“Sound Medicine,” the popular public radio show about health issues that has aired on WFYI-FM 90.1 for 15 years, will broadcast its last episode April 26. The show, which is hosted by former WRTV-TV Channel 6 anchor Barbara Lewis-West, was canceled after the Indiana University School of Medicine, the show’s co-owner and primary funder, pulled the plug on its funding. WFYI and Indiana University also co-owned the show. WFYI will air re-runs of the show through the end of May. The show, which was produced by a group of free-lancers and airs on 40 stations, cost $350,000 a year to produce, WFYI officials said. WFYI officials said they are looking for other ways to put health news on air.
Nurses at Indiana University Health’s downtown hospitals are moving quickly to form a union in a bid they say is designed to improve their own working conditions and pay and to improve care for patients. If successful, the union would be one of the first at an Indiana hospital and could spark nurses at other hospitals to follow suit. The IU Health nurses are working with the United Steelworkers to organize. The nurses started distributing petition cards this month for nurses to sign and expect to hold a vote in the second half of April or in May. IU Health officials characterized the union as unnecessary. Among IU Health’s downtown hospitals, there are about 1,500 nurses at Methodist, about 1,000 at Riley Hospital for Children, and about 730 at University Hospital.
Warsaw-based Zimmer Holdings Inc. will have to sell off three businesses in Europe before it can close its $13 billion acquisition of Biomet Inc., under terms of a merger approval extended by the European Union, according to MarketWatch. Zimmer agreed in April last year to buy crosstown rival Biomet to form the largest maker of orthopedic implants. The European Commission, the EU’s top antitrust authority, said Monday that the deal could go ahead if Zimmer divests a knee-implant business in the European Economic Area. Biomet must also sell an elbow-implant unit in the region, and a knee-implant business in Denmark and Sweden. The companies agreed not to complete the merger until suitable purchasers are found and approved by the commission. The asset sales will alleviate concerns that the deal could have led to higher prices for orthopedic implants in some European countries, the commission said in a statement.
Terminally ill patients in Indiana who have run out of FDA-approved options can now turn to experimental medicines, according to the Statehouse File. Gov. Mike Pence signed House Bill 1065, more commonly known as the "right-to-try" bill, into law on March 24. Under the legislation, a patient’s doctor and hospital, as well as the manufacturer of a medicine, must approve the use of the drug before a patient can use it. The bill also prevents patients from using drugs in which the likely harm outweighs their chance of death from their disease. The law doesn’t require insurance to cover any medicine or devices the patient obtains under the law, which means the drugs may only be available to wealthier Hoosiers. Indiana joins Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and Missouri as right-to-try states.