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POLITICO New York Health Care: Brier to retire; De Blasio signs Legionnaires' bill

Dear readers: POLITICO New York Pro subscribers receive this email at 5:30 a.m. each weekday. If you'd like to receive it at that time, along with a customized real-time news feed of New York health care policy news throughout the day, please contact us at and we'll set you up for trial access.

written by Dan Goldberg

EXCLUSIVE — Maimonides Medical Center's longtime CEO Pam Brier will retire later this year. Brier formally delivered the news to her board Tuesday night, though she had been prepping senior staff for some time. Ken Gibbs, chairman of the Maimonides Board of Trustees, will become the new president and CEO, according to hospital officials. Brier's announcement came the same night the Maimonides board voted to approve an affiliation agreement with North Shore-LIJ, a move that had been discussed for months and let the outgoing president feel she was leaving the hospital in a strong position. Read my full story here:

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SIGNED — Reuters reports: “New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed an unprecedented law regulating cooling towers throughout the city on Tuesday following an outbreak of Legionnaire's disease that killed 12 people in the city's South Bronx area. City health officials said the outbreak, which sickened 124 people, was caused by Legionella bacteria in several air conditioning cooling towers in the area.”

NOW WE KNOW Thinking of becoming a father? Well, before you do, know this: Becoming a dad before age 25 is associated with a heightened risk of dying early in middle age, according to a study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. It is not entirely clear why that is though the pressure of supporting a household at such a young age could be a contributing factor.

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SETTLED — The attorneys general of New York and New Jersey announced their share of a 47-state, $71 million settlement with the pharmaceutical company Amgen Tuesday over its promotion of two medications, Aranesp and Enbrel, for unapproved off-label use. According to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office, Amgen promoted dosing frequency longer than what the federal Food and Drug Administration approved for Anarsep, which is used to treat types of anemia, and promoted the drug for anemia caused by cancer without having FDA approval or evidence to backup the claim. The company also was accused of promoting Enbrel, which is approved for the treatment of chronic to moderate plaque psoriasis, as suitable for mild plaque psoriasis without FDA approval, and for overstating the drug’s efficacy. Read more here: [PRO]

FINANCES — The New York Hospital Medical Center of Queens reported a $4 million operating gain for the first six months of 2015, a 33 percent year-over-year jump. Patient revenue increased by more than $9 million to $338.8 million, according to the hospital's most recent financial report. Total expenses increased by $4 million to $347 million. Read the report here:

IN THEIR DEFENSE — Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Senate Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins joined local elected officials at a press conference in Yonkers Tuesday to denounce recent attacks on Planned Parenthood.

PHARMA REPORT: POLITICO reports:The Food and Drug Administration approved the so-called female Viagra drug, marking the first medication in the United States for the treatment of low libido in pre-menopausal women. “But the agency’s decision on Tuesday—which follows a well-orchestrated advocacy campaign financed by the drug’s maker, Sprout Pharmaceuticals—comes with a requirement that the company take steps to ensure doctors prescribe flibanserin carefully and make women aware of its health risks.” [PRO]


-OUR FAMILY SECRETS — There is an anonymous essay in the Annals of Internal Medicine that will make you cringe, as a doctor reveals abhorrent level of misogyny he has witnessed over the years. Abstract is here:

-ACROSS THE RIVER — POLITICO New Jersey: “State officials are releasing an Android version of a mobile app that lets users of the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program access the database by phone. The Division of Consumer affairs has previously released a version for Apple’s iOS. The prescription database is meant to curb drug abuse by collecting detailed information on all prescriptions for controlled dangerous substances, which include some opiates, as well as human growth hormone. Pharmacists and doctors are able to search the database to see if patients are “doctor shopping” or use multiple pharmacies to illegally obtained drugs.” The new app is available here:

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TODAY'S TIP — Comes from Assembly health committee chair Richard Gottfried, who reminds us “There's a heat wave on! See [health department] tips to beat the heat.”


-BOYS AND GIRLS — Girls whose rare and deadly brain tumors are fully removed live almost six years longer than boys, according to a study in Neurosurgery, which suggests gender-specific genes and other epigenetic factors might influence the formation and development of pediatric brain cancers, and their response to standard treatment. "These patients' tumors presented identically and were treated identically, but the children had very different outcomes," Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield, an associate professor of neurological surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and the study's senior author, said in a press release. "It's early, but I think that this opens up really exciting possibilities for exploring the differences in gene expression between boys and girls with brain tumors." Girls lived 8.1 years and boys lived 2.4 years.

-WHERE YOU STAND — Those in the middle of the social hierarchy suffer higher rates of depression and anxiety than those at the top or bottom, according to researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The researchers found that nearly twice the number of supervisors and managers reported they suffered from anxiety compared to employees, according to a press release from the school. The study was published in the journal Sociology of Health & Illness. “Our findings highlight the need for population health research to both conceptualize and measure social class in ways that go beyond the standard measures of socioeconomic status,” Lisa Bates, assistant professor of Epidemiology said in the release, “Standard measures are most readily available, but can mask important complexity in the relationship between social class and population health.”

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