Demographics Help Shape Lawmakers Views On Health Law

first_img This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Most of the congressional districts with the greatest numbers of uninsured people are represented by Democrats, according to The Associated Press. News outlets also report on how Georgia’s gubernatorial candidates and North Dakota’s congressional candidates differ on the health law. The Associated Press: Dem Push For Health Law Rooted In Demographics While much of America was upset about the botched rollout of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, most Democrats in Congress were still willing to give the law a chance to work. Without the law, many of their constituents wouldn’t have health insurance. … If a community has a large concentration of people without health insurance, there is a good chance it is represented by a Democrat in Congress. Of the 50 congressional districts with the most uninsured people, all but nine are represented by Democrats(Ohlemacher, 10/16).Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Gov. Nathan Deal and Jason Carter On Top Issues[Jason] Carter wants to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, casting it as a fiscal necessity. … [Gov. Nathan] Deal rejects Medicaid expansion and says it would inevitably cost Georgia billions of dollars in new spending (Blustein).The Associated Press: US House Candidates Debate Health Care LawTwo of the three candidates for U.S. House in North Dakota say they would vote to repeal the federal health care law, while the third says he’d rather fix it. The Bismarck Tribune reports that incumbent Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, Democratic challenger George Sinner and Libertarian Party candidate Jack Seaman squared off in a debate Wednesday evening. Cramer reiterated his stance that the Affordable Care Act is a massive federal overreach and a disaster. Seaman said he also thinks the law should be repealed. Sinner said there are many parts of the law that need to be fixed, but that there are many good provisions as well (10/16). And then there’s the fact checking – The Washington Post’s Fact Checker: Obama’s Claim That Obamacare Has Helped Produce A ‘$1,800 Tax Cut’Remember that 2008 campaign promise touted by then-candidate Obama — that his health care law would reduce the cost of premiums by $2,500 by 2014? As we have noted, he was quickly called out by fact checkers for making a dubious claim based on shaky assumptions. Moreover, the pledge came with a large asterisk: He was not saying that premiums would drop by $2,500, but that health-care costs per person would be that much lower than anticipated. Of course, the Affordable Care Act turned out to be different from the plan Obama discussed during the campaign, and longer to implement than expected, so the White House in 2011 amended the pledge to say it would $2,000 in savings by 2019 (Kessler, 10/17). Demographics Help Shape Lawmakers’ Views On Health Lawlast_img read more

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Workers Pay Greater Share As Employers Shift Health Costs Survey Finds

first_img The Richmond Times-Dispatch: Health Insurance Premiums Rose Moderately In 2015, Deductibles Rose Sharply Despite some dire predictions, Obamacare isn’t having much of an impact on hiring by businesses so far, according to a new study. Employers with at least 100 full-time workers must offer health insurance to full-time employees who work 30 or more hours a week or pay a penalty, as of this year. This mandate will start applying to smaller companies with 50 or more full-timers in 2016. (Luhby, 9/22) Workers Pay Greater Share As Employers Shift Health Costs, Survey Finds The survey, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation), found that moderate increases in health insurance premiums masked employees’ rising out-of-pocket exposure. NPR: Rising Health Deductibles Take Bigger Bite Out Of Family Budgets Forty-six percent of covered workers have a deductible of at least $1,000 this year for single coverage as employers shift to “consumer-directed” plans that give members incentives to seek less-costly care. Deductibles are more than $2,000 for single coverage for almost a fifth of covered workers. (Hancock, 9/22) The New York Times: Health Insurance Deductibles Outpacing Wage Increases, Study Finds Health care costs continue to rise, and workers are shouldering more of the burden. The big reason? Skyrocketing deductibles. More companies are adding deductibles to the insurance plans they offer their employees. And for those who already had to pay deductibles, the out-of-pocket outlays are growing. (Kodjak, 9/22) Kaiser Health News: Employers Shift More Health Costs To Workers, Survey Finds American workers saw their out-of-pocket medical costs jump again this year, as the average deductible for an employer-provided health plan surged nearly 9% in 2015 to more than $1,000, a major new survey of employers shows. The annual increase, though lower than in previous years’, far outpaced wage growth and overall inflation and marked the continuation of a trend that in just a few years has dramatically shifted healthcare costs to workers. (Levey, 9/22) [Kaiser Family Foundation CEO Drew] Altman calls this cost shift a “quiet revolution in health insurance,” obscured in recent years by the health care overhaul’s coverage expansion for people who don’t have coverage through work. “It’s funny, we used to think of $1,000 as a very high deductible, and now it’s almost commonplace,” he said. (Murphy, 9/22) The Connecticut Mirror: Premiums Grow Modestly For Employer Insurance Coverage, But Deductibles Grow Faster The Associated Press: Study Shows Employers Shifting More Medical Costs To Workers center_img The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Higher Deductibles Take Toll On Family Incomes, New Kaiser Family Foundation Report Says The costs of health insurance benefits have increased at a slower pace for a decade now, but that does not mean that the high costs of the U.S. health care system have become less of a burden for individuals and families. (Boulton, 9/22) The average cost of employer health coverage passed $17,000 for a family plan this year, despite continued muted growth on a percentage basis, according to a major survey. The average annual cost of an employer family plan rose 4%, to $17,545, from $16,834 last year, according to the annual poll of employers performed by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation along with the Health Research & Educational Trust, a nonprofit affiliated with the American Hospital Association. The share of the 2015 family-plan premium borne by employees was 29% of the total, the same percentage as last year. (Wilde Mathews, 9/22) The employer-sponsored insurance market has remained relatively stable overall despite the changes required by the federal health law, the authors wrote. But many employers are making or considering changes to their benefits that could bring significant changes in the coming years. Those include emphasizing wellness programs, assessing employees’ health risks – in some cases using biometric screenings that measure blood pressure, weight and other factors – and considering using private exchanges that allow employees to pick their own plans with a certain amount of money provided by the company (Levin Becker, 9/22) The Wall Street Journal: Employer Health Coverage For Family Tops $17,000 Los Angeles Times: Healthcare Costs Rise Again, And The Burden Continues To Shift To Workers It may not seem like much — just an extra hundred dollars or so a year. But the steady upward creep in health insurance deductibles has easily outpaced the average increase in a worker’s wages over the last five years, according to a new analysis released on Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Abelson, 9/22) Altman described the shift to higher deductibles, and in some cases companies previously without deductibles adopting them, as “striking.” “That explains why in our separate August Kaiser tracking poll, people named deductibles as their top health cost problem,” Altman said. “There could be a further spurt in deductibles as the ‘Cadillac tax’ goes into effect.” That tax, scheduled to go into effect in 2018, will subject high-cost health plans — those that cost more than $10,200 for single coverage and $27,000 for family coverage — to a tax of 40 percent of the excess amount. (Smith, 9/22) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. CNN Money: Obamacare Isn’t Really Killing Jobs last_img read more

