MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Heart disease, stroke costs expected to triple by 2030. The cost of treating heart disease and stroke is expected to soar to $818 billion over the next two decades in the United States, according to an American Heart Assn. policy statement, writes to HealthDay. The AHA published their report in the Jan. 24 online edition of Circulation.
Healthcare fraud goes international. A $21.7 billion fund backed by celebrities and called an alternative to the bureaucracy of the United Nations sees as much as two-thirds of some grants eaten up by corruption, reports The Associated Press.
Deep brain stimulation could treat high blood pressure. Physicians administering deep brain stimulation to control a man’s severe pain report that they discovered the treatment consistently lowered his tough-to-treat hypertension, reports HealthDay.
Tufts and Harvard Pilgrim plan merger. Massachusetts’ second- and third-largest health plans, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan, are looking into a merger deal that would reshape the region’s health insurance landscape, writes The Boston Globe.
Obama’s State of the Union address challenge: Talk about healthcare reform – but not too much.
Pitfalls of aging doctors. One-third of physicians are older than 65, the rate of disciplinary actions for older physicians is nearly five times that of younger doctors and there’s a concern there aren’t enoguh safeguards to monitor declining skills as physicians age.
PerkinElmer enters gene sequencing. Via Forbes’ The Medicine Show: “Rather than compete with makers of big DNA sequencing machines, PerkinElmer is creating a service business that will allow researchers to get human genetic data without owning their own DNA sequencers or high-powered supercomputers.”
$4B in healthcare fraud. The federal government said it recovered $4 billion, largely from what it referred to as Medicare fraud.
Viibyrd FDA approval. Clinical Data wins approval for its antidepressant, which includes among its benefits little to no impact on sex drive. The company is already predicting a $1 billion drug.
Good news for Abbott’s RX Acculink. Abbott Laboratories wants its carotid stent approved for a broader array of patients, and indications are the Food & Drug Administration will allow it.
HIMSS swarm. Nearly 30,000 are planning to attend the mega Health IT conference.
Dealflow and more. Cancer vaccine developer Inovio raised $24 million; Pfizer extends a tender offer to King Pharmaceuticals; Nektar Therapeutics raises $220 million; and Amgen buys cancer drugmaker Biovex for $425 million.
Bad news for obesity device industry. McDonalds is raising its prices.
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.