Cash may convince some teens to stay off smartphones while driving

(Reuters Health) – Getting teens to put down their phones when they get behind the wheel is no easy task, but a small study suggests that parents may have more luck when they offer cash rewards.

Researchers examined data from an online survey of 152 teens who owned smartphones and admitted to texting and driving. Even though they confessed to this dangerous habit, 90 percent said they were willing to give up reading texts while driving, 95 percent could consider no longer sending texts and 99 percent said they might stay off social media.

The trick that would make many commit to these promises wasn’t a parent threatening to take away the keys. It was the promise of cash prizes, and as little as $5 a week looked like enough to make a difference.

“Just telling your teen to stop texting while driving is not going to work, particularly for those who do it a lot,” said lead study author M. Kit Delgado of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

All of the teens surveyed were 16 to 17 years old, fairly inexperienced drivers and very attached to their smartphones.

They were much more willing to consider giving up texting in the car than they were willing to entertain the thought of driving without the navigation or music apps on their phones. Only 59 percent would give up Google Maps and other navigation apps, and just 43 percent would drive without using their phone as a virtual jukebox.

Even though the cash rewards researchers tested were all valued around $250 a year, not all of the prizes were equally appealing to teens.

Individual prizes were the most popular – three of four teens said they would reduce texting while driving if they could earn $5 in cash or gift cards each week they avoided this habit. Starting out with $250 in an account and losing $5 every week they texted behind the wheel only appealed to 63 percent of the participants, however.

A little more than half of the teens were willing to consider giving up texting in order to work toward this goal with a group of friends and share a $1,000 prize at the end of the year. Roughly half of them would also stop texting to get a $250 discount on their annual insurance premiums.

Fewer than one in five said they would stop texting just because their parents expressed concern, researchers report in Traffic Injury Prevention.

Beyond its small size, another limitation of the study is that it wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how specific rewards would actually motivate teens to stop texting and driving.

“I think in general most teens know that texting while driving is dangerous. It is among the most dangerous of all distractions behind the wheel, because it requires the driver to take his/her hands off the wheel (manual distraction), eyes off the road (visual distraction), and mind off the road (cognitive distraction),” said Despina Stavrinos, a psychology researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who wasn’t involved in the study.

Teens who perceive texting while driving as very dangerous are also the same individuals who continue to engage in this very activity quite frequently, Stavrinos said by email.

“I think parents need to model safe driving behaviors for their kids starting an early age (before they begin driving),” Stavrinos added. “Parents also can importantly set rules and restrictions on what happens in the vehicle and limiting cell phone use.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/2IdUzZd Traffic Injury Prevention, online April 13, 2018.

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What Ultra-Explorer Ben Saunders Has Learned About The World

Britain has some form with producing polar explorers – and of that impressive lineage, Ben Saunders is the current flag-bearer. The youngest man in history to reach the North Pole alone and on foot – he did it at 27 – he also led the first ever return journey to the South Pole via the route that Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott took in their attempts. As well as sheer grit, he owes much of his success to a brutal work ethic, using deadlifts, tyre flips and sled drags as well as more traditional training to build strength alongside endurance.

What’s the adventure you’re most proud of?

The Scott Expedition. Between October 2013 and February 2014 my team-mate Tarka L’Herpiniere and I made a 2,888km round-trip to the South Pole on foot. It was a 105-day journey, the longest ever polar journey on foot, and the first time that this journey – the same route that defeated Ernest Shackleton and killed Captain Scott and his team – has been completed.

And what was the toughest physical challenge you’ve faced?

See above! We were dragging 200kg each at the start of the expedition, and we covered 69 back-to-back marathons in the coldest, windiest, driest, highest-altitude continent on Earth.

What was the most dangerous situation you’ve found yourself in – and how did you get out of it?
We were attacked by a polar bear on my first major expedition, back in 2001. My companion on that trip, Pen Hadow, was carrying a Russian shotgun, which jammed five times before he was able to fire shots into the air to scare it away.

What would you say is the biggest thing you’ve learned about yourself during your adventures?

That I have an extraordinary capacity for endurance. I’m definitely not superhuman, however, and I have internal battles with laziness, self-doubt and procrastination like anyone else.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about the world?