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Viewpoints Obamacares Vulnerability To Fraud GOP Health Plans On Campaign Trail And

first_img The Los Angeles Times: Ignore Grover Norquist: Medi-Cal Fix Is A Good Deal This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. After a federal ruling last year threatened to cut aid for Medi-Cal by more than $1 billion, the Brown administration and lawmakers proposed a set of tax increases and reductions that would avert the cut without forcing higher costs onto state taxpayers or consumers. That deal is being challenged, however, by conservatives opposed to new taxes — even if the net cost is zero. Lawmakers should reject this ideological rigidity and keep the federal aid flowing. (2/25) The Huffington Post: GOP Presidential Hopefuls Fail Again To Sketch Out An Obamacare Replacement Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) made business mogul Donald Trump look silly during Thursday’s GOP debate by pointing out that Trump had no real plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. It was one of Rubio’s best moments yet — and probably distracted many viewers from the fact that Rubio doesn’t really have an alternative, either. (Jonathan Cohn, 2/25) Washington is one of a small handful of states where a judge cannot order a juvenile offender to residential mental-health or substance-abuse treatment. Under current law, if a child is 13 or older, she or he must consent to treatment. This means that if you have a 15-year-old son who comes before me charged with a crime and is addicted to methamphetamine, and you want him to go to treatment and I want the same thing, I cannot order him to go as a condition of probation. He must consent. That makes no sense. (Barbara A. Mack, 2/24) The Senate could soon join the House to try to make it harder for consumers to know what is in their food by prohibiting state governments from requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods. This is a bad idea that lawmakers and the Obama administration should oppose. In July, Vermont will become the first state to require the labeling of genetically modified food. Many food companies and farm groups say such laws are problematic because they could dissuade consumers from buying foods that federal regulators and many scientists say pose no risk to human health. But that is an unfounded fear and states should be free to require labels if they want to. (2/25) Huffington Post: Big News: The GOP Has A Plan To Make A Plan To Replace Obamacare The New York Times: Helping Women In Africa Avoid H.I.V. Lexington Herald Leader: We Must Protect Medicare Options For Seniors JAMA: New Societal Approaches to Empowering Antibiotic Stewardship The Fiscal Times: Obamacare Is Wide Open To Fraud – And They’re Not Going To Fix It Pfizer executive Erik Nordkamp … called the United Kingdom “one of the worst countries in the world, if not the worst, for getting breakthrough drugs to those who need them.” People living in sub-Saharan Africa or India, where even basic cancer drugs are often out of reach, might not agree. Yet the comment draws attention to a problem all nations face: Deciding which medicines are worth paying for and which to ration. (Vinay Prasad, 2/25) Des Moines Register: Abortion Bill Is Anti-Science The New York Times: A Bad Effort In Congress To Thwart States On Food Labels Des Moines Register: When Death Would Be Kinder, Allow The Option center_img The Seattle Times: Hands Tied When A Teen Refuses Drug, Mental-Health Treatment The federal government has once again delayed the plan to turn over Iowa Medicaid to out-of-state, for-profit companies. The Branstad administration believes the shift will mean better care at lower cost. Detractors think these managed care organizations (MCO) will generate profits at the expense of Iowans in need by denying care and services. Now, the plan to turn over 560,000 Iowans to MCO’s will go forward on April Fool’s Day. In ordering the first delay, federal administrators noted problems with signing up physicians, hospitals and other care providers, as well as signing up recipients. (State Rep. John Forbes, 2/26) The House Republican Health Care Task Force is holding an “ideas forum” the same day. That’s fortunate for the GOP conference, since the mission statement is light on ideas. Take care not to confuse this task force with the one from last year, or any of the other House-leadership-sanctioned exercises in failure to achieve consensus on an Obamacare “replacement.” So, what do Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.), Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.), Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) have to show the American people? Let’s begin with the preamble: (Jeffrey Young, 2/25) STAT: The Case For Rationing: Why We Should Limit Public Spending On Cancer Drugs Bloomberg: Cut Health Costs Or Help Workers. You Can’t Do Both. Des Moines Register: State Must Establish Proper Medicaid Oversight Viewpoints: Obamacare’s Vulnerability To Fraud; GOP Health Plans On Campaign Trail And In Congress A selection of opinions from around the country. The country seems fragmented as never before. And yet there are two things that everyone can seemingly agree upon: Something needs to be done about the parlous condition of the working class, and we need to get a handle on health-care costs. (Megan McArdle, 2/25) To put it bluntly, bowel would ooze out uncontrollably. And because the disease is also gnawing at her bones, she would be too fragile even to walk to the bathroom. It would fall to her husband and son to deal with the consequences. “I do not want my family to remember me like this at the end,” Holm testified. “I want them to not remember me as a tortured shell of my former self. … There are things worse than death.” There were tears in the hearing room, but Holm had not come seeking pity. What she sought was the simple right to say “no more,” when her condition becomes unbearable. Under Iowa law, you can’t legally obtain the means to end your own life, even when its quality is so gravely compromised. (Rekha Basu, 2/25) We all know that health care has become increasingly complicated, costly, and limited — especially for our nation’s seniors, who rely on a confusing, overly strained Medicare program to receive their care. While traditional Medicare insures the majority of our nation’s seniors, the Medicare Advantage program is a growing choice within Medicare, allowing beneficiaries to choose a private plan to administer their Medicare benefits. (U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, 2/25) Polio was among the most dreaded childhood diseases of the 20th century. The virus spread from person to person, crippling, paralyzing and sometimes killing its victims. A life-saving vaccine was developed using fetal tissue. Researchers infected fetal kidney cells to produce mass quantities of the virus that were collected, purified and used for inoculations. They won a Nobel Prize for medicine in 1954. Sixty-two years later, some Iowa lawmakers desperately need a refresher on such history. House Study Bill 621 would ban “fetal body parts” from being obtained, provided, transferred or used in this state. Though clearly an anti-abortion stunt, the legislation would prevent fetal tissue from being used by researchers seeking treatments and cures for diseases. Violators — who would likely be none other than medical providers and scientists — could land in the slammer for up to 10 years. (2/25) As mysteries go, the responsibility for the failure of the Department of Health and Human Services’ rollout of the Affordable Care Act exchanges doesn’t exactly have the same inscrutability of an Ellery Queen novel. In fact, it doesn’t even reach the range and wit of an Encyclopedia Brown short-story whodunit for young readers. (Edward Morrissey, 2/25) Every day, nearly 1,000 young women around the world become infected with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS. More than half of the 37 million people worldwide infected with H.I.V. are women, and most of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. These women too often lack the awareness, the financial means and the power over their own lives to protect themselves from the virus. Tragically, more women of reproductive age around the world die from AIDS than from any other cause. (2/26) [I]mproving antibiotic use will require increased accountability and transparency at the societal level. A parallel can be drawn between antibiotic stewardship and infection prevention. … no transformative progress in reducing health care–associated infections occurred until society began requiring public reporting of infection rates and linking such rates to pay-for-performance measures. This shift toward greater accountability and transparency in health care–associated infections has led hospitals to vest infection control programs with the authority to implement critical improvements. A similar shift could substantially accelerate efforts to improve antibiotic use. (Brad Spellberg, Arjun Srinivasn and Henry F. Chambers, 2/25) last_img read more

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Pharmaceutical Price Wars 129KAYear Cancer Drug Next In The Cross Hairs

