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Viewpoints: Shop around for health coverage; 'gaming' Obamacare; FDA and painkillers

Viewpoints: Shop around for health coverage; 'gaming' Obamacare; FDA and painkillers

My colleagues Margot Sanger-Katz and Amanda Cox wrote recently that shopping around for the best price can be crucial for people renewing their coverage on the health insurance exchanges this fall. [More]
AAN releases new position statement on opioids for chronic non-cancer pain

AAN releases new position statement on opioids for chronic non-cancer pain

According to a new position statement from the American Academy of Neurology, the risk of death, overdose, addiction or serious side effects with prescription opioids outweigh the benefits in chronic, non-cancer conditions such as headache, fibromyalgia and chronic low back pain. [More]
KemPharm to initiate clinical trials in Canada for lead product candidate KP201

KemPharm to initiate clinical trials in Canada for lead product candidate KP201

KemPharm, Inc., a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of proprietary new molecular entity (NME) prodrugs, announced today that it received a No Objection Letter (NOL) from Health Canada to begin clinical trials in Canada for its lead product candidate KP201 (benzhydrocodone hydrochloride and acetaminophen) [More]
First Edition: August 22, 2014

First Edition: August 22, 2014

Kaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews writes: "How much leeway do employers and insurers have in deciding whether they'll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut? Not much, as it turns out, but that hasn't stopped some from trying. Kaiser Health News readers still write in regularly describing battles they're waging to get the birth control coverage they're entitled to" (Andrews, 8/22). [More]
State highlights: Calif. hospital bid draws scrutiny; hospital house calls

State highlights: Calif. hospital bid draws scrutiny; hospital house calls

Prime Healthcare Services Inc., a hospital chain that has come under fire for billing and patient privacy issues, is facing opposition over its potential acquisition of six California hospitals, including two medical centers in Los Angeles County. On Friday, hospital workers, union representatives and elected officials protested against Prime outside St. Vincent Medical Center near downtown Los Angeles, one of the six hospitals put up for sale this year by the Daughters of Charity Health System (Garland, 8/15). [More]
New lifesaving product aims at reducing death toll from heroin abuse

New lifesaving product aims at reducing death toll from heroin abuse

A new, lifesaving product aimed at reducing the death toll from heroin abuse — developed by a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy — is in its final round of clinical trials and has received Fast Track designation by the Food and Drug Administration. [More]
New tool promises to reduce deaths caused by heroin overdose

New tool promises to reduce deaths caused by heroin overdose

A new, lifesaving product aimed at reducing the death toll from heroin abuse - developed by a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy - is in its final round of clinical trials and has received Fast Track designation by the Food and Drug Administration. [More]
Prescription drug deaths drop in Fla. after crackdown on doctors

Prescription drug deaths drop in Fla. after crackdown on doctors

Deaths involving narcotic painkillers dropped 26 percent over two years in Florida after stricter doctor scrutiny, according to a report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [More]
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries enters into definitive agreement to acquire Labrys

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries enters into definitive agreement to acquire Labrys

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., and Labrys Biologics, Inc., a privately-held development stage biotechnology company focused on treatments for chronic migraine and episodic migraine, today announced that Teva has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Labrys, broadening Teva's array of biotechnology assets and capabilities. [More]
State regulators seek to impose controls on new painkiller

State regulators seek to impose controls on new painkiller

Several outlets look at prescription drug issues, including how to handle Zohydro -- a powerful painkiller approved by the FDA in March, and ethical questions raised by new "smart pills." [More]
Teva announces positive results from pivotal Phase III study of hydrocodone bitartrate extended-release tablets

Teva announces positive results from pivotal Phase III study of hydrocodone bitartrate extended-release tablets

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. today announced positive results from a pivotal Phase III study of hydrocodone bitartrate extended-release tablets designed with Teva's proprietary technology providing potential abuse-deterrent properties (CEP-33237). [More]
Purdue Pharma seeks FDA authorization to market once-daily hydrocodone bitartrate tablet

Purdue Pharma seeks FDA authorization to market once-daily hydrocodone bitartrate tablet

Purdue Pharma L.P. announced that it has filed a New Drug Application (NDA) with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration seeking authorization to market a once-daily, single-entity hydrocodone bitartrate tablet (HYD). [More]

Braeburn announces new clinical trial for Probuphine based on clear guidance from FDA

Braeburn Pharmaceuticals announced today the initiation of a new clinical trial for Probuphine® based on clear guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The study, which was submitted for FDA review in mid-March, is expected to begin enrollment by mid-year and to be completed by the middle of 2015. [More]
Children get codeine in U.S. emergency rooms, despite risks: Study

Children get codeine in U.S. emergency rooms, despite risks: Study

Despite its potentially harmful effects in children, codeine continues to be prescribed in U.S. emergency rooms, according to new research from UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco. [More]
Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Polls have consistently shown that even though the public opposes Obamacare, people like some of its most significant provisions. That's particularly true of the requirement that insurers ignore preexisting conditions when signing up customers for coverage. [More]
Egalet provides business update, reports full year 2013 financial results

Egalet provides business update, reports full year 2013 financial results

Egalet Corporation ("Egalet") today reported business highlights and financial results for the year ended December 31, 2013. This marks the first time that Egalet is reporting its operating results as a public company. [More]
Research roundup: Palliative care and ACOs; employers and Supreme Court case on contraception

Research roundup: Palliative care and ACOs; employers and Supreme Court case on contraception

In preparation for the new ACO environment, leaders recognized the contribution palliative care can make to health care "value," especially in the care of our sickest (and most expensive) patients ... [More]
Study reveals that more than 14% of pregnant women are prescribed opioids for pain

Study reveals that more than 14% of pregnant women are prescribed opioids for pain

More than 14 percent of pregnant women were prescribed opioids (narcotics) for pain at some time during their pregnancy, according to a study posted to the online version of Anesthesiology. [More]
Scientists investigate factors that influence choice of abused drugs

Scientists investigate factors that influence choice of abused drugs

Prescription opioid abuse has reached epidemic levels in the past 15 years. Scientists investigating why people favor one drug over another have found that oxycodone and hydrocodone are the drugs of choice for 75% of opioid-dependent individuals. [More]
Viewpoints: Shinseki's efforts haven't yet solved VA's problems; treating children with mental illness is complicated; abuse of painkillers

Viewpoints: Shinseki's efforts haven't yet solved VA's problems; treating children with mental illness is complicated; abuse of painkillers

Just in time for Veterans Day, the embattled secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki, announced last week that his department had reduced its backlog of overdue disability claims from more than 600,000 in March to about 400,000. "The trend line is in the right direction," Shinseki told reporters, noting that the VA had cut the number of claims older than a year by 93%. With hundreds of thousands of cases still unresolved, Shinseki hasn't gotten much credit so far -; but to the surprise of his critics, he's on track to achieve his goal of eliminating the backlog by 2015. Still, that won't solve all the VA's problems; far from it (Doyle McManus, 11/10). [More]