The sheer scale of Antarctica was the thing that surprised me most. I’d been churning out this glib line about it in years of drumming up sponsorship – that it was nearly twice the size of Australia, or the same as China and India put together – but it was only after it took us three days to fly across it in October 2013, in order to reach the start point of our expedition, that it really sank in.

What’s your advice to an average guy who wants to inject some adventure into their lives?

Don’t overthink it! The hardest part of any adventure, or indeed of most training sessions, is getting out of the front door.

For more on Saunders, visit bensaunders.com

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How To Optimise Your Work Environment

Keep the greenery

If you can keep it alive, of course. Research suggests that keeping a plant at your desk can boost well-being at work, while being around the colour green can improve creativity. If you’re looking for something low-maintenance that will grow with minimal light, think peace lily or philodendron – they’ll also offer you more of a screen from snack-hoovering colleagues.

Lose your ‘stuff’ pile

Unless there’s a pressing need for you to have it to hand, file it – it’ll only distract you, and research published by the American Psychological Association suggests that “task switching”, or rapidly shuffling from one job to another, can make you up to 40% less efficient. If you’ve got several projects on, break up your time into 30- to 60-minute chunks so you work on one thing, then another.

Keep Post-it notes

Feeling stressed? A to-do list will work: willpower researcher Roy Baumeister reports that simply writing down goals can reduce the cognitive stress of unfinished tasks. Keep it short, but focused: “emails” or “pitches” isn’t effective, but to-do lists that focus on concrete, achievable tasks to tick off will allow you to ride the momentum of a few easily-achieved tasks and stay productive throughout the day.

Lose the laptop

Yes, it’s OK to be the only one in the morning meeting who doesn’t haul in a shiny MacBook Pro. In a 2016 study published in Psychological Science, researchers found that test subjects retained material better when they took notes by hand – probably because they were more likely to summarise and paraphrase than try to get everything down verbatim. By “encoding”, you’re more likely to remember what was said.

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Cheap gyms are just as good for your health as expensive gyms: study

Everyone has something that motivates them to get out of bed and head to the gym. Contrary to popular belief, a new study has found that the promise of a fancy state-of-the-art gym isn’t one of them

After analysing research that showed patients in pleasant hospital rooms had faster recovery times, Professor Ewa M Roos from the University of Southern Denmark expected to see similar results at the gym.

To prove her point, she analysed the results of two groups of people, aged 35 or older and suffering from either hip or knee pain, after eight weeks at the gym. The first group exercised in a fancy gym with beautiful views and state-of-the-art equipment while the second worked out in a bare room in the basement of a 1970s building. There was also a third group, placed on a waiting list and not working out, who acted as a control group.

In order to make the study as accurate as possible, none of the participants were aware of what was being tested. Even the physiotherapist supervising the exercise was kept in the dark.

At the end of the eight week period, participants were asked to report their overall and functional improvement as well as their pain levels. They were also tested on aerobic capacity, muscle strength and walking speed to see how much they had improved. Of course, both groups improved in terms of aerobic capacity, muscle strength and walking speed, but the group working out in the bare basement reported feeling better, with greater improvement in movement and pain relief.

Researchers were surprised that the group didn’t seem to have a problem with the dingy appearance of the gym; in fact, they seemed to like it. “They felt at home in the environment and expressed nostalgia because it reminded them of their old school gym,” Professor Ewa M Roos wrote in an article on The Conversation.

“They also felt a stronger sense of fellowship – they were in it together and worked as a team to achieve their goals.”

Meanwhile, the group working out in paradise found all the fancy features to be a distraction. They also reportedly hated the giant mirrors on the walls as they felt self-conscious about their bodies.

Basically, Professor Roos believes it comes down to this: “if you can join a group and exercise in an environment you really like, you will improve your chances of getting fit and of feeling better.”

“And, as our study shows, when it comes to exercising, it really doesn’t have to be fancy.”

While we’re on the topic, if you hate the gym, you need to read this. Also, make sure you check out “running changed my life – and helped me halve my body weight.”

Know someone who’d love this? Share it with them!

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Why women are taking their eyes off the scale to get healthy

A grassroots exercise movement that encourages women to focus less on the scale and more on overall health started with a single photo posted by a fitness blogger.

Arianna Dantone shared a photo of herself last year with the caption, “Gaining weight is cool.”

