What We're Reading: Gawande's Challenges; US Opposed Breast Milk Resolution; Prisoners With HCV Not Treated

Atul Gawande, MD, starts his new job today leading the healthcare venture started by Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway; what should have been an easy resolution at the United Nations–affiliated World Health Assembly this spring became ensnared in a US-led battle against breast milk; the majority of prison inmates with hepatitis C are not getting potentially curable drug treatment.

Gawande's 5 Challenges in Leading Amazon—JPMorgan Chase–Berkshire Hathaway Venture

Atul Gawande, MD, starts his new job today leading the healthcare venture started by Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway, and STAT identified 5 challenges he will face: controlling costs, cutting out the middlemen, lowering hospital prices, attacking chronic disease, and steering clear of conflicts of interest as he continues to keep his position as a staff writer for The New Yorker.

United States Opposed Resolution Endorsing Breast Milk at World Health Assembly

Prison Inmates Not Getting Treated for Hepatitis C

What should have been an easy resolution at the United Nations—affiliated World Health Assembly this spring—endorsing medically sound research that breastmilk is healthiest for children and countries should aim to limit inaccurate or misleading marketing of infant formula—became an unexpected battle when the United States opposed it, The New York Times reported. The US delegation went to bat on behalf of infant formula manufacturers, going so far as to threaten countries that did not want to acquiesce to demands, and only backed down when Russia endorsed the measure.Nationwide, roughly 97% of prison inmates with hepatitis C are not getting drug treatment that could potentially cure them of the disease, Kaiser Health News reported. Many of the 49 states that responded to questions cited high drug prices as the reason for denying treatment. The drugs can cost up to $90,000 for a course of treatment. Advocates said this ignores a 1976 Supreme Court ruling that said an inmate’s medical care is a constitutional right.