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How ‘price transparency’ could affect high cost of U.S. prescription drugs

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WIKITRIBUNE - The White House released a rough plan to rein in drug prices that included price transparency. The argument is that drug companies might shy away from raising prices if they knew the public was watching. "Just notifying us whether there’s a price increase, that’s not really going to have any effect,” says HPM's WALID GELLAD. “Many of these state laws also have very low fines if they don’t report this data.”  

Kahn speaks on the challenge to report new CMS sepsis measure

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THE HOSPITALIST - In October 2015, CMS implemented its first meaningful policy to attempt for addressing sepsis, however, not everyone has embraced it thus far. “Sepsis is indeed a critical public health problem, and it’s appropriate and valuable that Medicare and other policy makers are focusing on sepsis,” said HPM's JEREMY KAHN. "But at 85-pages long, it really is an enormous effort for hospitals to adhere to this measure."  

Is there a connection between Pittsburgh's high rates of asthma and autoimmune disorders?

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Environmental Health News - Pittsburgh would be an ideal place for further study on the links between air pollution, asthma, and autoimmune disease, says EOH chair SALLY WENZEL. "There's a lot of evidence now that what you breathe may impact your lungs in many ways, and could actually start an autoimmune process. That's a link we haven't fully explored in this region yet."  

Rift Valley fever in animals and humans: Current perspectives

ANTIVIRAL RESEARCH - McMillen and Hartman discuss the historical role of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) as a biological weapon and conclude with an outline of the important unanswered questions for ongoing research into this important zoonotic disease.  

Pan on suicide stats from Allegheny Country getting worse

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - Suicides in Allegheny County have increased 66 percent over just eight years from 2010 to 2017. The increase is far higher than the 25 percent national increase, or the 30 percent increase in Pennsylvania over 18 years between 1999 and 2016. “This is really upsetting to me because for so long our [suicide] rates were going down,” said HUGEN's LISA PAN.   

Brent on suicide rates climbing across the nation 

Brent on suicide rates climbing across the nation

NY TIMES - Suicide rates rose steadily in nearly every state from 1999 to 2016, increasing 25 percent nationally. Studies found that slightly more than half of people who had committed suicide did not have any known mental health condition. “The reason most suicide decedents don’t have a known ment... (06/08/2018)

Belle honored for contributions to clinical trials 

Belle honored for contributions to clinical trials

UPMC - EPI's STEVEN BELE has been named a fellow of the Society for Clinical Trials, recognized for outstanding leadership for several multicenter studies of surgical outcomes and other treatment trials across a wide range of conditions and applications. “It’s an honor to be recognized by those who... (06/08/2018)

New roles for Cauley and Ayyavoo 

New roles for Cauley and Ayyavoo

JANE CAULEY, who has served as the associate dean for research, will be stepping down from that position to take on additional responsibilities as the executive vice chair of EPI. Cauley is also a distinguished professor of epidemiology. VELPANDI AYYAVOO, currently associate dean for faculty affair... (06/06/2018)

Gary-Webb and Mendez talk Project Hunger (Video) 

Gary-Webb and Mendez talk Project Hunger (Video)

WTAE - More than 325,000 people in southwestern Pennsylvania are food insecure according to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Rural areas are particularly vulnerable. "If groceries stores are miles away, it'll be very difficult to get to those," says BCHS's TIFFANY GARY-WEBB. "Some do hav... (06/05/2018)

'Invisible workforce' of caregivers is wearing out as boomers age 

'Invisible workforce' of caregivers is wearing out as boomers age

STAR TRIBUNE - Growing numbers of Americans face the challenge of caring for an aging parent or other loved one, a burden that will skyrocket as 76 million baby boomers move into their 80s and need help coping with dementia, cancer, heart disease, or just plain frailty and old age. “I don’t think p... (06/05/2018)

Roberts on one way people who inject drugs can avoid HIV and Hepatitis C infections 

Roberts on one way people who inject drugs can avoid HIV and Hepatitis C infections

US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - Tens of thousands of people (if not more) who inject heroin, fentanyl and other opioids are at risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis C from a contaminated syringe. Research shows that programs in which people who inject drugs turn in their used needles in exchange for clea... (06/01/2018)

Some good news from the fight against opiods 

Some good news from the fight against opiods

THE ECONOMIST - Prescription medications are likely to have been pushed down by lower availability of those drugs. Official data from the CDC show that prescription rates were nearly 20% lower in 2016 than at their 2012 peak. IQVIA, a health consultancy, reckons that prescriptions fell by another 1... (06/01/2018)

Catov finds preterm birth linked to heart disease later in life 

Catov finds preterm birth linked to heart disease later in life

WESA-FM - A new study found that women who had preterm births and a pattern of increasing blood pressure were also more likely to have greater calcium buildup in their hearts, putting them at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. Associate professor, alumna, and lead author JANET... (05/28/2018)

Wenzel says biologic improves severe asthma outcomes 

Wenzel says biologic improves severe asthma outcomes

MEDPAGE - Two trials showed that dupilumab was associated with reduced exacerbations, better lung function and improved asthma control in patients with moderate-to-severe uncontrolled asthma. EOH professor SALLY WENZEL says, “for patients who have a lot of comorbidities, and are missing a lot of wor... (05/22/2018)