first_imgPharmaceutical Price Wars: $129K-A-Year Cancer Drug Next In The Cross Hairs Lawmakers are urging federal agencies to step in to cut prices of Xtandi, a prostate cancer drug that’s price is four times greater in the United States than in other developed countries. The move is the latest in efforts to get control of spiking costs. A cancer drug that costs $129,000 a year—more than three times the price in Japan and Sweden and four times the Canadian cost—has become the latest subject of public and congressional scrutiny, as 12 representatives joined nonprofits to call for a public hearing on the drug’s price. Xtandi, a prostate cancer drug co-licenced by Japan’s Astellas Pharma Inc. and Medivation Inc., was developed at a U.S. university with grants funded by taxpayer dollars. That gives the federal government the right to revoke the patent if the terms are unreasonable, said the letter, dated Monday. (Court, 3/29) It’s not just patients who are getting tired of ever rising drug prices. Doctors are joining the chorus of frustration. The latest voice? The American College of Physicians, whose membership includes 143,000 internal medicine doctors. It published a position paper Monday calling for the government and industry to take steps to rein in spiraling costs. “This is consistent with our mission to put the patient first,” Dr. Wayne Riley, ACP president, tell Shots. We’ve heard from our patients, and our patients are frustrated with dealing with this.” (Kodjak, 3/29) In a letter to the heads of the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health, Reps. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) urged the agencies to step in to cut prices for Xtandi, saying it costs four times as much in the U.S. as in some other developed countries. They are asking for public hearings on the drug. The lawmakers want the NIH to consider overriding Xtandi’s patent, which guarantees Medivation and Astellas exclusive sales for a decade or more. Overriding the patent would allow for Xtandi’s price to be reduced. (3/29) It seems that politicians aren’t going to drop the issue of high drug prices any time soon. That is a problem for biotechnology investors. A dozen congressional Democrats sent a letter to senior officials at the Department of Health and Human Services and National Institutes of Health regarding the high price of a prostate cancer treatment, Xtandi. The members of Congress, who called for hearings over the drug’s price, noted in their letter that existing law allows the NIH to help lower the price of the drug. (Grant, 3/29) The Wall Street Journal: Lawmakers Target Medivation Over Drug Prices NPR: Physician Group Calls On Government To Rein In Drug Prices The Associated Press: Makers Of Pricey Prostate Cancer Drug Xtandi Are Targeted By Congress The Wall Street Journal: Drug Pricing Issue Still Plagues Biotech In other pharmaceutical news — The Wall Street Journal: Acadia Gets FDA Panel Backing For Drug For Psychosis In Parkinson’s Patients Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s treatment for psychosis associated with Parkinson’s disease moved a step closer to approval after receiving the support of a U.S. regulatory panel. An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted 12-2 that the benefits of Acadia’s drug pimavanserin, to be marketed as Nuplazid, outweighed the risks of treatment. (Minaya, 3/29) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Editorializing About EpiPens

first_img Stat: To Prevent Another EpiPen Controversy, The Government Should Step In Los Angeles Times: EpiPen Price Gouging Demonstrates Need For More Competition In Generic Drugs The Wall Street Journal: Dear EpiPen Customers . . .  Editorializing About EpiPens News outlets offer a variety of perspectives on the ongoing EpiPen pricing flap. Healthcare reformers are pushing insurers and government health programs to tie payments for drugs based on the value they provide to a patient and the healthcare system as a whole. That shift could generate competition between different drugs, rather than just different manufacturers of the same compound. … Those efforts could prove crucial in the struggle to slow the growth in healthcare costs. Some critics of the pharmaceutical industry have called for more dramatic — and potentially more disruptive — steps, including government price controls and taxes on windfall profits. Before lawmakers even consider going that far, however, they should do more to bring market forces to bear on drug monopolists. Huge price increases should be sending an irresistible invitation to entrepreneurial companies to come in with a competing product. (8/26) Houston Chronicle: Of Course EpiPens Cost $300  center_img To whom it may concern: As the CEO of Mylan, maker of the world-famous EpiPen, it gives me great pleasure to address you, via email from an undisclosed location, concerning the pricing of our product. As you may know, my father is a U.S. senator from West Virginia, where the state motto is “Montani semper liberi.” It means “mountaineers are always free.” Indeed, they are. But pharmaceuticals aren’t—especially EpiPen. (Holman W. Jenkins, 8/26) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Charging $300 for an EpiPen makes perfect sense in the health care world we live in. In our free-market system, you can charge whatever you want for your product. A hospital can charge $50 for an aspirin, or $53 for a pair of latex gloves. You can even charge a family $15,000 a year for health insurance. If you don’t have insurance and need emergency care, however, don’t be surprised if the hospital charges you 10 times the actual cost of treating you. That’s because you didn’t negotiate the prices in advance the way insurance companies do. (Chris Tomlinson, 8/26) Mylan Pharmaceuticals is at the center of a firestorm of criticism over dramatic price hikes for its lifesaving EpiPen. The problem, says Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, is a broken health system that has let deductibles and copays skyrocket on many insurance policies. …The real problem isn’t with insurance design. It is lax regulatory oversight that doesn’t ensure an adequate supply of drugs critical to population health and opens the door to shocking price increases. (Dana Goldman, 8/26) last_img read more

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Higher Copays For Chemo Pills Than IV Treatments Are Contentious Issue Between

first_img GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s outgoing chief executive bet big that bulking up on toothpaste, shampoo, over-the-counter painkillers and other health-related consumer goods would help anchor its risk-laden pharmaceuticals business. Now it falls to Emma Walmsley, former head of the company’s consumer health division, to prove him right, or chart a fresh course. She replaces CEO Andrew Witty on Saturday. (Roland, 3/31) Stat: Novartis Loses Battle With The Feds Over Documents For 80,000 ‘Sham’ Events This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. A major global partnership aimed at fighting superbugs announced Thursday that it is investing up to $48 million in research projects, including potentially the first new classes of antibiotics in decades, to target the deadliest drug-resistant bacteria. The investments announced by CARB-X include $24 million in immediate funding for 11 companies. The firms can receive up to $24 million in additional payments over three years if they meet specific milestones. (Sun, 3/30) Stat: Inside The Overlooked Battle Between Drug Makers And Insurers Over Chemotherapy The Wall Street Journal: Glaxo’s New CEO Is A Steady Hand In Pharmaceuticals’ Rolling Seas center_img Higher Copays For Chemo Pills Than IV Treatments Are Contentious Issue Between Insurers, Drugmakers In another pharmaceutical development, the search for a new antibiotic to fight superbugs gets a cash infusion. And, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline also make industry news. After a year-long battle, a federal judge ordered Novartis to turn over to the Department Justice documents containing details of allegedly 79,200 “sham” speaking events the drug maker used to encourage doctors to prescribe several blood pressure medicines. The decision stems from a whistleblower lawsuit, which was initially filed six years ago by a former Novartis sales rep, contending the drug maker violated federal anti-kickback laws for nearly a decade. The Justice Department later joined the lawsuit, which alleged Novartis paid bribes to boost prescriptions and, as a result, caused federal health care programs to overpay for medicines. (Silverman, 3/30) In a high-stakes battle between drug makers and insurers, last week it was the drug makers who got a lift, on a little-noticed issue and in an unusual place: Arkansas. The governor there signed legislation to make Arkansas the 43rd state since 2008 to enact so-called oral parity laws, which prohibit certain private insurers from charging cancer patients more in copays if they take chemo in pill form instead of getting it infused into their veins. Patient groups are pushing similar legislative campaigns in North Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan, and at the federal level. (Robbins, 3/31) The Washington Post: Quest For New Antibiotics Gets First Major Funding From Global Partnership last_img read more

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Pixel 3a and Honor 20 Pro might have some serious competition from

first_img Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. Meizu has just launched its latest ‘junior’ flagship, with some high-end specs that will turn the screws on mid-range competitors. Here’s the full lowdown.The Chinese brand’s latest smartphone is priced at $245 (~£195), but if the specs are anything to go by, you’ll get a lot of bang for those bucks: the Meizu 16Xs packs a giant 4000mAh battery, a 6.2-inch Samsung AMOLED screen, and a 48-megapixel triple lens camera.It should offer plenty of power with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 chipset and 6GB RAM, while storage is limited to 64GB. Perhaps the most surprising feature at this price point is its in-screen fingerprint scanner, usually restricted to top-end devices like the OnePlus 7 Pro.Related: Best PhonesThese specifications compare very favourably to the Google Pixel 3a launched recently as a cut-price alternative to the costly flagships, and could well beat it at its own game.In comparison, the Pixel 3a has a 5.6-inch OLED screen, a 3000mAh battery and a Snapdragon 670 chip with 4GB of RAM — all of which seems to put it comfortably behind the Meizu. But while its rear camera has a 12.2-megapixel resolution, we rate it as the ‘budget camera champion’, with performance comparable to a flagship phone. It just goes to show you can’t rely on spec sheets alone — only our reviews will give you the expert advice you need for your next smartphone purchase.Related: Best Camera PhonesMeizu isn’t the only smartphone brand targeting the Pixel 3a with an aggressive pricing plan. The Realme 3 Pro packs a 4045mAh battery, 6.3-inch AMOLED screen, and a Snapdragon 710 chip; all for £175 (~$220).Related: Best Android PhonesThe Meizu 16Xs will launch on June 10 in China, and will become available in India and some European countries from July. We haven’t received official confirmation whether it will be sold in the UK, so we’ll keep you posted as we hear more about the launch plans for this intriguing device. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editorlast_img read more

