Obesity rates stubborn despite federal push for healthier meals

The adult obesity rate in the US continues to rise, but the youth rate has leveled off, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. The rate of obesity in youth has hovered around 17 percent for about a decade, since 2003. Some public health experts found that encouraging, while others were worried that years of effort to […]

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8 science questions that could shake up the GOP debate

The Republican presidential candidates have already proven that medical science can be a dangerous subject in a debate. Remember the exchange between Donald Trump and Ben Carson about whether vaccines cause autism? Good times. Life sciences issues aren’t likely to be the centerpiece of Tuesday night’s Fox Business Network/Wall Street Journal debate, which is supposed […]

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GOP hopefuls, long quiet on drug prices, begin to make some noise

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential hopefuls are slowly starting to break up the Democratic monopoly on ideas to rein in prescription drug prices. Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders have made lowering drug costs a central part of their campaign platforms, but the GOP contenders have begun getting in on the game. The issue didn’t come […]

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Experts debate: How tightly should e-cigarettes be regulated?

Both Republicans and Democrats want to see more regulation of the e-cigarette industry, a new poll from STAT and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds. But what should those regulations look like? We asked several experts for their views. All agreed that e-cigarette regulations should include language about safety — the devices […]

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Ben Carson’s conservative base may not like his end-of-life views

WASHINGTON — Does Ben Carson have a “death panels” problem? Before he was a 2016 presidential candidate, Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, frequently raised questions about the high cost of end-of-life medical care — and asked whether patients should be able to pursue every available treatment. The statements touched on many of the most sensitive questions about […]

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Under siege over prices, drug makers ready their counterpunch

WASHINGTON — It was just a tweet, but it signaled something much bigger. PhRMA, one of the most powerful industry groups in Washington, had watched for several days as Turing Pharmaceuticals and CEO Martin Shkreli were being savaged on social media and on the campaign trail for dramatically raising the price of an anti-parasitic drug. Then, on Sept. 22, […]

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Jeb Bush warns about dangers of overprescribing drugs

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush warned Wednesday that physicians are prescribing too many drugs for their patients, and called for “strong, strong enforcement” against “bad actors” to crack down on the problem. Bush’s comments came during a campaign meet-and-greet at a pharmacy in Hollis, N.H., where the former Florida governor recalled his daughter […]

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Election results set back Medicaid expansion plans

The future of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion was thrown off track in two key states after Tuesday’s elections, but it could make a comeback in a third state in a few weeks. In Kentucky and Virginia, Tuesday’s results can be seen as nothing less than a loss for this key provision of the Affordable Care Act, […]

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Joe Biden calls for ‘moonshot’ to cure cancer

WASHINGTON — While Joe Biden surrendered his presidential ambitions on Wednesday, he also dedicated himself and his office to the fight against cancer for the remainder of his term. Biden, whose oldest son Beau died in May of brain cancer at age 46, called for “a moon shot in this country to cure cancer” as […]

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