Inefficient HIV-1 trans infection of CD4+ T cells by macrophages from HIV-1 nonprogressors is associated with altered membrane cholesterol and DC-SIGN 

Inefficient HIV-1 trans infection of CD4+ T cells by macrophages from HIV-1 nonprogressors is associated with altered membrane cholesterol and DC-SIGN

JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY - Delucia, Rinaldo, Rappocciolo demonstrate that the use of SIMV to decrease macrophage-mediated virus transfer should be considered for future HIV therapeutic development.  (05/18/2018)

Goldstein on EPA’s disregard for the science behind the Clean Air Act 

Goldstein on EPA’s disregard for the science behind the Clean Air Act

THE HILL - “In the name of ‘cooperative federalism,’ Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is out to gut one of the finest examples of cooperative federalism in environmental law — that of setting outdoor air pollutant standards,” writes EOH’s BERNARD GOLDSTEIN. “This new approa... (05/18/2018)

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-mediated neuroinflammation dysredulates neurogranin and induces synaptodendritic injury 

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-mediated neuroinflammation dysredulates neurogranin and induces synaptodendritic injury

JOURNAL OF NEUROINFLAMMATION - Guha, Wagner, Ayyavoo conduct first study evaluating the potential role of Ng in the context of HIV-1 neropathogens and conclude that synaptic damage in HAND+ patients could be a result of abrogation of Ng through HIV-1 induced inflammation that dysregulates Ng-CaM in... (05/18/2018)

Colon cancer risk depends on polyp type found during colonoscopy 

Colon cancer risk depends on polyp type found during colonoscopy

HEALIO - The risk for colorectal cancer is about 2.5 times higher in patients who have advanced adenomatous polyps detected during colonoscopy vs. those with no adenomas, but the risk does not appear to be increased among patients with non-advanced adenomas. These findings suggest that repeat colon... (05/17/2018)

Proposal could take SNAP away from 70,000 Pennsylvania households - Roberts responds 

Proposal could take SNAP away from 70,000 Pennsylvania households - Roberts responds

WESA-FM - Two major proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, could cause 70,000 Pennsylvania households to lose eligibility. “I think there’s concern that with this new policy, we might be erring more on the side of being punitive and too restrictive,” says HPM’s E... (05/17/2018)

In Harm’s Way: Women, HIV, Hep C, and Substance Use, hosted by MAAETC 

In Harm’s Way: Women, HIV, Hep C, and Substance Use, hosted by MAAETC

The MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center hosted a conference that brought together regional experts to explore ways to increase awareness of the opioid and Hepatitis C epidemics affecting women and infants in Southwestern Pennsylvania. One outcome of note: they identified solutions to impr... (05/16/2018)

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Research Videos

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Celebrate 70: Research and practice showcase (video) 

Celebrate 70: Research and practice showcase (video)

BCHS's JESSICA BURKE, HPM's ERIC ROBERTS and DIANA DELUCIA (IDM '19) each present recent work ranging from community research on stigmatization of menstrual practices in Nepal, to the economics and equity of Medicaid reform, to the microbiology of HIV re-infection.   (04/19/2018)
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SisterFriend and BCHS host "Periods Gone Public Pittsburgh" discussion (video) 

SisterFriend and BCHS host "Periods Gone Public Pittsburgh" discussion (video)

SisterFriend and the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences hosted an event to encourage discussions about menstrual hygiene in the region and to raise awareness about it as a critical public health issue. Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, the author of Periods Gone Public , gave a talk about he... (03/28/2018)
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BCHS alumnus Wei shares interest in HIV research (video) 

BCHS alumnus Wei shares interest in HIV research (video)

CHONGYI WEI (BCHS '09) recently moved from the University of California, San Francisco to join the faculty at the Rutgers School of Public Health. His primary research focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Asia and in the U.S. He is interest... (03/07/2018)
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Stephan's LifeX incubator initiative to combat global diseases (video) 

Stephan's LifeX incubator initiative to combat global diseases (video)

NASDAQ SUNDAY BUSINESS - Pitt’s LifeX initiative, founded by HUGEN's DIETRICH STEPHAN, will fight large unmet health needs by translating research into new companies offering new solutions for patients. LifeX brings together a combination of resources that young companies need to grow to scale, lab... (02/07/2018)
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Do your ears hang low? (Hugen VIDEO) 

Do your ears hang low? (Hugen VIDEO)

UPMC/PITT HEALTH SCIENCES NEWSROOM - Public health and dental medicine geneticists from the University of Pittsburgh found that at least 49 genes underlie earlobe attachment. What does this research mean and why is it important? (12/20/2017)
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Mailliard presents research on improving HIV “kick and kill” strategies to IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris (Video) 

Mailliard presents research on improving HIV “kick and kill” strategies to IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris (Video)

YOUTUBE - IDM's Mailliard presents his research on “kick and kill” strategies at the 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science, the world's largest open scientific conference on HIV and AIDS-related issues. The work demonstrates that naïve T cells have the ability to effectively target the HIV-1 reservoir,... (11/07/2017)
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