N.C. cancer patients’ lives are at stake if Senate doesn’t act this week

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Cancer patients increasingly take pills for their treatment rather than injections. But insurance rules make them far more expensive. Diedra Laird 2015 file photo

A cancer diagnosis is one of the most disrupting and frightening experiences a person can go through. I know because it happened to me just last year.

I live with two forms of blood cancer – myelodysplastic syndrome and myelofibrosis. I am also one of the fortunate ones. Ongoing treatment has so far been successful in keeping the cancer in check, but I live with the reality that my body will stop responding so positively and I will need a new treatment game plan.

And unless the North Carolina Senate acts this week on legislation bringing fairness to cancer health coverage, I will also continue living with the reality that I might not be able to afford the next treatment I need, even though I have health insurance.


Student Graduates in Dying Mom’s Hospital Room

For many years, intravenous (IV) delivery was the primary method for administering the medicines used to treat cancer, but these days, many of the frontline cancer treatments are in pill form – used in conjunction with injectable or IV therapies, or even in place of them.

In fact, well over one-third of the anti-cancer medications approved by the Food & Drug Administration over the last two years are in pill form. For many cancers, the most effective and appropriate form of treatment comes in a pill, and for some cancers, such as chronic myeloid leukemia, an oral therapy is the only available treatment option.

Despite the need for oral anti-cancer medications, some health plans in North Carolina require patients to pay a large sum for them, often in the thousands of dollars, as opposed to the more reasonable fixed copay charge for IV treatments. The high costs make it difficult and often impossible for cancer patients to get the therapies their doctors prescribe. Without those prescribed therapies the prospects for continued life are extremely limited.

The sobering reality is that cancer is the leading cause of death in our state, with nearly 57,000 North Carolinians diagnosed each year. And yet, North Carolina is one of only seven states that hasn’t enacted legislation requiring health insurers to cover oral anti-cancer medications in the same way they cover injectable or IV chemotherapy.

The state House passed such legislation – known as the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act (HB 206) – this year and during the past two legislative sessions, yet it has never gotten a hearing in the Senate.

With the clock ticking down on this year’s session, time is of the essence for the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act and for the many North Carolinians that it would help. I hope senators will finally listen to our voices and allow the legislation to move forward.

Health insurance is a pool we all pay into so that we can afford care if or when we need it. No North Carolinian should have to forego the necessary treatment prescribed by their doctor because insurers do not cover oral anti-cancer medications in a fair way. It’s time to bring insurance policies in line with modern medicine – and in line with the rest of the country – and make cancer care fair in North Carolina.



The stock market doesn’t consider oil ought to be $50

Oil natural gas drilling

Oil natural fuel drilling
Robert Nickelsberg | Getty pictures
The fee of U.S. crude is up extra than 34 percent this 12 months, trading briefly above $50 a barrel Thursday morning. but stocks of U.S. strength corporations in the S&P 500 are up simply over elevenpercent 12 months to this point. based totally on the ancient correlation of the 2, either crude oil isovervalued or power stocks are a screaming buy right here, in step with Convergex leader marketstrategist Nicholas Colas.

it appears that evidently equity investors are certainly skeptical that the present day flow in crude is sustainable,” Colas wrote in a be aware. “Crude is buying and selling at new highs for 2016, whilst themassive cap energy sector is not. One of these charges is incorrect.”


Twitter CEO Dorsey: here’s what Wall street doesn’t get about us

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter.

As Twitter’s stock tanked after sales fell brief of projections and disappointing steering for the second onearea, CEO Jack Dorsey sat down for an interview to speak about what Wall avenue has incorrect about theenterprise, and his vision for the future.

no matter the stock sinking by means of more than 13 percentage in after-hours trading Tuesday, Dorsey insisted that his turnaround plan is operating, and that he is the proper man or woman to run theorganization.

(Twitter stock become down 15 percent Wednesday.)

we’ve in no way had greater attention as a agency, as a development crew,” said Dorsey. “I want toensure that Twitter is the area that you check first aspect to begin your day. it will tell you exactly what’staking place in the world. what’s most important. What matters. And that is what we are driving toward, what we’re targeted.”

Dorsey stated he has a system and crew in region to permit him to juggle running two publicly tradedorganizations right away — mornings at Twitter, afternoons across the street at square. And while he says the board has a fiduciary obligation to evaluate any acquisition offers, he’s that specialize inexecuting the plan he laid out to turnaround Twitter.

while pressed about the ad weakness this is weighing on Twitter’s revenue and outlook, he pivoted to thefact that advertisers are moving from Twitter’s conventional ad formats to video ads, laying thegroundwork for increase in advance. He wouldn’t comment on whether Twitter is tormented byaccelerated competition from advertisers together with facebook and Snapchat, simply pronouncingthat there may bea variety of opportunitybeforehand in video advertisements.

Zuck tries Facebook Live … doesn’t go well

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg attempted to demonstrate his company’s live-streaming capabilities Wednesday afternoon, but may have learned the perils of live broadcasting in the process.

After a few seconds of talking into a camera, Zuckerberg stood up and the video stream went down. On his page, the video link still said it was “live,” but continued to play an 8-second clip of a gray couch with some chatter in the background.

It was unclear what led to the issue, but the video page indicated at the time that 118,000 people were concurrently watching, so there was certainly interest in the stream. After a few minutes, the “live” video was removed from his page entirely, and some users were unable to even load Zuckerberg’s page.

Facebook told CNBC that there were no technical issues with the stream, and Zuckerberg had instead decided to shutdown the feed to change locations. The live-stream did indeed begin from a new location a few minutes later.

The company rolled out new features to Facebook Live on Wednesday, a platform positioned as a major challenger to Twitter’s Periscope live-streaming service and Snapchat’s video features.

Facebook Live, which offers streaming video, added a host of features to make it easier for users to find and share clips from friends, celebrities and media companies, marking its biggest push yet into real-time video.
[“source -cncb”]