HHS appears to be crafting regulation that would remove safe harbor protections for drug rebates provided to insurers and pharmacy benefit managers by pharmaceutical companies. HHS recently sent a rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review, and though details have not been released, the rule is titled "Removal of Safe Harbor Protection for Rebates to Plans or PBMs Involving Prescription Pharmaceuticals and Creation of New Safe Harbor Protection."
Senate Democrats are urging Republican senators to back a resolution that would permit the Office of Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in a lawsuit filed by Republican attorneys general that challenges the legality of the Affordable Care Act. The move follows the Justice Department's announcement last month that it won't defend the ACA.
Merck announced it would cut prices for certain medications by at least 10%, and the company also said it would not raise the average net price of its products over the rate of inflation annually. The price rollbacks target minor, off-patent products and not blockbusters like cancer medication Keytruda or Januvia, used to treat diabetes.
SNMMI and other radiology associations, radiopharmaceutical vendors, patient groups and medical imaging companies sent a letter urging the Senate and House subcommittees on energy and water development to designate $20 million to supporting molybdenum-99 production in the US. Despite the American Medical Isotopes Production Act of 2012, domestic Mo-99 supply continues to be inadequate, the groups wrote.
Patients with breast, colon, lung or prostate cancer who received complementary therapies, such as traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, herbs or naturopathy, had a higher mortality risk, compared with those who only received chemotherapy, radiation or surgery, Yale University researchers reported in JAMA Oncology. The findings also showed an increased likelihood of refusing standard treatment among those who used complementary medicine, but CM was not tied to higher mortality risk after adjusting for treatment delays and refusal of conventional treatment.
The FDA put on partial hold an early-stage study for Mersana Therapeutics' XMT-1522, being assessed to treat patients with advanced HER2-expressing cancers of the breast, lung and stomach. The decision followed a patient death potentially linked to receiving the drug.
A Clarivate Analytics report showed that the impact factor of SNMMI's Journal of Nuclear Medicine increased from 6.646 in 2016 to 7.439 in 2017, making it the fifth highest ranked medical imaging journal. "Among nuclear medicine journals, JNM continues to have the highest number of citations, the highest average five-year impact factor, the highest number of citable articles, and the highest influence score," said JNM Editor-in-Chief Dr. Johannes Czernin.
Opioid addiction is a big issue for employers, but companies are training managers to recognize problems and working with health plans and pharmacy benefit managers to incorporate CDC guidelines on how the drugs should be dispensed and managed, experts said. Physical therapy and pain management alternatives to opioids are options companies can consider to reduce opioid use.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will open its first employee health clinic in Kokomo, Ind., to serve workers and their families and reduce health costs. FCA has five plants in the area, so 22,000 people in the company's health care program will be eligible to use the clinic.
Exercise scientists say any type of movement can be considered physical activity, and study data suggest dynamic sitting -- which can include under-desk bicycling or other movements while sitting -- may increase calorie burn and help deskbound workers. One study found even fidgeting while sitting can be beneficial.