Blood from the Sky

June 8, 2017

Zipline’s ambitious medical drone delivery in Africa. In Rwanda, an early commercial test of unmanned aerial vehicles cuts a medical facility’s time to procure blood from four hours to 15 minutes

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Long before the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King declared health inequity the most shocking and inhumane form of injustice, W.E.B. Du Bois wrote that “the Negro death rate and sickness are largely matters of condition and not due to racial traits and tendencies.” Before Du Bois made his case, James McCune Smith — the nation’s first black doctor — carefully detailed the health consequences of freedom and oppression

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— and suing them. You can expect more lawsuits against opioid companies in 2017

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Though they would vigorously deny it, entrepreneurial doctors often treat each patient as an opportunity to make money. Research shows that physicians quickly adapt their treatment choices if the fees they get paid change. But the current payment incentives do more than drive up costs — they can kill people

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Williamson has some of West Virginia’s highest rates of obesity, disability, and arthritis — in a state that already ranks among the worst in those categories. An adult in Williamson has twice the chance of dying from an injury as the average American. This is why the opioid crisis is so hard to handle, here and in so many communities: The underlying drugs are often being prescribed for real reasons

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After a lifetime of smoking, Juanita Milton needs help breathing. She’s tethered to an oxygen tank 24/7 and uses two drug inhalers a day, including Spiriva, which she called “the really expensive one.” “If I can’t afford it, I won’t take it,” Milton said

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All it took was one paragraph. In 1980, a pair of doctors published a brief letter in the New England Journal of Medicine. Spanning a total of five sentences, the letter claimed, with little substantial evidence, that the development of addiction was very rare in hospitalized patients who briefly received opioids and had no prior history of addiction

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Johns Hopkins study finds ‘Price gouging’ especially prevalent among for-profit hospitals that treat minorities, uninsured patients

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