Category Archives: Commentary

The growing urban/rural health divide in the US

I know I just posted weekly updates yesterday, but this new piece just came out today and I wanted to go ahead and send it out without waiting a week.

Last year, a study by Anne Case and her husband, recent Nobel-laureate economist Angus Deaton, hit the news with the surprising finding on increasing death rates among certain US demographic groups, particularly middle-aged white women. Our gains in life expectancy have stagnated overall, with certain groups as these actually regressing in recent years.

Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post takes a deep dive into the reasons for this troubling trend, with particular focus on diverging life expectancy between urban and rural Americans. Infographics are awesome. Highly recommended.

New, expensive cholesterol med gets the go-ahead?

We learn today that the FDA is considering approval of a new cholesterol drug, alirocumab.

As far as I can tell based on the evidence we have so far, this is a prime example of how new technology functions to increase health care costs, rather than decrease them. Continue reading New, expensive cholesterol med gets the go-ahead?