Teens and Mental Health; Plus All-In-One vaccine

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TThe mental health of America’s teens is declining as Generation Z in the United States faces a global pandemic and epidemic of gun violence. While overall rates of anxiety and depression remained relatively stable during the first year of the pandemic — from 15% in 2019 to 16% in 2020 — deaths from drug overdoses and incidents of self-harm increased, according to a new briefing from the Kaiser Family Foundation . The number of drug overdose deaths among youth aged 12 to 17 has nearly doubled from 282 in 2019 to 546 in 2020. The report found that death by suicide increased by 62% from 2010 to 2020, with Native American and Alaska Native teenagers three times more likely to die by suicide than their white peers. Teenage girls were four times more likely to harm themselves in 2020, while teenage boys were twice as likely to die by suicide.

According to KFF estimates, before the pandemic, only about one in five children and adolescents had access to mental health services from a specialized provider. Last month forbes Health In Action heard from Naomi Allen, co-founder and CEO of Brightline, which provides virtual specialty mental health services for children and adolescents, on how the company is addressing the adolescent mental health crisis. “One of the biggest things about scaling access from a mental health perspective is you have these pockets where there are resources and then these deserts where they aren’t. So we invest a lot of time in multi-state licensing and certification across healthcare plans,” Allen said.

Another key element is ensuring availability when children, young people and parents want services, which is typically after-school in the 3-8 p.m. range, she added. Then there is also the need to hire a variety of clinicians trained to care for underrepresented groups, including LGBTQ and BIPOC youth. “Virtual coverage has been one of the most important ways to ensure we can provide coverage nationwide during this time of need,” Allen said.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide please call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text the crisis text line at 741-741.


The new healthcare price transparency rule went into effect on July 1, but it may not help much just yet

In theory, this level of transparency could lower healthcare prices (although some economists warn that it could also encourage some providers to raise their prices if they feel they are underpaid). If the rates that health insurers negotiate with healthcare providers are fully disclosed, the companies that pay for employer-sponsored healthcare could have reason to question insurers’ negotiating efficiency. However, all of these benefits will only materialize if healthcare plans first comply with the new regulations. Read more here.


Sales of the week

Health at home: Tomorrow Health, a New York-based startup that has developed a marketplace for medical devices and supplies for the home, has raised a $60 million Series B round led by BOND. The company, which enters into value-based contracts with insurers to coordinate home care, has raised $92.5 million so far.

Bye Watson Health: Francisco Partners has rebranded the acquired IBM Watson Health assets into a new health data and analytics company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan called Merative. Gerry McCarthy, who most recently served as CEO of Francisco Fransico portfolio company eSolutions, has been appointed CEO of Merative. True Wind Capital and Sixth Street are also investing in Merative.

Alcohol treatment: Ria Health, a telemedicine company specializing in the treatment of alcohol use disorders, has raised an $18 million Series A round led by SV Health Investors. Founded in 2016, the company will use the funds to expand its health plan and employer program. It has partnerships with insurers including Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, UnitedHealth Group’s Optum and Highmark Health, among others.


Remarkable

Monkeypox Infections could fly under the radar as symptoms differ from what doctors have seen in the past, a new study warns.

Walgreen’s Boots Alliance reported quarterly earnings that were significantly below the prior-year period, primarily due to a $683 million settlement with the state of Florida related to the opioid epidemic.

With a wholesale cost of $475 is Scynexis’ new treatment for yeast infections Brexafemme faces pricing and refund issues.

Health insurers are already expanding Medicare benefit Markets for 2023 despite uncertain financial markets and government scrutiny of certain business practices.

This is a state lawsuit abortion bans Was standing.

Coronavirus Updates

Wisconsin-based pharmaceutical company Veru released the results of the Phase 3 clinical trial for its Covid drug Sabizabulin in the New England Journal of Medicine today. The randomized, controlled trial evaluated the drug’s outcomes in patients who were hospitalized, required supplemental oxygen and were at high risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome and death. Verus drug was provided as a treatment on top of the current standard of care of remdesivir, dexamethasone, antibodies and JAK inhibitors. Sabizabulin is administered orally and has both antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. The study found that treatment with sabizabulin resulted in a 55% relative reduction in deaths compared to patients receiving placebo. Treatment with the drug also reduced the number of days in intensive care by 43% and days on a ventilator by almost half compared to placebo.

“The overall conclusion of this phase 3 study is that treatment with sabizabulin has a clear mortality benefit compared to placebo in hospitalized Covid-19 patients at high risk for ARDS receiving standard of care without significant safety signals,” said Gary Barnette, senior scientist at Veru officer said in a statement. The company filed an emergency use authorization application with the FDA on June 7, and its stock price was up 13% at market close.

Thanks to fellow Forbes Ariyana Griffin for her contributions to this newsletter!


‘All-in-one’ vaccine could protect against future Covid-19 variants, researchers say

An “all-in-one” vaccine currently in development could protect humans from future Covid-19 variants, as well as SARS, MERS and new strains of other coronaviruses from other animals, a study by researchers at the California Institute of Technology has found . Read more here.

Other coronavirus news

New research shows that Covid vaccinations prevented nearly 27 million Covid-19 infections, 1.6 million hospitalizations, and 235,000 deaths among American adults in the first nine months they were available.

eric topol, Founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, warns that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 “could be the worst version of the virus we’ve seen.”

Covid is still more than one bad cold, as one infectious disease doctor learned firsthand.

Research is beginning to show that Long covid is much more common than previously thought, affecting 10-30% of people who have been infected.

Pfizer is seeking full FDA approval for its Covid antiviral pill Paxlovid, which the FDA today authorized pharmacists to prescribe directly.

The newest Outbreak of Covid-19 in Shanghai has led to calls for mass testing and fears of further lockdowns in China.

About Forbes

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What else do we read?

Have the COVID vaccine mandates worked? What the Data Says (Nature)

Widespread hospital gowns show signs workers are at risk of infection (Kaiser Health News)

Global Covid vaccine and drug stock program set to end this fall (POLITICO)

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