Health

Medical research, sustainability, agriculture, healthcare jobs, health policy, and biotechnology stories from across upstate New York.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there’s the equivalent of one bottle of prescription painkillers for every adult American. Meanwhile, 46 people a day die from an overdose of those same painkillers. That’s why New York State is trying to curb the problem of over prescribing.

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  Your physical and mental health are considered equally important under state and federal law. It's called “mental health parity.”  Insurers haven’t always complied. State lawmakers' recent actions intend to take hurdles from insurance out of the long path to recovery from addiction.

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Cell phones are often at the center of rapid emergency response plans, as we saw during the recent earthquake in Nepal. Several researchers in Upstate New York are now looking at how that technology can be used for scenarios in the United States.

Solomon Abiola has been making more frequent trips to his native Lagos, Nigeria to demonstrate his latest project. The researcher from the University of Rochester created a smartphone app he says could change the way that we respond to epidemics like Ebola virus disease, which is still affecting thousands of West Africans.  

(Video after the jump.)

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Deaths from drug overdose have outpaced automobile accidents as the leading cause of injury in 35 states, including New York. But the state is making strides to curtail that trend. Physicians are integral to treating addiction, but the country has a shortage of doctors with training in the specialty.

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Winners of New York’s five medical marijuana licenses could emerge any day now. The state Department of Health says it will announce the picks in mid-July. One bidder, Salus Scientific, aims to start growing in Johnson City.

If the company wins a license, it will have to get right down to business. Co-founder Michael Falcone says he plans to refurbish a former grocery warehouse in the city to use for cultivation. The drug would need to be ready for sale by January, according to state rules.

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