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FDA approves Targiniq ER to treat severe pain

FDA approves Targiniq ER to treat severe pain

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Targiniq ER (oxycodone hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride extended-release tablets), an extended-release/long-acting (ER/LA) opioid analgesic to treat pain severe enough to require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate. [More]
State highlights: Iowa invests in autism program; rural docs feel the pinch of Wisconsin's low Medicaid payments

State highlights: Iowa invests in autism program; rural docs feel the pinch of Wisconsin's low Medicaid payments

A selection of health policy stories from New York, Missouri, Texas, Massachusetts, Maine, Georgia and Pennsylvania. [More]
For Medicare, good news for future, changes in hospice rules

For Medicare, good news for future, changes in hospice rules

And a new report by a conservative group identifies Medicare Advantage cuts by congressional district. [More]
First Edition: July, 21, 2014

First Edition: July, 21, 2014

Today's headlines include a story about an effort by regulators to widen insurer networks, as well as a range of other health policy developments. [More]
Research roundup: ACA lawsuit primer; ACA strategies in 4 states; competitive plans for those eligible for Medicare and Medicaid

Research roundup: ACA lawsuit primer; ACA strategies in 4 states; competitive plans for those eligible for Medicare and Medicaid

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the ACA, but that did not end attacks against the law. Since the decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, objecting parties have filed more than 100 cases in federal courts nationwide. [More]
National Med Care partners with Taking You Forward for marketing pharmaceutical products in the U.S.

National Med Care partners with Taking You Forward for marketing pharmaceutical products in the U.S.

Richmond Private Equity Group Limited announced today that its "portfolio company", National Med Care Ltd, a Salt Lake City Utah, based pharmaceutical marketing firm has entered into an agreement with Taking You Forward Inc., a Cebu Philippines based BPO firm to form a joint venture for the marketing of its compound pharmaceutical products in the United States. [More]
New study finds highest rates of decline in prescription drug misuse nationwide

New study finds highest rates of decline in prescription drug misuse nationwide

Five states that have implemented multi-faceted prescription drug abuse prevention programs in recent years showed the highest rate of decline in prescription drug misuse rates nationwide, according to a new study issued today by Quest Diagnostics, the world's leading provider of diagnostic information services. [More]
Viewpoints: Lower health spending is welcome news; media bias against health law success

Viewpoints: Lower health spending is welcome news; media bias against health law success

The last few years have seen a puzzling and welcome new trend in health care spending: Instead of going up and up, increases have slowed way down. [More]
Prevalence of potentially inappropriate prescribing and prescribing omissions in older adults examined by new study from RCSI

Prevalence of potentially inappropriate prescribing and prescribing omissions in older adults examined by new study from RCSI

A new study from RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) and Trinity College Dublin, which examined the prevalence of potentially inappropriate prescribing (PIP) and prescribing omissions in older Irish adults, has found that 14% of people over the age of 65 has been prescribed at least one inappropriate form of medication in their lives and 30% have not been prescribed clinically indicated medications, at least once in their lives. The [More]
Hospitals, consumer groups object to Medicare rule on observation care

Hospitals, consumer groups object to Medicare rule on observation care

They say the government's effort to set rules for when someone is considered an admitted patient compromises care and still leaves many seniors with costly bills. In other Medicare news, a look at the unraveling of one scam and coverage of sex-reassignment surgery. [More]
CVS Caremark enters into definitive agreement to acquire Navarro Discount Pharmacy

CVS Caremark enters into definitive agreement to acquire Navarro Discount Pharmacy

CVS Caremark today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Miami-based Navarro Discount Pharmacy, the largest Hispanic-owned drugstore chain in the U.S. The transaction includes Navarro's 33 retail drugstore locations and Navarro Health Services, a specialty pharmacy serving patients with complex or chronic diseases. [More]
Pennsylvania releases statewide guidelines on use of prescription opioids for chronic non-cancer pain

Pennsylvania releases statewide guidelines on use of prescription opioids for chronic non-cancer pain

On behalf of Governor Tom Corbett, the Pennsylvania Departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs and Health, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Medical Society, today released statewide guidelines to address the use of prescription opioids to treat chronic non-cancer pain. [More]
Kaleo announces U.S. availability of EVZIO for emergency treatment of opioid overdose

Kaleo announces U.S. availability of EVZIO for emergency treatment of opioid overdose

Kaleo, a privately-held pharmaceutical company headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, today announced the United States (U.S.) commercial availability of EVZIO for the emergency treatment of known or suspected opioid overdose, as manifested by respiratory and/or central nervous system depression. [More]
State highlights: S. Fla. doctor group gets $4M Medicare bonus; states' prisoner health care costs down slightly

State highlights: S. Fla. doctor group gets $4M Medicare bonus; states' prisoner health care costs down slightly

A group of physicians in Palm Beach and Broward counties working under a new Medicare pay-for-performance program qualified for a $4.2 million bonus from the government this year for reducing costs while meeting health care quality benchmarks during their first year in the program. Accountable Care Options, the physician's group, is participating in the Medicare Share Savings Program, which encourages hospitals and doctors to hit certain health care standards designed to lower costs in the long run by reducing medical complications and trips to the emergency room. [More]
State highlights: N.Y. legalizes medical marijuana; La. Medicaid paid for ineligible inmate care; Md. checking Medicaid rolls for unqualified

State highlights: N.Y. legalizes medical marijuana; La. Medicaid paid for ineligible inmate care; Md. checking Medicaid rolls for unqualified

New York on Monday became the 23rd state to legalize certain forms of marijuana for medical reasons as Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation into law at an event in Manhattan. The measure, which passed both houses of the legislature during the final moments of the legislative session, in June, is significantly more restrictive than other medical-marijuana laws in the nation (Orden, 7/7). [More]
First Edition: July 8, 2014

First Edition: July 8, 2014

Today's headlines include reports that a federal judge in Wisconsin heard arguments in a health law challenge brought by a U.S. senator. [More]
State highlights: Calif. rejecting 'free money'; N.C. Medicaid changes, problems; Ill. readies employer contraception coverage vote

State highlights: Calif. rejecting 'free money'; N.C. Medicaid changes, problems; Ill. readies employer contraception coverage vote

Consumer advocates and some legislators were surprised and frustrated when California health officials recently refused a $6 million donation to help people re-up their Medi-Cal health coverage. Now two senators have proposed an unusual solution: a bill to force the state to accept the offer from The California Endowment (Gorman, 7/4). [More]

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]
EMA CHMP adopts positive opinion for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Daklinza for HCV treatment

EMA CHMP adopts positive opinion for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Daklinza for HCV treatment

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company today announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has adopted a positive opinion recommending that Daklinza (daclatasvir), an investigational, potent pan-genotypic NS5A complex inhibitor (in vitro), be granted approval for use in combination with other medicinal products for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in adults. [More]

Study calls for improvements in physicians' inconsistent record of ordering lab tests

Why does one physician in a walk-in practice order laboratory monitoring tests for patients more often than a colleague working down the hallway? [More]