What We're Reading: Herd Immunity; President's Health; Blindness Gene Therapy Is Overpriced


Why healthy adults should still get the flu vaccine; President Donald Trump undergoes first medical checkup of his presidency; review of Luxturna finds the $850,000 gene therapy needs a price discount.

Immunizing Against the Flu

Although the flu can be incredibly dangerous, the prevalence of it every year has made people minimize the importance of getting the flu vaccine. The New York Times’ blog The Upshot makes the argument that everyone should get the vaccine not only because it’s one of the top 10 causes of deaths, but also because it helps protect others. Adults who face low risks if they get the flu still need to get the vaccine to protect children, older people, and the immuno-compromised. However, just one-third of adults age 18 to 49 actually get immunized against the flu.

President Trump Undergoes Medical Checkup

Last week, President Donald Trump received his first medical checkup as president—a fairly routine exam for presidents. The physician who examined Trump at the Walter Reed military hospital declared him to be in “excellent health,” reported AP. The examination includes evaluation of the president's blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, heart rate, and weight. The checkup isn’t mandatory for presidents, but they have become a tradition among modern presidents, who release a report that declares they are “fit for duty.”

Blindness Gene Therapy Needs Price Discount

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review assessed the comparative clinical effectiveness and value of the new gene therapy, Luxturna, which treats vision loss associated with a rare gene mutation. The report found that the $850,000 treatment needs a substantial price discount to meet traditional cost-effectiveness standards. Special considerations in the report included patient age, benefit durability, and rarity of condition.

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