AngelMD Friday Roundup – November 3rd, 2017

The Friday Roundup is a collection of five stories that you need to know about each week. From policy to innovations, look to us to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the healthcare industry.

Biotech Stock is Waning

October was a slow month for biotech – the index dropped 5.8 percent after it had been trending upward since earlier 2017.

“Perhaps the one thing that has affected s-mid cap sentiment is a more measured outlook for fundraising,” said Eric Schmidt of Cowen. “September/October were heavy months for banking activity, and some capital markets fatigue appears to be setting in.”

AMA Calls for Fight Against Physician Burnout

At the Connected Health Conference in Boston, AMA president Dr. David Barb used his keynote speech as an opportunity to call attention to the issue of physician burnout and how some digital innovation in medicine can add to it.

Burnout is having a significant impact according to a recent survey of 6,880 practicing physicians. The results show that 1 in 5 physicians want to reduce hours and 1 in 50 plan to leave medicine in the next two years.

Stents Stunted by New Trial

The study suggests that percutaneous coronary intervention or PCI, a non-invasive method of opening up arteries which typically involves catheters, balloons, and stents, might have no more effect than non-action, suggesting a possible placebo effect.`

PCI has been used for nearly 40 years and has become the main choice of treatment. Though the study was small, it does raise questions about the procedures performed on already stable patients.

What is in Your Gut?

Turns out the gut microbiome plays a role in the effectiveness of immunotherapy as a cancer treatment. Two different studies in Science found indications that the bacteria in the gut impacts treatment.

One study found “good” bacteria aided treatment and the other found that those taking antibiotics had less success with immunotherapy because of the lack of gut bacteria. The studies are prompting physicians to consider profiling a patient’s gut microbiome before beginning treatment.

Opioid Commission Gives Final Recommendations

Following the declaration of a health emergency by the White House at the end of October, the commission on drug addiction and the opioid crisis released its final report this week.

The report included recommendations for handling the crisis including expanding the drug court system and educational media about resources. Not among the report or declaration? Recommendations for funding, which has become a major point for those critiquing the administration’s handling of the crisis.

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