What we're reading, April 12, 2016: Zika virus scarier than initially thought; KaloBios will adopt a more transparent and "responsible" pricing model for products; and children in rural areas have more complex and expensive hospital stays.
As researchers learn more about the Zika virus, and the complications it can cause during pregnancy, the scarier the virus seems. The virus is being linked to stillbirths, miscarriages, eye problems and other complications throughout pregnancy, and there’s evidence that adults can suffer serious side effects, reported The New York Times. Experts don’t expect there to be widespread outbreaks of the virus in the continental United States, 30 states could be exposed to infection, according to Fox News. The president’s request for about $1.9 billion in emergency money to fight the virus has stalled in Congress.
A biotechnology company previously led by Martin Shkreli has announced it would adopt a more “responsible” pricing model for its products. Reuters reported that KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, which is developing drugs to treat Chagas disease and cancer, would not pursue aggressive pricing and would endeavor to be more transparent. Chagas affects more than 300,000 people in the US and ultimately causes heart failure. There are no approved drugs for the disease in the US or Europe.
Children in rural areas have more complex and expensive hospital stays compared with children from urban and suburban areas. In addition, more than 70% of rural children have a chronic condition compared with 66% of nonrural children, according to MedPage Today. Rural children who were hospitalized cost nearly $800 more than nonrural children and they were associated with a 10% increased likelihood of 30-day all-cause readmissions.