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£300 Price Crash on the Samsung 55 QLED TV with a Free

first_img This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Deals Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links.Tell us what you think – email the Editor We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. A sight to be seen, the Samsung QE55Q67RATXXU makes watching your TV a work of art with its offering of 100% colour volume and a Quantum HDR visual experience. See every colour on the spectrum with clarity and pick up on every last detail from start to finish, whether it’s movie night or a Sunday afternoon Netflix binge. This QLED TV is also well equipped to handle a gaming session with its Quantum 4K processor.With Bixby and SmartThings built-in, you can control a number of smart home gadgets around your household via your TV, with Alexa and Google Home compatibility. Its smart capabilities also mean it of course comes with on demand services readily available to you, as well as the ability to browse the web and update social networks.Related: Amazon Prime Day TV DealsNot only is the image it produces picture perfect, but with Ambient Mode your TV can look appealing even when you’re not watching it. Choose between a number of display options showing off you family photos. You can even allow your TV to turn into a chameleon by blending into its surroundings and avoiding that ugly black box look.Throw into the mix the Samsung N300 sound bar, though small he be mighty with four speakers to truly give you the highs and lows of everything you watch. With Bluetooth connectivity, the sound bar is also compact and sleek in design, able to tuck neatly within your TV set-up without causing an eyesore. Best Samsung 55-Inch TV DealSamsung QE55Q67RATXXU 55″ Smart 4K Ultra HD HDR QLED TV with Bixby + Free N300 Sound BarWith a massive £300 saving already on the TV itself, get a free Samsung N300 sound bar and get the true viewing experience with an excellent 100% colour voume and Quantum HDR visual and fantastic sound thrown in too.Currys PC World|Free Soundbar|Now £999.00View DealNow £999.00|Free Soundbar|Currys PC Worldcenter_img Worth £149, receive a Samsung N300 Sound Bar on top of a massive saving on the giant smart 4K Ultra HD television.Bringing a new visual experience to your home, save a total of £449 when you drop the cash on this Currys PC World bundle. With the Samsung 55-inch QE55Q67RATXXU reduced by a whopping £300 to £999, down form £1,299, throw in the N300 sound bar too and you’re getting a completely brand new entertainment set-up at a huge price cut. Best Samsung 55-Inch TV DealSamsung QE55Q67RATXXU 55″ Smart 4K Ultra HD HDR QLED TV with Bixby + Free N300 Sound BarWith a massive £300 saving already on the TV itself, get a free Samsung N300 sound bar and get the true viewing experience with an excellent 100% colour voume and Quantum HDR visual and fantastic sound thrown in too.Currys PC World|Free Soundbar|Now £999.00View DealNow £999.00|Free Soundbar|Currys PC World It goes without saying these two devices really do compliment each other. Better still, they come at a great price with a shared saving of £449 on your purchase.Want to stay up to date with Amazon Prime Day 2019? We’ve got you covered. For more amazing offers, follow us @TrustedDealsUKWe may earn a commission if you click a deal and buy an item. That’s why we want to make sure you’re well-informed and happy with your purchase, so that you’ll continue to rely on us for your buying advice needs. Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time.last_img read more

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More Prime Day Insanity 50inch 4K HDR TV with Fire TV for

first_imgAmazon Prime Day Deals We’d also like to send you special offers and news just by email from other carefully selected companies we think you might like. Your personal details will not be shared with those companies – we send the emails and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please tick here if you are happy to receive these messages.By submitting your information, you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy & Cookies Policy. If you’re seeking to join the new era of 4K HDR video without breaking the bank, Amazon has you covered on Prime Day.The Insignia brand may not win any awards for overall quality against titans like LG and Samsung, but a $250 LED 4K HDR set with with the Fire TV interface built-in is absolutely worth a look.The model in question is the Insignia NS-50DF710NA19 Fire TV Edition, which is usually priced at $349.99. So there’s a saving of $100 in the offing here on an already great price. Save $100 on a 4K HDR Insignia 50-inch TVInsignia NS-50DF710NA19 50-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV HDR – Fire TV EditionSave $100 on this Fire TV Edition 50-inch smart set with 4K HDR compatibility on Prime DayAmazon|Was $349.99|Now $249.99View DealNow $249.99|Was $349.99|Amazon If you’re worried about whether it’ll be able to handle over-the-air TV, that won’t be a problem, as outside of the Fire TV interface, it works just like a normal television set with switchable outputs.The Fire TV experience does deliver fast access to the likes of Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video and Hulu, all of which offer plenty of 4K content that’ll get you started. The Alexa Voice Remote is bundled in too, which means you can use your voice to switch inputs, control smart home devices, play music and more.Related: Amazon Prime Day 2019 dealsThis isn’t a model we’ve reviewed directly, but has a 4.2 star out of 5 star rating on Amazon, from a whopping 1,865 reviews. If you’re seeking a second TV for the office or the bedroom this could be a great option that will save you a few bucks.Here’s how Insignia describes the set on the product page: “Insignia is built for speed and performance. It’s powered by a-quad-core CPU/Multi-core GPU for instant search results and fast and fluid responsiveness. Connect easily with dual-band Wi-Fi, three HDMI inputs, and multiple input/output options. You can even customize the name of each input and adjust picture settings for each connected device. This TV is HDR-compatible, so you can enjoy HDR movies and TV shows. Plus, your TV keeps getting smarter with new Alexa skills and automatic over-the-air software updates, so you always have the latest.”If the highest overall quality isn’t your remit for your first 4K HDR TV then you could do a lot worse than this set. Save $100 on a 4K HDR Insignia 50-inch TVInsignia NS-50DF710NA19 50-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV HDR – Fire TV EditionSave $100 on this Fire TV Edition 50-inch smart set with 4K HDR compatibility on Prime DayAmazon|Was $349.99|Now $249.99View DealNow $249.99|Was $349.99|Amazon Sign up for the Mobile NewsletterSign Up Please keep me up to date with special offers and news from Goodtoknow and other brands operated by TI Media Limited via email. You can unsubscribe at any time.center_img ——————————————————————————————————–Grab these great Prime Day savingsSave £40 on the Kindle Paperwhite£160 off the Dell Inspiron 14 Chromebook This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. Show More Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend. We use industry standard tests to evaluate products in order to assess them properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. Trusted Reviews may get a commission if you buy through our links. Tell us what you think.last_img read more

