The life expectancy of Native Americans in some states is 20 years shorter than the national average. There are many reasons why.

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It’s lack of economic opportunity that is dooming more Americans to “diseases of despair.”

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Thirty years ago this October, Merck & Co. vowed that it would immediately begin distributing the drug free of charge, to any country that requested it, “for as long as needed.” It was the final piece of the puzzle: an effective drug for a tragic and completely preventable disease. And we all lived happily ever after. Only… we didn’t.

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Total costs of Kymriah and the 21 similar drugs in development — known as CAR T-cell therapies — will be far higher than many have imagined, reaching $1 million or more per patient, according to leading cancer experts. The next CAR T-cell drug could be approved as soon as November.

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In a deal similar to the one that turned the tide against AIDS, manufacturers and charities will make chemotherapy drugs available in six poor countries at steep discounts

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There are currently 96,559 candidates on the list awaiting a kidney transplant in the US. In major cities, the average wait is five to ten years. For those on the list, there are meager options to get off it. They could receive a kidney donation from a relative or a friend. Internationally, some have opted for a murkier route

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If developed and used sensitively, artificial intelligence systems could go a long way to mitigating these inequalities by removing human bias. A careless approach, however, could make the situation worse

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Poor and minority patients receive less optimal pain management, are placed on enhanced recovery protocols later than wealthier, white counterparts

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