MDNN: CVS Health Buys Aetna, D-cycloserine for Tuberculosis, Unsafe Abortions, and Childhood Obesity

Stay updated on the biggest headlines with MDNN from December 8, 2017.

Hi, I’m Kevin Kunzmann, and this is MD Magazine News Network - it’s clinical news for connected physicians.

Earlier this week, pharmacy giant CVS announced plans to purchase health care provider Aetna in a $69 billion deal. At the time of purchase, Aetna served about 44.6 million people, who will now join the almost 90 million members of CVS Health. This news carries huge implications for the US health care system, and came just days after CVS announced plans to provide real-time prescription cost information to pharmacists and physicians in its network.

In a study examining long-time antibiotic D-cycloserine’s as a treatment for tuberculosis, researchers found that the microbial therapy acts in different chemical manners to attack different enzyme targets, making it the first antibiotic in the world known to do so. The discovery leads researchers to believe that a better understanding of the drug’s mechanisms could help advance treatment for conditions like TB, which has a high incidence of drug-resistance.

Through a collaboration between the World Health Organization, the Department of Reproductive Health and Research, and the Guttmacher Institute, investigators revealed that almost 1 of every 2 abortions are not performed safely worldwide. Researchers involved in the study have concluded that it is imperative to alter the stigma attached to the service, and to increase efforts to improve access to safer procedures, especially in developing countries.

A growth-trajectory model from Harvard University suggests that 57% of US children will be obese by the age of 35. Currently, severe obesity affects roughly 4.5 million children in the US, and the research team reported that the probability of those children being obese by age 35 will only increase as they age. Those who are still obese by age 19 have only a 6.1% chance of avoiding obesity by age 35, increasing their chances of developing heart disease, cancers, and diabetes. Researchers said the data calls for a more holistic approach to combat obesity in the US.

For these stories and more, visit us at I’m Kevin Kunzmann for MDNN, thank for you watching.