more vigilant about care. “We need doctors to realize colorectal cancer is possible in younger patients, and if they are having something like rectal bleeding, this could be something more serious,” Dr Mark Pochapin told the NY Times. “Young people’s symptoms should not be dismissed.”
Last month, the FDA approved deflazacort (Emflaza) for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, but the $89,000 per year price tag sparked outrage among patients. Now, the drug may have a new owner, as PTC Therapeutics announced plans to buy deflazacort from Marathon Pharmaceuticals for $140 million in cash stocks. The change in owners could lower the drug’s cost, but the new price has not been announced, reported Kaiser Health News. Regarding the cost, PTC Chief Executive Stuart Peltz said he believes “a change needs to be made, however it’s premature to speculate exactly what that will be.”
Republicans may hit another road block in rallying support for the American Health Care Act, as increasing signs show that the legislation could cause large increases in premiums for individual plans in 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported. On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office released a nonpartisan report that said the bill could raise premiums by 15% to 20% for individual plans next year, compared with rates without the bill.