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Brainstorm Health: Obesity and Cancer, Mylan Stock Soars, Online Doctor Ratings

Good morning, readers! This is Sy.

As far as public health threats go, there are few that carry as many multifaceted risks as obesity does. The condition is linked to everything from high blood pressure (and its associate cardiovascular health disorders) to metabolic illnesses like diabetes. But obesity is also a significant factor in certain types of cancer—and those cancers are on the rise, according to new research from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The U.S. has made remarkable progress in the war on cancer over the last several decades. For instance, a study released Tuesday finds that death rates from breast cancer have fallen nearly 40%. However, even though overall cancer diagnoses have been on the decline, obesity-related cancers are on the rise, encompassing 40% of all diagnosed cancers in the U.S. in 2014. These include cancers such as stomach, liver, pancreas, kidney, and nine other cancers.

“[This] report shows in some cancers we’re going in the wrong direction,” said the CDC’s Dr. Anne Schuchat during a media call Tuesday.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


Online doctor ratings may not be all they’re cracked up to be. A new study compares patients’ ratings of doctors across several popular sites against more quantitative metrics like adherence to medical guidelines, patient readmissions, and other such criteria. The finding? There’s little correlation between high scorers on online portals and those fare well with the more specific metrics, suggesting that more subjective qualities like overall experience with medical staff and empathy from doctors are powerful factors. (Reuters)


Mylan stock soars on Copaxone copycat approval. Shares of Teva plunged 12% while Mylan spiked 17% in Wednesday trading after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the latter company’s copycat of Copaxone, a best-selling multiple sclerosis treatment. That’s even more bad news for the already-beleaguered  Teva, whose stock is now down 54% year-to-date. (Fortune)

Allergan Native tribe patent deal to get Congressional scrutiny. Allergan’s unusual arrangement to transfer patents on a best-selling dry eye drug to a Native tribe in upstate New York in order to thwart intellectual property challenges will come under the microscope in the House of Representatives, where the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will probe the deal.


CHIP health program for children expires. Renewal could be a struggle. Funding for the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health coverage to about 9 million low-to-middle income children, expired several days ago. And a House proposal to extend it could give Congressional Democrats heartburn as it seeks to cut certain hospital payments and other health funding in order to finance the extension. (ABC News)


Microsoft Apologizes for Cloud Glitchby Barb Darrow

Tesla’s Biggest Competitor  in the Electric Car Revolution Might Be Detroitby Aric Jenkins

Ford’s New CEO Offers An Old-Fashioned Strategic Planby Adam Lashinsky

The 100 Fastest-Growing Inner City Businessesby Fortune Staff

Produced by Sy Mukherjee

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