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Viewpoints: Many beneficiaries of health law don't vote; reboot for healthcare.gov

Viewpoints: Many beneficiaries of health law don't vote; reboot for healthcare.gov

For starters, my strong hunch from my own reporting in the region over the past couple years-;including several trips to Kentucky for a new book on McConnell-;is that the Democrats' biggest problem in Appalachia and the Upland South is not that the people who are benefitting from Obamacare or would stand to benefit from it if their states fully implemented the law are voting against their own interests, for Republicans. [More]
First Edition: August 12, 2014

First Edition: August 12, 2014

Today's headlines include stories about how the federal government's experience with healthcare.gov has led to the creation of the U.S. Digital Service. [More]
State highlights: Va. Lt. Gov.'s politics and pediatrics juggle; Md. hospital error reporting; ruling on Fla. 'Docs V. Glocks' law

State highlights: Va. Lt. Gov.'s politics and pediatrics juggle; Md. hospital error reporting; ruling on Fla. 'Docs V. Glocks' law

A selection of health policy news from Virginia, Maryland, Florida, New York, Wisconsin, Washington state, New Jersey and Kansas. [More]
Longer looks: the economics of infertility; placebos as treatment raises ethical dilemmas

Longer looks: the economics of infertility; placebos as treatment raises ethical dilemmas

About a decade ago, Medicaid programs were struggling to keep up with skyrocketing prescription drug costs. Between 1997 and 2002, drug spending in the program for low-income Americans grew by about 20 percent annually. ... Medicaid directors began looking for ways to tamp down on those costs. One of the most popular policies was something called "prior authorization" for a new wave of more expensive, anti-psychotic drugs ,... These policies, in a sense, worked: they helped rein in how much Medicaid spent filling prescriptions. But in another sense, they may not have worked at all: a growing body of research has begun questioning whether restricting drug spending may have just shifted costs elsewhere -; particularly, into the prison system (Sarah Kliff, 7/22). [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]
First Edition: July 14, 2014

First Edition: July 14, 2014

Today's headlines include coverage of Medicare, the health law and veterans' care policy issues as well as reports from the campaign trail. [More]
Viewpoints: Working for benefits; fears for a pill to prevent HIV; possible Medicaid strategy for Virginia

Viewpoints: Working for benefits; fears for a pill to prevent HIV; possible Medicaid strategy for Virginia

[Economist Robert] Moffitt noted in an email that "the work incentives in the government safety net have greatly increased over the last 20 years: less welfare payments if you don't work, and much greater government payments if you do." [More]
Viewpoints: Political stand-off on insurance industry safeguards; VA's problems may lie in how government works

Viewpoints: Political stand-off on insurance industry safeguards; VA's problems may lie in how government works

The Obama administration calls it an adjustment, Republicans call it a bailout and insurance companies call it the one thing that might keep them from raising rates and angering policyholders. [More]
Women using DMPA injection more likely to acquire HIV than women using NET-EN

Women using DMPA injection more likely to acquire HIV than women using NET-EN

Women who used an injectable contraceptive called DMPA were more likely to acquire HIV than women using a similar product called NET-EN, according to a secondary analysis of data from a large HIV prevention trial called VOICE, researchers from the National Institutes of Health-funded Microbicide Trials Network reported today at the 21st Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Boston. [More]
Gilead Sciences gets FDA approval for once-daily single tablet HIV-1 regimen Complera

Gilead Sciences gets FDA approval for once-daily single tablet HIV-1 regimen Complera

Gilead Sciences, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the single tablet HIV-1 regimen Complera (emtricitabine/rilpivirine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) for use in certain virologically-suppressed (HIV RNA <50 copies/mL) adult patients on a stable antiretroviral regimen in order to replace their current antiretroviral treatment regimen. Complera was first approved in 2011 for patients new to therapy and is now one of the most widely-prescribed HIV regimens in the United States. [More]
Researchers launch phase II clinical trial of rectal microbicide to prevent HIV infections

Researchers launch phase II clinical trial of rectal microbicide to prevent HIV infections

Taking an important step toward the development of a product to prevent HIV infections associated with unprotected anal sex, researchers today announced the launch of a global Phase II clinical trial of a potential rectal microbicide. [More]
Experts address ethical issues raised by FDA's approval of Truvada for HIV prevention

Experts address ethical issues raised by FDA's approval of Truvada for HIV prevention

The Food and Drug Administration's approval last year of the drug Truvada for prevention of HIV infection was a milestone in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but experts are cautioning that it is only the beginning of new ethical concerns for health care professionals, policy makers, researchers and those taking Truvada to prevent HIV infection. [More]
Quest Diagnostics completes sale of ibrutinib commercialization rights to Royalty Pharma

Quest Diagnostics completes sale of ibrutinib commercialization rights to Royalty Pharma

Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, the world's leading provider of diagnostic information services, announced today that it has completed the sale of its rights to royalties from commercialization of the drug candidate ibrutinib to Royalty Pharma, the industry leader in acquiring royalty interests in marketed and late stage biopharmaceutical products, for $485 million in cash. [More]
Reformulated version of anti-HIV gel safe for HIV-negative men and women

Reformulated version of anti-HIV gel safe for HIV-negative men and women

A reformulated version of an anti-HIV gel developed for vaginal use was found safe and acceptable by HIV-negative men and women who used it rectally, according to a Phase I clinical trial published today in PLOS ONE. [More]
Women's low adherence to daily-dose products in HIV prevention trial suggest different approach needed, researchers say

Women's low adherence to daily-dose products in HIV prevention trial suggest different approach needed, researchers say

"Results of a major HIV prevention trial suggest that daily use of a product -- whether a vaginal gel or an oral tablet -- does not appear to be the right approach for preventing HIV in young, unmarried African women," a press release from the Microbicide Trials Network reports. [More]
Study finds antiretroviral-based strategies to prevent HIV infection among women prove ineffective

Study finds antiretroviral-based strategies to prevent HIV infection among women prove ineffective

Three antiretroviral-based strategies intended to prevent HIV infection among women did not prove effective in a major clinical trial in Africa. [More]
Gilead Sciences fourth quarter total revenues increase 18% to $2.59 billion

Gilead Sciences fourth quarter total revenues increase 18% to $2.59 billion

Gilead Sciences, Inc. announced today its results of operations for the fourth quarter and full year 2012. [More]
Encouraging results from Gilead’s TAF Phase 2 trial on HIV-1 infection

Encouraging results from Gilead’s TAF Phase 2 trial on HIV-1 infection

Gilead Sciences, Inc. today announced that a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating tenofovir alafenamide fumarate, an investigational novel prodrug of tenofovir for the treatment of HIV-1 infection, met its primary objective. [More]
Study estimates drug concentrations of Truvada and tenofovir to reduce risk of HIV among MSM

Study estimates drug concentrations of Truvada and tenofovir to reduce risk of HIV among MSM

Several large clinical trials have demonstrated that a daily oral dose of one or two antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV infection can prevent infection in an approach known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. [More]
FDA approves Gilead’s Stribild to treat HIV-1 infection

FDA approves Gilead’s Stribild to treat HIV-1 infection

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Stribild (elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), a new once-a-day combination pill to treat HIV-1 infection in adults who have never been treated for HIV infection. [More]