What we're reading, March 29, 2016: the Obama administration is expected to announce new measures to combat opioid addiction; cholesterol test results from Theranos could throw off doctors' decisions; and Republicans aren't talking as much about Obamacare on the campaign trail.
With the opioid epidemic receiving more and more attention in the US, the Obama administration plans to unveil measures to help combat the issue. The president plans to increase access to a medication that combats drug addiction by allowing qualified physicians to prescribe the drug to twice as many patients as they are currently allowed, according to STAT. In addition, Obama is reportedly creating a task force to advance access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment.
Doctors might want to get a second opinion if they base medical decisions on cholesterol tests done by Theranos Inc. According to The Wall Street Journal, Theranos’ results for total cholesterol were lower by 9.3% on average compared with the 2 largest laboratory companies in the US. Researchers from Mount Sinai discovered the discrepancy and published their results in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. They wrote that the average gap could lead doctors to “either inappropriately initiate or fail to appropriately initiate statin therapy.”
Republicans may not like President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, but they aren’t talking much about it any more. This election year, Republican candidates are not allowing talk of replacing Obamacare to dominate the dialogue, and neither party is viewing healthcare reform as a top issue, reported The New York Times. The reason is simple: despite its controversy, the law has taken hold with some impressive numbers. Republicans have even admitted that they would keep certain popular provisions.