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Quickest route to China trade relief for Canadian farmers likely through Washington

first_img More Reddit Featured Stories Naomi Powell Recommended For YouU.S. Justice Department may sue to block Sprint, T-Mobile merger -sourceU.S.-China trade talks in ‘quiet period’ -White House adviser NavarroU.S. clears SoftBank’s $2.25 bln investment in GM-backed CruiseUPDATE 2-Twitter to deemphasize, label politician tweets that break its rulesTake it easy: central bank U-turns loosen financial conditions Facebook Twitter Email Sponsored By: 0 Comments Share this storyQuickest route to China trade relief for Canadian farmers likely through Washington: analysts Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Comment Shunned by China and sitting on a record stock of unsold oilseeds, Canadian farmers will be watching closely as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seeks a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan later this month.Yet it is a proposed tête-à-tête between Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump, who has threatened to slap additional tariffs on Chinese imports if Xi refuses an audience with him in Osaka, that will likely have the greatest impact on Canadian farmers, analysts say.“Both meetings would be positive, but the quickest route to a solution for our farmers is probably through Washington,” said Gordon Houlden, a former Canadian diplomat and head of the University of Alberta’s China Institute. “Trump has put everything on the table in negotiations with Beijing and if certain issues are settled between them, it would lay the groundwork for things to normalize for us.” Canada’s canola farmers facing storage crunch for stockpiles of oilseed that China won’t take Ottawa doubles canola aid loans to $1 million to ease pain of China’s ban Canadian canola farmers left with record unsold surplus amid slumping exports, falling prices Canada-China relations have deteriorated since December, when the RCMP arrested Huawei senior executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on a U.S. extradition request. Soon after, Chinese buyers halted purchases of Canadian canola, citing the presence of pests in various shipments — though Ottawa says Canada’s inspections revealed no issues.The loss of China as a market — the country normally buys 40 per cent of Canada’s canola — has left farmers holding a record 10 million tonnes of the unsold crop as of March 31, a 10.5 per cent increase compared with a year earlier.Soybeans have piled up, too, after China’s purchases of the oilseed collapsed, falling from a record 3.2 million tonnes in the final few months of 2018 to 3,748 tonnes between January and April of this year. That’s left farmers stuck with 2.9 million tonnes of unsold soybeans, up from about 2.7 million tonnes at the same time last year.With a new crop harvesting in the fall, the need to unload existing stocks is growing urgent, said Ron Davidson, executive director of Soy Canada.“We’ve never had anything like this before and the big difference is we may not have China to come in and buy the way it did before,” he said. “Everyone is feeling uncertain because they don’t know where they can sell their beans.”While China previously brought in vessels brimming with 50,000 tonnes of canola, it now takes containers of just 20 to 25 tonnes, Davidson said. And the introduction of new tests at Chinese ports, means shipments that were once cleared in a matter of hours now take two weeks.“It’s not that nothing is entering China, it’s just that it’s moving in such small volumes and we need it to move in large volumes,” he said.I don’t see a resolution on any of the issues…. Trump is seeking foundational changes to the Chinese economy and Xi won’t give him that.William Reinsch, a senior adviser, Center for Strategic and International Studies advertisement What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Join the conversation → ← Previous Next → A ripening canola field in Saskatchewan.Getty Images file photo June 13, 20196:00 AM EDTLast UpdatedJune 13, 20196:01 AM EDT Filed under News Economy Quickest route to China trade relief for Canadian farmers likely through Washington: analysts ‘… if certain issues are settled between them, it would lay the groundwork for things to normalize for us.’ Trudeau has said he will pursue an opportunity to engage with Xi directly, both to discuss the detention of two imprisoned Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, and the actions on canola and other products. For his part, Trump has suggested the Meng issue and more recently, the blacklisting of telecommunications giant Huawei, could be negotiated as part of a trade deal with Beijing.“If a Xi-Trump meeting led to a grand bargain on Huawei and Meng, China may set aside its actions and things could improve for us over the next few months,” said Houlden. “I don’t think Trudeau can offer a solution like that and I don’t see the Chinese retreating with those issues unresolved.”But while Canada has certainly become “collateral damage” in the U.S.-China trade war, quick relief in the form of a G-20 deal between Trump and Xi is unlikely, said William Reinsch, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who served as a senior trade official during the Clinton administration.“I don’t see a resolution on any of the issues that divided us in this space,” said Reinsch. “Trump is seeking foundational changes to the Chinese economy and Xi won’t give him that.”“It’s possible Trump will take a weak deal and celebrate it as a victory and maybe that will see them let go of some of the issues you in Canada are concerned about, but I sincerely doubt we’ll have any trade deal in the next few weeks.” last_img read more

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Loyalty program Aimia expecting 35million tax bill after audit by CRA

first_img Reddit Join the conversation → Facebook February 25, 20192:17 PM ESTLast UpdatedFebruary 25, 20192:59 PM EST Filed under News Retail & Marketing MONTREAL — Loyalty program Aimia Inc. says it expects to pay a bill of about $30 million plus another $5 million in interest following an audit by the Canada Revenue Agency.The Montreal-based company says CRA has concluded its audit and a re-assessment is expected.Aimia says it will make the payment using a portion of a $100-million restricted cash account set up as part of the sale of its Aeroplan program. Aimia president leaves less than three months after coming onboard Aimia launches strategic review amid efforts to close Aeroplan sale Canadians’ favourite credit card isn’t from one of the Big Six banks — it’s from a grocery chain However, Aimia says once it receives the notice of re-assessment it plans to vigorously contest the case.Aimia owns and operates the Air Miles Middle East loyalty program and also own stakes in other loyalty programs.The company completed the sale of its flagship Aeroplan program to a consortium led by Air Canada earlier this year. ← Previous Next → Loyalty program Aimia expecting $35-million tax bill after audit by CRA Aimia says it will pay the bill, but once it receives the notice of re-assessment it plans to vigorously contest the case Share this storyLoyalty program Aimia expecting $35-million tax bill after audit by CRA Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn 0 Comments Featured Stories The Canadian Press Comment What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Email Aimia chairman of the board Robert Brown is pictured prior to a special shareholders meeting Montreal on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press advertisement Sponsored By: Twitter Morelast_img read more

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Byton MByte Electric SUV Headed For Mass Production This Year

first_img BYTON To Reveal Details On First Production EV At CES 2019 Inside, a massive liquid crystal display measuring 125cm long and 25cm wide at the symmetrical center console supports gesture recognition application. In addition, there is a 9-inch touch screen located in the middle of the dual-spoke steering wheel, integrating a number of functions for driver’s operation like the seat adjustment.The M-Byte mass-produced model is going to offer two power variants. The rear-wheel-drive version carries an electric motor at the rear axle, producing 272hp and 400N·m torque peak, while the all-wheel-drive version is powered by two electric motors at the front and rear axles with a combined output of 476hp and torque peak of 710 N·m.Source: Gasgoo Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 25, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle News Does BYTON’s Huge 48-Inch Display Screen Obstruct Driver’s View? Besides, the new model will reportedly hit the market at the end of the year and step into the U.S. market in 2020.The M-Byte concept was first shown at the CES 2018. With shorter front and rear overhangs, the BEV model gets more room for passengers. Boasting a futuristic gene, it is outfitted with such configurators as LED headlights, luminous marks, two-tone vehicle body as well as the trendy taillight cluster that stretches across the rear end.The new model measures 4,850mm long, 1,960mm wide and 1,650mm tall. Wheelbase for the car reaches 2,945mm.The traditional side-opening car doors feature the function of BYTON Intuitive Access that is able to recognize human faces using the facial recognition technology. In addition, the rear-view mirror for conventional cars is replaced with rear-view camera.center_img Watch Video Demo Of Byton M-Byte Interior & Massive Display Source: Electric Vehicle News We believe Byton is the real deal.The electric vehicle startup BYTON is said to unveil the mass-produced model of the screen-filled M-Byte in the middle of 2019 and the vehicle’s presale will start at the same time with predicted prices ranging between RMB300,000 and RMB400,000.More BYTON Newslast_img read more

