The Evolving Role of Retail Clinics

The Evolving Role of Retail Clinics. RAND Corporation. November 10, 2016.

Retail clinics are medical clinics located in pharmacies, grocery stores, and “big box” stores, such as Target and Walmart. These clinics offer extended weekend and evening hours, walk-in availability, and short wait times. Many visits to retail clinics are in the evenings and weekends, when primary care offices are not available. The clinics treat a limited range of health conditions, such as minor infections and injuries, and provide vaccines and other preventive care. Care is delivered by a nurse practitioner or physician assistant. Prices are typically fixed and transparent.
Retail clinics have been proposed as an alternative to costly emergency department care for nonemergency conditions. It has been estimated that up to 20 percent of emergency department visits for a nonemergency condition could take place at a retail clinic or urgent care center, potentially generating cost savings as high as $4.4 billion annually. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 4 pages, 128.5 KB].

Biologics and Biosimilars: Background and Key Issues

Biologics and Biosimilars: Background and Key Issues. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Judith A. Johnson. September 7, 2016.

A biological product, or biologic, is a preparation, such as a drug or a vaccine, that is made from living organisms. Compared with conventional chemical drugs, biologics are relatively large and complex molecules. They may be composed of proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, or combinations of these substances. Biologics may also be cells or tissues used in transplantation. A biosimilar, sometimes referred to as a follow-on biologic, is a therapeutic drug that is similar but not structurally identical to the brand-name biologic made by a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company. In contrast to the relatively simple structure and manufacture of chemical drugs, biosimilars, with their more complex nature and method of manufacture, will not be identical to the brand-name product, but may instead be shown to be highly similar. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates both biologics and chemical drugs.

[PDF format, 28 pages, 800.70 KB].

Reducing the Risks from Rapid Demographic Change

Reducing the Risks from Rapid Demographic Change. Atlantic Council. Matthew J. Burrows. September 9, 2016.

According to the report, the West’s postwar social welfare system is under growing threat as the global demographic structure is being turned upside down. And it is not just the West, but also China and other middle-income powers who will have to deal with an aging workforce and unsustainable health and pension costs in the next decade. For sub-Saharan African countries whose birthrates remain high, overpopulation carries big costs not only for them, but for the rest of the world, which will depend on them for a growing proportion of the world’s workforce. Burrows explores how longer life expectancies, aging workforces, and high birthrates will affect the future economic growth and development of countries around the world. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 30 pages, 4.53 MB].

Half of Americans Say Threats From Infectious Diseases Are Growing

Half of Americans Say Threats From Infectious Diseases Are Growing. Pew Research Center. Lee Rainie and Cary Funk. July 8, 2016.

The Zika virus has become a concern to many Americans, and its emergence fits into a broader pattern of public concern that the number of infectious disease threats to people’s health has grown in the past generation. Some 51% of adults say there are more infectious disease threats today than there were 20 years ago. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 15 pages, 379.22 KB].

The 2016 Olympic Games: Health, Security, Environmental, and Doping Issues

The 2016 Olympic Games: Health, Security, Environmental, and Doping Issues. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. L. Elaine Halchin and John W. Rollins. July 28, 2016.

The 2016 Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 5–21, 2016, and will be followed by the Paralympic Games, September 7–18, 2016. Notably, these are the first games to be hosted by a South American city. Reportedly, 10,500 athletes from 206 countries will participate in the Olympics, including 555 athletes from the United States. Most Olympic events will take place in and around Rio de Janeiro. In addition to Rio de Janeiro, soccer matches will be held in the cities of Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Manaus, São Paulo, and Salvador. Host countries and cities often have to deal with a variety of questions or issues, which is also true for Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. The list of issues or potential problems that might have implications for athletes, team personnel, and spectators participating in or attending the 2016 Rio Games includes the Zika virus, public safety threats, security concerns, and environmental conditions.

[PDF format, 38 pages, 1.24 MB].

Back to the Future of Global Health Security

Back to the Future of Global Health Security. Council on Foreign Relations. Thomas J. Bollyky and Steve Davis. May 31, 2016.

To contain infectious disease outbreaks like Zika and Ebola, global health authorities must learn from past efforts to motivate the private and nonprofit sectors around problems of the poor, according to the authors. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Age, Ageing and Skills: Results from the Survey of Adult Skills

Age, Ageing and Skills: Results from the Survey of Adult Skills. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Marco Paccagnella. April 22, 2016.

The paper presents a comprehensive analysis of the link between age and proficiency in information-processing skills, based on information drawn from the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). The data reveal significant age-related differences in proficiencies, strongly suggesting that proficiency tends to “naturally” decline with age. Age differences in proficiency are, at first sight, substantial. On average across the OECD countries participating in PIAAC, adults aged 55 to 65 score some 30 points less than adults aged 25 to 34 on the PIAAC literacy scale, which is only slightly smaller than the score point difference between tertiary educated and less-than-upper-secondary educated individuals. However, despite their lower levels of proficiency, older individuals do not seem to suffer in terms of labor market outcomes. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 75 pages, 2.35 MB].