Your World This Week, Feb. 28 – Mar. 5

This week in health: Prescription drugs have nearly doubled in price in under a decade, Colorado introduces contentious bill to increase vaccination rates, new supercomputers will have a shockingly human power source, obesity linked to poor memory.

Drug Price Hikes Mean Three Quarters Of Social Security Benefits Eaten Up By Prescriptions


Drug prices are soaring, a new AARP study finds. Image Source: Flickr

Over the past seven years, the average cost for a year’s worth of a given prescription drug has doubled to over $11,000, according to senior citizen advocacy group AARP.

In a recent study, AARP found that the soaring annual average is roughly 75 percent of what an American receives in social security benefits per year, making “prescription medicines increasingly unaffordable for retirees and many other patients,” the AP reported. The hikes hit those with chronic or long-term illness the hardest, AARP added.

To arrive at this figure, the group followed price trends of 622 widely used drugs by seniors, be they generic or brand-name. They found that from 2006 to 2013, the average retail price more than doubled from $5,571 to $11,341.

This jump in cost is bad news for Medicare patients — since in some instances they must pay up to half the cost of a prescription — but AARP representative Leigh Purvis says such a spike spells bad times for all, as insurance premiums and taxes that fund Medicare will also increase to accommodate the rising drug costs. “This affects everyone,” Purvis said.

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Did Nazi Research Actually Contribute Anything Valuable To Medical Science?

It goes without saying that Nazi research into medical science was brutal and inhumane, but did they also discover anything useful or beneficial?

Nazi Medicine Mustard Gas

An inmate subjected to mustard gas. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Some life meant very little to the Nazis, who herded millions of people out of their homes and into indefinite detention, heavy labor, and a gruesome waiting game until death. Nazi Germany operated a constellation of thousands of concentration camps, as well as a network of forced-labor facilities and specialized killing centers.

These prisons took in so many people, who were held under such inhumane conditions, that it was inevitable that some medical researchers would seize the opportunity to conduct experiments on the available living human bodies.

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Video Of The Day: An Enormous Solar Explosion Causes A Gorgeous Aurora

Truly amazing views of the Sun aren’t easy to come by.

For one, it’s impossibly bright — some 400,000 times brighter than a full Moon. Secondly, looking at it through a telescope could permanently burn your retinas and make you go blind. But thanks to NASA, we’re able to witness not just the Sun itself, but the beautiful and stunning sight of a coronal mass ejection (CME).

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