These Norwegian designers rethought how to treat an opioid overdose

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The Norwegian studio ANTI designed a naloxone nasal spray that is easier to use than existing devices—and could save more lives. In 2018, more than 46,000 people died of opioid overdoses in the United States. One of the most frustrating and heartbreaking tragedies of the opioid crisis is that many of those deaths could be prevented. Overdoses can be reversed by a drug called naloxone, which the FDA made widely available in 2019, after approving a nasal spray version of the drug. Read Full Story

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California could start its own line of generic drugs to bring down prescription prices

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Cal Rx would make drugs such as insulin and sell them to residents for cheaper than big pharma. Even with insurance, prescription drug prices in the U.S. are expensive. One vial of insulin can cost as much as $450, while the same amount goes for about $30 in Canada. Now, California could make its own generic insulin—and other prescription drugs—through a new law passed this week that aims to increase access to affordable medications. Read Full Story

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Drug prices are rising three times faster than inflation

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Drugmakers like to point to discounts and coupons that drive the actual price down. But there are people who don’t have access to those lower prices, and for them the increases can be deadly. Prescription drug prices in the U.S. are the highest in the world. But drugmakers have defended these prices by pointing to manufacturer discounts, saying that rebates and coupons bring down a drug’s list price to something more affordable. But even after those discounts, prescription drug prices have soared in the past decade—rising more than three times faster than inflation. Read Full Story

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Combining AI and biology could solve drug discovery’s biggest problems

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Machine learning can speed up the creation of new drugs and unlock the mysteries of major diseases, says Insitro CEO Daphne Koller. Daphne Koller is best known as the cofounder of Coursera , the open database for online learning that launched in 2012. But before her work on Coursera, she was doing something much different. In 2000, Koller started working on applying machine learning to biomedical datasets to understand gene activity across cancer types. She put that work on hold to nurture Coursera, which took many more years than she initially thought it would. She didn’t return to biology until 2016 when she joined Alphabet’s life science research and development arm Calico. Read Full Story

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The COVID-19 drug remdesivir costs as much as $3,120 per patient, but the government could change that

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Two attorneys general say that because the government funded the drug’s development, it needs to be more readily available. Remdesivir, a drug that can help patients with severe cases of COVID-19 recover faster, likely doesn’t cost much to make. Gilead, the drug company that produces it, hasn’t disclosed the cost—though one study in the Journal of Virus Eradication suggests that producing one day’s supply costs as little as 93 cents. A full course of treatment might cost around $6 to make. Gilead, on the other hand, charges governments $2,340 for a five-day course. Private insurers pay $3,120. Read Full Story

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What if you could condense all your pills into one? With 3D printing, you can

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Researchers debut a new technique that proves pills can be designed for individual patients. The objects are almost beautiful. The surfaces appear faceted and woven, catching the light like ornate jewelry. But they are not jewelry. They are pills, and possibly the most high-tech pills ever designed, in fact. These tablets are artisanal, tuned for just one person, to release a small medicine cabinet of different drugs at the right time. Read Full Story

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Techies are increasingly interested in healthcare. Here’s why they should make the jump

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The chief digital officer of drug giant Novartis says tech professionals don’t need a background in biology to switch industries. The healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are having a moment with techies. Drug giant Novartis conducted a survey of more than 2,500 technologists this summer and found that 83% of them said they were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to consider careers at healthcare or pharma companies. The reasons varied from the opportunity to innovate through technology (52%) to making healthcare more efficient (49%) and improving quality of care (49%). Read Full Story

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You’d never know this modern bathroom was designed for the elderly

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An accessible bathroom doesn’t need to look like a nursing home. There’s nothing wrong with the plastic benches and extra handrails that fill the bathrooms of older adults; such tools are vital for someone’s safety when balancing in a slippery environment. But with all the effort people put into designing their bathrooms, it would be nice if accessibility could simply blend in—so that your home feels more like a home than a doctor’s office. Read Full Story

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The next big thing in design? No new design at all

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A new book argues that subtraction is a powerful tool, but we’ve become far too used to just adding more. Heading into the summer of 1833, Lexington, Kentucky, was home to about 6,000 people. By fall, more than 500 of them had died from cholera. The fortunate died fast. Others hung on for days, their brains aware of their dehydrating bodies. Bodies piled up faster than they could be buried. Orphaned children wandered the streets begging for food. Read Full Story

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