News for Insurers
Top stories summarized by our editors
7/25/2017

Nearly 44 million Americans ages 18 and older, or 1 in 5 adults, suffered from a diagnosable mental, behavioral or emotional condition in the past year, according to a report from the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Analysis of data from 2012 to 2014 showed that the country's overall mental illness rate was about 18%, with Oregon having the highest rate at nearly 23%, while New Jersey had the lowest rate at less than 16%.

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HealthDay News
7/25/2017

A study in JAMA Pediatrics found that a 5% decline in measles, mumps and rubella vaccination coverage among US children ages 2 to 11 would lead to a threefold increase in annual measles cases in young children and $2.1 million in costs to government health programs, a figure that does not include hospital care costs. Inclusion of unvaccinated infants, teens and adults in the analysis would significantly increase estimated measles cases and related health costs, researchers said.

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JAMA Pediatrics
7/25/2017

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) recently submitted a letter to HHS Secretary Tom Price offering policy solutions to reduce prescription drug costs and a list of guiding principles on how the prescription drug marketplace works. Read more.

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pcmanet.org
7/25/2017

Employees working at the 485-acre Fairplex in Pomona, Calif., travel across the fairgrounds on bikes as part of a bicycle-sharing pilot program. Los Angeles County Fair Association CEO Miguel Santana said bicycling contributes to a healthy lifestyle and is simple and accessible for most people.

7/25/2017

The Florida Bar plans to create a wellness initiative framework for its members, but some law firms already offer programs such as yoga, gym subsidies, reimbursements for standing desks, flu shot clinics and employee competitions. Florida Bar President Michael Higer says the goal is to help firms provide a work-life balance, along with interventions targeting professional stress points that can lead to alcohol or drug abuse.

7/25/2017

Work-life balance expert Jeff Davidson says that even while watching television, busy professionals can lift weights, do floor exercises, run in place and stretch. Other ways to fit in fitness include taking a walk during lunch breaks, enrolling in an exercise program, taking the stairs instead of an elevator and always taking the parking spot that's farthest away, Davidson writes.

7/25/2017

Increasing competition in the prescription drug market, expanding the use of pharmacy benefit managers and removing regulations in federal programs, such as protected drug classes in Medicare Part D, would lead to lower drug prices, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association wrote in a letter to HHS Secretary Tom Price.

7/25/2017

The FDA removed from its spring regulatory agenda a proposed rule allowing generic-drug makers to update product labels with new safety information regardless of whether the reference-product label is updated. Allison Zieve, director of the litigation group at Public Citizen, said the proposal appears to be dead, but an FDA spokeswoman said it could be restored to the autumn agenda.

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FDA, Allison Zieve, Public Citizen
7/25/2017

Congressional Democrats propose lowering prescription drug prices by appointing an independent entity to identify "unconscionable" price increases and impose fines on drugmakers that would go toward NIH funding and by allowing the government to negotiate prices on prescription drugs covered by Medicare Part D.

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Politico
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NIH
7/25/2017

Walgreens Boots Alliance is seeking federal permission to buy 2,186 Rite Aid stores and three distribution centers. "If the deal receives regulatory approval, Rite Aid will shrink to a multi-regional pharmacy chain with about half as many stores," but it will retain pharmacy benefit management unit EnvisionRx, writes Pembroke Consulting President Adam Fein.

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Drug Channels