No, Amazon isn’t getting into the pharmacy business (probably)

All that worry was over nothing; Amazon isn’t going to be selling prescription drugs after all. Remember the industry-wide freak-out over the company buying pharmacy licenses? Turns out it’s planning to sell medical devices.

Industry “experts” are not to be deterred, however. ‘Well, it could happen,’ they insist.

Starvation can reverse diabetes

If you want to reverse diabetes, starve yourself. Not to death, mind you (although technically that would also work), but by cutting your daily caloric intake by three-quarters.

Yale researchers discovered that this VLCD (“very low calorie diet”) lowered the liver’s glucose production dramatically.

How long did it take? Three days.

They’re now looking for human subjects to test the approach.

Speaking of diabetes

GPhA past president and diabetes expert Jonathan Marquess was featured in a Drug Topics story on the new tools that are replacing glucose test strips and monitors.

The pill that knows when it’s been swallowed

And it can alert a physician. And it’s been approved by the FDA.

Right now the pill-with-a-sensor is only available for Abilify. Once a patient swallows the pill…

… the ingestible sensor inside it sends a message to a patch worn by the patient, which then transmits the information to a mobile app that the patient can monitor. If a patient opts to allow it, the patient’s caregivers and doctor can access the data online, too.

Another coffee study, another reason to drink it

This time a study finds coffee drinkers have a lower risk of heart attack or stroke.

They found that drinking coffee was associated with decreased risk of developing heart failure by 7 percent and stroke by 8 percent with every additional cup of coffee consumed per week compared with non-coffee drinkers.

Caveat: “It is important to note that this type of study design demonstrates an observed association, but does not prove cause and effect.” Yeah, yeah. By our math, that means drinking about 14 cups per day would eliminate your risk of heart failure. Get crackin’, folks.

Hospitals are suing HHS

The Trump administration issued a rule that would cut payments to hospitals under the 340(B) program — and now the American Hospital Association (and others) say that no, the Department of Health and Human Services doesn’t have the legal authority to make those cuts.

The portions of the rule being challenged in this case would reduce by nearly 30% Medicare reimbursements to certain public and not-for-profit hospitals and clinics for prescription drugs purchased by those institutions on a discounted basis under section 340B of the Public Health Services Act (the “340B Program”).

They say the cuts will result in hospitals losing $1.6 billion “in violation of both the Secretary’s statutory authority to reimburse hospitals for outpatient drugs under the Social Security Act and the purpose and design of the 340B program.”

Do you think the people who need this warning will pay attention?

The FDA is warning: Don’t inject yourself with silicone for “body contouring and enhancement.” Especially if it’s being done in a “doctor’s” home or hotel room. Seriously. People apparently do this.

Silicone, when injected into areas with many blood vessels such as the buttocks, can travel to other parts of the body and block blood vessels in the lungs, heart, or brain. This can result in permanent damage to those tissues and lead to stroke or death.