“I had gained like 20 pounds, and that whole year I was super depressed about it,” she told “GMA.” “But when I looked back at the pictures, I didn’t see 20 pounds there.”

Dantone’s tweet went viral as people weighed in with the hashtag #GainingWeightIsCool, and responses like, “Thank you for helping me realize that gaining weight is okay.”

“I am sooo on board with this. #Idon’tweightmyselfanymore,” wrote another commenter.

Dantone said she still gets messages from women today, more than one year after she posted her photo.

“I get messages every single day from women telling me that it helped them, so it’s just amazing,” she said.

VIDEO: Inside the #GainingWeightIsCool fitness trend ABCNews.com
VIDEO: Inside the #GainingWeightIsCool fitness trend

Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak told “GMA” that not looking at the scale is good for both your mental and physical health.

“That scale can really affect you,” he said. “It can make you depressed and can make you do extreme things as a reaction to seeing that number.”

He added, “Hashtag ‘don’t weigh yourself’ is cool. Hashtag ‘live an active healthy, balanced, moderate lifestyle’ is cool.”

Studies have shown that people who weigh themselves regularly are better at maintaining their weight, according to Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News’ chief medical correspondent.

“But it’s not just about that number on the scale,” she added, calling weight “just part of the picture” of health.

For instance, if you are gaining muscle, you may actually see your weight increase, Ashton explained.

“Muscle is a dense tissue and you can be very healthy, very fit and see that number on the scale go up,” she said.

For a more accurate judgment of your overall health, Ashton recommends asking these three questions.

1. How are you clothes fitting?

2. What is your exercise tolerance? Can you walk or run up some stairs without being completely winded? How strong are you?

3. How are your objective measures? Know your blood pressure, total cholesterol and blood sugar level.

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There’s a new ramen spot in Denver from a former Nobu chef, and it delivers

Sure, the weather may be getting warmer, but that’s never stopped Denver ramen-heads from splashing their way through the dish’s brothy delight.

In November, we shared with you a list of eight places to reach noodle nirvana in the city, from Bones to Uncle, and now, there’s a new place to add to the list.

It’ll be there for the next 60 to 120 days, at least, so slurp it while you can.

Gaijin (guy-gin) is now open in RiNo’s shiny new food hall, Zepplin Station, in its No Vacancy spot. When the dining destination sandwiched between railroad tracks first opened in March, Comal occupied the pod that is the first to greet diners from the main entrance.

Now, it holds Japanese ramen and yakitori from Chef Bill Espiricueta, formerly of Oak and Acorn, who also cooks up at the next food counter over, Injoi Korean Kitchen. (Talk about a short commute between jobs.)

No Vacancy is a rotating space for between 2 and 4 months, so you won’t have much time to try the cuisine inspired by the chef’s passion for Japanese cuisine that was born during stint at Nobu. The menu offers three types of traditional ramen bowls and skewered meats prepared over Japanese white oak charcoal.

Also new at the Zep for those in a rush or just feeling lazy (uh, we mean, really busy at work), the magic words: online ordering and delivery.

OK, so it’s not going very far yet, but Zeppelin Station now offers online ordering and delivery from all of the kitchens, even pints of gelato from Gelato Boy for those insatiable work gelato cravings.

For $3, food will be delivered by bike within a one-mile radius from Confluence Courier Collective.

So now that we know you don’t have to get up from that yoga ball you call a seat, let’s recap some of the other goodies you can find inside Zeppelin Station:

Injoi Korean kitchen
Korean comfort food
We recommend: Spicy fried chicken tenders or the kimchi fried rice.

Aloha Poke Co.
Raw fish bowls
We recommend: Shoyu ahi tuna crunch bowl with spicy aioli. (veggie bowl also available)

Vinh Xuong Bakery
Banh mi and baked goods from a third-generation, family-owned shop
We recommend: The sweet/spicy grilled pork bahn mi.

Namkeen
Indian street snacks from the owners of Spuntino restaurant
The crispy, delicate aloo samosa with spiced potatoes and peas

Au Feu
Montreal-style smoked brisket
We recommend: poutine with twice-fried fries and cheese curds.

Dandy Lion Coffee
Traditional coffee with an Asian twist
We recommend: Vietnamese cold brew chicory coffee over condensed milk.

