Health

Martha Soukup / https://www.flickr.com/photos/soukup/5159006395

A Purdue University research team hopes to use science, not just anecdotes, to prove dogs really are man’s best friend.

The researchers are conducting a years-long study that measures service dogs’ effect on humans, both emotionally and mentally.

Assistant professor of human-animal interaction Maggie O’Haire says part of the next phase is measuring levels of a stress hormone called cortisol.

Jim Grey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobilene/

If Indianapolis-based insurance company Anthem wants to appeal a federal judge’s decision scrapping the company’s upcoming merger with fellow insurer Cigna, it may have a short time window in which to do so.

While the U.S. Justice Department’s suit contained many anti-competitive claims against the merger, Wednesday’s decision only concerns competition in one market — big companies with more than 5,000 employees. In this market, health insurers often offer so-called “Administrative Services Only” contracts, with the companies paying for actual services themselves.

Bill Aims To Limit Opioid Prescriptions

Feb 8, 2017

A proposal that would limit opioid prescriptions passed a Senate committee Wednesday. It is one of 15 measures authored by Sen. Jim Merritt that aim to combat the opioid epidemic.

The bill would limit the prescriptions amount to seven days for first time adult patients and children. Trauma surgeon Dr. Brian Brewer is one of two people who testified that, in his field, that is too limiting.

Doctors Split In Testimony On Abortion Bill

Feb 8, 2017

 

A House committee heard public testimony on a bill that would require abortion providers to tell patients their medication-induced abortions could be reversible.

Some doctors support that bill, while others call it scientifically unsound.

Indianapolis OB-GYN Dr. Katherine McHugh says there’ve been no medically recognized studies regarding medication abortion reversals.

“Please do not confuse a medical gamble with vetted, scientific data,” McHugh says.

Jonathan Bailey/National Human Genome Research Institute

For someone with depression, finding an antidepressant that works is a trial and error process that often takes weeks or months.

As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Leigh DeNoon reports, new research and genetic tests are beginning to help doctors personalize the search for the right medication.

Jan Northam is a retired nurse. While working in the emergency room, not long after Prozac came on the market in the late 1980s, she discovered the medication tremendously helped her depression.

Regent Language Training / https://www.flickr.com/photos/regentlanguagetraining/

Since 2007, 19 states have adopted laws that mandate suicide awareness and prevention training for school educators. But Indiana health and education officials disagree on whether teachers should be the first line of defense.

Indiana requires new teachers to receive suicide prevention training, but a new bill would expand that requirement to all school employees who have ongoing contact with students.

Marion County Commission on Youth lobbyist Mindi Goodpaster says because school is the center of teens’ lives, it makes sense for prevention efforts to start there.

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Lindsay Fox/Flickr

Indiana has one of the nation’s highest smoking rates, but a bill working its way through the legislature aims to change that, in part by raising the cigarette tax by $1.50. The bill cleared the House Committee on Public Health Wednesday.

Nancy Cripe, the coordinator for Tobacco Free Allen County, spent the day before the committee vote at the statehouse to convince lawmakers to vote for the bill, as part of Raise It For Health’s advocacy day. It was easy work.

“Everyone I’ve talked to has been supportive of raising the tobacco tax,” she says. “So I’m excited about that.”

Raymond Gilford / https://www.flickr.com/photos/shuttercat7/

Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly, along with two other European pharmaceutical companies, is facing a price-fixing lawsuit regarding its rapidly escalating insulin prices. Lilly makes a form of insulin called Humalog, whose list price has doubled since 2011, the lawsuit claims.

In a complaint filed in federal court Monday, the plaintiffs argue the price increase isn’t due to increased production costs but rather the exploitation of a complex system of pricing deals between insurers, manufacturers and middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs.

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Jake Harper / Side Effects

If she’s confirmed, Indiana policy consultant Seema Verma will start work as Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She’ll bring her experience designing Indiana’s unique Medicaid expansion to the national policy conversation.

Planned Parenthood Indiana and Kentucky / https://www.plannedparenthood.org

As a debate heats up in Washington over the fate of Planned Parenthood, the President of the group’s Indiana and Kentucky affiliate has announced she’s stepping down.

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