Some Georgians can get zero-premium health insurance

It comes with a family deductible of $4,500 a year, but it’s a gold-level plan. For those who earn less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, the federal subsidy makes the premium zero.

Downside: For those who make more than 400 percent of the poverty level, there aren’t subsidies to offset the higher premiums that resulted from the administration’s refusing to pay the ACA’s subsidies to insurers.

[M]any lower-income persons [sic] will now have access to health insurance coverage with zero-dollar premiums while middle-income families who don’t qualify for subsidies may be required to pay the equivalent of a second mortgage for the same coverage.

Maybe the ad police are at the doughnut shop

The FDA used to send warnings to drug makers about ads that violated policy or law. This year? Not so much.

The most interesting ‘sprue-like enteropathy’ story you’re likely to read today*

The FDA is being asked to ban olmesartan medoxomil (aka Azor, Benicar, or Tribenzor) because it “is associated with a risk of sprue-like enteropathy (a disorder that mimics celiac disease but does not improve with a gluten-free diet), which can cause significant morbidity in patients and outweighs its benefits in treating hypertension.”

* We could have gone with “The Taming of the Sprue” but that seemed a stretch.

The new blood-pressure guidelines are here!

New for the first time in 10 years, and the threshold’s been lowered. Anything above 120/80 is at least “elevated” if not actual hypertension. (The link is to a lay article. If you want to full report, click here for the 481-page PDF; a little light reading before bedtime, perhaps.)

Nothing to clap about

The first case of a ceftriaxone-resistant strain of gonorrhea has been found in North America — in Quebec, to be precise.

Back to that Allergan-Mohawk deal

Here’s a cool (and fairly short) story about how the Allergan patent deal with the Mohawk Indians came to be.

Most interesting: The lawyer who set it up points out that, if Congress closes the legal loophole he used to set up the deal, he’ll just use the same tactic with underfunded state colleges and universities — and that kind of deal has a bit more protection in the form of the 11th Amendment.

So why isn’t there an Alzheimer’s cure yet?

This article argues there are two main reasons: lack of funding and patent law*; the latter means it’s simply not profitable for a company to spend the money it will take to research a drug — the patent will expire before it has a chance to recoup its investment.

* At least in the U.S.