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The Lack Of Criminal Charges Against PetroTiger Was Not Unique

first_imgThe FCPA-related media has a troubling tendency to take things that are not unique and try to make them unique.For instance, this recent Compliance Week article stated:“Typically, when the Justice Department brings charges of FCPA violations against company executives, charges against the company itself aren’t far behind. […] The decision not to pursue charges of any kind [against PetroTiger] is a marked departure from most FCPA cases, in which the Justice Department will give companies credit for strong compliance programs, often entering into non-prosecution agreements or deferred prosecution agreements, which almost always come with strings attached.  It’s rare that companies get complete exoneration.”Contrary to the above assertion, the lack of criminal charges against PetroTiger – even though there was an enforcement action against individuals associated with the company – was not unique.This post highlights the 18 instances since 2000 of the DOJ bringing an enforcement action against an individual or individuals, but not an enforcement action against the business organization associated with the individual(s). (Note: excluded from the list is the manufactured Africa Sting enforcement action against 22 individuals employed by over a dozen companies).Interesting fact, 16 of the 18 instances (89%) involved individuals associated with privately-held companies like PetroTiger.  The only two instances to involve individuals associated with publicly-traded companies are highlighted below with ***.Dmitrij Harder (2015 – ongoing criminal prosecution of individual associated with  Chestnut Consulting Group Inc., no enforcement action against Chestnut Group).Dmitry Firtash, Andras Knopp, Suren Gevorgyan, Gajendra Lal, Periyasamy Sunderalingam (2014 – ongoing criminal prosecutions of individuals associated with DF Group, no enforcement action against DF Group).Ernesto Lujana, Tomas Clark, Alejandro Hurtado,Benito Chinea, Joseph DeMeneses  (2013-2014 – criminal prosecutions of individuals associated with Direct Access Partners, no enforcement action against Direct Access Partners).Washington Cruz, Amadeus Richers and Cecilia Zurita (2011 – criminal prosecutions of individuals associated with Cinergy Telecommunications Inc., enforcement action against Cinergy Telecommunications was dropped).Jean Fourcand (2010 – criminal prosecution of individual associated with Fourcand Enterprises, Inc., no enforcement action against Fourcand Enterprises).Juan Diaz (2009 – criminal prosecution of individual associated with JD Locator Services Inc., no enforcement action against JD Locator Services).Antonio Perez, Joel Esquenazi and Carlos Rodriguez (2009 – criminal prosecutions of individuals associated with Terra Telecommunications Corp., no enforcement action against Terra Telecommunications).Marguerite Grandison (2009 – criminal prosecution of individual associated with Telecom Consulting Services Corp., no enforcement action against Telecom Consulting Services).Charles Jumet, John Warwick (2009 – criminal prosecutions of individuals associated with Ports Engineering Consulting and Overman Associates- no enforcement action against Ports Engineering Consulting Corp or Overman Associates).Shu Quan-Sheng (2008 – criminal prosecution of individual associated with AMAC International Inc. – no enforcement action against AMAC International Inc.)Leo Smith and Martin Self (2007-2008 – criminal prosecutions of individuals associated with Pacific Consolidated Industries – no enforcement action against Pacific Consolidated Industries).Gerald and Patricia Green (2008 – criminal prosecutions of individuals associated with Film Festival Management – no enforcement action against Film Festival Management).*** Yaw Osei Amoako, Steven Ott, Roger Young (2006-2007  – criminal prosecutions of individuals associated with ITXC Corporation – no enforcement action against against ITXC Corp.)Richard Novak (2006 – criminal prosecution of individual associated with “several internet businesses” – no enforcement action against the businesses).*** David Kay, Douglas Murphy (2002 – criminal prosecutions of individuals associated with American Rice, Inc. – no enforcement action against American Rice).Richard Pitchford (2002 – criminal prosecution of individual associated with the Central Asia American Enterprise Fund – no enforcement action against the Central Asia American Enterprise Fund).Daniel Rothrock (2001 – criminal prosecution of individual associated with Allied Products Corp. – no enforcement action against Allied Products Corp.) ***Richard Halford, Albert Reitz, Robert King, Pablo Hernandez (2001 – criminal prosecutions of individuals associated with Owl Securities and Investments, Limited – no enforcement action against Owl Securities).last_img read more

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People with atrial fibrillation should continue to be treated even if heart

first_imgMay 11 2018Patients with an abnormal heart rhythm that can leave them at a higher risk of suffering from stroke still need treatment even after their heart rhythm seems to have returned to normal, say researchers at the University of Birmingham.Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disturbance, affecting around 1.6 million people in the UK. Those with atrial fibrillation may be aware of noticeable heart palpitations, where their heart feels like it’s pounding, fluttering or beating irregularly. Sometimes atrial fibrillation does not cause any symptoms and a person who has it is completely unaware that their heart rate is irregular.People with atrial fibrillation are much more likely to develop blood clots and suffer from strokes. To avoid strokes it is important for them to take drugs to prevent blood clotting. Sometimes atrial fibrillation seems to go away and the heart goes back to its normal rhythm -the condition may then be deemed to have ‘resolved’. Up until now it has been unclear as to whether the clot-prevention drugs can be safely stopped when the condition is ‘resolved’.Now a study by researchers at the University of Birmingham, published today in The BMJ, has found that people whose heart rhythm returns to normal continue to be at high risk of stroke and should continue to be treated.Researchers looked at patient records from 640 general practices throughout the UK and compared the frequency of strokes in three groups of people: those with ongoing atrial fibrillation; those whose records said that atrial fibrillation had resolved; and those who never had atrial fibrillation.Dr Nicola Adderley, of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research, said: “What we found was that strokes were least common in people who never had atrial fibrillation, and much more common in people whose records said their atrial fibrillation had been resolved.”Significantly, in recent years we found that strokes were nearly as common in people whose atrial fibrillation had resolved as in those with ongoing atrial fibrillation.”Therefore, we can conclude that people with resolved atrial fibrillation continue to be at high risk of stroke.”Related StoriesWeightlifting is better for the heart than cardioImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesThe researchers also looked at patient treatment. What they found was that, while most people deemed to have atrial fibrillation as an ongoing condition continue to get the clot-prevention drugs they need, the vast majority of those whose atrial fibrillation had ‘resolved’ do not.Dr Krish Nirantharakumar, of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research, added: “Our research demonstrates that although people with resolved atrial fibrillation continue to be at high risk of stroke, they are not getting their prevention drugs.”Worryingly, we found that the problem seems to be becoming more common, with our research showing an increasing number of people are recorded as having atrial fibrillation as resolved and are highly unlikely to be given medication to prevent stroke.”The researchers said that in 2016 one in 10 people with atrial fibrillation – around 160,000 people in the UK – were classed to have had their condition resolved.Professor Tom Marshall, of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research, added: “One possibility as to why people whose atrial fibrillation has resolved continue to be at high risk of stroke is that it had not really resolved in the first instance.”Atrial fibrillation can be present one day and absent the next, so giving someone the all-clear may be a mistake. Another possibility is that it can come back. Many people don’t know when they have this condition and it can come back without them or their doctor realizing.”GPs keep a register of people with atrial fibrillation, this means they are reviewed regularly and are prescribed clot-preventing drugs.”But if the atrial fibrillation seems to have resolved they are taken off the register and rarely continue their treatment. It is as if they fall off the radar.”We have shown they are still at high risk of stroke and should still be treated. We cannot ever safely consider atrial fibrillation to have resolved.” Source:https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2018/05/irregular-heart-beat-research.aspxlast_img read more