Gelato Boy
Uh, gelato, duh
We recommend: The Gelato Boy is a fried sesame bun gelato sandwich filled with your choice of filling and it will haunt your dreams

If you’re hanging around, there’s booze, too:

Kiss + Ride
Casual, ground-level bar
We recommend: The Cobbler, with sherry blend, plum, cinnamon and citrus.

Big Trouble
Zeppelin Station’s tiki-ish mezzanine bar
We recommend: The We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat — with vodka, white port, midori, lime and champagne — serves 3-5 people, or someone with a big Uber budget.


Zeppelin Station: 3501 Wazee St., Denver; zeppelinstation.com.

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Denver’s first SoulCycle is getting a fancy French bistro neighbor straight from NYC’s Upper East Side — The Know

A rendering of Le Bilboquet French Bistro at St Paul Collection in Cherry Creek North. (Provided by VOCA Public Relations)

“Hey there, Upper East Siders. Gossip Girl here, your one and only source into the lives of Cherry Creek’s elite.”

As if it were straight out of a page of Gossip Girl’s notebook, it was announced today that famed New York City Upper East Side French bistro Le Bilboquet will be the first restaurant concept inside the new St. Paul Collection in Cherry Creek North, according to BMC Investments. The mixed-use development with luxury residences will also host the city’s first SoulCycle, as announced in January, and Crate and Barrel’s sister store, CB2.

Get those tailored suits and dresses ready, according to the restaurant’s Zagat page:

“One does not go for the meal alone to this see-and-be-seen French bistro … the food’s consistently good and the service rude if you’re not a regular, but the outrageous pricing extends to all.”

The plan is to have the 6,700-square-foot location at the corner of 3rd and St. Paul streets open in early 2019, serving up traditional French cuisine mixed with some modern fare (like the restaurant’s signature Cajun chicken) in its fine-dining bistro, while also serving breakfast and lunch from a Parisian-inspired cafe. 

And yes, there will be a patio.

This will be the fourth restaurant in the neighborhood from the real estate investment company. Others are the wallet-busting Matsuhisa, Quality Italian and Departure.

“With SoulCycle and CB2 already in place, the retail and restaurant offering at St. Paul Collection will be beyond compare,” BMC Investments CEO Matt Joblon said in the release.

 

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Cocktail of the week: The Good Egg’s Manny Shevitz | Life and style

Before refrigeration, shrubs were a popular way to preserve fruit. Mixed with cold water, they’re very refreshing, but they also work brilliantly in cocktails. These quantities make 350ml shrub (about 14 servings), but it will keep in the fridge for at least three months. The drink is named after a character Bernie Sanders played in the low-budget 1999 film My X-Girlfriend’s Wedding Reception.

Serves 1

For the shrub
100ml grapes – use sharp, sour ones (or plums or apples)
100ml caster sugar
100ml cider vinegar

For the cocktail
50ml white rum (a spiced one adds flavour and depth)
25ml shrub
Soda water, to top
1 grape, halved (or 1 slice apple or plum), to garnish

For the shrub, wash the grapes, cut them in half and put in a very clean tub. Pour over the the sugar, seal and leave to steep for two days. Strain the resulting syrup into a clean bowl, whisk in the vinegar, then pour through a funnel into a sterilised bottle and seal.

Shake well, then refrigerate, checking on the shrub and shaking now and then. (Don’t worry if any solids settle at the bottom of the bottle: it’s just the sugar crystals reforming, and they’ll eventually be dissolved by the acid in the mixture.)

To make the cocktail, combine the rum and shrub in a tumbler, top with soda, garnish and serve.

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The painful truth about fibroids: why FKA twigs is not alone | Life and style

It was, said the singer FKA twigs, “a fruit bowl of pain every day”. She likened the size of the fibroids – benign tumours that had been removed from her uterus in December – to fruit: two cooking apples, three kiwis and a couple of strawberries. The nurse, she added, “said that the weight and size was like being six months pregnant”. Her experience, the singer said, was “excruciating at times and, to be honest, I started to doubt if my body would ever feel the same again … I know that a lot of women suffer from fibroid tumours and I just wanted to say after my experience that you are amazing warriors and that you are not alone.”

She shared the post on Instagram last week, which was picked up by news organisations around the world – indicating how rare it was for anyone to talk openly about fibroids, even though it is a condition that affects about a third of women at some point in their life.

