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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios 

Americans on average are dying sooner, largely due to the country’s opioid epidemic. But a number of medical advances are helping people who have chronic diseases live longer.

What’s working: Medical researchers and venture capitalists told Axios that these drugs and treatments have immensely helped patients, or could change the face of medicine shortly.

  • Hepatitis C drugs sold by Gilead Sciences and AbbVie essentially eradicate the virus in as few as two months, although side effects vary.
  • Immunotherapy treatments, such as CAR-T, give patients the chance to fight off cancer with modified versions of their own immune cells.
  • New gene therapies are attacking rare disorders, such as one treatment that reverses a rare form of blindness.
  • Gene-modifying systems like CRISPR are giving scientists hope of treating disease at the DNA level.
  • Newer diabetes treatments have been shown to slow the costly and crippling long-term disease.

Be smart: The price tags are huge, and we still don’t know about all of their long-term side effects. There are always tradeoffs in health policy, but a breakthrough drug or treatment may not be all that valuable if people can’t access or afford it.

Go deeper:

Experts divided on trend toward smaller, targeted clinical trials

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  4. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  5. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries.
  6. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  7. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 hours ago - Health

Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges from a still out-of-control pandemic and more contagious coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The longer American kids miss in-person schooling, the further they fall behind. But the uncertain state of the science on the role young children play in the pandemic continues to complicate efforts to reopen schools.

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.