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New RNA deletion tool could help create drugs that correct genetic diseases

first_imgMay 30 2018As scientists gain insights into which genes drive diseases, they are pursuing the next logical question: Can gene editing technologies be developed to treat or even cure those diseases? Much of that effort has focused on developing technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9, a protein-based system.At The Scripps Research Institute campus in Florida, chemist Matthew D. Disney, PhD, has taken a different approach, developing a small-molecule-based tool that acts on RNA to selectively delete certain gene products.Disney’s deletion tool opens the possibility of creating drugs that can be taken conveniently as pills to correct genetic diseases–by destroying toxic gene products, and by chemically controlling the body’s defense mechanisms. The paper, “Small molecule targeted recruitment of a nuclease to RNA,” was published online by the Journal of the American Chemical Society.”These studies, like much science, were about a decade in the making. We are very excited to see how this initial application evolves,” Disney says. “This research further shows that RNA is indeed a viable target to make medicines.”RNAs represent a diverse group of molecules within cells that act like the cells’ laborers, reading, regulating and expressing DNA’s genetic instructions. Within our cells, RNAs are constantly in motion. They assemble, they carry out their duties, and then they are broken up for recycling by RNA-degrading enzymes, which are chemical scissors that cut apart other molecules.While about 2 percent of our genome encodes proteins, 70 to 80 percent of the genome is transcribed into RNA, potentially offering significantly more druggable targets, Disney says. Until recently, however, most researchers considered RNAs undruggable, because of their small size and relative lack of stability.Disney’s innovation tethers a drug-like molecule–one engineered to bind precisely and selectively to a specific RNA–to a common RNA-degrading enzyme. The small-molecule/enzyme complex is designed to latch onto the undesirable gene product and destroy it. Disney named the technology RIBOTAC, short for “ribonuclease-targeting chimeras.”To test the RIBOTAC technology, Disney chose for his RNA-degrading enzyme RNase L, which is a critical part of the human antiviral immune response. Present in small amounts in every cell, production of RNase L typically surges on viral infection to destroy the viral RNA and overcome the illness.Related StoriesMolecular switches may control lifespan and healthspan separately, genetic discovery suggestsHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionFungal infection study identifies specific genetic vulnerability among Hmong peopleFor the other piece of the RIBOTAC complex, its drug-like molecule, Disney chose Targaprimir-96, a molecule engineered by his lab in 2016 to bind with a microRNA oncogene known to boost cancer cell proliferation, especially in difficult-to-treat triple-negative breast cancer, miRNA-96.Destroying the oncogene led to a reawakening of the cancer cell’s innate self-destruct program, via an increase in the FOXO1 gene, which ultimately spurred the death of the malignant cells, says Matthew G. Costales, first author of the paper and a graduate student in the Disney lab.”Anchoring our previous work with Targaprimir-96 to the targeted recruitment of RNase L, we were able to program the RIBOTACs approach to only degrade cells that highly express the miRNA-96 oncogene, thus allowing FOXO1 to signal the selective destruction of triple negative breast cancer cells,” says Costales.Awakening the body’s ability to kill its own cancer by exploiting cells’ RNA degradation system offers a novel approach to attacking cancer, Disney says. The RIBOTAC technology has potentially broad applications for cancer and other gene-driven diseases as well, he says.”I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg of how this approach will ultimately be applied,” says Disney.Disney’s lab has spent many years developing a computational method called InfornaTM to match RNAs with adequate stability and structure to small, drug-like molecules capable of binding to them. His technique led to the development of Targaprimir-96 and multiple other disease-modifying compounds, some of which are now moving toward clinical development.”Since it is now known that RNA is a key driver in nearly every disease, optimization of this approach that turns a cell’s natural defenses toward destroying disease-causing RNAs is likely broadly applicable. We will be laser-focused on diseases for which there are no known cure and have a poor prognosis, such as hard-to-treat cancers and incurable human genetic disease,” Disney says. “I am excited to see where we and others ultimately take this.”Source: https://www.scripps.edu/news/press/2018/20180522-disney-RNA-cancer.htmllast_img read more

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New research project could reduce chance of infection after orthopedic surgery

first_imgJul 2 2018South Australian researchers are embarking on a $20 million medical and manufacturing research project which could reduce the chance of infection after orthopedic surgery, thanks to a little help from the humble dragonfly.Working with leading surgeons and an Australian orthopedic medical device company, researchers from the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia (UniSA) will use nano-modification technology based on the structure of the dragonfly wing, whose tiny spikes rip bacteria apart.In a unique R&D and manufacturing environment, researchers are carrying out a range of groundbreaking experiments to test whether mimicking the nano-patterns of the dragonfly wing on orthopedic implants can kill harmful bacteria that cause infections.The four-year project, co-funded by Global Orthopedic Technology and the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), could give scientists and clinicians a critical breakthrough in their global fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria, and is intended to create new technologies and processes to benefit the wider manufacturing sector.Professor Richard de Steiger, a leading Australian orthopedic surgeon involved in clinical research, says implant infection post-surgery is a billion dollar problem worldwide, affecting around 2-3 per cent of medical implants, including devices to stabilize fractures, hip and knee replacements and spinal implants.“There has been minimal improvement in orthopaedic infection rates for the past 15 years. Infection after surgery is a devastating problem, costing not only hundreds of millions of dollars in additional surgery worldwide, but leading to more trauma for patients. They may need extra recovery time after further operations, which are not always successful and pose an even greater risk of infection,” he says.Leading scientists from the University of Adelaide and UniSA will combine their expertise to create titanium implants with the dragonfly wing surface while confirming their safety and testing their bacteria-killing properties in the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Orthopedic and Trauma Research (COTR) and UniSA’s new Musculoskeletal Biotest Facility.Related StoriesSurgery better than observation for older patients with meniscal root tear, study suggestsYoung athletes who fail to score 90% on fitness tests have higher risk of second knee injuryArthroscopy more accurate than MRI for chondral defects of the knee, study finds”This research is a combination of cell biology and very clever nanomanufacturing techniques, driven by an unmet medical need,” says University of Adelaide leading orthopedic researcher Professor Gerald Atkins, Scientific Director of COTR. “It is game-changing Australian technology.”UniSA Professor Krasimir Vasilev adds: “This is amazing technology that that has the potential to improve the quality of life of millions of patients around the world. The project is also a great example of transdisciplinary collaboration between scientists, clinicians and industry, transforming healthcare, manufacturing industry and the Australian economy.”The bacteria-busting qualities of the dragonfly were first identified by Australian researchers who observed bacteria being killed on the insects’ wings, characterized by tiny spikes – nanopillars – which are about one thousandth of the thickness of a human hair.Global Orthopedic Technology is taking the technology a step further, partnering with “the best researchers in Australia” to commercialize the technology and tackle the growing epidemic of resistant bacteria and resulting infections.David Chuter, IMCRC’s CEO and Managing Director, says this research project is reshaping not only the future of the medical device industry, but potentially other sectors.”Due to the nature of the nano surface, which is independent of the chemistry and material properties of the substrate to which it is applied, the technology can potentially be used in other manufacturing processes across multiple industries, most notably the hospital supplies and equipment industry, the food industry, the marine industry, the building products industry, and the aeronautical industry.”The new technology will open many doors, not just in the medical field, as antibacterial surfaces are also valuable in the food industry, for example – in fact, for any surfaces subject to high levels of bacteria.”Global Orthopedic Technology and IMCRC are each providing a $3 million cash investment as part of a total medical and manufacturing R&D investment of $20 million, with the additional funding provided through in-kind contributions from Global Orthopedic Technology and both universities. Source:http://www.unisa.edu.au/Media-Centre/Releases/2018/Nature-and-science-join-forces-to-fight-surgical-infections/#.WzoOHdIzbIUlast_img read more