Fibroids are non-cancerous growths of the uterine muscle that develop in or around the uterus. “It’s unusual for them to be painful,” says Dr Virginia Beckett, a consultant gynaecologist and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. “Usually, they’re very small and harmless. They can occur either on the outside of the womb, within the muscle wall of the womb or pushing on to the inside of the womb.” Many women will never even know that they have them but, for some, they can cause debilitating pain, bleeding, heavy periods, discomfort during sex and, in some cases, fertility problems.

Their cause is unknown, but thought to be linked to oestrogen levels – women of childbearing age are more likely to develop them and they can shrink in women who have been through the menopause. African-Caribbean women are more likely to suffer from larger fibroids that cause symptoms. There is no known way of cutting your risk, says Beckett. “There are no dietary methods or medications and having your baby early or late makes no difference.”

A recent all-party parliamentary group on women’s health – which also covered the condition endometriosis – found “unacceptable treatment” for women with fibroids. It reported that 42% of women said they were not treated with “dignity and respect” and nearly half were not told about the short- or long-term side effects of treatment. It found that 12% of women took up to two years even to be treated for their fibroids. One woman told the survey she had been told by her gynaecologist that there was only one treatment option. “I was only offered a hysterectomy and only through my own online research did I discover the other options out there. I had to ask for these other treatments,” she said. Another respondent said her symptoms were ignored.

“Far too often, women put up with symptoms and incredible pain because they are not aware of what is ‘normal’ and they feel stigmatised by talking about ‘women’s problems’,” said the report.

Bridgette York, a solicitor who founded the Fibroid Network patient and campaign group, was diagnosed with fibroids when she was in her mid-20s. She says that, at the time, some 20 years ago, women – even young women who hadn’t had children – were being pushed towards unnecessary hysterectomies. “It was very distressing emotionally and people weren’t talking about it,” says York. After doing lots of research, she was treated nine years after the diagnosis with a myomectomy, which removed the fibroids but kept her womb intact. She had four fibroids removed, with one measuring 33cm (13in) across and the largest weighing 5kg (11lb). York recovered well and went on to have twins.

One of her concerns now is the number of women who are offered medication to treat symptoms rather than a cure. Some drugs also act as contraceptives and are often prescribed to women in their 20s and 30s who may not be aware that it may delay their ability to conceive once they come off it. Medication can be useful for some women, but York says there are safety and efficacy concerns. She points to the drug Esmya (ulipristal acetate) – in February, the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency informed medical professionals that it was the subject of a new EU safety review after several women suffered serious liver damage while taking it. The agency ruled that it should not be prescribed to new patients and that liver function should be tested once a month for women already on it.

“We’re concerned that women are not being given all of the options, and not being given informed choice, and that drugs [might not] have as much effect as they think it might do, especially if they have large fibroids,” says York.

The all-party parliamentary report found that 70% of women were told about hysterectomy, with 38% undergoing one. However, in many cases, fibroids can be treated with less extreme surgery, but also non-surgical interventions such as uterine fibroid embolisation, which is carried out by a radiologist who essentially blocks the blood vessels “feeding” the fibroid. Woodruff Walker, a pioneer of uterine fibroid embolisation, says not enough women are being told about the treatment by gynaecologists, either because they are not familiar with it or because it is not something they offer. “For about 25% of patients who come to me, who have fought their way through the system, embolisation is not mentioned by their gynaecologist as an option.” There are also newer treatments involving laser or ultrasound to destroy the fibroid, but the NHS points out that “the long-term benefits and risks are unknown”. “We do have some medical therapies, but they’re not useful for very large fibroids,” says Beckett.

For large fibroids, she explains, “you would probably offer a hysterectomy. You can do open surgery to remove the fibroids and leave the womb, but that can be quite complicated. You can remove smaller ones laparascopically [through a small incision]. You can do minimally invasive techniques to interfere with the blood supply of the fibroid [such as embolisation] and, if they are impinging on the lining of the womb, you can remove them through a camera that goes into the womb through the cervix.” Embolisation “is not extremely widely available and there are some disadvantages to it. You can get quite significant pain afterwards and the data on fertility is not very well established. The data  is much more established with traditional surgical methods,” she says.

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Trump plan for drug prices won’t include direct negotiations

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is set to unveil his long-awaited plan for reducing drug prices after more than a year of bold promises to tackle pharmacy costs that are squeezing millions of Americans.

