Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Health, fitness, exercises, and programs.

Health Insurance in the US

Types of US Health Insurance

There are too many billing codes and health insurances, yet not enough coverages to go around. This article briefly introduces the major types of health insurances in the United States: major medical insurance, supplemental, worker’s comp, and government funded medicaid and medicare. And if you have no insurance at all, check out our article on discount prescription coverage cards.

Major Medical Insurance
American Family Insurance
American National Insurance
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
Cambia Health Solutions
Centene Corporation
Coventry Health Care
Golden Rule Insurance Company
Group Health Cooperative
Health Net
Independence Blue Cross
Kaiser Permanente
Kaleida Health
LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon
Medical Mutual of Ohio
Molina Healthcare
Premera Blue Cross
Principal Financial Group
Shelter Insurance
State Farm
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
UnitedHealth Group
Universal American Corporation
WellCare Health Plans

American Family Insurance
Bankers Life and Casualty
Kaiser Permanente
Mutual of Omaha
Premera Blue Cross
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans

Supplemental insurance
Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company
Combined Insurance
Liberty National Life Insurance Company
Manhattan Life Insurance Company
MEGA Life and Health Insurance
Mutual of Omaha
State Farm Insurance

Workers’ compensation
Accident Fund
American International Group (AIG)
Cincinnati Financial Corporation
Erie Insurance Group
GUARD Insurance Group
Hanover Insurance
The Hartford
Liberty Mutual
Merchants Insurance Group
Missouri Employers Mutual
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
The Norfolk & Dedham Group
Penn National Insurance
Sentry Insurance
State Accident Insurance Fund
State Compensation Insurance Fund
State Farm Insurance
Zenith Insurance Company


First HDAC inhibitor for treatment of multiple myeloma recommended for approval in EU

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting a marketing authorisation for Farydak (panobinostat) for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

Farydak is the first cancer medicine that targets enzymes known as histone deacetylases or HDACs, which are involved in turning genes ‘on’ and ‘off’ within cells. It is intended for patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma who have received at least two prior standard therapies, including bortezomib and an immunomodulatory agent. It is to be used in combination with bortezomib and the anti-inflammatory medicine dexamethasone.

Multiple myeloma is a rare cancer of a type of white blood cells called plasma cells. In multiple myeloma, the division of plasma cells becomes out of control, resulting in abnormal, immature plasma cells multiplying and filling up the bone marrow. The abnormal cells interfere with the production of normal white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets, and patients develop complications such as infections, anaemia, bone pain and fractures, raised blood calcium levels and kidney dysfunction.

Multiple myeloma is generally an incurable disease that leads to bone destruction and kidney failure. In 2012, around 39,000 people had multiple myeloma in the European Union (EU). Around 50% of patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma under current treatment are still alive after five years.

The recommendation from EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) is based on a study of Farydak in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone in 768 patients with multiple myeloma, 193 of whom had received at least two prior treatments that included bortezomib and an immunomodulatory agent. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a combination of Farydak, bortezomib and dexamethasone, or bortezomib and dexamethasone alone. The study found that among patients who had received prior treatment with bortezomib and an immunomodulatory agent, the disease progressed more slowly (by a median of 4.8 months) with Farydak treatment. The most common side effects of Farydak were blood disorders, haemorrhage, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

In the context of these sometimes serious side effects, the CHMP considered that the overall benefit-risk balance for Farydak is only positive in patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma who have received at least two prior regimens including bortezomib and an immunomodulatory agent. A follow-up plan to monitor the safety of Farydak and lower its risks was agreed by the CHMP.

Because multiple myeloma is rare, Farydak was designated as an orphan medicine by the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP) in 2012. Orphan designation gives medicine developers access to incentives such as fee reductions for scientific advice and is the key instrument available in the EU to encourage the development of medicines for patients with rare diseases.

The opinion adopted by the CHMP at its June 2015 meeting is an intermediary step on Farydak’s path to patient access. The CHMP opinion will now be sent to the European Commission for the adoption of a decision on an EU-wide marketing authorisation. Once a marketing authorisation has been granted, decisions about price and reimbursement will take place at the level of each Member State, taking into account the potential role/use of this medicine in the context of the national health system of that country.


This press release, together with all relevant documents, is available on the Agency’s website:

The applicant for Farydak is Novartis Europharm Ltd.

Following this positive CHMP opinion, the COMP will assess whether the orphan designation should be maintained.

More information on the work of the European Medicines Agency can be found on its website:

Contact our press officer
Monika Benstetter
Tel. +44 (0)20 3660 8427

GNC Women’s Gelatin Review

GNC Women’s Gelatin comes in a bottle of 60 capsules, each capsule containing 778 mg of gelatin. No frill, no fluff, just gelatin. What makes it women’s gelatin is beyond me. The fact that it is marketed as physician endorsed by the GNC Medical Advisory Board doesn’t really add to anything, but that’s beside the point. Gelatin can hardly be considered a women’s or men’s supplement; I’m a little unsure we’d consider it a supplement at all seeing that inert capsule shells are actually made of gelatin.

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