- business, chart, rise

For the first time in six years, health spending in the U.S. is projected to have increased more than five percent in 2014, mostly due to an expansion of insurance coverage. Prescription drug spending also played a role, growing 12.6 percent last year as costly hepatitis C medications and new treatments for cancer and multiple sclerosis became available.

 - Medicare_Provider

An analysis of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries found all-cause mortality rates, hospitalization rates and expenditures per beneficiary decreased from 1999 to 2013. During that same time period, patients who were hospitalized also experienced better survival rates in later years and total hospitalizations and inpatient costs declined in the last six months of their lives, according to lead researcher Harlan Krumholz, MD.

 - Patient

Since open enrollment for the health insurance exchanges began in October 2013, millions of more Americans have received coverage and their access to care and self-reported health have improved, according to an analysis of telephone surveys conducted in the past two years.

 - cholesterol

The FDA’s approval of the first proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitor brought about excitement for some with regards to the effectivenss of the new class of drugs in lowering cholesterol. It also raised concerns about the high costs associated with the medications.

 - cholesterol

The FDA has approved alirocumab, an injectable cholesterol-lowering medication and the first commercially available proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitor. Alirocumab (Praluent, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi Aventis) is approved as an adjunct to diet and statins to treat patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH) or patients with clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease who have not been able to lower their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.