But the strategy to be outlined in a speech Friday will not include a key Trump campaign pledge to use the massive buying power of the federal government’s Medicare program to directly negotiate lower drug prices for seniors.

Instead, administration officials are previewing a raft of old and new ideas to increase competition and improve transparency in the notoriously complex drug pricing system with the ultimate aim of wringing more savings for consumers.

It’s an approach that avoids a direct confrontation with the powerful pharmaceutical lobby, but it could also underwhelm Americans seeking relief from escalating prescription costs.

“Consumers are ultimately going to be the judge of this announcement,” said Dan Mendelson, a health care consultant. “If they don’t address the cost that patients see at the pharmacy counter it’s not going to be seen as responsive.”

A majority of Americans say passing laws to bring down prescription drug prices should a “top priority” for Trump and Congress, according to recent polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

As a candidate, Trump railed against the pharmaceutical industry, accusing companies of “getting away with murder.” But as president he has shied away from major reforms and staffed his administration with appointees who have deep ties to the industry, including health secretary, Alex Azar, a former top executive at Eli Lilly.

Azar and other Trump officials have described the problem in stark terms and promised bold action.

“Every incentive is toward higher list prices because everyone in the system gets a cut off that list price except the patient,” said Azar, speaking on “Fox and Friends” on Friday morning.

He said one new proposal would allow senior citizens enrolled in Medicare who hit the catastrophic period to pay nothing out of pocket, “so really relieve a huge burden on our senior citizens.”

Parts of the plan were previously released in the president’s budget proposal and would require action by Congress. Those steps include, requiring insurers to share rebates from drug companies with Medicare patients and changing the way Medicare pays for high-priced drugs administered at doctors’ offices.

Trump staffers said the new steps coming Friday could be taken immediately by the administration without congressional lawmakers, who are mainly focused on November elections. The measures aim to increase competition, create incentives for drugmakers to lower initial prices and stop foreign governments from “freeloading” off U.S. pharmaceutical research. But the officials gave few specifics.

Public outrage over drug costs has been growing for years as Americans face pricing pressure from all sides: New medicines for life-threatening diseases often launch with prices exceeding $100,000 per year. And older drugs for common ailments like diabetes and asthma routinely see price hikes around 10 percent annually. Meanwhile Americans are paying more at the pharmacy counter due to health insurance plans that require them to shoulder more of their prescription costs.

Trump officials have hinted for weeks that the plan, in part, will untangle the convoluted system of discounts and rebates between drugmakers and insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and other health care middlemen. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb — another Trump official with industry ties — says this lack of transparency creates a perverse system of incentives in which drugmakers and other health care companies benefit from rising prices.

“Right now, we don’t have a truly free market when it comes to drug pricing, and in too many cases, that’s driving prices to unaffordable levels for some patients,” Gottlieb said in a speech last week.

Experts who study drug pricing are encouraged that the discussion has moved from outrage to more sophisticated proposals for reform.

“This is progress and I think there’s no question that opening up the machine to make it more clear how it works will lead to change — hopefully to constructive change,” said Dr. Peter Bach, director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Center for Health Policy and Outcomes.

But others warn there is no guarantee that unraveling the current pricing-setting bureaucracy will lead to lower prices, because it all starts with drugmakers’ initial prices.

Drugmakers generally can charge as much as the market will bear because the U.S. government doesn’t regulate medicine prices, unlike most other countries.

Medicare is the largest purchaser of prescription drugs in the nation, covering 60 million seniors and Americans with disabilities, but it is barred by law from directly negotiating lower prices with drugmakers. Democrats have long favored giving Medicare that power, but Republicans traditionally oppose the idea.

Allowing Medicare to negotiate prices is unacceptable to the powerful drug lobby, which has spent tens of millions of dollars since Trump’s inauguration to influence the Washington conversation around drug prices, including a high-profile TV advertising campaign portraying its scientists as medical trailblazers.

The drug industry’s top lobbying arm, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, spent nearly $26 million to sway federal decision makers last year, according to records tallied by the non-profit Center for Responsive Politics. That spending total was the group’s highest since the 2009 congressional battle that led to Obamacare.

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AP Writer Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

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Matthew Perrone can be followed on Twitter: @AP_FDAwriter

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