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Research to understand how medical marijuana laws may influence overdose deaths

Research to understand how medical marijuana laws may influence overdose deaths

In states where it is legal to use medical marijuana to manage chronic pain and other conditions, the annual number of deaths from prescription drug overdose is 25 percent lower than in states where medical marijuana remains illegal, new research suggests. [More]
Seniors are less able to afford prescriptions, study finds

Seniors are less able to afford prescriptions, study finds

In its first few years, Medicare's Part D prescription drug program helped seniors pay for their medications, but that trend appears to be reversing, researchers found. Meanwhile, drugmakers fight over the rules for naming cheaper versions of biologic drugs. [More]

Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy gets $4M grant from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded $4 million to the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Bloomberg School of Public Health to help the Center continue its mission of making discoveries that save lives and reduce costs due to injuries. [More]
Efforts to prevent prescription drug misuse among adults need to consider peers, not peer pressure

Efforts to prevent prescription drug misuse among adults need to consider peers, not peer pressure

Current efforts to prevent prescription drug misuse among young adults need to consider peers - but not peer pressure - according to a Purdue University study. [More]
Research roundup: Benefits of smaller practices; Rx price growth; fixing Medicare claims reviews

Research roundup: Benefits of smaller practices; Rx price growth; fixing Medicare claims reviews

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services within the Department of Health and Human Services has taken steps to prevent its contractors from conducting certain duplicative postpayment claims reviews-;reviews of the same claims that are not permitted by the agency-;but CMS neither has reliable data nor provides sufficient oversight and guidance to measure and fully prevent duplication. [More]
Federal program that provides billions in drug discounts faces number of critical issues

Federal program that provides billions in drug discounts faces number of critical issues

A federal program that provides billions in drug discounts to safety net hospitals and other health care providers is expanding under health care reform, but divergent views on the purpose and future scope of the program creates uncertainty for safety net providers and drug manufacturers, according to new report from the RAND Corporation. [More]
BCC Research report provides detailed analyses of global stem cell market

BCC Research report provides detailed analyses of global stem cell market

Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue: The Global Market for Stem Cells. [More]
BioSpecifics Technologies total revenue for second quarter decreases by 19%

BioSpecifics Technologies total revenue for second quarter decreases by 19%

BioSpecifics Technologies Corp., a biopharmaceutical company developing first in class collagenase-based products marketed as XIAFLEX® (collagenase clostridium histolyticum or CCH) in the U.S. and XIAPEX® in the EU, today announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2014 and provided a corporate update. [More]
No on 46 campaign releases first video on multiple online platforms

No on 46 campaign releases first video on multiple online platforms

Today, the No on 46 campaign released its first campaign video on multiple online platforms. Entitled "The Truth about Proposition 46," the two-minute video features real practicing physicians and medical students from across the state discussing the flaws, costs and potential harmful consequences to patients and California's health care system, if 46 were to pass. [More]
Report says feds stop public disclosure of serious hospital errors

Report says feds stop public disclosure of serious hospital errors

USA Today reports the federal government has stopped publicly reporting when hospitals leave foreign objects in patients' bodies or make other life-threatening mistakes. Meanwhile, Medicare spent more than $30 million on questionable HIV medications in 2012 and the agency is resuming audits for some fee-for-service claims. [More]
New study casts doubt on the effectiveness of brief counseling for illicit drug use

New study casts doubt on the effectiveness of brief counseling for illicit drug use

In an effort to stem substance use, the U.S. has invested heavily in the past decade in a brief screening-and-intervention protocol for alcohol and other drugs. [More]
First Edition: August 6, 2014

First Edition: August 6, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index that details how politics play a role in the nation's health care gap between red and blue states. [More]
Costly specialty drugs drive up Medicare tab

Costly specialty drugs drive up Medicare tab

ProPublica and The New York Times look at the explosive spending growth from an obscure medication for treating multiple sclerosis and a rare kidney disease -- and how several top prescribers have links to drugmaker, Questcor Pharmaceuticals. [More]
Roundtable discussion on heroin and prescription drug abuse

Roundtable discussion on heroin and prescription drug abuse

Jersey Shore University Medical Center hosted a roundtable discussion on August 4, led by Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, to discuss the continued growth in heroin and prescription drug abuse in the shore community. [More]
Aeterna Zentaris signs strategic co-promotion services agreement with ASCEND

Aeterna Zentaris signs strategic co-promotion services agreement with ASCEND

Aeterna Zentaris Inc. today announced a strategic co-promotion services agreement with ASCEND Therapeutics US, LLC. [More]

Medicare drug premiums to rise $1 a month in 2015

The modest increase of the monthly premium to $32 comes even as officials are concerned about the impact of expensive specialty drugs, such as Sovaldi, which cures hepatitis C but costs $1,000 a pill. [More]

State highlights: New York state faces $1.3B Medicaid payback problem while Mayor De Blasio advances plan to reduce city employees' health costs

When Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his first labor agreements with New York City unions this spring, he was sharply criticized for granting long-awaited wage increases in exchange for promises of unspecified though sizable savings on health care expenses (Greenhouse and Stewart, 7/29). [More]
First Edition: July 30, 2014

First Edition: July 30, 2014

Today's headlines include a range of health policy headines, including news from Capitol Hill on the Senate confirmation of Robert McDonald to head the VA. [More]
FDA approves use of Imbruvica to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia

FDA approves use of Imbruvica to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved use of Imbruvica (ibrutinib) to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who carry a deletion in chromosome 17 (17p deletion), which is associated with poor responses to standard treatment for CLL. Imbruvica received a breakthrough therapy designation for this use. [More]
Minister Ambrose calls for proposals to tackle prescription drug abuse

Minister Ambrose calls for proposals to tackle prescription drug abuse

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, today issued a national Call for Proposals to improve the prescribing practices for prescription drugs that have a high risk of abuse or addiction. [More]