President Donald Trump reportedly plans to announce a new plan to address the country's opioid abuse epidemic, and the proposal is expected to include a mix of prevention and treatment measures and stricter law enforcement penalties, including possible capital punishment for drug traffickers. A draft version of the plan, which could be released in final form as soon as Monday, also calls on lawmakers to make it easier for Medicaid beneficiaries experiencing addiction to get inpatient care.
The FDA is seeking public input as it develops a plan to reduce the amount of nicotine allowed in cigarettes. The agency is specifically looking for comments on how to lower nicotine levels in cigarettes, the impact of doing so and what the unintended consequences might be, with comments being accepted through mid-June. After that, the FDA will decide whether to move forward with more formal rule-making, said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products.
If team members are not willing to help each other, it may indicate discontent caused by management, writes William Vanderbloemen. Leaders need to exemplify a culture of collaboration and be willing to dismiss a toxic employee or executive, he writes.
Centene recently acquired a stake in pharmacy benefit manager RxAdvance, and CEO Michael Neidorff said the PBM's "transparency, disruptive technology, and unique approach to partnership" will allow Centene to better manage health care costs and improve health outcomes for its members. Centene is also acquiring Florida-based Community Medical Group, which provides medical care to more than 70,000 Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Affordable Care Act consumers, as it and other health plans continue to invest in provider organizations to improve value.
Employee fitness trackers are provided by 8% of employer-sponsored wellness plans, but issues over incentives for using them and how the data they provide are used can raise concerns for workers. Some data that trackers collect go beyond health and can affect areas such as productivity and employment decisions.
The Ohio Chamber of Commerce has a free toolkit that companies can use to address opioid abuse and develop employee assistance programs. TimkenSteel, which plans to use the toolkit, also holds safety talks and lunch-and-learn sessions to inform employees about resources available locally and through its employee assistance program.
Japanese researchers found that individuals who lost at least 30% of their body weight had higher incidence rates of fragility fractures, especially among men, compared with those who had body weight loss from less than 10% to less than 30%. The findings in Diabetes Care, based on data on 4,706 patients with type 2 diabetes from the Fukuoka Diabetes Registry, mean age of 66, showed that those who lost at least 30% body weight also had higher incidence rates for any fracture than other body weight-loss groups.
Youths with persistent cow's milk allergy had lower height and weight, but not body mass index, for their age, compared with those with peanut and tree nut allergies, researchers reported at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology's annual meeting. The findings also showed more significant declines in weight and BMI z-scores from ages 2 to 4 among those with cow's milk allergy.
Pittsburgh hospitals, universities and other institutions are tracking how much food waste they generate and making changes to reduce it. Market Central, the University of Pittsburgh's biggest dining hall, reduced food waste by about 5% per student by cutting portions and using smaller serving bowls and plates.
Pharmaceutical Care Management Association President and CEO Mark Merritt and others, in a meeting with federal officials last month, discussed opioid prescribing issues and noted that applying prescription drug discounts at the point of sale would result in 22% higher Medicare Part D premiums and raise costs by $42 billion over the next decade.
- Page 1