Louisiana's health agency must save $56 million on drugs for Medicaid patients to help balance the state budget, but doesn't yet have a final plan for doing that.
A top aide to health Secretary Bruce Greenstein say the changes will take effect Oct. 1, and emergency rules will be published in September.
Legislators, pharmacy interests and others tell The Advocate they are concerned about the lack of transparency and what they call a rush to make changes that need caution to avoid damaging health care. Consumer groups worry about restricted drug access.
Mackie Shilstone isn't only New Orleans' health and fitness guru, he's a worldwide sports phenomenon. Mackie talks about working with superstar athletes — like Serena Williams, whom he recently helped recapture Wimbledon — and his own will to win.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says four new cases of West Nile virus bring this year's total to 14.
It says the new cases include the year's third nervous system infection — the infection's most dangerous form. That patient is in St. Tammany Parish; earlier neuroinvasive cases were reported in Rapides and Vernon parishes.
The other new cases were in Bossier and East and West Baton Rouge parishes. They include one patient with flu-like West Nile fever and two people without symptoms, found in blood donor screening.
High-tech gadgets, like smartphones, keep us connected at all hours and are making it more difficult to get a good night's sleep. But several new smartphone apps claim to help users sleep better. New York Times health and fitness reporter Anahad O'Connor explains the science behind apps.
Dr. Lisa Sterman holds up a Truvada pill at her office in San Francisco in May. Even before the Food and Drug Administration's approval, Sterman had prescribed Truvada for about a dozen patients at high risk for developing AIDS.
The Food and Drug Administration has given the first OK for a drug to prevent HIV infection.
The daily pill Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences, combines two medicines that inhibit the reproduction of HIV. It's been a mainstay in the treatment of HIV/AIDS for years, and as of today is an approved option for reducing the risk of HIV infection for people at high risk.
"Thirty years ago, a positive HIV status was considered a death sentence. As treatments for the disease have advanced over the past three decades, we're wondering how younger people view the disease today."
Hundreds of people e-mailed and commented with their reactions. We also gathered reactions from young folks we met on the street.
Crystal Roberts-Lee has lived a tough life, and her HIV has, in some ways, been the least of her worries.
She was addicted to heroin and cocaine. Her daughter went to prison. A scorpion tattoo crawling across her neck marks the day her husband died from AIDS. Now, at 59, Roberts-Lee is the healthiest she has ever been.
"After I take my medicine, it's just a normal day for me," she says. "I go on with whatever I have to do. If I'm just out and about, I feel like I'm just like the next person."