CVS and Aetna’s game-changing merger gains crucial approval

A landmark health care merger is inches away from the finish line. CVS has gained the US government’s approval to buy Aetna. The $69 billion acquisition, announced in December 2017, will drastically remap the health care industry. CVS (CVS) is a massive drugstore chain and prescription insurer, and Aetna (AET) is one of the nation’s largest health insurers. It is the largest health insurance deal in history, far exceeding Express Scripts’ (ESRX) $29 billion acquisition of Medco in 2012, the last record-holder. To gain the Trump administration’s approval, Aetna agreed…

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UK millennials are drinking less alcohol, study finds

Young British people are drinking less alcohol than a decade ago, with abstinence becoming “mainstream” among teenagers and young adults, a new study reveals. Researchers found that 29% of 16- to 24-year olds were non-drinkers in 2015, up from 18% in 2005. Half of people in that age group said they had not had a drink in the past week, compared to 35% a decade earlier, according to the study published Wednesday. And while young people are still the most likely to binge drink, rates of binge drinking — defined as drinking…

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First responders weigh in on children and opioid epidemic: ‘No one is spared’

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – One day after Crime Insider sources say a one-year-old Richmond boy died from possible exposure to drugs, first responders are weighing in on the opioid epidemic they experience first hand every day. Those sources say Syion Lipscomb was taken off of life support Tuesday after he got into what appeared to be drugs that had been left out in the open. Paramedics were initially called to an apartment in Fulton late Sunday for an unresponsive child under the age of two. “Without any ifs, ands or…

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United Kingdom appoints Minister for Suicide Prevention

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed what is thought to be the world’s first minister for suicide prevention. The move, intended to tackle the tragedy of 4,500 people taking their own lives in England each year, comes on World Mental Health Day. Jackie Doyle-Price, a Conservative MP and current health minister, has been appointed to lead the government’s efforts to confront the issue, which is the leading cause of death in men aged under 45. The new role will head up a ministerial taskforce, working with experts…

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Giant mosquitoes emerge in North Carolina post-Florence

Watch Video Ouch! The floodwaters that followed Hurricane Florence, which made landfall in North Carolina on September 14, have spawned thousands of mega-mosquitoes across the state, according to entomologists. These giants have zebra-striped legs and are two to three times as big as the normal bloodsuckers encountered during summer, said Michael H. Reiskind, an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology at North Carolina State University. “Definitely noticeably bigger,” he said. “If you see mosquitoes often, then you’re going to say, ‘Wow, that’s a big mosquito.’ ” A gallinipper compared with a penny.…

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Insurance won’t cover man’s life-saving medication: ‘I’m going to die a slow death’

ELK GROVE, Calif. —Mark Dendy has been able to live a normal life thanks to a variety of life-saving medicines, but now he says his insurance company will no longer be covering the sky-high cost of Syprine. Mark Dendy usually has a healthy sense of humor with the staff and students he tutors at Brightwood College in Sacramento. Many have no idea that, for Dendy, his work is a distraction from a life-threatening disease that is literally poisoning him from within. “Without the medicine, I’m going to die a slow…

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Dog gets 3D-printed skull after vet removes massive tumor

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A dog who lost part of its skull to cancer is now getting international attention. Researchers at a Canadian University successfully removed a large cancer tumor from a dog’s head and replaced the piece of removed skull with a 3D printed plate. (Michelle Oblak) When Danielle Dymek goes to the barn to feed her horses, her 10-year-old Dachshund Patches usually comes along for the ride. A senior dog, Patches needs some help getting around. For the most part, though, Dymek said her Dachshund has been fairly…

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The fight for transgender healthcare at work

Transgender people often require a great deal of medical care. Mental health counseling, hormone therapy, speech language therapy, mastectomy, facial feminization, sperm retrieval or egg freezing — just to name a few — can cost thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. But if an insurance provider classifies a procedure as “cosmetic” rather than “medically necessary,” trans people are forced to pay out-of-pocket. Or risk going without care that can be vital to their health. Even when insurers won’t cover certain procedures, some employers will step in and offer…

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Hand sanitizer cut back on young children’s sick days more than washing, study says

Young children inevitably have a lot of runny noses and sore throats, but how they clean their hands could cut back on how often they miss day care, according to a study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers in Spain found that children who cleaned their hands with sanitizer instead of soap and water reduced their missed days of school, respiratory infections and antibiotic prescriptions. Researchers studied 911 children up to age 3 who attended 24 daycare centers in Almería, Spain. They split the children, their families and their…

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