Vaccines manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur in July 2017 announced that its first doses of its range of influenza (“flu”) vaccines for the 2017-2018 flu season have been released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Shipments will begin in early August to support fall immunization campaigns. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the single best way to prevent the flu is to get an
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in May 2017 announced having discovered a way to structurally modify an antibiotic called vancomycin to make it even more potent — an advance that could mitigate the threat of antibiotic-resistant infections. The World Health Organization and other public-health experts have been warning that antibiotic resistance is a serious global threat. Previous studies had shown that it is possible to add two modifications
Surveys of employers and their employees consistency show wellness at work is a key consideration. The treatment of chronic conditions that impair energy levels, require short or long-term absences, and make serious use of healthcare insurance have become a top priority around the world.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the U.S. has reported the death of a Reno, Nevada, woman in her 70s from septic shock, after contracting an infection that was resistant to all antibiotics. This comes on the heel of warnings about carbapenem-resistant Enterbacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria that is resistant to all currently available antibiotics. The strain of bacteria that caused the Reno woman’s death is known as Klebsiella pneumoniae.
In response to the urgent call for new vaccines to treat emerging infectious diseases, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, established a global coalition in January 2017 that is committed to developing safe and effective vaccines against known infectious disease threats. Buoyed by an initial investment of US$460m from the governments of Germany, Japan, and Norway, plus investments from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome
UK employers tend to fall short when it comes to having a defined health strategy plan for their employees, especially when the numbers are measured against mainland Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Aon’s EMEA Health Survey Report, published in early 2016, revealed that only 30 percent of UK employers have a defined health strategy compared with 40 percent of EMEA employers, and that only 37% of UK employers
Insilico Medicine will unveil a newly-developed Artificial Intelligence (AI) drug discovery engine at the Re-Work Machine Intelligence Summit in Berlin, Germany, to be held June 29-30, 2016. The AI engine is capable of predicting therapeutic use, toxicity, and adverse effects of thousands of molecules. Insilico says that this drug-discovery engine has the potential to transform the pharmaceutical industry and double the number of drugs on the market by “developing multi-modal deep-learned and parametric biomarkers as well as multiple drug-scoring pipelines
Released in April 2016, a study entitled Association Between Carbohydrate Nutrition and Successful Aging Over 10 Years of more than 1,600 adults aged 50 years and older revealed that a diet rich in fiber from breads/cereals and fruits could be part of a successful strategy for aging successfully. A group of researchers from Australia’s Westmead Institute for Medical Research led by Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath, PhD, examined the relationship
Medical error may be the third cause of death in the United States, just behind cancer and heart disease, but we can’t be sure thanks to a flaw in the reporting system that tracks such things. Martin Makary and Michael Daniel of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine hope to change all that, as they explain in their analysis of the system used by the U.S. Centers for Disease
Researchers warn against a particular strain of E-coli bacteria found in Chinese farms and patients that is proving to be resistant to a particular group of veterinary antibiotics called polymyxins. This group of antibiotics is considered to be the last line of defense against food-borne bacteria such as E-coli and salmonella, and its overuse has created a polymyxin-resistant bacteria strain according to a report released in November 2015 in
As a response to growing concerns over the high cost of cancer care, the Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) Solutions Center, over the course of two 2015 workshops, mounted a study that surveyed 19 self-insured employers representing 1.2 million employees, as well as physicians, oncology experts, employer benefits professionals, executives from health plans, hospitals, consulting organizations, cancer associations, and suppliers of healthcare-related services. The purpose of the study
Lockton Benefit Group in April 2016 announced a material investment in its InfoLock data intelligence platform, used to advise employers on developing comprehensive health management programs to address the continuum of health risks across their working population. InfoLock will now include predictive analytics solution SCIO Health Analytics, enabling client service teams to gain timely insights into trends and make evidence-based recommendations that have a high probability of improving employee behavior
The sad truth is that sleep deprivation is an issue too often ignored, even when it is frequently the root cause of decreased productivity, accidents, and mistakes, costing companies billions of dollars each year. Several studies have confirmed that fatigue and/or lack of sleep can produce impairment similar to that from alcohol.
The MAXIS Conference devoted to sleep, “Sleep, a Business Case for Bedtime: The hidden Global Health Issue Impacting Employee Performance,” took place in November 2015 in Amsterdam, with the support of Zilveren Kruis, the health insurance division of Achmea.
Broker’s Annual Health and Productivity Survey Tracks Employer Trends Employers offering health and wellness programs have moved beyond the standard financial measures associated health care cost savings towards a broader focus on the overall value of health management within a workplace, according to the Willis Health and Productivity Survey published today by Willis North America’s Human Capital Practice. According to the survey, nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) with wellness
U.S. public health insurance exchange enrollment expected to grow in 2016 but may fall short of insurer needs
Enrollment in public health insurance exchanges is expected to grow modestly in 2016, to reach a total number ranging from 9 to 12 million. The majority of current customers – approximately 9 million – is expected to re-enroll. However, the Congressional Budget Office earlier had projected enrollments to reach 20 million by the end of 2016; the shortfall is most significant and the projected number of enrollees likely will
Offering on-site health services is not likely to have a material impact on employers’ medical expenses, but it can be useful in reducing employee absences and workers compensation costs, according to a report by the National Business Group on Health and Truven Health Analytics. In a study of 107 large employers’ health care, workers comp and disability benefit strategies released this week, the availability of on-site health clinics was
A majority of employers are using metrics beyond health care cost savings in order to determine the total value of their investment in workplace wellness programs, according to new survey results. Nearly two-thirds of the 703 employers polled in May and June of this year for Willis North America Inc.’s 2015 Health and Productivity Survey said they rely primarily on value-of-investment measurements — such as health risk reduction, worksite
Health benefits startup Collective Health, a third-party administrator (TPA), in October 2015 raised USD 81 million in additional private investments for a total of 119 million since 2013 to support its plans to begin offering group health care products to self-insured employers in the U.S.A.. Principal investors in Collective Health include Google Ventures, Maverick Capital, Redpoint Ventures, RPE Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Founders Fund. Based in California, Collective
In the U.S., benefits practitioners are busy implementing strategies to avoid the Cadillac tax — a 40% tax on health plan premiums exceeding USD 10,200 for single coverage and USD 27,500 for family coverage; the tax is to be effective in 2018. They are making plan design changes such as increasing cost-sharing, reducing subsidies and eliminating plans with extensive coverage. They are also stepping up wellness activities, increasing consumerism