Thursday, September 22, 2016

Health care insurance trouble for 2017

An article in USA Today on 30 August has the disconcerting headline: "Health care choices choked further" with the subtitle: "More than 2 million people could be bumped from insurance plans in 2017".

The reason: insurers are leaving the states' marketplaces.  This means that people in 14 states, or 17% of Americans, will have only one insurer remaining, which means they will have no choices, because there will be no competition.  One county in Arizona has no insurers at all.  North Carolina is worried that an insurer, that is the only option for 90% of counties, will leave the state.

ACA signup period (open enrollment) starts November 1.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Magazine Monday: New England Journal of Medicine

As a contrast to the popular and more accessible magazines we've been looking at, with bite-sized articles which are easy to dip into and out of, the Library also offers one of the preeminent scholarly medical publications, the New England Journal of Medicine.  To lure you in, the September 8 issue includes brief articles on lyme disease, typhus, and acute care, as well as longer articles on sleep apnea, uveitis, and sinusitis.

It is also available with your St. Louis Public Library card online through two databases: EBSCO MasterFile (since 09/06/1984) and ProQuest (since 01/04/1990 with a 3 month delay, and abstracts since 05/15/1986).

Thursday, September 15, 2016


By now it's old news that Mylan NV plans to produce a generic version of their EpiPen.  Earlier this year people started complaining about the steep rise in price in the life-saving drug.  The EpiPen is an allergy auto-injector device containing epinephrine.  It treats severe allergies including insect bites and food (nuts and eggs, e.g.) that can lead to anaphylactic shock, and expires after a year.  The price was $97 for a 2-pack in 2007, and is $600 now; the generic version will be $300.

This is local news because the name brand version is already produced here in St. Louis and the generic version will be made at the same facilities in Brentwood and Maryland Heights by Meridian Medical Technologies, a subsidiary of Pfizer.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Magazine Monday: Nutrition Action

Nutrition Action HealthLetter is a short but information-packed magazine.  The articles are also short but full of information, perfect for quick browsing.  It is published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, making it reliable and trustworthy.  Stop by the Central Library to read it!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Marijuana and the DEA

Four weeks ago, the Drug Enforcement Administration decided to leave marijuana on the list of Schedule 1 drugs -- which is the list of drugs considered most dangerous.  Changing it to a Schedule 2 drug would make it easier to get studies approved, and would make it possible for doctors to prescribe marijuana-derived drugs -- eventually.  Studies have shown that marijuana can relieve nausea, improve appetite, and ease painful spasms.  But according to a press release from the DEA, "marijuana remains a schedule I controlled substance because it does not meet the criteria for currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, there is a lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision, and it has a high potential for abuse."  Check out this page from the National Institutes of Health on the dangers of recreational use.

Though an attempt to place marijuana legalization on the November 2016 ballot in Missouri failed, we can expect to see this issue resurface in the future.  Recreational marijuana is currently legal in four states and Washington, D.C., and medical marijuana is legal in 25 states.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Magazine Monday: Health

Lots of Branches have this health-related magazine; every location, in fact, except for the 3 mini-branches (Central Express, Marketplace, and Charing Cross).  This is due to it being a very popular magazine with engaging articles on topics ranging from diet and exercise to relationships and life issues to fashion on beauty to diseases and stress.  Focused on women, it encourages health and happiness.  Weight loss is emphasized.

In addition to the many copies available for checkout, you can also find it in the Science & Technology Room at the Central Library.  Because that copy doesn't circulate, it will always be here when you want to stop by for a quiet moment of reading.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

5th Annual Sickle Cell Stroll

The Sickle Cell Association is a nonprofit community-based organization located in St. Louis, and they will be holding the 5th Annual SICKLE CELL STROLL on Saturday, September 10, 2016, on the campus of Washington University School of Medicine, just south of Barnes-Jewish Hospital.