The Handoff: Your Week in Neurology News – 10/13/16

The Handoff is a weekly roundup of neurology news covering various developments in subspecialties, the pharmaceutical industry, and the overall state of health care as it affects neurologists. Keep your finger on the pulse of neurology with The Handoff.

– Anthem, the US’ second-largest health insurer, says it will not cover the cost of Sarepta’s eteplirsen for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The drug, which has been buried in controversy since its FDA approval last month, will cost approximately $300,000 per year.

– Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico is pressing the Federal Trade Commission to closely scrutinize marketing claims made by sports gear companies, especially those that sell gear with benefits for concussion prevention and protection.

– President Obama is leading a conference today on the topic of health care breakthroughs through initiatives including the BRAIN Initiative and Precision Medicine Initiative. Watch the live stream of the plenary session here.

– The FDA has approved St. Jude Medical’s Infinity™ Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) and DBS directional leads, a first in the US. The system, for patients with Parkinson’s disease, connects to an iOS app for improved disease management.

– Another US senator is fighting for more controlled prescribing of Subsys® after a story about a patient who was prescribed fentanyl off-label for chronic pain — and who eventually overdosed — went viral.

– The first patient has been enrolled in the EXPEDITE clinical trial to assess Neural Analytics’ mobile stroke monitoring platform.

– The Alzheimer’s research world recently lost 2 significant contributors with the passing of Allen Roses and Dale Schenk, who identified APOE ε4 as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and worked in immunotherapy development, respectively.

– Ben Goldacre, MD, and a team from Open Knowledge International have launched a beta-version of Open Trials, and open-access, online database of clinical trial data meant to increase transparency and improve access to research.

– The University of Minnesota’s Health, Clinic, and Surgery Center was recognized among FastCo Design’s top 27 most innovative spaces and places of the year for its technology- and convenience-driven design of its health center, set on improving the patient experience.

– New York Presbyterian has launched the first Mobile Stroke Unit on the East Coast with the help of the Fire Department of New York. Watch the video to see how state-of-the-art technology is shaving precious minutes off treatment time.