Today in Research: More Generic Prescriptions; Nutrition Fact Labels

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Discovered: a faintly bright spot in healthcare, the hearing loop arrives in America, a new hunting-gathering theory, the few that read nutrition labels, and the robots doing fine at job hunting.

  • 'Skim' is a generous word for how most people read nutrition fact labels. Even though people think they read nutrition labels, calorie counts, and fat counts, they really don't. The finding arrives from a new study that used an eye-tracking device on participants who were corralled to scan nutritional fact labels (which seems like a very tedious task). Participants self-reported that they "almost always" look at specific parts of the labels, which they didn't, according to researchers observations. Unsurprisingly, the study also found "that the average consumer reads only the top five lines on a Nutrition Facts label." Which is probably one reason why Congress is ordering a report recommending a much simpler, more intuitive, less boring version of nutrition labels. [Eurekalert, The Los Angeles Times]
  • The (faintly) bright spot in healthcare: there will be more generic prescriptions available. Buying versions of Lipitor, Plavix, Seroquel, Nexium, and a slew of other big-name drugs will get much cheaper, as their patents expire and they go generic within the next few years, WYNC/NPR reports, citing an analyst saying that the average daily cost of drugs should drop a third by 2015. That's decent news. Unfortunately, there's always the caveat: "Some analysts say the growing field of costly specialty drugs could undermine the growing savings from generics." [NPR]

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

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