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in-the-news

In the News: Generic drug prices soar

Photo: David Goehring/CC 2.0/ flic.kr/p/7FDNYM

High-priced prescription drugs are not unfamiliar to the American consumer.

But generic drugs – widely accepted as the cheaper alternative to big brand names – are making their own name in high pricing as of late.

Generic drug prices on some commonly prescribed medications have risen by as much as 500 percent over the past year.

University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy pharmaceutical economist Stephen Schondelmeyer, Pharm.D., Ph.D., spoke with WCCO Radio’s Chad Hartmann about the rising cost trend and what it could mean for consumers.

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beyond-minnesota

In the News: U students map Fish Town, Liberia, contribute to Ebola relief efforts

With Ebola and infectious disease response at the top of mind, University of Minnesota students and professors are evaluating what students can learn from and contribute to the west African pandemic response.

A group of juniors in the University of Minnesota’s bachelor of science in nursing program, for one, is creating maps of previously uncharted areas of Guinea and southern Liberia. Their contribution to crowd-sourced mapping tool, OpenStreetMap, is an example of a small – but vital – effort in responding to public health crises like Ebola.

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expert-perspectives

Expert Perspective: Sharable, comparable nurse data lacking in electronic health records

Photo: Public Domain

Sharable, comparable nurse data is lacking in the nation’s electronic health records, according to Bonnie Westra, Ph.D., R.N., associate professor and director of the Center for Nursing Informatics at the University of Minnesota.

But it’s not for lack of nurses entering patient health information into the record. There’s arguably, in fact, too much patient data being entered.

“What we’re faced with is a challenge of how do we better streamline data, standardize terms used, and standardize documentation to better reuse the data coming in?” said Westra.

In other words, usability of the data has room to grow.

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beyond-minnesota

What happens to a rehabilitated eagle after release?

The Jackson Bay female is released in Hastings, Minnesota in July 2014.

Each year in September, The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota releases a small number of rehabilitated birds back to the wild at Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center in Hastings, Minnesota. While a few thousand spectators come out to observe the release and see education birds including bald eagles, great horned owls and kestrels up-close, it’s not often that the audience gets to learn what happens in the days, weeks and months following.

Did the bird make it? Did it fall prey to another urban landscape challenge such as a chimney, window or methane burner? Or is the bird we saw fly free in good health, hunting and soaring over the plains?

For one bird released in July, there was a rare opportunity to find out.

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beyond-minnesota

U of M School of Nursing faculty join southern Liberia Ebola response

Photo: CDC Global/CC 2.0/ flic.kr/p/or5Vfa

Four University of Minnesota School of Nursing faculty were invited by the American Refugee Committee (ARC) to be part of a leadership team of health professionals charged with launching a new Ebola treatment center in southern Liberia. Two members of the group departed today to aid in the response efforts.

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expert-perspectives

The Expert Is In: Liver damage from dietary supplements

Photo: Public Domain

Liver damage is a well-established risk of many prescription drugs. However, recent research out of the Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia reveals herbal and dietary supplements may be causing liver damage in some U.S. regions as well. Bodybuilding and non-bodybuilding herbal supplements alike were implicated in the find, which spotlighted a small slice of one of the world’s fastest growing industries.

The findings came as no surprise to Chengguo Xing, Ph.D., professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and member of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.

Xing is investigating how to reduce liver damage associated with a kava dietary supplement, which was found earlier this year to prevent tobacco-smoke induced lung cancer in a mouse model.

Here’s what Xing had to say:

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