What We're Reading: White Working Class Crisis; Duchenne Drug Price; Video Help for Caregivers

Less-Educated Whites Dying Younger

A new paper found that middle-aged white Americans with a high school degree or less are dying younger than others in their age group. According to the AP, these individuals have dwindling economic opportunities and poor health. The authors are calling the situation a rise in “deaths of despair,” which includes suicides, drug overdoses, and alcohol-related deaths among this population. The paper is a follow-up on research from 2015 that found an increase in the death rate among middle-aged whites.

Monitoring Pricing for the New Duchenne Drug

After PTC Therapeutics bought Emflaza, a recently approved drug to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the company said it would reexamine the price. Before the company has had a chance to release the new price, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) are requesting information on how PTC plans to price the drug, reported Reuters. Patients had been importing Emflaza before its FDA approval for as little as $1000 a year, but when Marathon received FDA approval, it priced the drug at $89,000 a year. PTC announced last week that it would buy the drug from Marathon.

Instructional Videos to Help Caregivers

Figuring out how to manage medication, give injections, clean catheters, and more can be difficult for family caregivers. However, help is on the way. A new consortium of 15 organizations will provide training and instructional materials for family caregivers, according to Kaiser Health News. The first set of videos (in both English and Spanish) help with caring for seniors using canes or walkers who need help. An additional 9 videos on wound care and additional topics will be added this summer.