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Kaia app reduces low back pain by 40 could save billions for

first_imgAn estimated one-third of the UK adult population are affected by LBP each year, most of it unexplained, although some professionals think that it may be worsened by sitting at desks all day, carrying bags and general bad posture as well as by environmental factors like stress.The Kaia app has been developed by a leading digital therapy company Kaia Health in conjunction with physiotherapists, pain management physicians, orthopedic surgeons and clinical psychologists. The app has been approved as a Class 1 medical product in the EU, and allows users to self-manage their non-specific back pain which is all cases of back pain that do not require specific treatment – and includes up to 90% of all cases of back pain.The app uses a multidisciplinary digital approach that offers users education, physiotherapy (including exercises for the lower back and lateral muscles) and psychological strategies (including mindfulness and muscle relaxation). The AI tailors treatment programs for each user from over 120 exercises, and motion tracking technology ensures that the exercises are performed correctly using a smartphone without the need for additional hardware. Each session lasts for 15 minutes, and can be accessed anywhere 24 hours a day. The app also features a chat function which connects users to a physiotherapist or sport scientist for motivation and exercise-related questions.Recent clinical studies on the Kaia app were conducted at the Department of Neurology, Center for Interdisciplinary Pain Medicine, Technical University of Munich and the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Munich in Germany. Results show a significant reduction in LBP by 40% which is well above the clinically important threshold of pain improvement, whilst the second study shows a 40% long-term retention of users for 6 months with the mean app usage over this period being 3.2 times a week.Related StoriesMarijuana isn’t a great choice for glaucoma treatment, says expertSleep quality and fatigue among women with premature ovarian insufficiencyNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerThe Kaia app was developed in Germany where it has been downloaded over 100,000 times in its first year. Thanks to reimbursement deals with several big insurances in Germany the Kaia app is now being offered free of charge to over 20 million patients in Germany (over a quarter of its population). Kaia Health is hoping to replicate this same success in the UK where an estimated one-third of the UK adult population are affected by LBP each year.Kaia Health is member of the Digital Therapeutics Alliance, an association of international manufacturers for digital therapeutic products that meet high quality standards. The company recently launched the Perfect Squat Challenge App, the world’s first AI-powered motion tracking fitness app that turns an iPhone into a personal trainer.Konstantin Mehl, Founder & CEO Kaia Health says: 31 million days of work were lost in 2013 due to back, neck and muscle problems The cost to the UK economy is £14bn a year At work, back pain is one of the most common causes of sickness absence 80 per cent of the UK population will suffer with back pain at some point in their lives Approximately 8 million adults in the UK report chronic pain that is moderate to severely disabling Back pain alone accounts for 40% of sickness absence in the NHS Back pain is the leading cause of disability Jul 25 2018Low back pain (LBP) is an increasingly widespread and expensive condition worldwide, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified back pain as being the global number one reason for disability. According to the Office for National Statistics back pain accounts for almost 31 million days of work lost in 2013 costing the UK economy £14bn a year – but this could now change thanks to an AI app which launches in the UK, and has significantly reduced the pain intensity of LBP by 40% in a recent clinical study. A holistic, multidisciplinary treatment of LBP using education and exercise has always been an expensive, resource-intense undertaking which makes it hard to integrate in health systems such as the NHS. By digitizing therapy we’re democratizing access to effective treatment of LBP. This empowers and motivates individuals to take control, and self-manage their condition with evidenced-based, non-pharmacological, cost-effective alternatives that could save the UK economy billions each year. The Kaia app, and advances in technology, demonstrates why we need to rethink how we treat diseases, and make digital self-management a more realistic part of treatment.”center_img Low Back Pain Stats Source:https://www.kaia-health.com/last_img read more

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New guidelines help decide if open heart surgery or stent is better

first_img Source:https://www.escardio.org/The-ESC/Press-Office/Press-releases/I-have-had-a-heart-attack-Do-I-need-open-heart-surgery-or-a-stent Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 25 2018New advice on the choice between open heart surgery and inserting a stent via a catheter after a heart attack is launched today. The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) Guidelines on myocardial revascularization are published online in European Heart Journal, and on the ESC website.Coronary artery disease, also called ischemic heart disease, is the top cause of death worldwide. Arteries supplying oxygen-rich blood to the heart become narrowed with fatty material, causing chest pain and increasing the risk of heart attacks and death. Patients should stop smoking, be physically active, and consume a healthy diet. They also need lifelong medication which can include a statin to control blood lipids, blood pressure lowering drugs, and aspirin.Myocardial revascularization can be performed in patients with stable (chronic) coronary artery disease or an acute event (heart attack) to improve blood flow to the heart, reduce chest pain (angina), and improve survival. There are two types of myocardial revascularization: open heart surgery to bypass clogged arteries (coronary artery bypass grafting; CABG) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to open clogged arteries with a stent.Patients should be involved in choosing the procedure, state the guidelines. They need unbiased, evidence-based information with terminology they can understand explaining the risks and benefits in the short- and long-term such as survival, relief of chest pain, quality of life, and requirement for a repeat procedure. In non-emergency situations, patients must have time to reflect on the trade-offs and seek a second opinion. Patients have the right to obtain information on the level of experience of the doctor and hospital in performing these procedures.Outcomes from the two procedures vary according to the anatomical complexity of coronary artery disease. This is graded using the SYNTAX Score, which predicts whether PCI can provide similar survival as bypass. For patients with more simple disease, surgical bypass and PCI provide similar long-term outcomes. For patients with complex disease, long-term survival is better with surgical bypass. Also, patients with diabetes have better long-term outcomes with surgical bypass even with less complex disease.Related StoriesStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasA heart team of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons and anesthetists should be consulted for patients with chronic coronary artery disease and a complex coronary anatomy, while respecting the preferences of the patient.Professor Miguel Sousa-Uva, EACTS Chairperson of the Guidelines Task Force, Santa Cruz Hospital, Carnaxide, Portugal, said: “Despite the development of new stents, studies show that patients with complex coronary artery disease have better survival with bypass surgery and this should be the preferred method of revascularization.”In patients with stable disease, another aspect to consider when choosing the procedure is whether it is possible to bypass or insert a stent into all blocked arteries, as this improves symptoms and survival. Preference should be given to the procedure most likely to achieve this so-called complete revascularization.When PCI is chosen, stents that release a drug to prevent clots, heart attacks, and reinterventions should be used in all procedures. Bioresorbable stents, which are absorbed by the body, should only be used in clinical trials.Professor Franz-Josef Neumann, ESC Chairperson of the Guidelines Task Force, University Heart Centre Freiburg ? Bad Krozingen, Germany, said: “The guidelines aim to help patients and doctors make a logical decision on the type of revascularization based on the scientific evidence. They will also be consulted by governments and health insurers as the standard of care for coronary artery disease.”last_img read more

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Young athletes with asthma at increased risk of stigmatization study finds

first_img Source:https://uwaterloo.ca/news/news/asthma-can-lead-stigmatization-young-athletes Sep 11 2018Children with asthma are at increased risk of stigmatization, according to a study at the University of Waterloo.The study identifies the need for educating coaches when it comes to addressing the inclusion and management of athletes with asthma.“We have found that some coaches don’t fully understand the nature of asthma so kids can end up feeling stigmatized,” said Francesca Cardwell, PhD Candidate in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo. “Most coaches will say that they understand asthma and are inclusive, but we know from other work that some kids report that their symptoms are questioned or that they are penalized, especially in competitive sports.”Related StoriesNew app helps improve the lives of children with asthmaImproper inhaler use common in children with asthmaGrowing up on farm with animals may half risk of asthma and allergies, suggests studyThe focus group-based research, led by Cardwell and Susan Elliott, a health geography professor at Waterloo, assessed the effectiveness of an online module that informed coaches on the risks and practices associated with coaching players suffering from an allergic disease.The module users were surveyed to gather perceptions and assess its usefulness. Interviewed coaches found the module relevant, but admitted that they would tend to prioritize other, more relevant, educational modules for various reasons, including interest, issues with funding and time commitment.The results also showed that while most coaches were aware of broader asthma management techniques, they lacked knowledge about more specific solutions such as the Air Quality Health Index.“Although coaches found the education module valuable, it seems that understanding and managing players with asthma isn’t perceived as relevant,” Cardwell says. “But in fact, air quality is important for everyone. If coaches are educated on this topic, it can positively influence inclusion, health, team dynamics, and long-term performance both for the team and the individual.”In a society that strives to create healthy and inclusive communities, it is important to focus on critical everyday activities and to remember how geographical conditions, such as air quality, affect these functions. As climate change manifestations such as fires, droughts, and storms grow in frequency and intensity, the challenges of air quality will become increasingly relevant in all aspects of life.last_img read more

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